According to Streetsblog, there’s an interesting meme about Sarah Palin and Barack Obama’s two-wheeled preference going around the right-leaning blogosphere. Here’s more from editor Aaron Naparstek:
“These two images (below) have been floating around the right wing blogosphere under the shrieky, all-caps headline, “THIS IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.”
One of the websites is To The Point News (“The oasis for rational conservatives”). Here’s how they presented the story last week:
Underscoring the perception of toughness and wimpiness that these two photos are meant to reinforce, a commenter on To The Point News, proposes we decide our next President by an arm wrestling match between Palin and Obama. “Winner takes all,” he/she writes, “And to make it somewhat fair, Barack can use both arms.”
UPDATE, 2:28pm: Upon further consideration, I moved this post from the Front Page to Page Two — Editor.
I guess they\’re right. That IS all I need to know.
(They\’re also right in that he needs a little air in his back tire…)
I think it\’s funny that riding my bike up mountains supposedly makes me a wimp and twisting a throttle is supposed to be a sign of strength. I guess when your whole life view is based on the premise that up is down just about anything can make sense.
How about a game of basketball to settle the matter. Obama vs the entire McCain campaign.
What is Obama towing? His girls? Or is he participating in a Chicago \”move by bike?\”
Funny how Palin is getting all the press, What about McCain? Ain\’t he sexy enough for the press in his cardigans?
That\’s it. I\’m going to quit riding my bike and go ride around on the motorcycle equivalent of a Suburban in shorts. Better yet, I\’ll do it in Alaska, where I can only ride the thing a few months a year.
A Vice President who rides a motorcycle, even a poseur on a Harley, I can deal with. But one who likes to ride a snowmobile and an ATV? No, not really, no.
Notice that thing behind Obama\’s bike? It\’s either a kid trailer or a kid tandem. How can you make fun of the guy for being a good parent and a family man?
Oh, and judging by the pics, Obama is definitely wearing a helmet, even if it\’s not required. Pinup girl is wearing her hair UP while riding a motorcycle. Not likely she uses a helmet…or has much in there to protect if she did.
Yep, all I need to know.
The entire McCain campaign, after losing 108-23, will say Obama was \”sexist\” for backing up and taking the trey every time Sarah Palin covered him instead of trying to beat her off the dribble. Then they would claim that basketball was some sort of \”elitist\” sport, like, you know, pool, and not like bowling. They would issue a press release saying that while the manly men (and woman) of the McCain campaign all drank Budweiser* and Coors** during timeouts, Obama drank orange juice, a known commie beverage. Finally, they would just lie about the score, claiming a 51-49 victory, and the media would report both scores, asking their viewers to decide for themselves who really won.
That is just awful… he is blatantly riding a Trek and not a Schwinn…
The motorcycle in question was one that was donated to the Elk Lodge for a fund raiser attended by Gov Palin, it is not her motorcycle.
They raised $10K and the funds went to the Wounded Warrior Project.
\”The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to raise public awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members to aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.\”
I disagree with the initial post from \”To the Point News\”, but also disagree with how this is used here.
Both are using the prejudices of the reader base to make assumptions about the persons in the photo. Depending on your viewpoint you can make positive or negative statements about both candidates based on these photos.
Move it over to page two where it belongs, because nothing of value has been added to the original post, just a different set of prejudices have been applied.
Why a Schwinn over a Trek?
Both come from the great state of Wisconsin.
Mind you only one of those companies actually builds bikes in the U.S., guess which one?
This is what you talk about when you know you will lose on the merits of every policy discussion.
Demand the candidates and the media — especially the media — start discussing health care, education, energy, the wars and stop focusing on this irrelevant BS.
I hate one issue voters. They\’re as bad as undecided voters.
I\’m sure that Little Muffy McPalin had to ask her husband\’s permission to sit on his friend\’s Hogsley Fuerguson.
Obama is a man of the 21st Century. Seems he can ride just fine, thank you very much.
Muffy McPalin is a woman of, what, the 12th Century? She and her ilk have no seemingly good new ideas about how to deal with anything.
\”I disagree with the initial post from \”To the Point News\”, but also disagree with how this is used here.\”
Thanks for the input ralph… but I think if you re-read my post you\’ll notice I presented this completely objectively without an \”set of prejudices\” whatsoever.
I considered putting it on Page Two, but didn\’t.
Of course, to battle back they could always throw Obama on a Ducati 996 as a throw-down equivalent.
I\’d prefer to hear the roar of Obama\’s Triumph!
I guess that means Sarab Palin really isn\’t concerned about a fuel crisis!
