Monday, November 29, 2004

Someplace Special

I spent the past week in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving, with a flurry of familial activity. Family meals, seeing both sides of the family, taking the nieces and nephew out for book shopping. Pittsburgh is not the stone age – my computer-savvy nephew has DSL, though my parents (who have kept the same computer for ten years) get by with dial-up. So I have been effectively incommunicado for the week, and I thank the Monkey King for feeding in updates written previous to my departure.

The whole Santorum thing has been interesting on the local scene, primarily from the speed of which the local media is responding. And by responding, I mean trying to forget it as quickly as possible. The real-news front had already passed through by the time I hit the ground on Sunday, and there was little in the press on the subject. Indeed, the media seems to be bending over backwards in Santorum’s favor – the archconservative Tribune Review has run articles on how important cyber charter schools are to Western PA’s future, while all-talk KDKA spent an entire morning kissing the senator’s butt as he co-hosted the morning shift (“He’s a local guy! And just another Pittburgher! Not scary! Or elitist!”). And he finally showed up for Jury Duty, which he's misseda few times, but made sure the press was there to cover the event.

My mom is a talk-radio fan so I caught a nice helping of the Senator while working on a project at the dining room table. I missed any comment on the Penn Hills matter, which may have been early in the program, so instead heard him fielding oozy compliments from the co-anchors, softballs with the turnpike workers going on strike, and a not-scary but misleading bit on stem cells. Of the Senator’s comments, he seemed to justify his positions by popular vote – no candidate who supports Social Security privatization has failed to win re-election, so that must be good. A southern candidate who proposed an income tax was shot down, so income tax must be bad. Its an interesting line of argument, particularly since in Washington State, pols who deceive their constituents tend to get the boot.

More later,