Why Obama Supporters Should Fight Against All Media Bias

By Big Tent Democrat

Note, see also Digby, we are no longer alone folks. Greg Sargent writes:

Both Glenn Greenwald and Digby today weighed in on the question of whether the media's been harsher on Hillary than on Obama -- and they both answered with a resounding Yes.

Digby, in an email to Greenwald, writes: "It's a fact that Clinton has received much harsher treatment than Obama." She suggests that media people will reach exactly the wrong conclusion about their own failings: "Instead of reevaluating their bias against Clinton and examining their sexism in general, they are now going to rectify matters by going after Obama on a bunch of irrelevant, superficial stuff to `make up' for their transgressions."

MORE . . .

. . . The key question here isn't, or shouldn't be, whether the press has been "equally tough" on both candidates. Rather, the question is whether the press has been equally fair to them. The question is whether both candidates have been treated with similar measures of professionalism, judiciousness, even sanity.

And the simple truth is that they haven't. . . . No other candidate has had to endure the amount of media smut that's been hurled her way. No matter who you support, the quality of the coverage of Hillary is not a state of affairs anyone should be happy about.

. . . [A]s Greenwald and Digby both note, it's not hard to imagine that should Obama become the nominee, he may find himself subjected to the same sort of media treatment, if not quite in degree, that Obama supporters defended when it was directed at Hillary. If and when Obama supporters start griping about this, as they should, then the complaints directed at those insisting on fair treatment of Hillary will in retrospect look shortsighted indeed.


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    Having worked in the media (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:49:30 PM EST
    this is exactly what I fear would happen -- as I have seen it happen, bending over backwards to be overly critical of one side after being criticized for being biased in favor of the other side. It is the way of not facing cognitive dissonance in the media, admitting that they were wrong in the first place. So they even it up to show they're really "fair and balanced." But will they feel the need to balance out the imbalance of coverage between the Dems by going after McCain as much, too? No. That's a different paradigm, don't bother. . . .

    Well, they can either report it straight (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:52:14 PM EST
    or be
    bending over backwards to be overly critical of one side after being criticized for being biased in favor of the other side. It is the way of not facing cognitive dissonance in the media, admitting that they were wrong in the first place. So they even it up to show they're really "fair and balanced."

    and get rightfully hammered for it.

    Frankly, I think a good start would be to hammer the press for the continuing hind-teat sucking heard coming from McBush' bus.  He's the one getting a free pass, and the least deserving of it.


    I don't think the media (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by nemo52 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:08:50 PM EST
    will ever go after John McCain. For one thing, they love the war hero narrative;  for another, he's a republican.

    Plus he gives them food and booze (none / 0) (#23)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:11:24 PM EST
    There was a story in 2000 (in Time I believe) that McCain after Iowa started giving reporters an Open Bar, and now he's making them ribs (which seems to be a clear violation of objectivity but whatever I guess).

    Well, then we need to be raising hell (none / 0) (#25)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:13:15 PM EST
    and calling the media on their lack of objectivity.

    That was the point of what I was saying.


    Easier To Give Them Bourbon (none / 0) (#28)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:16:16 PM EST
    Seriously the BBQ weekend (none / 0) (#34)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:22:54 PM EST
    Seems to be so far over the line, this isn't Obama do someones Voicemail Message, or Hillary giving out V-day chocolate, McCain hand-picked a cadre of reporters (not pundits) and invited them to a BBQ with possible Veep picks, it bonds them to him and gives him free media (when he's low on funds).

    hey (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:23:33 PM EST
    he invited them--but THEY accepted.

    BBQ cont (none / 0) (#37)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:23:45 PM EST
    Forgot to add this wasn't some function, this was at his vacation home, which add another layer to the bonding.

    As to all the respondents to my (none / 0) (#42)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:32:48 PM EST
    comment:  Why are you raising hell here and not on the respective media companies' sites?

    And editors' mailboxes, electronic and otherwise?


    Wasn't that why the first turned on the Clintons? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:07:42 PM EST
    The White House Travel Office faux scandal...the press was pissed cause some of their perks were taken away.