…Anyway, she\’s sitting side-saddle in a mini-skirt on someone else\’s hog. It\’s not as if she even knows how to ride the thing! Ask her!
Obama\’s bike seems awful small:) He needs to raise his seat.
That the motorcycle Little Muffy McPalin is sitting on was somehow to raise awareness of the needs of severely injured service people does nothing to engender my sympathy nor to gain my support for her.
It should, if people were thinking carefully about these issues, raise awareness of just how the NeoKons, who now control Little Muffy McPalin, have failed to provide long term support for the military the NeoKons sent off to prosecute Emperor Bush\’s and Darth Cheney\’s \”wars\”.
Thinking back to the Wounded Warrior comment, it is clear that the message in these two images is that McCan\’t and McPalin would continue to fail to provide proper services for those in long term need.
note: Upon further consideration, I moved this post over to Page Two.
Trail-a-bikers for Obama!
That\’s a Trek. Idiots.
I wish we could talk about issues, but since we\’re stuck with the media we have, not the media we wished we had (like from just a few decades ago, before the FCC broke down the few regulations we did have, and there were more than five companies who controlled 99% of our media), we have to compete using their rules. Since they\’re a lot nastier than we ever could be, we\’d better be smarter and funnier than they are. Based on the pathetic jokes they\’ve tried so far, I like our chances.
Bah on the arm wrestling. I propose a combined strength/intelligence test that\’s quite simple:
If what you\’re riding tips over, are you strong enough to get it upright?
I\’d pay money to see War-Barbie try and wrestle that pig (er, sorry, couldn\’t resist) back onto its wheels.
It\’s always good to know the whole story, thanks Ralph.
So…knowing the story…does this mean that To the Point News should be nailed for running the photo out of context?
Sure would be cool to see Palin out in front of CCC showing the bikes she donated for needy adults and children to free them from their cars. But I won\’t hold my breath.
Ugh. The comments on \”To The Point News\” are just plain scary.
I think this really *does* illustrate the difference between the two candidates. Obama is actively doing something while Palin is just standing around looking good for the camera.
Bicycle: efficient, quiet, environmentally responsible, self-powered.
Harley: wasteful, noisy, environmentally damaging, needs a worldwide industrial infrastructure in order to run.
(at least a Harley is still more efficient than an SUV)
This reminds me of that Microsoft ad where they show the programmer who is unsuccessful (with a bike helmet in the background) and then show him after he\’s invested in Microsoft training materials and he has BMW car keys and women flocked around him.
Uh, yeah – right.
It\’s a shame we still have people who think like this in today\’s society, while we\’re facing resource depletion, climate change, and numerous other societal and global challenges.
Jonathan – I think this one actually *belongs* on Page One. This is a textbook example of the way society sees people on bikes – cylists are viewed as riding toys, cycling is not viewed as a legitimate mode of transportation, It\’s not a partisan issue – there are Democrats out there also who view cycling as a niche mode, and are convinced that US cities will never maintain more than a 5% mode share, despite the fact that European cities with worse weather than most cities in the US have 4x the mode share (or more) of even the more \”enlightened\” cities like Portland.
I mean, you make the editorial decisions of course – your right, your site. I think you called it right the first time, though.
This stuff is maddening because it: 1) is so stupid, and 2) apparently helps decide elections.
The Obama picture is of him with his daughter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obeHJmmhLkc (not sure what\’s up with the clicking sound in that video). Seen in the original context, it\’s pretty adorable. However, they cut the daughter out of the pic to shield her from press exposure. Good on \’em, but the resulting image took on a life of its own (do a google image search for Obama bicycle to see what I mean.)
The comments in that tothepointnews forum are something else. Like: \”The Harley Girl does more than just send a chill up my leg.\” Yikes. If they get that excited about a veep based on how she looks on a motorcycle – while being in no way dressed or otherwise prepared to actually *ride* a motorcycle – have I got a candidate for them: http://tinyurl.com/4elzep.
Oops, the period messed up the link: http://tinyurl.com/4elzep
\”Jonathan – I think this one actually *belongs* on Page One. \”
i put it here on Page Two not so much because of the story itself but because I noticed the comments were quickly headed in a bad direction.
they seem to have leveled off now (thanks to folks like you), so I might switch it back.. how\’s that for a flip-flopper!
Well, asking us to comment on a political story in a right-wing blog that tries to make the kind of point that we cannot even properly satirize because it\’s so preposterous, yet actually seems to convince voters, of course we\’re going to have some fun with it.
