I like Eric Alterman. What Liberal Media? was a seminal work on my path to political activism and examination of the way the media works, and I have every intention on going to see him talk about his new book in San Francisco on the 18th. But when it comes to his boy Kerry, he's got a blind spot.
From today's Altercation:
The next time you read from someone like Mickey Kaus or Jake Tapper about what a captive of “special interests” John Kerry is, remember this: Bush has so far raised 28 times the amount of PAC money that Kerry has. Of course, next thing you will hear is that it does not matter who has raised more—or even 28 times as much- because this fundraising stuff itself is not important but rather is a “perfectly legitimate synecdoche for this type of Kerry behavior,” as Mickey might say.
I say, "Oh cut the crap, please, will you?” (No link on the “twenty-eight times" figure because it appears in a forthcoming story that Mike Tomasky and I co-authored for The American Prospect.)
Sorry, Eric. In another election cycle, say the one four years ago, when the Democratic party was still largely dependent on soft-money and corporate contributions, that may have been the case, but with the rejuvenation of the grassroots fundraising thanks to Dean, Clark and lately, Ben Chandler of Kentucky, the question of where a candidate gets his or her money is a very important one.
I'm not suggesting that Kerry should be disqualified as the candidate, but the other candidates make a good point when they challenge Kerry's new found populism. Fair's fair, Eric. If you can continually spread the (inaccurate) meme that Dean's raison d'etre is anger, then I can remind people that Kerry, while more populist that Dubya, is still part of the same old corporate money machine.