    Those MCMers! Take a ribbing... (none / 0) (#45)
    by jawbone on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:36:35 PM EST
    and keep on lickin'!

    Er, tickin'. Ticking.


    how about if they go after him on (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:50:34 PM EST
    real substantive stuff.  how would that be?

    I actually think SNL was the tipping point (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Jim J on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:57:16 PM EST
    I know it's all the rage in the blogosphere to say "SNL hasn't been funny for 20 years' -- especially when they dare to skewer someone other than Hillary or Bush -- but I honestly think the skit the other night about Obama worship signaled the collective realization that things have gotten completely out of hand.

    Jim J (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:58:51 PM EST
    Go back to Tina Fey and I'm totally on board with that.

    For all our talk of individuality, we humans like to live in packs.  It's a lot easier to feel like your pack is doing well when famous people reassure you that you're making the right choice.

    No one wants to be in the losing pack.


    Hey - it was pretty true: (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:03:47 PM EST
    B*tches get sh*t done.

    Way of the world, folks.


    Yea. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:27:32 PM EST
    Just wait'll mom gets home.

    If Momma ain't happy - (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:33:19 PM EST
    ain't no one gonna be happy.

    I don't get it. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jim J on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:02:50 PM EST
    You are trying too hard to be fey.Get it?

    So do you agree or disagree? Are you just saying I take comfort in a stupid TV show while you are above all that? Your reply reads like a koan.


    Jim J (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:22:06 PM EST
    I think you misunderstood!  Or maybe you are teasing?

    I agree with you, but think it started with Tina Fey taking folks to task over Clinton.

    And heck no I am not above it all.  I'm all aquiver because Terminator comes on in an hour and a half.  Are you kidding me?  If loving television is wrong, I don't wanna be right.


    OK, it's all good, Kathy (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Jim J on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:54:48 PM EST
    I've had a long day and spent too much time at the orange place (five minutes, about four too many).

    Sorry, hugs and kisses all around, people.


    Whoa! Sheesh, Jim... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:26:00 PM EST
    she was agreeing with you ... except she was going back one week before you did to provide more SNL evidence.

    Holy Toledo...people are ready to see hostility where there is none...in fact, the opposite.

    Read it again.  Slowly.  And have a glass of bourbon or a Hershey's chocolate bar.  Or somethin'


    Its the power of pop culture (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ajain on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:59:02 PM EST
    Yep, defining "cool" (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:35:45 PM EST
    or phat or whatever it is today. I'm so not cool.

    Yep, it was too obvious to ignore (none / 0) (#56)
    by goldberry on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:05:27 PM EST
    SNL and similar comedy shows specialize in ferreting out absurdity for public ridicule and display.  The level of Hillary bashing had crossed the threshold into hyperbole and became material for them.  BUT it does have a downside because satire is an equal opportunity offender.  If Hillary's campaign starts to do stupid things, they're going to catch flack as well.  
    In general though, the press is going to savage whoever the Dem candidate is.  But if it is Obama, I am going to be very reluctant helping him win.  Oh, I'll probably vote for him.  But he can't expect my help until he apologizes for riding the wave of misogynistic Hillary bashing for his own benefit.  
    There is a lot of atonement in his future.  He better get used to humility.  

    That role has been (none / 0) (#75)
    by Mike Pridmore on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:44:27 PM EST
    falling to Jon Stewart, but he really dropped the ball up til now.  Maybe having Hillary on tonight he will make up for that.

    It could be too late (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:21:53 PM EST
    Who knows, maybe Americablog will threaten to go nuclear on other people too.

    I was watching CNN (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:23:11 PM EST
    earlier and Wolfe B was talking about the relatively harsh treatment of Hillary versus the gentler treatment meted out to Obama by the media. I agree with Digby. The sense I got from Wolfe was that the media will make up for their easy treatment of Obama by going really hard on him in the GE against McCain.

