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Monday, April 21, 2008

Obama's Gaffes and His Media Enablers

If the media had wanted to, they could have ended the Obama campaign about this time last year. That's because he made a speech in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech tragedy that was not only inappropriate but downright painful to listen to. He compared that tragedy to every liberal cause you can think of: abortion, Iraq, verbal violence, and my personal favorite the violence of losing one's job to outsourcing. Listening to it now is painfully funny, however in the aftermath of the tragedy it was nothing short of shocking. Imagine if your loved was killed in the tragedy and Barack Obama is comparing that pain to the pain of losing your job. The media could have ran this speech in a loop. If they had it would have be done solely to end his career. That said, they could have at least turned it into a story. If they had, it would have been done out of journalistic integrity. Instead, this speech was entirely ignored by the entire MSM. It got coverage only in the Conservative press where it was rightly excoriated.

That speech was the first of multiple gaffes and other inconveniences that the MSM simply ignored or covered up on behalf of Obama. What it has done is set the stage for a terribly flawed candidate to all but assure himself of the nomination and only now has any vetting begun.

We all now know about the Reverend Wright fiasco, however what most people don't know is that Reverend Wright was interviewed on Hannity and Colmes more than a year ago. He was entirely unhinged throughout the interview. Yet, no one in the MSM decided to do any vetting of Wright or their relationship until they were forced to by the video that came out. They were reluctantly forced into the story after Hannity along with O'Reilly made an issue of it on their shows. Even ABC, which broke the story, decided not to run with a follow up on its morning show. Only after the story got serious coverage from O'Reilly's vast audience did it break. The MSM quickly tried to pivot from the story to a speech that they compared to many of the greats of our time. The media tried to use the first opportunity to turn the story from one of a twenty year association with an anti American bigot into a trascendant speech. Even now, as information has come out that Wright is hypocritically and cynically using his race baiting for profit the MSM has totally ignored this new information.

Wright is only the most glaring example of the MSM enabling Obama through their selective coverage. Until just this week, they ignored entirely his association with former terrorist and radical Bill Ayers. This story was simply ignored by the MSM because it was broken by Politico. The story remains sketchy because the MSM has decided to cede their role as watch dog on it. To this day it is unclear how close Obama is to Ayers because there has been little coverage of their relationship.

Then, there is Obama's relationship to Tony Rezko. Rezko is currently on trial for corruption, and he and Obama were involved in a lucrative land deal and this was after Rezko was under investigation. Furthermore, Rezko was a major fundraiser for Obama. Yet, outside of Chicago this story has received little attention. Now, compare that coverage with the coverage that the indictment of Bernard Kerik got in the MSM. That was front page headline everywhere. Yet, Obama's decade plus relationship with an indicted individual gets nearly no attention outside of Obama's hometown.

Finally, there are the multiple comments of Obama's wife. These received fairly scant coverage in the MSM. The story was driven nearly entirely by the new media and the conservative media.

I haven't even talked about any of Obama's positions yet. The MSM has given Obama a total pass on his constantly moving position on the 2nd amendment. Once again it took Politico to break the story of Obama's 1996 survey in which he supported a total ban on guns. Obama's story on this memo shifted multiple times. First, he said he had nothing to do with it and that a staffer wrote it. Then, his handwriting was found in notes on the survey. Then, Politico again broke that the group to whom the survey was done, Independent Voters of Illinois, did an interview with Obama himself about the survey and his answers mirrored that of the survey. Again, the MSM was nearly silent on this survey. They were silent on his multiple positions on the 2nd amendment. He has said that he supports the idea that the 2nd amendment is an individual's right to own arms, but he also supports D.C.'s total ban on guns. The idea that these positions are polar opposites has totally slipped the minds of the MSM which hasn't challenged him on this duplicity.

At the end of 2006, Amanda Carpenter reported on a bill that Obama supported in the Illinois Senate that would have legalized the practice of infanticide. In this case, it would have been legal to kill the baby even after an abortion failed. I have pointed to this story often in building a narrative on Obama's radicalism. The MSM has totally ignored this vote. The public at large has no idea just how radical his abortion position is because the MSM refuses to report on it.

That brings me to the debate last week. Obama must have just been shocked that anyone in the MSM had the nerve to actually challenge him on anything let alone on almost everything. It should come as no surprise that he performed as poorly as he did. He has never been challenged by anyone before. In the aftermath, most of the MSM went back to cheerleader mode. Rather than challenging Obama's poor performance, they challenged the moderators who dared to ask probing questions. There was over the top language like the worst debate moderators ever. Anyone who has seen any of the other debates on either side knows there are many challengers this year alone to this title. Once again, the MSM, rather than challenging, went to coddling Obama. The last debate was the lates in a long string of stories which show that the media sees any question that challenges rather than cheerleads Obama as wholly inappropriate.

