Sunday, September 07, 2008

The press and Sarah Palin and a suggestion for the McCain campaign 

From moments after the announcement that John McCain had picked Sarah Palin, the press leveraged every rumor planted on Daily Kos and the Obama campaign's whisper points into incredibly invasive "questions" about Sarah Palin's personal medical decisions, the legitimacy of the parentage of her last baby, and the character of her daughter. Sally Quinn, one of the most accomplished female journalists of her generation and the wife of Ben Bradlee, perhaps the most famous big paper editor of his, essentially declared that women with young children, no matter how supportive their families might be, ought not run for national office. Quinn has since recanted, but it was the first, knee-jerk reaction that exposed her true attitude -- that she felt not the least bit embarrassed asserting things about Sarah Palin that would have outraged her had they been aimed at a Democrat.

It does not even begin to stop there. Vanity Fair, a supposedly respected, mainstream, serious magazine that publishes the work of top journalists, is actually polling its readers on the "question" of Trig Palin's parentage. As of this writing, more than two-thirds of the poll's respondants -- thousands of people -- believe that Sarah Palin is not actually the mother of her son, but the grandmother (screencap here). (We can all spread rumors from anonymous sources -- in fact, I have it -- true -- from a fossil fuels executive that the people at her company who have dealt with Palin knew that the governor was pregnant.) A new blog tracks the sexist attacks on Palin in the press, and they are astonishing. Andrew Sullivan, who is a mainstream journalist and whose blog is closely followed by professional journalists, has become completely unhinged over her nomination, writing literally dozens of posts attacking her. [UPDATE: Much more here from Dave Kopel, plus the argument that all of these has helped McCain so far. Perhaps.]

Then, of course, there is the astonishing grace that most of the press extends to Barack Obama. With rare exceptions, its lack of curiosity into Obama's personal and professional involvement with unrepentant radicals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn is unprecedented. If any Republican associated with extremists similarly outside the mainstream of American politics it would be a constant subject of inquiry on every talk show and at every press conference. This blogger asked the right questions:

A - Why has every news organization sent teams of reporters to Arizona (to hunt down and interview Cindy McCain's disinherited older half-siblings from her father's first marriage) and to Alaska (to hunt down and interview any disgruntled divorced in laws or baby daddy's relatives) but not to Kenya (to interview the Muslim co-parents, half-siblings and co-siblings from Obama's father's numerous polygamist marriages) or to Indonesia (to interview the Muslim family of Obama's stepfather and any Indonesian half-siblings and classmates)?

B - Why is Obama's 18 year old birth mother (impregnated by an older African exchange student with several polygamist wives stashed away in Kenya) an example of all-American grit, courage and upward mobility, but Bristol Palin is a slut? (Bonus points - Identify which one went on government assistance.)

The answer to both questions, of course, is that the vast majority of the editors and reporters for big audience media -- probably north of 90% -- desperately want Barack Obama elected. Why else would they risk be seen applauding at Barack Obama's acceptance speech?

This sad litany is a tiny fraction of the abuse that the national press has dealt to Sarah Palin. Now it is offended that she will not subject herself to interviews on their Sunday morning talk shows the second weekend she knows she is a national politician. Not only is her reluctance to subject herself to interviews -- and there is no doubt she will -- right now supposedly a problem, but the press is again assuming into evidence Palin's incompetence:
"There's no doubt in my mind that the McCain campaign would like to run out on the clock on this," said David Chalian, political director for ABC News.

This is the latest smear from Obama's Army -- that Sarah Palin's first move should be to subject herself to a grilling from people who have demonstrated that they are trying to destroy her on behalf of her opponent, and that if she doesn't she must be incompetent. Perhaps the press should earn Palin's respect by asking Barack Obama a few difficult questions. I have one that is at once asinine and very similar to the questions aimed at Palin: "Why Senator, have you, a multimillionaire, chosen to let your Muslim brother wallow in poverty? Is it because he is a Muslim, or because you just do not want to help your brother?" Or Joe Biden: "When your wife was killed in an automobile accident shortly after you were elected to the Senate and you faced raising two boys as a single father, did you consider their welfare when you continued the demanding job of United States Senator?" Perhaps if ABC News sent a few of those zingers in the other direction Sarah Palin might be willing to go on.

