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Heartland Politics

Friday, August 22, 2008

WNYC's political director, Andrea Bernstein previews the Democratic Convention from St Louis, where she's travelling on her way to Denver.

Guests:

Andrea Bernstein

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Comments [62]

jon santos from Albany, NY

Did you say "3AM TEXT MESSAGE?"

Aug. 25 2008 02:17 AM
antonio from park slope

amen seth.

Aug. 22 2008 11:10 PM
seth from Long Island

Brian Lehrer is auditioning to become Hillary Clinton's next communications director and Andrea Bernstein is auditioning to be Hillary's next press secretary. Brian and Andrea still carry a torch for Hillary and lament Obama's victory.

Aug. 22 2008 12:04 PM
Iphie

Hey, Carmel,

You know what else was "common knowledge"? It was common knowledge that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11. You remember when a very large majority of the American populace believed that? That common knowledge led us directly into war with Iraq. Common knowledge is something that everyone in the community knows and understands; it does not mean that it is accurate or true. You seem to be confusing common knowledge with actual provable facts.

And please, don't presume to know who or what I am angry with, what I am feeling, or that I need to relax. Instead, why don't you address the issue at hand; the use of the phrase "some people" or "some experts" as a technique that is widely used by "news" outlets to introduce not-for-attribution rumors or outright lies without taking responsibility for doing so. It is not a technique that is usually employed by respectable journalists. They usually offer direct quotes or actual facts to back up their commentary.

And please do provide a link to the poll that proves that "people who would not vote at all would come out just to vote against her". The best poll of all, you know, the voting booth?, provided much different results from those you are asserting. Hillary Clinton did much better with so-called "red-state" voters than any other Democrat since her husband.

Your assertions about polling, much like Brian's about "experts" may be common knowledge but they aren't correct.

Aug. 22 2008 11:34 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

More of that Texas humor! Hate it and hate the "McCain" type humor as well! PWT

Aug. 22 2008 11:26 AM
PW from TX

Thank god our cabin here in Wyoming only has phones in the servants' quarters. I'm one of those elitists who doesn't own a cell phone. Just don't like to be bothered. We have, however, instructed the butler to let us know the moment the news comes in.

Aug. 22 2008 11:22 AM
Katlin

I agree with (clay from) about the whole "texting" discussion being a bit boring, hasn't he been texting throughout the campaign?...at least it got Brian off the racism discussion - talk about boring!! Brian we all know that racism is alive and well in America but you apply it to everything. I don't know if you really believe it or you just like to throw it in for controversy - either way get a new montra.

Aug. 22 2008 11:19 AM
Carmel from Forest Hills

Hey, Iphie, relax. This is such common knowledge, that he didn't really have to say "some experts" at all. You seem to be confusing Democrat primary voters with voters at large. Is it a secret to you that any many red states Hillary is poison for the Democrats? people who would not vote at all would come out just to vote against her, and it does not matter whether there is any basis for this hatred. It just is. go look at any national poll, better yet one of Republicans. The curious thing here is the immediate backlash at the messenger for delivering the message that made you feel bad. You're angry at Republicans, not Brian Lehrer.

Aug. 22 2008 11:07 AM
Iphie

Hey, "Woman from Manhattan"? You would like to know what the political achievements of various senators are? All of their votes, all of the legislation that they have introduced or co-sponsored, all of the hearings that they have held and the questions that they have asked are part of the public record and readily available to anyone with a computer and an interest to know.

You may not know what politicians are doing, but that isn't because the information isn't available, it is because you have not made any meaningful efforts to acquire that information. Don't blame your ignorance on anyone else; that you don't know what your senators have done is no one's fault but your own.

Aug. 22 2008 11:00 AM
Iphie

"Some experts," Brian? Nice way to dismiss the opinions of voters by contradicting their views by alluding to "some experts" who think that Clinton would be a bad choice for all sorts of reasons -- none of which are being offered by any voters. Given that you have none of these "experts" on at the moment, and that you have no direct quotes, it was a nice opportunity for you to trot out all of the straw men arguments against Clinton. Why use so called "experts" to air your own views? Why not be a little more honest and say that you are the "expert" to which you are referring?

Your reference to "some experts" is very similar to other commentators who refer to "some people" when they want to introduce a specious arguments against a candidate, but don't want to be responsible for the smear themselves. "Some people" is a time worn rhetorical device that allows the user to hide behind unnamed people to air unsubstantiated claims against another.

It is a tactic that was used to successfully question Senator Kerry's war hero status: "Well, some people say that Kerry didn't deserve those purple hearts. Some people say that he wasn't a hero at all, he was a coward. How do you respond?"

Congratulations, Brian Lehrer, "some people" say that your show has become nothing more than a propaganda organ for Obama, much like the Fox News network is a propaganda organ for the RNC. "Some people" say that you have become a journalistic joke. How do you respond?

