Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Tale of Two Conventions: A Running Diary of Night 1 of the DNC

By Malcolm Shore

Mainstream news coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night was, in a word, vacuous.

Among both the speakers and the media pundits, the lack of discussion of the grave issues facing the people of the world – and, with very few exceptions, the lack of discussion of any substantive issues at all -- was astounding, if not surprising. Between 8pm and 11:30 pm, I flipped back and forth between CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. I did not hear one mention of the word “Afghanistan” – where U.S. airstrikes just killed 95 civilians, including 60 children, according to Afghanistan’s president and the United Nations. Nor did I hear the word “torture,” “Iran,” or “spying” during that entire period. On the other hand, there was plenty of mindless cheering for predictable platitudes about “hope” and “change”; a sea of American flags; and several videos of Ted Kennedy on his sail boat.

Just exactly what kind of “change” and “hope” are we talking about here, Mr. And Mrs. Democrat?

Then, around 10:15, things got interesting. I saw an item flash across the ticker on MSNBC: “Police in riot gear have used pepper spray about a mile from the DNC.”

Some quick searching online led me to a live feed on the Denver Post Web site of a crowd of protestors who was chanting and refusing to be dispersed by the police.

As it turned out, at the same time the mind-numbing speeches were being delivered to much fanfare inside the Pepsi Center, police were using pepper spray on a crowd of hundreds of protestors to prevent them from marching to the downtown 16th Street Mall.

Police surrounded the crowd of protestors near the mall, ultimately letting many go while a sizeable crowd remained; it was difficult to tell from the video feed exactly how many protestors were still in the crowd when I clicked on to the Denver Post Web site around 10:15. But their chanting was definitely loud and energetic at times.

For the rest of this excellent and bitingly hilarious report, see here.

For breaking stories on the protests and analysis of the DNC and world events, see worldcantwait.net.

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