In any case, I have a suggestion for Sarah Palin and the McCain campaign: Grant Sally Quinn an interview this week.

Think about it.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds, for the Kopel link.


By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Sun Sep 07, 09:09:00 AM:

The Democrats fell into McCain's trap. Don't fall into the trap of the Democrats.

Reagan almost never granted interviews to the national press in 1980. He talked to local newspapers and TV stations in America's Heartland.

Don't get distracted. Stay focused. The objective is to win the election.

McCain and his team know what they are doing.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Sun Sep 07, 09:15:00 AM:

The Vanity Fair credits speak volumes: "Compiled by Jonathan Kelly and Julian Sancton, additional research by Justin Bishop. Photo illustration by Hamish Robertson.
Thanks to Daily Kos, Philadelphia Daily News, and Cajun Boy."

No scuzzy rumor about Republicans too badly sourced to run, their new logo.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 10:34:00 AM:

Not to beat this to death but remember, Michigan has the worst economy in the country. Our unemployment rate has hovered near 8.0% for several years now, several years.

McCain and Palin appeared in Sterling Heights, a white, middle class town of about 80,000 people. This is the exact place in Macomb County, where the term “Reagan Democrats” comes from. If McCain-Palin could receive such a large, enthusiastic crowd here, with our economic woes, I don’t see how Barry Hussein has a chance.

Palin is lightly experienced. Obambi is lightly experienced. Therefore, character, history (personal, professional and family) will play a big role in deciding between them. When it comes down to brass tacks, people will not vote for someone like Obambi who has radical, muslim and communist connections in his and his family’s history. Palin is much more a traditional albeit flawed American, with American roots.  

By Blogger clyde, at Sun Sep 07, 11:49:00 AM:

Senator Biden: You dwell on your Scranton roots and stated, "Everything I needed to learn about life, I learned in Scranton." You left Scranton as a ten-year-old boy. Is your inability to learn congenital or the result of an accident?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 12:01:00 PM:

Sarah = MOM (the adult here)
MSM = angry teenager

She and McCain are using time tested behavioral modification techniques. Ignore behaviors you don't line (all that angry smearing of her family) and reward behaviors that you want to encourage. She will be available to responsible reporters in respectable conversations. McCain noted this week that he and his campaign were driving the timeline, not the MSM.
Good on them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 12:20:00 PM:

That line about not stopping the enemy when they make a mistake comes to mind.

My sister, the republican high school teacher reports that the Hillary democrats she works with are all voting for McCain now, and none of them trust the media.

Let's hope they keep it up.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 12:46:00 PM:

"Sally Quinn, one of the most accomplished female journalists of her generation " get real. Sally was and is a total snob. Doesn't have a clue about real America and apparently doesn't want to.
She was interviewed by Blow Hard Bill O'reilly and came across as a perfectly arrogant ass.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 12:53:00 PM:

The press needs Palin more than she needs them right now. I agree WRT behavior modification. Palin will do sitdown interviews with selected journalists who have a history of treating people respectfully without slobbering over them. That will happen, I think, after her son deploys on the 11th.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 12:57:00 PM:

Pollsters are now starting to talk about a substantial post convention bounce for the McCain Palin ticket, and they're saying they think it's largely for Sarah. So, don't expect the nastiness to end anytime soon. And, if McCain actually wins, figure it'll run on for 4-8 years (lol).

The only thing that concerns me is voter fraud, which I think plays a substantial role in the big cities ...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 01:12:00 PM:

A few points.

"the press leveraged every rumor planted on Daily Kos and the Obama campaign's whisper points into incredibly invasive "questions""

A number of bloggers have gone nuts (and I was taken in by at least one of the rumors), but the MSM has been fairly restrained. The treatment of Palin rumors by blogs vs MSM is similar to the treatment of Obama rumors months ago.

On Vanity Fair polling Trig's parentage....I recall seeing polls (in the WP, for one) on whether Obama was a secret Muslim. Hillary was asked this question on national TV as well. So much for the MSM ignoring Obama rumors.

Liberal blogs (shakesville, for one) are also tracking sexist attacks on Palin. This kind of smear is reprehensible wherever it comes from.