Aug. 22 2008 10:54 AM
O from Forest Hills

Jw,

If you listen to BL everyday, do they still have the crime problem with theft of media equipment in Williamsburg that reported back in May or June? We never got an update on that. You live there. Have you noticed any changes?

Brian Lehrer, please update criminal stories after awhile.

Aug. 22 2008 10:50 AM
JW from Williamsburg

Even though I've been here 6 years, thanks, O.

Aug. 22 2008 10:47 AM
Carmel

The text message/email strategy is a pretty smart thing. It's costless to people, both in money and in time. 5 seconds to get in on it. I'm sure not only Democrats are signing up, since it's simply a good story, and pretty much everyone wants to know, whether supportive or not. In any event, the Obama campaign gets this direct access to a group that is very likely to vote, and has shown enough interest to signup. This kind of exposure, in the last and most difficult stretch of the campaign, is a sweet political asset. If the message is constructed right, it could really make a difference. He may well have stretched it into a gameshow by now, and should probably put an end to it, but overall this is one cool idea.

Good to see these people are really thinking. That's one impressive campaign

Aug. 22 2008 10:44 AM
O from Forest Hills

Welcome to NY!

Aug. 22 2008 10:43 AM
JW from Williamsburg

woman from manhattan: I don't care if you're rude. I don't think NYers are, generally, rude. I chose to come here for many reasons, and I love it here. This is not a Midwest-v-NY thing (although the fact that you're positioning it that way is telling). My point is that BL uses "Mizzurah," just like that, in verbal air quotes, every time the state is brought up, and is indicative of a somewhat mocking attitude that is unnecessary and unhelpful.

Aug. 22 2008 10:40 AM
Jonathan from Montcliar NJ

My phone charges on my night table right by my bed every night. Is that so strange?

Aug. 22 2008 10:38 AM
O from Forest Hills

I think Brian is right to introduce the race issue. I am white, my first choice is Hilary because I want a woman President, I think women have been oppressed for too long and held back, but I will vote for Obama because I want a Dem in the white house.

I have seen so many white people tell me they don't want a black President, it is true.

Maybe some things will never change.

Aug. 22 2008 10:35 AM
emily from chelea

why all the suspense? Obama is appealing to the American Idol generation. We love this stuff.

Aug. 22 2008 10:31 AM
a woman from manhattan

I don't hear any slights to Mizzurah, JW.
I'm one of those New Yorkers midwesterners think are all so rude, but I'm not complaining... I know why they think that way.

Aug. 22 2008 10:31 AM
Robbie from New York

Experience? Oh my, not that canard. McCain is expertly experienced in Senatorial mumbo jumbo and tough guy bluster. And HE is untested where is matters most.

Face it, Brian. Sounding like the folks at FOX is lame.

Aug. 22 2008 10:31 AM
Liz from Brooklyn

Do you really believe he is actually texting any one?

Aug. 22 2008 10:31 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Media game? what? this is the world of technology we live in! This is why Senator Obama is a candidate for the young and not the extremely old!

Aug. 22 2008 10:31 AM
chris o from new york city

The other thing about the texting is that all the people that signed up will get messages to turn out and vote on Election day.

Aug. 22 2008 10:29 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

He is running this campaign just like the rest of the world lives, HIGH TECH....we are high tech and it is not his fault that mccain didnt think of it first.

Aug. 22 2008 10:29 AM
Tony from Brooklyn

Let's face it, the "I don't know Obama" thing is really "he's different." Different is code for BLACK. When is a journalist going to ask the follow up question "what do you know about McCain?" With the exception of extending the Iraq quagmire indefinitely, how many of the people who are voting for McCain know "what he stands for?" You ask 100 of the uneducated Bud drinking, breakfast shooting "hard working white americans" what McCain-Feingold is and my guess is 99 couldn't tell you. Short of fighting to keep Dr. King's birthday from being a holiday, what are his notable legislative achievements?
Americans are too stupid to exercise democracy in their best interests. The Times cover article of yesterday about the voters in one dying rust belt Pennsylvania county is a prime example. The evils of racism, religion, and ignorance are too formidable an opponent for democracy to overcome. With the education gap widening the same time the web allows misinformation to spread more easily and efficiently, it will only get worse. America is an empire on a irreversible decline.

Aug. 22 2008 10:28 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Agree with the caller - I am signed up, but as soon as the announcement is made it will be all over the news! Go Richardson...

Aug. 22 2008 10:28 AM
sean from brooklyn

Sorry I wrote Amy in my post.
Its Andra Bernstine not Amy Eddings.

Aug. 22 2008 10:27 AM
Susan from Manhattan

From my desk i can see several co-workers, all males, staring at their cellphones waiting for the message. They all fit into the catagory of 'uncool geeks'. They seem more interested in the technology bringing them the Obama VP news than the actual news itself. They were also to be found waiting in line to see the last couple Star Wars movies.

