Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Heck of an August

I’ve always been fond of August because that’s when my birthday is. And this year the Democratic Party decided to celebrate it by having their presidential convention start on it on the 25th. That was really nice of them and I promise to watch (which I would have done anyway).

But this is a busy, busy month this year, a pure joy for news junkies like me. First, there is the Olympics starting 08-08-08. I’ve long been fond of the Olympics, which I’ve always thought was strange because I’ve never been a sports person, don’t like watching and never, even as a kid, liked doing them. I got hooked on football due to living in Seattle for 4 years, where on every Monday during the fall all anybody talked about was the Seahawks game on Sunday. So I started watching just so I could talk to people on Mondays and I’ve been hooked ever since. Have no real interest in sports other than that, except the Olympics. Weird, but there it is.

And this year is special because it’s in China! This truly momentous. I’m half expecting some kind of weird event or disaster to happen that captures world attention. And I mean something as huge as the Palestinians taking the Israeli athletes hostage in the ’76 Munich Olympics. In the meantime I’m going to root for Michael Phelps to win all 8 of his Olympic Gold’s to beat Mark Spitz’s record from 1972, cause after the Olympics Spitz proved to be an asshole. And for Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in Beach Volleyball who have won 103 sets in a row, not to mention the Gold in the last Olympics.

This weekend was a tremendous news cycle, Olympic opening ceremonies starting on Friday. The Olympics simply being in China is a huge news story, but it doesn’t end there. On Saturday a crazed Chinese man knifes a couple of Americans and their guide, then throws himself off the tower they were on. The man dies, his wife and the guide are in the hospital listed as critical. And if that isn’t enough for news junkies Georgia invades South Ossetia, a territory that had broken away from them, then Russia invades Georgia! This is HUGE international incident that involves us because we support Georgia and have been prodding Russia quite dangerously lately. One of those prodding’s was helping Georgia.

So with all this crazy stuff going on what is on all the news and talk shows on TV for the entire weekend? That John Edwards admits to having an affair. Why is this so much bigger news than all of the above? TV news people (except for Keith Olbermann) just suck badly. But we chose a profit based media who only want to do the stories that will give them ratings.

Edwards is a major disappointment to me, though. I was supporting him before he dropped out and thought he was the best choice of them all by far, but now he has ended his political career, as well as Elizabeth’s budding career as a political analyst. Lots of people say why is McCain getting a free pass on his affair? Because it was over 30 years ago, he married the woman (this often seems to make adultery OK) and the press like him too much to keep bringing up that old story that will make him look bad.

But still, Edwards’ affair is a different animal. We all forgave Bill Clinton of his early affairs back in 1992 and voted for him anyway. That’s because he sort of confessed, said it was personal and Hillary forgave him, and a lot of people never liked Hillary so they didn’t care. In this case Elizabeth is so well liked she is probably better liked than John. And she had breast cancer and beat it, only to have it come back at the beginning of John’s presidential bid and they decided to go forward anyway. Edwards brought Elizabeth into his campaign, made her a part of it, along with his relationship with her. Then he had the nerve to lie directly to reporters several times when asked about the alleged affair as report by the National Enquirer. All of this is what will end his career, not the affair by itself.

I’m not surprised by Edwards’ affair, I knew something was wrong for a long time. He quit the race too soon, and then seemed to disappear, keeping a low profile until coming out and endorsing Obama. Then he disappeared again and was not discussed as a VP possibility by anyone. There could be all kinds of reason the pundits wouldn’t think he was the top contender, but they would still talk about him and his chances. But no, it was as if he didn’t exist. So he won’t be the VP, he won’t even be invited to the convention, and Obama will not appoint him to anything at all.

The part that amazes me is that Elizabeth apparently knew about this affair before they ever started the race for the presidential primary but still agreed he should go for it. I could see John doing this because his ego was way too large for his own good, but I would have thought Elizabeth had better sense.

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