Since you're interested in the acquaintance with Ayers and Dohrn, I'm sure you're equally interested in Palin's links to the AIP, which advocates secession from the union and the founder of which was murdered in a plastic explosives deal gone wrong.

Why hasn't the media gone to Kenya and Indonesia? Are you kidding? Was it a month ago that we saw stories of Obama's destitute half-brother? And recall the madrassa stories and smears, which were all over the MSM? You have a very selective memory, TH.

If you don't feel that a candidate for executive office should face tough questions, you don't deserve to live in a democracy.

- mattt  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Sep 07, 03:07:00 PM:

Your comparison isn't really apt. For instance, this:

"I'm sure you're equally interested in Palin's links to the AIP"

was debunked what, 24 hours after it was brought up? Along with the Trig troother story? Along with the business associate affair story? Along with all the other freaking stories?

This woman has been on the national stage for less than 2 weeks, and there is already an entire briefcase worth of conspiracy theories and alleged dirty secrets being paraded around, none of which have stuck.

Obama has been running for President for going on two years, and no serious work has been done to dig up HIS past in Chicago. His FACTUAL past. There are not 'allegations' that he hung out with terrorists and internationally connected arms dealers. It's known. Factually. There are pictures, there are documents, there are statements, and there are books. And no one with press credentials seems to care.

The one independent attempt that was made, by an academic and not a journalist, was initially shut down by the UC Library for, basically, no reason.

"If you don't feel that a candidate for executive office should face tough questions, you don't deserve to live in a democracy."

Such as, why did you launch your political career in the home of a terrorist, someone who you've since claimed not to know? What do you think when this friend's wife speaks with awe and admiration of the Manson gang sticking a fork into Sharon Tate's womb? Why are you friends with these people?

Or, maybe, why did you attend a racialist, conspiracy mongering church for two decades, since you claim not to believe that kind of thing yourself? Why did you defend Reverend Wright in March, but then decide to condemn him in April when he said the exact same kinds of things?

Or why do you think that George Bush's cocaine use when he was in college was a legitimate issue in 2000, but your own is a 'distraction' now? Since your main selling point is your 'judgment,' shouldn't using cocaine be counted against you?

Those kinds of questions? Because I'm all about those kinds of questions. I'd be more than happy to hear Gov. Palin asked about her terrorist connections, her cocaine use, and her racist, conspiratorial spiritual advisor (whose attached to her campaign) that follows a line of theology that declares that if God isn't white, he must be destroyed.

Sign my name to that petition.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 03:12:00 PM:

This exposes the corrupt Marxist heart of feminism: party first, women second.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 03:42:00 PM:

Barry Hussien doesn't want us to use his middle name. Gee, I wonder why?

His father: African muslim with communist leanings.

Step-father: Indonesian muslim with communist leanings.

Mother: radical hippie chick with communist leanings.

Preacher: racial, USA hating, "black liberation" activist.

Close friend: W. Ayers, radical, bomb-throwing hippie terrorist.

Wife Michelle: radical black activist.

Biggest supporters: Oprah Winfrey and George Soros.

Enough said.

McCain-Palin victory by a comfortable margin.

Then in January 2009, we oppose McCain on amnesty and insist on enforcing immigration law!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 04:44:00 PM:

Debunked? Todd Palin was a card-carrying member of the AIP from 1995 to 2002. This is the party whose founder - the guy who was murdered in an explosives deal - said: "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no goddamed use for America or her institutions."

Sarah Palin herself, while never a member of the AIP, addressed the AIP in person in 2006, and by video this year. In the video she tells the AIP, "Keep up the good work."

Maybe Todd P's recent membership in the AIP isn't a big deal. If not, surely nothing in Michelle Obama's 20-year-old senior thesis is on the table, either.

As for Ayers and Dohrn - I have no love for them. One of the police officers killed in the weathermen's 1981 Brinks robbery was actually a distant cousin of mine. But where does the right get this idea that Obama is their friend? He met the couple at a political event organized by a third party. He sat on a board with Ayers - along with a number of other Chicago pols, Democrat and Republican. By rights Ayers and Dohrn should be persona non grata in Chicago political circles, but Obama doesn't write the rules there. He's consistently decried the Weathermen's extremism.

