Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Davis Descending IV: Let The Demonizations Begin!

The San Francisco Chronicle reports suspicions that Darrell Issa - one of the main financial backers of the recall effort against Gray Davis - may have been involved in car thefts (or a fake car theft) long ago, as well as other long-public but unpleasant things.

It is by no means clear that anyone in the Davis camp was involved in the Chron story - to the extent one does not consider almost everyone at the Chron to be in the Davis camp in the sense that they will do what they can (including running tendentious stories like this one) to ensure that Mr. Davis, or somebody very like him or to his left, will be governor of California.

This Chron story is tendentious because it is doing Mr. Davis' work by running a legitimate article about a public figure, Mr. Issa, but not acknowledging that the article is likely to create an unwarranted association: Issa = bad, therefore recall = bad. The Chron fails to include even a simple cautionary line in the screed such as: Of course, whether or not Mr. Issa has been tarnished by any of these allegations may have bearing on his suitability to serve as Mr. Davis' replacement, but they have no particular relevance as to whether Mr. Davis should be recalled. The Chron also stretches by describing Mr. Issa as the driving force behind the effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis. It is true that Mr. Issa has provided financial backing to the recall effort, but neither he nor the Republican establishment originated the effort, and his financial support for it materialized only after signature-gathering efforts had pretty well demonstrated that signatures would be pretty easy to gather if a moderate amount of cash were provided. Mr. Issa has given the recall effort only hundreds of thousand of dollars, a token in a state where the recall election itself will cost above $30 Million. But the Chron characterization does serve Mr. Davis' cause by misidentifying the demonizable Mr. Issa with the recall effort itself.

No campaign director hired by Mr. Davis could have done any better than the Chron.

MORE, UPDATED DEMONIZINGS But, for what it's worth, Issa's brother says Darrell was not involved.

And, for the record, this article notes that Darrell Issa has now spent more than $1 Million for the recall and $600,000 to advance himself as Davis' replacement.


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