    That oughta even things out, right? How could anyone complain about that?

    paging Paula Poundstone... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:30:02 PM EST
    (I quote from memory) This reminds me of when I was trying to train my kitten to stay off the couch.  I would squirt her with a watergun and she'd come running to me all freaked out, like, "where did that come from?  Save me!" and I'd stroke her and calm her down.

    Same thing here--the press reporting with outrage about the imbalance in the press.  I wonder if Olberman will show a split screen of himself.


    Really? Old Wolfie? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by ahazydelirium on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:06:17 PM EST
    I remember soon after New Hampshire, when Bill made a comment about how horrendously the press was treating Hillary, Wolf Blitzer said something along the lines of: "You know a campaign is trouble when it starts to blame the press."

    I was aghast when I heard this. Not only was it so intolerably blind to her ill treatment but he seemed to have forgotten how horribly wrong the media was on predicting the outcome of New Hampshire.

    It was as though he desperately wanted to retain some journalistic credibility. I suspect it must have worked--but I haven't watched Blitzer since that comment. We really should be taking the media to task for this conduct. It's entirely unacceptable.


    He was only (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:36:52 PM EST
    admitting the harshness of the treatment relative to Obama. He wasn't saying the treatment was TOO harsh. The focus was mostly on how easy Obama has had it, with the clear implication that the media will correct this problem in time for the GE.

    It seems that (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by ahazydelirium on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:46:21 PM EST
    I gave him more credit than he deserved. Thank you for correcting me. In this, I'm glad to be wrong. ;)

    I think the media have been sneering at Hillary (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by WillBFair on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:30:19 PM EST
    because their owners don't want the Clintons in office again. They're too skilled and knowledgeable and got too much done the last time. Better to have someone so arrogant and full of himself he doesn't realize he's in way over his head. But it's too late now. The sneering has gone unchallenged for three months. A large percentage of the public don't know the difference between shallow insults and adult discussion. And the damage has been done. It makes me sad.

    It's too late baby . . . (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by marirebel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:21:40 PM EST
    Digby and Greenwald weiging in at this late date on the mischaracterizations, mistreatment and outright sexism directed at Hillary doesn't do anything for me.  With accurate information, people may have voted differently! Only when Digby and Greenwald see their favored candidate threatened with similar mistreatment do they voice concern!  By their silence to date, they have been complicit in the hate-induced mis/disinformation provided by the media to the American public.  And, can I speak of the blogs? Here too we saw a campaign of mis/disinformation about Hillary fueled again by hate and sexism--but amped to an extreme degree under the veil of anonymity given in the blogosphere.  So, its too little, too late . . . and still Hillary may, amazingly, win the nomination!          

    Digby Has Weighed in Before (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:26:29 PM EST
    So has Greenwald, although not as explicitly about the sexism, as I recall.  But he was particularly eviscerating of the press over their giving Clinton the cold shoulder when she tried to be nice to them.  

    I've found both of them, for the most part, to have focused on the issues and not so much on the candidates.  Perhaps a slip or two here and there, but basically both have been pretty solid.


    This comment (none / 0) (#71)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:33:36 PM EST
    is inaccurate. I read Digby regularly and she's been deploring the media treatment of Hillary Clinton for a long time. There has been no 'silence to date'. Quite the opposite.

    Obviously (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:34:04 PM EST
    You do not read digby. You know not what of what you speak. But why not trash anyone who you think is not all agog with HRC, you do not seem to be alone. No different from OHB freaks.

    You mean BHO freaks? (none / 0) (#78)
    by Mike Pridmore on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:47:03 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#79)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:49:23 PM EST
    Well, . . . (none / 0) (#86)
    by marirebel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:45:47 PM EST
    first, I am not trashing anyone.  Another example of a mischaracterization when anyone from the HRC side speaks.  What I am saying is that to speak seldomly, and belatedly, to a daily occurence is insufficient.  The campaign of mis/disinformation about Hillary was a daily, sexist, hate-filled occurence.  Had everyone from the Democratic Party, including those affected by this type of vile discourse in prior times--like Al Gore and John Kerry--pushed back continually and effectively, we would not be in the place we are today-- where the mis/disinformation campaign is now directed against Obama.  So HuffPo and Daily Kos, among many others, reap what they have sown!      