I'm glad we agree that both candidates should stand up and answer tough questions, defend against rumor based on facts rather than brushing them off and blaming the media for asking questions. I read where Palin is going to sit down with Charlie Gibson of ABC next week. I wonder how the questions will compare to what Gibson asked Obama in the last Dem debate, on Wright, on Ayers, on why Obama sometimes didn't wear a flag pin.

BTW, where was McCain's flag pin the other night?

- mattt  

By Blogger Elise, at Sun Sep 07, 04:49:00 PM:

On Vanity Fair polling Trig's parentage....I recall seeing polls (in the WP, for one) on whether Obama was a secret Muslim. Hillary was asked this question on national TV as well. So much for the MSM ignoring Obama rumors.

The MSM asking whether Obama is a "secret Muslim" is out of line. However, there is a huge difference between asking an out-of-line question about a candidate and asking an out-of-line question about a candidate's daughter.

The appropriate analogy to asking whether Obama is a secret Muslim would be asking whether Palin is a secret Wiccan. I'm not going anywhere near what would be an appropriate Obama analogy to Vanity Fair's timeline.

As for matt's claim that the MSM has covered the Obama rumors as thoroughly as the Palin rumors, it doesn't feel that way to me. My impression is that any rumors about Obama that were reported in the MSM were reported only to be tsk-tsked over as examples of horrible smears while the rumors about Palin were given more credence. And looking beyond "hard" news stories my very definite impression is that editorial writers have been far, far more willing to attack Palin than Obama. As I say, though, that's just my impression - it would be interesting to try to look at the issue in a structured way.

One specific point: Andrew Sullivan does work for the Atlantic which - the last time I checked - is part of the MSM. Sullivan alone pretty much guarantees that any comparison of Palin attacks versus Obama attacks would conclude Palin had a much, much harder time than Obama.

I did do a Google search for:

obama half brother kenya

at NYTimes.com and in the first 50 hits found only one story that mentions him:

Michelle Obama, Reluctant No More

which says:

Mr. Obama has few family members who can serve as surrogates. Just last week, a European magazine located one of the Kenyan half-siblings he barely knows, living destitute in a shanty. (The Texas Republican Party promptly turned the news into an attack ad.)

It does point out what I thought I remembered: it was not a United States news source that located him. Perhaps a different search would find more references.

My own opinion is that Obama's destitute half-brother is none of my business. I also think he's a bad tactic for the Republicans. Lots of people know of fathers who abandoned small children to have new families with other women and I doubt many of them would argue the abandoned children owe anything to their half-siblings. If Obama Senior had left Obama II a large fortune it would certainly have been the decent thing for him to reach out to his less fortunate half-siblings but what Obama has he earned with no help from his father.

If I were a Republican, I'd leave this one strictly alone. If the Democrats want to try to trash Cindy McCain by talking to her half-siblings they're making a mistake the Republicans should avoid.  

By Blogger Elise, at Sun Sep 07, 04:59:00 PM:

I like TH's idea of asking Biden about raising his kids while a Senator but I'd prefer to do it more gently. The smear-tracking site TH references says:

But he (Biden) said some coverage of Palin has been out of bounds, particularly questions about her ability to raise five children, including an infant with Down syndrome, while barnstorming the country as a vice presidential candidate. "Whoever these folks are don't know any strong women," said Biden, who will debate Palin on Oct. 2 in St. Louis. "Some of the stuff said has been over the top, totally unfair, and I think it has been sexist."

Since Biden seems to be a good guy at this point, maybe instead of going on the attack someone should ask:

Senator Biden, your son spoke at the convention about how, after your wife died, you were able to raise two young children and remain a Senator. Is there any reason to believe that Governor Palin, with help from her husband, wouldn't be able to raise her three young children remaining at home while Vice-President?

Oh, and if anyone is looking for a rumor to start about Senator Obama may I suggest this one:

Day by Day  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 05:41:00 PM:

I think it's comparable to ask one candidate if he's been conducting an elaborate deception over the course of decades to conceal his true faith, and another if she conducted an elaborate deception over the course of a few months to fake a pregnancy. Which is to say, both are silly and I regret my gullibility in deeming the latter credible.