I vote for Page 2 and a light touch with the comments. Let us vent. Because if we can\’t laugh, we\’d have to cry!
thanks peejay. my oversensitivity to the comments was rooted in my feeling that it maybe didn\’t belong on Front Page to begin with.
I have absolutely no problem with the content of the comments and please… vent away!
And then let me comment on this Wounded Warrior Project a little.
Isn\’t it great that we run charities to help fix the broken lives of people who were tricked into fighting meaningless wars to satisfy the bloodlust of the Neocons in power. Why do we need the charities? Because the government that sent you to war doesn\’t really care about you when you come home. But let\’s have a charity event, where we can all wave our flags and feel all patriotic, so maybe someone can get a better plastic leg to hobble around on for the rest of his life. And thanks, Sarah Palin, for using such an event to puff up your All-American-ness, which is so much more important to voters than actual qualifications, or positions on stuff.
If you want a little substance: the following is a list of books that Sarah Palin tried to
get banned when she was mayor of Wasilla.
[This information is taken from the official minutes of the Wasilla Library
Board. When the librarian refused to get rid of these books, Palin tried to get her fired .]
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L\’Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy\’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer\’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It\’s Okay if You Don\’t Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley\’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O\’Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo\’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women\’s Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil\’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid\’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won\’t by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster\’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween
Symbols by Edna Barth
peejay, thank you. Well said.
With a couple of exceptions, that\’s not a bad summer reading list! I bet whoever read all those books would be better qualified to be VP than a hockey mom!
Of course one can do both, but I\’m fairly certain Palin didn\’t read more than a handful of those books.
Okay, things I do not consider important to be President:
2)Someone who seems like a \”regular guy\” (this is why most Bush supporters picked him – they could imagine him at their dinner table)
3) The person who could put down the most shots.
Okay, I don\’t have time to think of more. Short list. But being able to win at arm wrestling doesn\’t really say squat about what kind of president someone will be. WE are not living in caveman times where the leader of the tribe is the one who wins the fight.
And since when is Palin the presidential candidate? All of a sudden it\’s a race between Obama and Palin.
2GOAT: that book list is a hoax, if you haven\’t figured it out by now.
2GOAT, that\’s a great booklist! Might it be that this is actually a list of books Ms Palin wanted banned so she could bargain basement pick em up all at one time and stock her own home library shelves with them? Just joking of course… . I\’m sure she would never do something so absurd.
How in the world can anyone want to ban \”How to Eat Fried Worms\”? Why not ban \”The Great Brain\” series at the same time? It\’s no more or less objectionable.
I am totally not surprised to see \”The Catcher in the Rye\”, which was my favorite book my first term in college.
And \”Flowers for Algernon\” – Holy Crap! She may as well have banned \”Fahrenheit 451\” while she was at it.
I think the librarian would be the better VP candidate – we already know she has integrity, fortitude and perseverance.
Uh… I hate to be the one to point it out, but that list is bogus.
That said, I agree with KG\’s comment, \”I think it\’s funny that riding my bike up mountains supposedly makes me a wimp and twisting a throttle is supposed to be a sign of strength.\”
Why is it that people who don\’t ride bikes think that those of us that do are wimpy, or less macho, or what ever other negative term they can think of?
The right wingers that started this \”All you need to know\” crap couldn\’t even see that he\’s riding a Trek.
Add to this the fact that she\’s an anti-choice, anti-environmental, evangelical creationist and that is all I need to know.
I know this thread it dead, but I have the answer to that BS. Here is all you need to know:
Ben, thanks for pointing out that misinformation. I knew it was too absurd to be true, but good for a laugh none the less. Interesting though, to consider the possible implications of Ms Palin\’s \’rhetorical\’ question to the librarian about how she would respond if the mayor asked her to remove some books from the library.
Sounds as though the librarian, Mary Ellen answered that question just fine(Mary Ellen, any interest in being a VP 4 years from now?)
The original piece with photos was meant to inflame a group of readers based on their prejudices.
You had to know that those same photos would inflame your reader base in the opposite direction.
Without using the article as a place to start a discussion on the issues regarding alternative transportation and the candidates view on said issues you added nothing but fuel to the fire as demonstrated by the continued presentation of bogus information presented by the \”left wing blog-o-shere\” in this comments section.
Sounds like you\’re the one feeling inflamed, Ralph. Maybe try some Preparation H. Or get your own blog.
Sorry I\’m trying to be the voice of reason and get a dialog started about issues and not about supposedly banned books and name calling.
Extremists on both sides of the aisle are responsible for the misinformation on the web about all candidates. Obama is a Muslim, wrong, Palin tried to ban books, wrong. Those who take anything from the world of blogs without verifying the facts go on to repeat the untruths as fact. As seen in the response to this article.
