Why is it "Great news! For John McCain" ?
January 9, 2009 4:49 PM   Subscribe

What's the origin of "[Some really bad event for McCain is] Great news! For John McCain!" ?

I thought I was following the last election pretty closely, but I guess I missed some great meme. It seems to be only used in ironic contexts (i.e. Obama winning the election is great news! For John McCain!!!). Someone on 538 claims it's from people blogging unjustifiably exuberantly about Clinton during the primaries, but "Great news for [Hillary] Clinton" only turns up about 1,000 Google results (including an undated LOLIraqiInformationMinister) compared to 6,000 for "Great news for [John] McCain". Truth or fiction?
posted by 0xFCAF to Grab Bag (15 answers total)
 
I can't point you to a specific post, but it's long been one of Atrois's pet peeves that, supposedly, the talking heads in the media are always able to spin any news as good news for Republicans. The earliest one I remember was that, after 9/11, if there were no more attacks, it would mean Republican governance was working, and if there were more attacks, it would mean we needed our strong Republican daddies in power more than ever.

As to McCain in particular, it's probably just a carry over from the general "XYZ is great news for Republicans", and repeated ad infinitum until it became a sarcastic in-joke, as always seems to happen in the liberal blogosphere (and pretty much everywhere else online, I guess).
posted by rkent at 5:09 PM on January 9, 2009


THIS IS GREAT NEWS!! FOR MCCAIN!! is the preferred version, but now that he's out of the picture it's being slowly adapted. Norm Coleman, for example. I first saw it by either TalkingPointsMemo.com or emptywheel. I don't quite remember which, but I'm leaning toward TPM.
posted by rhizome at 5:09 PM on January 9, 2009


I remember looking up the origin of the meme a few months ago. The details are hazy, but I seem to recall it was started by a single person with a blog that kept using that phrase in every post. Also, they dropped the slogan as a comment on a lot of other political blogs, and it just spread from there.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:11 PM on January 9, 2009


(It definitely started with Hillary, btw. I'll try to dig up more info.)
posted by Rhaomi at 5:12 PM on January 9, 2009


Best answer: Talking Points Memo, where it was originally "THIS IS EXCELLENT NEWS!! FOR HILLARY!!", posted by the commenter named "idiotic".

Now I think "idiotic" was a sock-puppet account created to mock an actual Hillary-supporter-cum-troll who had an even stupider handle, but I'm forgetting his name. If I'm recalling correctly, the Hillary supporter would show up in threads on TPM, and post that un-ironically when, durin the primary, Obama gained an advantage.
posted by orthogonality at 5:19 PM on January 9, 2009


It was a commenter, actually, and yes is started with Hillary. It started at either TPM Election Central or else at Ben Smith -- both sites that were slightly to moderately pro-Hillary during the primary -- and it was something like the equivalent of saying FIRST!
posted by gerryblog at 5:20 PM on January 9, 2009


OK, apparently a commenter named "Vince Foster" took to spamming the meme across a bunch of blogs and political forums throughout the primaries (no doubt inspired by the utter denial of Hillary's more fervent supporters).
posted by Rhaomi at 5:20 PM on January 9, 2009


Ah, "excellent" news for Hillary! orthogonality's got it, that one turns up many more results, mostly from the same commenter.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:22 PM on January 9, 2009


gerryblog writes "It started at either TPM Election Central or else at Ben Smith -- both sites that were slightly to moderately pro-Hillary during the primary "

I didn't think TPM was pro-Hillary; at least after Super Tuesday, the commenters weren't. I recall one of the bloggers (not Josh Marshall, one of the other ones) has an obvious pro-Hillary bias, but most of the commenters seemed anti-Hillary.
posted by orthogonality at 5:25 PM on January 9, 2009


Talking Points Memo, where it was originally "THIS IS EXCELLENT NEWS!! FOR HILLARY!!", posted by the commenter named "idiotic".

Yes, this is exactly correct. It grew into such an in-joke that when really bad news came along for Clinton during the primaries, people would post one word at a time, sort of like doing the Wave at a game:

THIS

IS

EXCELLENT

etc.
posted by EarBucket at 5:44 PM on January 9, 2009


As far as Hillary bias goes, Greg Sargent was often accused of having a pro-Hillary editorial slant by commenters, but Josh Marshall was certainly pro-Obama, and grew more and more so as the primary season wore on.
posted by EarBucket at 5:45 PM on January 9, 2009


It's just spin. The GOP has been training its followers in spin for a very long time. So any wingnut is well-versed in spinning anything their way. Which ultimately backfired, because the entire McCain campaign message became spin.
posted by gjc at 7:22 PM on January 9, 2009


The origin is a Tom Tomorrow cartoon This one (new window)
posted by kanemano at 9:47 PM on January 9, 2009


The origin is a Tom Tomorrow cartoon

No, it's not. As stated above, the meme predates that cartoon by about six months.
posted by EarBucket at 5:11 AM on January 10, 2009


I've seen it, mainly on Fark, as "This is bad news...for Obama".
posted by vsync at 1:09 PM on January 10, 2009


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