I think the coverage of Obama and Palin feels a little different because Obama had been talked about as a possible candidate since 2004, and declared about 18 months ago. All these stories and rumors leaked out over literally years. With Palin the same process is very compressed, since she was a realtive unknown until 70 days before election day. But it's not the fault of Obama, the media, or the Left that McCain chose to put up a relative unknown.

Yes, Sullivan works for the Atlantic. The madrassa/secret muslim/ayers smears were spread on Fox News, in the pages of the Standard, on the blog National Review and etc. I said the MSM in general was acting with restraint re Palin, not that it was perfect.

For Obama's half brother try Googling "Obamas destitute half brother." The first hit asks, "See all 164 news stories?" eg:


By Blogger clint, at Sun Sep 07, 05:44:00 PM:

For what it's worth... Senator McCain was on Face the Nation, this morning. (It was his 65th appearance, they said more than once.)

The interview was quite polite. The interviewer, Bob Schieffer, is of McCain's generation -- and a gentleman who remembers the day when being a journalist was different from being a gossip columnist.

I have a feeling he'd do a proper interview. And McCain suggested that she'd be appearing on that show quite soon.

I hope she's on next week (and that it's not announced until the end of the week -- if your enemies are willing to keep climbing out on to narrow limbs, no reason to interrupt them...).  

By Blogger Escort81, at Sun Sep 07, 05:55:00 PM:

Elise - Meh, Day by Day usually has funny stuff, but there is at least one ugly, false and unsubstantiated rumor out there regarding Obama's sexual orientation (we know it's false because Michelle would go Bobbit on him if he strayed with anyone of either sex), so I wouldn't use the word "Obama" and "gerbil" in the same sentence.

Matt - thanks for the link to the youtube video of Palin's recorded statement to the AIP this year. Wow, that's really damning (/sarc). So now it's a bad thing for the most senior state elected official to reach across party lines (even if it is a third party)? It would be perfectly appropriate to ask her, and I am sure the question will be asked in the next 30 days, about her views on the more extreme planks of the AIP platform, and whether she would be OK with a state (or her state) asking for a divorce from the U.S., or if she has more of a Lincoln approach to preserving the Union. Maybe we can also ask Senators Obama or Biden about the people behind the Vermont secession movement, many of whom are likely to vote for the Democratic ticket in November (or maybe Nader).  

By Blogger Elise, at Sun Sep 07, 06:50:00 PM:

matt - If you see no difference between a rumor directed solely at Senator Obama and one that has no problem with Bristol Palin as collateral damage then we don't really have any common ground there.

As I said, I only checked the NYT for the half-brother story. As for the secret Muslim/madrassa stories, it looks like what we're seeing is that conservative outlets spread rumors about Democrats and liberal outlets spread rumors about Republicans. I wonder if an unbiased media outlet would spread rumors about both or neither.

I don't consider the Ayres story a smear. One can make what one wants of Obama's association with Ayres but the extent of the association is a fact not a smear. To me there is a difference between "a guy who lives in my neighborhood" and "a professional associate".

I agree some of the difference between how the coverage of Obama feels and how the coverage of Palin feels is the relative length of time they've each been covered but I don't know that I would make of it what you do. It's not like the election is tomorrow - the media could have at least taken the time to check their stories with someone in the McCain campaign.

escort81 - I had no idea there was a rumor about Obama and a gerbil. Thanks for the heads-up. I assume I won't get any hits if I Google obama+gerbil at the NYT but will if I Google obama+gerbil at Fox.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 08:28:00 PM:

Y'all are acting as if every journalists is in bed with Obama. Well, where the heck are the damning exposes by the WSJ, the National Review, or the Weekly Standard?

Has Michelle Malkin undercovered any scandals lately (beyond of course, her Pulizter Prize winning jihadi fashion faux pas kerkuffle with by Dunkin Donuts?) Nothing from the Washington Times either, huh? How about Fox News? Oh wait a doggone minute! Bill Reilly interviewed Barack Hussein Obama last week! Did you learn anything new? I mean other than the fact that O'Reilly has man crush on Obama:

On the foreign policy front, Obama has convinced me that he is tough but cautious. He rose up quickly because he vehemently opposed the Iraq war. But now I see a man who understands the victory that has taken place in Iraq. I don't believe he wants to screw that up. I could be wrong.