What has happened is that the campaign was nearly out of reach until the media tried to poke some holes in his persona. For much of the campaign the media has been nothing short of a cheerleader as he built his narrative of hope, unity and post partisanship. One NBC reporter openly admitted to being so smitten with Obama that he felt a jolt up his leg everytime he gave a speech. While most old school reporters would call such bias totally unprofessional, Brian Williams called it courageous. Chris Mathews uttered similar thoughts toward Obama to this reporter.

For months, the media stood back and simply allowed Obama to create a narrative for his campaign. The media's job is NOT to destroy a politician's narrative, but to challenge it. The MSM simply refused to do that. It wasn't because there was nothing to challenge. I just listed several places they could have started and there are many more. They simply didn't want to. As a result, they have created a candidate that is deeply flawed and one that his opponents can exploit all over the place. The worst thing is that the Democrats are stuck with him. Had the MSM done their job of vetting early, they would have found these holes and we all would have seen how he handled them. If he handled them well, we would still be here and he wouldn't be flawed like he is. Yet, we only found out quite late in the campaign that in fact he doesn't handle being challenged well.

What has happened is textbook politics. Either you define an issue yourself or your opponents define it. Since the MSM refused to address any of these issues until five days ago, his political opponents have spent the last several months doing it themselves. Sean Hannity is a near broken record...his wife's anti American comments, his pastor, Bill Ayers, Rezko and the million man march (something I didn't mention). The Conservative blogs and media are obsessed with each of these stories, and you can bet the McCain campaign is not simply going to overlook them. The problem is that it is too late for Obama to define the story and thus he leaves it to his opponents. Hannity will likely spend 75% of the rest of the campaign drilling these things into his listeners and viewers ears. They aren't going to go away. Instead, it will be up to his opponents to define each of these issues. The reason that we are in the position we are in is because the MSM refused to confront him on these when they came up and thus he couldn't define them.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sunday morning, McCain appeared on "SOFTBALL With George Stephanopoulos." George followed the line of questioning dictated to him by HRC and the GOP, but he still looked mighty intimidated by McCain. George must have read

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/19/AR2008041902224.html

before the interview. He was afraid that McCain would blow up on the spot, especially after McCain referred to George as “my friend.” Look out George, you’re in trouble now!

Best moment of the show was when George pointed out that McCain has been the recipient of government-run healthcare his entire life. McCain called it a cheap shot. The truth is like that sometimes.

Let's start talking about a real issue in the general election, McCain's unsuitability for the presidency. His well-documented, out-of control anger, complemented by rudeness, filthy language in public (even against his wife), physical intimidation, arrogance and vindictiveness cannot be ignored. How do these serious character flaws impact his judgment? How can someone this unstable and small minded be a serious contender for the presidency?

mike volpe said...

Let me see if I get your logic. Any questions of character directed at Obama are trivial and irrelevant and at the same time any questions of character directed at John McCain are "real issues". Now, that comment redefines kool aid drinking partisanship.

Anonymous said...

Today, yet another gaffe was reportedly committed by an Obama staff member and this one insulted Christians everywhere - i.e., the majority of voters in America. Presenting an effeminate Jesus singing, "I will survive" on You Tube is the last straw for me. When you start to add up one insult and "gaffe" after another, one association with vile persons after another, you get the picture of a man who either has no clue about the kind of people he befriends, associates with, accepts advice from, has working for him and so forth - or he knows very well what kind of views they hold and secretly shares them. Either way, Obama is unfit to hold the highest office in the land and I would be frightened to imagine that the future of my country is in his hands. For those who are interested, here is the link to the latest Obama campaign insult directed against Jesus, the One who is loved, adored, and revered as the Savior and Lord of millions of Christian in this nation.
http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=62204

mike volpe said...

Far be it for me to defend Obama, but while this episode is disgusting, it wasn't done by him, and it was done by his advisor when he wasn't working for him, and frankly wasn't working for him at all. It is one thing to have a twenty year relationship with a bigot. It is another to be friendly with a terrorist. This, on the other hand, is rather contrived. This man should apologize. Obama should apologize and frankly he should be fired, but this is a faux scandal.

Anonymous said...

Mike Volpe said:
"Far be it for me to defend Obama, but while this episode is disgusting, it wasn't done by him, and it was done by his advisor when he wasn't working for him, and frankly wasn't working for him at all."
OK, but you have proved my original point. The issue is Obama's judgment in choosing his advisors, associates, friendships, campaign workers, etc. It does not matter if the guy wasn't working for Obama. He had been part of the campaign and even if he no longer works for Obama now, it still points to Obama's image problem, a problem that is not going to go away and which the Republicans will exploit to full advantage through November.

mike volpe said...

I believe this guy was a tech advisor. I assume his tech skills were what Obama looked at. I doubt he knew anything about this incident, and I don't know what sorts of problems, if any, this guy had. I am not seeing any sort of an issue with this particular story.