Aug. 22 2008 10:27 AM
Brian from Manhattan

The announcement will mostly likely be made tomorrow. I will not be near a media source tomorrow so text message is the most convenient way to get the news. In addition, I will receive the news first and in a format that I can easily pass on to friends.

Aug. 22 2008 10:26 AM
clay

I didn't sign up until yesterday. Initially, I figured I'd hear about within minutes between wnyc , blogs, word of mouth, etc, so why bother.

But now, the primary discussion has turned to filler and speculation and the novelty of using text messages. It's gotten boring. So, I decided to turn off the radio (sorry Brian) and just wait for the text.

Aug. 22 2008 10:26 AM
a woman from manhattan

You know, people may not know what Obama did as senator, but frankly, I don't know what Hillary did as senator either! And I'm just like everybody else. Do I have time to wonder what my senator is doing unless I have a particular concern I'd like her to address on my own behalf?

Nobody knows what their politicians are doing till it counts.

For that matter, I based my judgement of the candidates on how they run their campaign. I thought Hillary ran hers in a shameful way, and I think Obama is running his with the dignity and judiciousness I expect from a president. (We all saw how Bush ran his, so I wonder why we were all so surprised). What you see is what you get, I think.

And no, I am not for Hillary for VP. Gads, no.

Aug. 22 2008 10:25 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Recovering alcoholic *tee hee* among other things.

Aug. 22 2008 10:25 AM
Robbie from New York

An SMS text service can be programmed re-text a massive message if unsuccessful the first time. You can pre-set to send/try multiple times.

As a tech this is sooo interesting. Go OBAMA go!

Aug. 22 2008 10:24 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

What? Who is shocked that there are Black Churches Bored? What?

Aug. 22 2008 10:24 AM
ann from Forest Hills, NY

Any voter who is saying that they "don't know Senator Obama" or what he stands for....is just stupid, stupid, stupid. What did we "know" about President Bush in 2000? Not much - and what we did know about him was spun into lies and the American voters believed the lies.

If these stupid people would take the time to actually read Senator Obama's policy positions - on his website - or even listen to any of his speeches, town hall meetings etc. .... in general just LISTEN to the man, these people would know exactly what Senator Obama stands for and how he wants to lead our great nation and restore our standing in the world.

Aug. 22 2008 10:24 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

He was in the senate for more than "a day"

Aug. 22 2008 10:24 AM
antonio from park slope

I am signed up..
and I want gore!

jeez, I hate that talking point about obama's experience..
Why doesn't the media report on Hillary's experience before her one term? Why doesn't the media talk about how she refused to debate Jonathan Tasini in 2006?

Aug. 22 2008 10:24 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

that guy said he is from St Looie...lived in NYC for 11 year and he said he is a native NYer...ummm...ya...drink that cappuccino JA

Aug. 22 2008 10:23 AM
chris o from new york city

Steve #3 - Touche. I completely agree.

Aug. 22 2008 10:21 AM
BORED

Lets stop lying to ourselves. He's black and black people's have alawys been thought of less "american" then everyone else. Look at the shock that they are black churches.

Aug. 22 2008 10:21 AM
chris o from new york city

Hmmm, they don't know him. What kind of change will he bring? I think this is fair but it is also hard to believe that a black woman would say that about Obama. Or a white woman would not say that about McCain - even though the voter does not know him, either, really.

Thanks, Brian. You made the excellent point about the racism, it is not necessarily intentional or malicious, but it is real. And excellent point about the beer with Bush, the recovering alcoholic which shows just how false these media narratives can be. Moreover, a beer with Gore would be a lot better because he is really smart and engaging whereas Bush is arrogant and simple-minded and would expect you to kiss his @ss while you have a beer with him.

Aug. 22 2008 10:20 AM
JW from Williamsburg

I'm also a former Missourian, and BL's repeated comments about "Mizzurah" are tired and patronizing. Yeah, yeah, stupid hicks talk funny, hur hurr. As a state MO is more conservative than NY, but acting like the whole state is of a single, politicaly conservative mind (which is what I'm getting from the commentary today) is idiocy, especially since you're in a urban "blue" area.

Aug. 22 2008 10:20 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

I decided a long time ago that I'd vote for a 3rd party candidate (not Barr, not Nader) just so that I could vote. However, on the issue of not knowing Obama -- Remember that he's been full of surprises since he wrapped up the nomination. Offshore drilling, FISA, gun rights. I really resent being called a racist every time I say I haven't drunk the kool-aid, but I wonder what other surprises are in store.

Aug. 22 2008 10:20 AM
CK from NYC

wait, opportunity for a sub-question....how many of us are waiting for this text on our iPhones?!

