S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

About spinning

One of the most frequent modern meanings of "spin" is associated with news and politics. As a modern-day blogger, my biases will inevitably put a spin on what I write. Occasionally I might label such a view as a bias or speculation if I can catch myself.
What do we mean by spin? carried these pertinent "spin" definitions:
7. to produce, fabricate, or evolve in a manner suggestive of spinning thread: to spin a tale of sailing ships and bygone days.
11.Slang. to cause to have a particular bias; influence in a certain direction: His assignment was to spin the reporters after the president's speech.
–verb (used without object)16. to have a sensation of whirling; reel: My head began to spin and I fainted.22. Slang. a particular viewpoint or bias, esp. in the media; slant: They tried to put a favorable spin on the news coverage of the controversial speech.
The perfect example of news "spin" is contained in a Washington Post story about Congress' upcoming return to Washington, headlined, "A Daunting 3 Weeks Ahead for Congress." Before the lawmakers even arrive they are laying the groundwork for what they hope the media will say about their success or failure. To quote:
Republicans said the bigger decision facing Democrats is whether to compromise on issues such as wiretapping and AMT or dig in their heels, knowing Republicans will filibuster their measures or Bush will veto them.
"Do you want the issue or do you want the accomplishment?" asked Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
. . .Republicans believe . . . pressures favor Bush, who will argue that intelligence operatives would lose their ability to spy on Osama bin Laden and military employees would lose their jobs because of Democratic inaction.
"That's real, and I don't think they've realized that yet," Stewart said.

To be fair -- just a bit of Wa-Po Democratic bias in word choice is revealed in the following paragraphs. To quote:
The lawmakers' to-do list would be daunting under the best of circumstances: a major energy bill, legislation to rein in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, 11 of the 12 annual bills to fund the federal government, a farm bill, and a bill to stave off the expansion of the alternative minimum tax and extend a raft of expiring tax credits.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) must tackle that agenda and battle a combative GOP minority and an intransigent Republican president without a reliable majority.

Bloggers sometimes choose an image of self that is not actual, and thus not literally accurate. My Blogger profile image is actually "Woman with a basket of spindles," painted in 1517 by Andrea del Sarto, a lesser known contemporary of Raphael. The painter's subject does reflect my self-image as a writer with which I am comfortable (my spin): I am lesser-known, I come prepared, and I am older. I am sort of serious, I work hard and am just a bit formal. My S/SW Intro (above) reads: "IDEAS & REFLECTIONS - my observations and commentary on people and events that affect the USA or the rest of the world."
Wikipedia used this image to illustrate its "Weaving" entry. The image label reads,
"Andrea del Sarto's iconographic choice evokes the womanly link between the two worlds."

. . . In later European folklore, weaving retained its connection with magic. Mother Goose, traditional teller of fairy tales, is often associated spinning.[1] She was known as "Goose-Footed Bertha" in French legends as spinning incredible tales that enraptured children.
I have no magical powers, I must admit. I call myself a "little" blogger, amongst thousands of others, trying to weave the day's news into a pattern that readers can see as coherent and authentic. This is, among other things, what I am willing to reveal "About Me" in my profile:
* Gender: Female
* Astrological Sign: Gemini
* Industry: Non-Profit
* Occupation: Retired Clinical Social Worker
* Location: Southwest : United States

A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.
Also from my profile, readers would find out that I have been around a while and that I post in more than one place in the blogosphere:
View this Blog -- The Reaction -- by Michael J.W. Stickings

User Stats
On Blogger Since December 2004
Profile Views 2,958
For me the antidote to spin in today's post was authenticity. There is precious little of that during this campaign season. Republican retirement is widespread these days but even that does not cure the spinning habit. Karl Rove wins the spin medal for this one about who wanted to go to war the worst before the invasion of Iraq. In very stark contrast, retiring Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) would win the authenticity medal from me for this (from The Swamp). To quote: Hagel: Bush White House 'arrogant, incompetent.'Of course, many others would say I am totally biased. I guess this is politics, for better or worse.
View my current slide show about the Bush years, "Millennium," at the bottom of this column.
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