After going mano-a-mano with Obama on television, I am also persuaded that he is a sincere guy—that he wants the best for all Americans. He's an ideologue, but not a blind one. He understands that his story is incredible, and, I have come to believe, he is grateful to the American system for allowing it to happen.

Well, O'Reilly certainly put it to the Senator now, didn't he? Yeah, yeah, yeah, O'Reilly's a tool. Well, how about the rest of the joursnalist who dress on the right??

May I respectfully suggest that instead wasting ink complaining that the MSM has a hard on for Obama that the conservative journalists get out from their own media bubbles, and do some real investigative work instead of complaining that their colleagues at the New York Times aren't.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Sep 07, 10:02:00 PM:

Tress: Because expecting people to do their jobs is so... unrealistic? Passe? Naive? Help me out here.

Mattt: "BTW, where was McCain's flag pin the other night?"

I'm pretty sure that McCain never went on record labeling the practice as 'fake patriotism' (or whatever turn of phrase Obama used) and then reversed himself when a political rival started to creep up behind him in the primaries.

But at least Obama never threw away his military decorations. Of course, neither did he ever enlist, but I consider that a 0 rather than a -.

"But where does the right get this idea that Obama is their friend? He met the couple at a political event organized by a third party."

That 'political event' was in Ayers' home, where he decided to back Obama as a politician. See below as to why people might assume friendship...

"He sat on a board with Ayers - along with a number of other Chicago pols, Democrat and Republican"

They worked together on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and the Woods Fun of Chicago, and they appeared together on several academic panels, including one organized by... Michelle Obama. All told, they worked together in some form or fashion (when they didn't have to) from 1995 (coincidentally, I'm sure, right after he received the pair's political backing as a state legislature candidate) to 2002.

Kicking off one's political career in another's home, and then choosing to work with them on several different projects for 7 years, *and* appear on a hand selected board organized by your spouse sure looks a lot like friendship to me.

"By rights Ayers and Dohrn should be persona non grata in Chicago political circles, but Obama doesn't write the rules there."

So if hanging out and working with anti-American murderers is part of the local set of rule, that's ok so long as it advances you politically, according to Obama? Good to know.

"He's consistently decried the Weathermen's extremism."

Just like he 'decried' Wright's extremism? i.e. once it was brought up in a way that could affect his ambitions

Their extremism was bad enough to 'decry,' but not bad enough to not work with them for political advancement? How typical of a politician.

"I wonder how the questions will compare to what Gibson asked Obama in the last Dem debate, on Wright, on Ayers, on why Obama sometimes didn't wear a flag pin."

That's not the same kind of ordeal that Palin is expected to undergo. That was a political debate where there are several participants who vie with one another in who can give the fewest straight answers, not a one on one interrogation by a hostile journalist.

Cases in point, from the link you gave me: "Gibson: But more than a year ago, you rescinded the invitation to him to attend the event when you announced your candidacy. He was to give the invocation. And according to the reverend, I'm quoting him, you said to him: "You can get kind of rough in sermons. So, what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public." I'm quoting the reverend. But what did you know about his statements that caused you to rescind that invitation? And if you knew he got rough in sermons, why did it take you more than a year to publicly disassociate yourself from his remarks?"

Paraphrase, because it's long: 'I didn't see those remarks ahead of time, when I did I disassociated myself, his church does good work, this is a distraction and we should move on.'

He didn't answer the question. He knew that Wright was a freak, and understood the implication enough to forbid him from going in front of cameras in a campaign event, but then later claimed to be surprised by his nuttiness.

But they just moved on.

Concerning Ayers: Gibson: "An early organizing meeting for your State Senate campaign was held at his house and your campaign has said you are "friendly." Can you explain that relationship for the voters and explain to Democrats why it won't be a problem?"

Obama: "This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis."

Which we know now was a misleading statement or, as we say where I come from, a lie. Then the 'debate' goes on to change the topic to how horrible President Bush is and no one should care that he worked with someone like Ayers.

