July 22, 2008

Also, it's an outrage when Bush plays golf, but omigod did you see Obama sink that basket?

I support Barack Obama and will consider the sycophantic toadying of left wing bloggers a small price to pay for an Obama victory -- but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Case in point, Crooks and Liars yesterday aired Andrea Mitchell's complaints that on his Mideast trip, Obama is avoiding the press in favor of softball questions from non-journalists. Instead of being upset about this shameless photo-op candidacy, C&L -- and it's slavish readers -- are giddy about how Obama has outfoxed the evil MSM and its "gotcha" questions.

Just read a handful of the Obamabot commenters to get an idea. Here's a typical one.

thank goodness.

Andrea this is “message management” And Just who do journalist like Andrea do “message management” for? Certainly not the American people

Andrea “not interviews from a journalist” Just which journalist would Andrea choose to do “interviews’ with Obama with? The ones who sold our nation the war in Iraq? Which Journalist?

I would have to choose, Amy Goodman, Justin Raimando, Juan cole or Seymour Hersh, to do interviews with Obama on his trip..certainly not Andrea

Now look at the nearly identical gloating from the far-right Powerline blog back in 2003 when George W. Bush first announced that was going to "go over the heads of the [media] filter and speak directly to the people."

Yesterday's interviews are part of a long-standing administration effort to get around the Democratic press and take their case, on various issues, more directly to the people. They should continue and expand this effort; in fact, Republicans should actively undermine the assumption that the broadcast networks, the major daily newspapers and Time and Newsweek are the "real" news media. The President should give exclusive interviews on important topics to journalists like Brit Hume or Tony Snow on Fox News. He should give live, on-air interviews to talk radio hosts like Hugh Hewitt. These journalists are more intelligent, better informed and fairer than their "mainstream" Democratic counterparts. Why should the President not acknowledge this fact?

I'm half expecting Matt Drudge to wring his hands maniacally and declare, "We are not so different, you and I."

I haven't been watching the TV news, so I have no idea what Mitchell is referring to when she talks about "fake interviews." They may not be as bad as she makes out. And it's well known that Obama has scheduled a series of network interviews for after the trip, so it's not like the media should have been expecting anything other than photo ops this week. And of course it's clearly preposterous for Mitchell to say we've "never seen this before." Bush has been doing it for eight years -- and the media has been calling him on it. My point is that when he did, the left correctly excoriated him for it. So far Obama hasn't come close to Bush in terms of media manipulation -- does anyone remember Jeff Gannon, Video News Releases, the FEMA interviews? -- but when he shows the same impulses (if indeed Mitchell's comment is accurate), the left should challenge not applaud him.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


why should Obama feel guilty about playing basketball? he voted AGAINSNT going to war in the first place. bush TOOK us to war. Obama voted NOT to take us to war.

Where does that phrase come from, anyway? "We are not so different, you and I" is one of those phrase I feel like I've always known.


While I appreciate the impulse, I think you're straining too hard to affect skepticism, Daniel. Cherry-picking the rantings of blog commenters to indict a whole campaign or movement... O RLY?

There's simply no comparison between Obama and Bush and especially their treatment as candidates by the media. Bush was roundly hailed as the guy you want to have a beer with - Obama is the guy who you wouldn't see at an Applebee's salad bar (because, of course, they don't have them).

Yes, of course it's a photo-op trip... to the Most Dangerous Fucking Region on the Face of the Globe -- by a guy who has brought his understanding of international affairs to bear on his idiot predecessor's catastrophic mess to propose a policy that has been endorsed by the Iraqi prime minister himself. So... exactly what moment in Bush's candidacy is that analogous to?

"I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss."

Vance. I think you're straining too hard at counterskepticism. I couldn't have made it more clear that I am not criticizing the trip, or even the media coverage. I'm saying that taking Mitchell's complaint at face value (and C&L doesn't challenge the substance of it, only the interpretation), it is the kind of image control (if a limited version) that Bush engaged in, for which he was roundly booed. I did choose a comment that neatly paralleled the Powerline post, but I hardly cherry picked. 95% of the comments are like that (or crazier). You'd have to cherry pick to find the critiques of the original post. And they're all merely amplifying what was said by C&L -- a major and influential lefty blog.

What do they expect from a stooge for Prussia? Somewhere in Hohenzollern Prinz Georg Frederick rubs his clawed hands and grins as he reads Daily Kos... People, it's not too late! Obama is made of Wilhelmine militarism!

There's no time to explain here (it involves German East Africa) but anyone interested in the TRUTH can check out my website www.gottmitihnen.com

For my part I'm in the same boat, I love the guy (I'm a big Zweites Reich fan), but I'm sick of all the tempests some blogs find under every tea cosy. But then again I don't really expect them to be objective. And in the long run I'm not so sorry they are that way.

Yeah, "cherry picking" was an unfortunate word choice for the comment selection, I admit. But it does apply to your assurances that "the media has been calling [Bush] on" his outrageous, unprecedented press manipulations - note that in the next sentence you mention some of these with a rhetorical "does anybody remember...?" which wouldn't need asked if any of those had generated the kind of long-term mainstream thrashing of his image that they deserved - and also this concept that he was "roundly booed" for it back in 2000. I was watching the campaign coverage from inside the newsroom and was aghast at what a free pass he was getting from the media, on any and every issue. I recall that you were here in Philly for the convention, so maybe you're remembering a lot of "roundly booing" emanating from your own more alternative outlet, but believe me, there wasn't nearly enough of it - hardly a peep, proportionately speaking - in the MSM.

No, the round booing certainly didn't start until 2004 or so, at least as far as the MSM (sorry, the TM) is concerned.

Have we seen any evidence of the kind of fake interview that Mitchell is complaining about? All I've seen is footage of his speech to the troops in Kuwait and a few meet-and-greets with various leaders.

There's also a distinction to be drawn between the Gannon/FEMA/fake news reports, which were ways to get around coverage of governance after the elections, and mere attempts to create positive visuals for the news during an election. I don't recall liberals spending much time criticizing Bush for the latter, though I could be wrong.

This point would be relevant if the press didn't totally suck. But CBS is actually editing interviews to cover up McCain's gaffes. So it isn't.

CBS News is pathetic. The package Katie Couric did with separate Obama & McCain interviews and assorted factoids would actually make anyone watching it MORE STUPID than they were to begin with. Her Obama interview was pathetic. The McCain interview was edited to distort what he actually said. And the facts were presented to support one conclusion, whereas additional context surrounding the facts as presented might have supported another.

I saw the Hardball segment that featured Andrea Mitchell's quote, and it seemed like she was referring to the fact that the basketball footage (and unaired interview footage) were taken by the public affairs team of soldiers attached to the unit Obama visited. If Obama had insisted in only speaking with amateurs, she might have a point, but she seemed to be upset that amateurs were allowed to access him AT ALL. Weird reaction.

It's not like he's been avoiding reporters the rest of the time, is it?

One last thing, since you brought the basketball thing back in, Scott: As to the title of this post, no liberal bloggers were saying it was "an outrage when Bush plays golf." Bush was mocked for juxtaposing a call to "stop these terrorist killers" with "Now watch this drive" (as seen in F911) and then for saying himself that it was inappropriate to play golf while soldiers were dying, but going ahead and doing so after the point he said he'd stopped. So, another false analogy.

Hey exrepublican....Obama DID NOT vote against the war..He wasn't a US Senator when the vote took place. HE DID however vote to FUND the war........isn't that rather peculiar? Check you facts, you might be surprised.

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