    As I Said (none / 0) (#87)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:57:43 PM EST
    You have no idea about what you are talking about regarding digby. She has been extremely vocal about this issue for a long time.

    Not trashing dgby, well what is this:


    By their silence to date, they have been complicit in the hate-induced mis/disinformation provided by the media to the American public.  And, can I speak of the blogs? Here too we saw a campaign of mis/disinformation about Hillary fueled again by hate and sexism--but amped to an extreme degree under the veil of anonymity given in the blogosphere.

    And maybe I missed it, but as far as I know digby has not come out to support one candidate over the other.


    Digby (none / 0) (#91)
    by nemo52 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:23:02 PM EST
    has commented several times on the misogyny directed at Clinton.  In fact, she had to close comments because of the vitriol she was getting from some Obama followers.

    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:24:34 PM EST
    very true. Democrats should stick up for each other against the media.

    What Obama should do (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Lou Grinzo on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:44:51 PM EST
    I've long been convinced that the media has been insanely biased against Clinton, and I have the unanswered e-mails to numerous media outlets to prove it.  (Actually, thanks to a system crash I don't still have them, but that's another point for another time.)

    If Obama is running as a different kind of politician, someone who can redefine how we do things, then he had a Mt. Rushmore-size opportunity: He should have attacked the media for their bias.  I know how ridiculous that sounds, but imagine it: He give an interview with one of the major networks or print outlets, and he waits for (or makes) an opportunity to bring up the media treatment and then blasts them for it, saying that we're picking a president and the media is acting like a bunch of third grade kids on a playground deciding who is who's best friend this week, etc.

    The media coverage would have been explosive, and it would have caught everyone off guard.  It would have diffused the negativity between the two camps' supporters, and it literally would have changed the entire tone of the campaign.

    Am I asking a lot from a candidate for president?  Absolutely.  Shouldn't we all?

    Exactly. As the father of daughters (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:58:35 PM EST
    I really expected him to see the opening, especially when the media called a wonderful young woman a wh*re. Even if only as a political calculation, it would have made a huge impact with many women voters as well as good men. That he and other Dem leaders -- and, heck, even McCain and Huckabee -- did not do so was truly angering and will not be forgotten, I know from reading here and elsewhere as well as talking with others of all ages. Even more so, as you say, because Obama was claiming to be bringing in a different sort of politics, but it only proved to be the same old, same old. A truly different sort of politician, and one with the huge pass he had, could have called for a different sort of media. But it is same old, same old, too -- I am hardly persuaded by a few days of media scrutiny of Obama, finally.

    Can I rate you more than once on this? (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by esmense on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:08:44 PM EST
    This is exactly the point. Why has not only Obama but other party stalwarts, supposed party "leaders" who support Obama -- like Kerry, Daschle, Kennedy, Jesse Jackson and Jesse Jackson Jr, etc. -- spoken up, forcefully, on this issue? Why haven't they taken the media to task? This isn't really about Hillary at all, it is about the party of civil rights standing up for basic human dignity and respect and the principle of gender equality.

    Unfortunately, it appears these "leaders" have decided the ugly sexism of the media is something to exploit rather than condemn, and to hell with all the women who have been so important to the party over the last several decades.

    The abysmal performance of party leaders on this issue has convinced me that far from being genuine proponents of gender equality, many in the party's male leadership are resentful and dismissive of female voters, and embarrassed by the gender gap. In other words, it appears the "mommy" party has penis envy.

    The question that worries me is this; just how craven are they willing to act, and how many important progressive principles are they willing to abandon, in the unlikely hope of winning affluent, white Republican male voters on their side?


    HIllary Clinton - the invisible woman (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:09:56 PM EST
    Every goddam story is about Obama. You rarely see a even a picture of Clinton.
    The only mention of her is something about how she will cope with losing.

    Pig-eyed Tim Russert asked Ralph Nader if he wasn't concerned that his candidacy might prevent the first black person from becoming president. He didn't even bother asking about preventing the first woman from becoming president.