Jonathan does an admirable job with this blog. His position as a journalist in Portland is recognized. That cannot be said for the majority of blogs out there, and with the current level of access to the internet anyone can start to post as an \”expert\” on any subject without any oversight.
I seem to remember a plenty of Democrats voting for this war. I seem to remember that the Democrats have been in the majority in congress for the last 2 years. Where are the changes to the system they promised.
There\’s plenty of blame to go around for both parties.
Remember the President doesn\’t make law he either signs it into law or vetoes it. And even then a strong congress can override the veto.
Way too much partisan BS here. It\’s not black and white, Democrat good, Republican bad.
Sorry Ralph, I didn\’t realize that\’s what you were trying to do. Other than the banned books thing, have you seen any false info posted here about McPain?
\”The original piece with photos was meant to inflame a group of readers based on their prejudices.\”
thanks for the feedback. But, you should not assume my intentions. I sometimes like to share stories, photos, etc.. that I think would be interesting/fun for folks to read. This post was most certainly not done to \”inflame\”. If you are familiar with this site you know that simply \”inflaming\” people is not my style.
\”Without using the article as a place to start a discussion on the issues regarding alternative transportation and the candidates view on said issues you added nothing but fuel…\”
Again, like I\’ve stated countless times before… just because I write about bikes and I document the bike movement does not mean that all my content must be about \”starting a discussion on the issues\”. Sometimes I just want to mix it up and have some fun.
\”Without using the article as a place to start a discussion on the issues regarding alternative transportation and the candidates view on said issues…\” ralph #42
Ralph, thanks for attempting to bring the conversation around to a serious discussion of the candidates views on alternative transportation, but seriously, the two photos above don\’t appear to be intended for anything much than cheap laughs. The same with the reference to \’wimpiness\’.
Following the links provided in Maus\’s article above to the article I presume you\’re referring to on The Point News, there\’s very little of substance there that says much about Palin\’s views on alternative transportation. With the help of Sen Ted Stevens office, she was successful in getting a bunch of money earmarked for transportation projects for the City of Wasilla. I don\’t know though, that this effort tells much about her view on alternative transportation. My thought at present, is that she\’d be inclined to support measures that burn up oil produced in Alaska from the ANWR.
Obama, on the other hand, has a transportation platform that includes the following: \”Obama supported a measure by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to mandate states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies that incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of sidewalks and roads.\”
As far as \”… continued presentation of bogus information presented by the \”left wing blog-o-shere\” in this comments section.\” (ralph #42), is concerned, I\’ll agree that the booklist was a fantastic stretch of the imagination, but, if you\’ll read a little bit about Palin\’s inclination towards banning books…I read an article accessed by the link Ben McCleod in #39 provided…there\’s also a little something about it on the wikipedia article, you might get some insight on the subject.
My take on it is that, yes, if she could, she might like to ban some books such as \’Daddy\’s Roommate\’ by Michael Willhoite.
I don\’t want anyone like that next in line to the president of the U.S.
First to Jonathan,
Something I learned long ago it\’s not the intent it\’s the impression. You may have intended one thing but you got another. You may not have wanted this blog to resemble \’To the Point News\’ but it certainly became the polar opposite with the same level of commentary from your reading public.
It\’s the false information and the tone. To automatically trash someone for posing with a motorcycle, and to make assumptions that they are completely represented by the photo is absurd.
The same people who make statements like \”I guess that means Sarab Palin really isn\’t concerned about a fuel crisis!\” based on a photo, are the same people who will raise holy h3ll when someone comments on their position on issues based solely on the fact that they ride a bike.
The expectation of cyclists being listened to with respect and an open mind gets lost when you resort to name calling \”Little Muffy McPalin\”. At that point you lose the argument because you\’ve focused on making it about the person and not the issue.
The comments on the original blog and this blog both reach to the extremes. At at time like this decisions need to be made on the issues not on photo ops.
But back to the bike picture, I doubt they cut it off to protect his daughter. I think it was cut off so they could make fun of him rather than notice he was taking part in some family time. If you click on the link to the full picture, posted above, you\’ll also notice a link to the Fox news report on it. Fox news was kind enough to report on this pic of Obama biking. Yay! Oh wait, except they are reporting it as the \”photo Obama doesn\’t want you to see\” and as the fox news correspondent writes, he\’s obviously on the way to store to get his \”pocket protector\”, what a nerd. And also, \”maybe he\’s riding to the gas station to get gas for his car.\” Yes, if they had shown his daughter they wouldn\’t have been able to make those barbs on national t.v.