Weapons of mass distraction

Read the Las Vegas Sun article on the Lowden "controversy."

It’s laughable what mainstream media folks relish as fodder for boring their readers, viewers and listeners in these days of plummeting circulation, fragmented audiences and declining ad revenues.

In Nevada, we have the silly car bomb controversy from Harry Reid’s biographical commercial, and Sue Lowden’s denial that she laughed about the bomb. Nationally, we get the Balloon Boy BS that made me laugh so much I cried.

In both cases, there is sufficient hot air in these blown-up tidbits from the flotsam and jetsam of modern existence to make an old wire service veteran cringe. Critical thinking is a thing of the past, I fear.

Who cares if Sen. Reid’s re-election brain trust thinks the bomb story, whether it is urban legend or total fact, should be resurrected or whether GOP Senate hopeful Sue Lowden of Las Vegas laughed, chuckled, snickered or choked?

I’ll tell you who cares, now that mainstream media types in Reno and Las Vegas made this molehill mountainous. Reid backers care because it is a distraction from Reid’s record; Lowden cares because she yearns to be taken seriously.

Reid wants all Nevadans to think he’s a tough guy who stood up for them throughout his career, staring down the mob and battling for everyone’s interests. Bomb or no bomb, that’s just hooey. He’s a partisan politician in league with the left wing of his party.

Lowden wants all Nevadans to take her seriously because she thinks she needs gravitas, and she may be correct. I don’t know whether she laughed, but had she done so and admitted it, she would have earned street cred in my book. Not because mob bombings are a laughing matter, but because critical thinking/skepticism is crucial.

The first reaction of any skeptic viewing Reid’s biographical infomercial of late should be laughter at the entire self-laudatory bio-hooey. Reid is living proof that wily politicians get power in the public sector unlikely to accrue to them in the private sector.

Lowden is a former beauty pageant queen who went on to be a television news person, a state senator and a state Republican leader.

One out of four ain’t bad, but only if she was a critical thinker as a news person. That she left for politics makes me skeptical. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, though, I hope she at least raised an eyebrow if she didn’t laugh.

Her denial of laughter is the equivalent of Reid’s infomercial—not to be taken seriously by anyone with the conservative moxie to question everyone in or aspiring to high public office.

Both Reid’s infomercial and her denial go into the dustbin marked possible truth but certifiable self-interest. Judge such people on the basis of records, not their claims.

I’m no fan of Harry Reid because of his policy (im)positions. I’m no big fan yet of Lowden, who played fast and loose at last year’s state GOP convention and is an associate of Gov. Jim Gibbons. Frankly, I’m drawn to state Sen. Mark Amodei, one of her opponents for the GOP Senate nomination.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m unconvinced any politician will always speak truth. However, I find Carson City lawyer/politician Amodei looks you in the eye and assesses the value of lying or truth-telling against the realities of existence before he speaks.

Reid would rather you pay attention to Balloon Boy or this car bomb flap than delve into his record. Lowden’s laughter or lack of it is a red herring. Amodei just keeps smiling and looking for an opening. Much of the media, however, is busy chasing hot air.