The Infamous Sigh

Posted: September 24, 2008 in Politics

One of the great injustices heaped on a presidential candidate by the media was the amplification and interpretation of Al Gore’s off-camera sigh when George Bush was spouting his “fuzzy math” non-sense in response to Gore’s specific answer to a question including mathematic evidence to support his position. Fuzzy math was clearly an obfuscation that only deserved scorn; and we all should have heaved a collective, stressed sigh at this feeble attempt to counter Gore’s excellent points.

I rate this along with the Dean Scream in the annals of yellow journalism in a successful attempt to discredit an excellent candidate. It is no secret that Howard Dean’s success at fund raising at the grass-roots level threatened the status quo and caused the cynical media to create an issue that was only in their collective minds. I was reminded of the travesty surrounding the Dean Scream this last school year in a discussion with a student in an applied math class who uttered a disgusting parody of that scream that completely missed the reason for Howard Dean’s impassioned plea to his supporters to mount a continued attack after the unsuccessful Iowa caucuses.

I can certainly understand why Al Gore refused to participate in a documentary about debates on PBS, recently. I had already discounted presidential debates as a useless academic exercise proving nothing except the ability of a candidate to think on his/her feet. This exercise might have some validity if the media didn’t get involved in the kind of mischief that they did in both cases I have detailed here.

If George Bush’s successful candidacy has any silver lining it is the energizing of the electorate to try to correct this incredibly low point in our nation’s history. My only fear is the energy is being sapped by the long and laborious election season. We can only continue the struggle to ensure that the best candidate actually wins in this season.

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