Aug. 22 2008 10:19 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Brian is the James Lipton of political discussions...

Aug. 22 2008 10:19 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

Obama is unknown, untested and inexperienced.

It would have been nice if he was in the senate for more than a day.

however he's going to win.

McCain is an old fool.

Aug. 22 2008 10:19 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

We will all here the announcement at the same time b/c I can guarantee you that hoards of media types have secretly signed up for the text message too!

Aug. 22 2008 10:19 AM
CED from Tampa, FL

I have signed up for the Obama vp txt msg. I would sign up for McCain's too if possible.

Of course Brian could be for one candidate or another- everyone has that right. As an NPR member station, they have policies and precautions in place to keep the on-air discussion as neutral as possible. No one is capable of washing their lenses or their speech completely clean of their personal biases, but Brian is very careful to remain neutral. He is respectful and promotes healthy dialog and that is what is really important.

Aug. 22 2008 10:19 AM
Marcus Carter from Brooklyn, NY

Originally from St. Louis, I'm amused to hear that Andrea is visiting the Arch, Ted Drewes, and Washington. Discussion with people there on either side of the aisle reveal discomfort with both candidates. Though it is never spoken, I sense that the main hold-up with Obama for many is race. Remember that St. Louis is one of the most racially polarized cities in the country.

(By the way, the Arch is stainless steel)

Aug. 22 2008 10:19 AM
s from NYC

BOTH! just moved back to NY from kansas city, missouri, and signed up for the txt!

Missouri: Kansas City is really going for the democrats, but there is not the kind of demonization of the "other party" (whichever it is) that people are comfortable with in other contexts. rather, i found that my friends there, while politically opinionated, had far more diversity of politically positioned friends than here. there was more political tolerance, i think, because there is more people of varying political stripes than elsewhere.

Obama Text message: i signed up because i am a news junkie and i wanted to know ASAP!

Aug. 22 2008 10:18 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Pleeease don't invoke racism into the conversation Brian! Don't want to go there this AM please!

Aug. 22 2008 10:18 AM
CK from NYC

I signed up for the Obama texts but I'm at work now and can't call. I did it because I love being on top of news. My co-workers all rely on me to have the latest info! In the long run, it makes me a more aware and educated person but in the short term, it's always fun to be the first to know. It's as simple as that. And because of all the hype, I've done more to read about the backgrounds of the potentials; more than I've done in previous years.

Aug. 22 2008 10:18 AM
Steve Mark from NYC

Brian:

Would you feel the same way about not penalizing McCain for this house ownership issue as you do that "not knowing" Obama should be dismissed as an issue.

Aug. 22 2008 10:18 AM
Anne from Jersey City

I'm a big Obama supporter and I'm totally glued to my iPhone waiting for the news--I am beginning to tire a bit of being strung along, but I'm still excited enough that I catch myself thinking "Oh, good--Barack'll text me if there's any news..." as if he's a good friend.

I think that little mental trick is good for the campaign: it's helped cement my loyalty.

Aug. 22 2008 10:15 AM
John from Jersey City, NJ

i signed up for Obama's VP text messaging. mostly because i have unlimited texting with my cell plan.

Aug. 22 2008 10:14 AM
Stephen

of course i signed up for the obama text message. i need to be the first to know, just like i needed to be the one of the first to own the iphone. there's something about combining technology and competition that is irresistible to me. if npr would make it possible to contribute via text message, i would probably contribute a lot more money every year.

Aug. 22 2008 10:14 AM
sean from brooklyn

my wife is from St Louis
Amy is totally right on all counts so far.
Ted Drews is amazing!!!!!!!!

Where Danny Meyers from the shake shack got the idea of the custard.

Aug. 22 2008 10:13 AM
RA from CT

Darn it Brian, it is MIZ-OOR-EEE!

Not Miz-oor-aa.

I grew up in Misery, wouldn't go back because the state is strongly controlled by social conservatives, but I get bugged by the mis-pronunciation.

Aug. 22 2008 10:11 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

Oh yeah Brian is SO for Obama.

I'd write something else however the producer would remove my comment.

Aug. 22 2008 10:10 AM
Steve from NYC

Brian,
You made a comment about it looking like obama is playing a game with this announcement. Perhaps it's the media that is turning this into a game. The media would do a better service to society if it started to report the news instead of predicting it. When the announcement is made, report it. Why waste all this time and energy with speculation?

Aug. 22 2008 10:10 AM
antonio from park slope

Does anyone think Brian likes Obama?

Aug. 22 2008 10:08 AM
michaelw from INWOOD


Enough waiting for the VPs. this is ridiculous.

This process has been a year too long as it is.

Why would Obama wait until the convention to announce?

It would have been so much better to announce this week so he could have more attention.

Makes no sense.

Aug. 22 2008 10:01 AM

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