Oh, and this is also the instance when he compared a hypothetical judicial statement by Tom Coburn to actual acts of murder carried out by Weather Underground.

Sorry, but that's not the kind of questioning I envision for Presidential candidates, I hope it isn't what you meant when you said that candidates should face tough questioning, and I'm sure it's not what you intend for Gov. Palin.

There has been a clear double standard applied to Obama throughout this campaign. He's been able to skate past the level of scrutiny that is applied to all other Presidential candidates, and now even Vice-Presidential Candidates. (if you want a really sick comparison, look at how the press has treated Palin and her family as compared to Biden and his)

Should that double standard suddenly evaporate in the next two months, I'd be happy, but I'd bet money that it won't.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 07, 11:16:00 PM:

Elise - I appreciate the sensitive nature of the topic and, as I've said, regret ever making a post on "babygate." This will be my last comment on the subject: it was never about Bristol Palin. For me and everyone else I recall reading who was wondering if there was anything to the story, it was a question of Sarah Palin's possible deception.

My point is not that the MSM should have run with babygate (they didn't), but that they shouldn't have run with the madrassa/muslim rumors, either. As far as collateral damage - wouldn't Obama's young daughters have been collateral damage if the secret muslim had baptized them fraudulently? I invite you to have the last word, if you're not as tired of this as I am.

Dawnfire - if you think everybody who sits on a board or academic panel together is chummy, I bet you haven't sat on many yourself.

Ayers was a figure active in Chicago politics when Obama came up - if BO wanted to get involved and answer what he felt was his calling, he had no choice but to deal with him when they crossed paths. If there was any evidence of a cozy social relationship or agreement with Ayers' radical ideas, I'd be troubled. But there isn't.

- mattt  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Mon Sep 08, 12:09:00 AM:

Brian Stelter at the NY Times, September 7, 2008: "MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat."

From the article:

"After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.

"The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left."



By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 08, 12:10:00 AM:

OK, I give. Why should they grant Quinn an interview?  

By Blogger clint, at Mon Sep 08, 12:36:00 AM:

She's going to do an interview with Charles Gibson on ABC, later this week.

I'd put money on her doing CBS's Face the Nation next Sunday as well.

Clever to start on big networks (and not Fox), but to freeze NBC and CNN out of the early round of interviews.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 08, 08:24:00 AM:

Tress: Because expecting people to do their jobs is so... unrealistic? Passe? Naive? Help me out here.

Exactly, my point. Why hasn't the conservative media types been able to uncover the "real" story about Obama that you think the MSM isn't reporting?

Other then telling us *they* don't like Obama's tax plan, where is the incisive reporting from the likes of Kruthammer, Kristol, Hanson, Lowry, Will, or the entire Fox News line-up, which is the most watched cable news channel?

Where is their vetting of Obama? What gives?  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Sep 08, 08:30:00 AM:

Ah, somebody finally asked me why Sally Quinn! Having already attacked Palin for the silliest reasons and apologized for it, I think she will be extremely careful not to be unfair. She's a ref who blew a key call in a big game, and miraculously she is being given a second chance. She will try hard not to blow another one.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Sep 08, 03:38:00 PM:

Mattt: You could be right, of course. But the solution would be to come clean and talk about it. With all the creepy secretiveness and outright hostility toward anyone who even dares to suggest a connection, like threatening legal action (http://www.slate.com/discuss/forums/thread/1679121.aspx), he looks guilty as sin.

"where is the incisive reporting from the likes of Kruthammer, Kristol, Hanson, Lowry, Will, or the entire Fox News line-up, which is the most watched cable news channel?"

How do you think I found out about these things?

Trouble is, many, many people haven't heard these same things. Why is that? Because it isn't repeated outside a small collection of outlets.

DKos garbage about Palin put up by anonymous posters has been picked up and circulated by the MSM at large. But factual stories about Obama are ignored by them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Sep 09, 11:41:00 PM:

TH: "Why is Obama's 18 year old birth mother (impregnated by an older African exchange student with several polygamist wives stashed away in Kenya) an example of all-American grit..."

Ann Dunham was 18 when Obama was born, but it is likely that she was 17 when the married-with-kids Obama Sr. knocked her up.


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