    I am sickened by the level of tolerance for the degrading treatment of women in this country.

    Black people used to talk about how they were invisible in certain social situations. White people would talk to each other - sometimes about black people - as if they were not in the room.

    That's what I feel about the treatment Clinton is receiving.

    As others have mentioned, Obama's record, such as it is, mirrors Clinton's. But Obama is treated with worship from the boys in the media and Clinton is treated with contempt.

    And it is particularly sickening that this is also true for "progressive" blogs such as Kos and others.

    The converse of cable tv's (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:00:39 PM EST
    usual fascination with missing blond white girls. This time, they were the ones who "disappeared" her.

    Sometimes it takes a show like SNL (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:21:16 PM EST
    to hold up a mirror the media can actually see themselves in, and the opening sketches were the least of it; the TV Funhouse cartoon was just wicked.

    The problem as I see it is not just that Obama supporters should be demanding better from the media, but that all of us should be doing that.  I don't know whether it takes a coordinated boycott of the media AND the products that sponsor them, but I suspect that the only way it changes is when it affects the bottom line.

    Many of us have been saying for some time now that Obama supporters were dreaming if they thought the media's love affair with Obama was going to continue in a general election campaign, but our warnings have been treated as some version of sour grapes, or we were told that we were just reprehensible because saying it must mean that that's what we wanted to have happen.

    One of the other problems is that the media doesn't understand that a story about what one person has done or said does not always have to be balanced with what someone else said or did, or with something that isn't even true.  Saying that "Person B has responded to news that the earth is round by saying that they believe it is flat."  This serves no one.

    What may turn out to be Obama's Achilles heel is that when he had the opportunity to take the media to task, he didn't because, I guess, it was working for him; now that the focus is shifting and it looks like he may be getting some of the same treatment, and it is having a negative effect, he has no credibility for complaining about it.

    What I think is revealing is that it is showing, again, that Obama is great on the short-term benefits, but really missing the boat on the long-term consequences.

    It's all the fault of Obama supporters! (1.00 / 1) (#50)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:54:15 PM EST
    Right?  That's what the title of this indicates.  HRC supporters don't have to fight against all media bias, just Obama supporters.  Obviously, they haven't been.  So it's their fault.  HRC supporters are get a pass.


    There are many that have been complaining against the media bias against Clinton for a long time.

    Greenwald, e.g., had three columns in Jan and Feb about it.  When I pointed it out on this blog, BTD dismissed it because Greenwald hadn't used the word "sexism" in describing the media bias.

    As I've said many times on this blog -- on this blog I seem to most often defend Obama (sometimes defending Clinton), on other blogs I've defended Hillary.

    Some of us actually are trying to be as fair as we can.  Even though, sadly, too few here believe it.

    Heh (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:57:24 PM EST
    The Obama supporters have sat on the sidelines on this issue. And they more than anyone else need to fight against it because it could happen to Obama.

    You have a real penchant for mistati9ng the point of my post. And in this case, the point of Greg Sargent's post.


    I said it at the time (none / 0) (#54)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:02:41 PM EST
    when Michelle Obama was being (to my thinking) wrongly attacked: I am just plum outta outrage.  If Obama supporters and Obama himself had spoken out about all the crap that was going on, I would've grabbed my phone and emailed yet again to protest the harsh treatment of MO.  By that point, I was just anesthetized.  And I have the same reaction to this extremely pointless and stupid Muslim rumor.  And as I recall at the time, the thing BTD was railing against most was the inaction of Obama supporters in the face of racism.  I dunno, call it Karma.  My outrage tank is on empty.

    Hey, Ted Danson is at the TX townhall!  


    I pointed to counter examples (none / 0) (#70)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:27:50 PM EST
    You can say that "The Obama supporters have sat on the sidelines on this issue" all you want.  I brought a number of counter examples.  That seems to be proof that not all the supporters have done so.  You simply dismissed the counter-examples.

    I will tell you now what BTD told you (none / 0) (#74)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:42:37 PM EST
    back then, when you tried to make the same point (as I recall)

    "Sexism" was not the issue they railed against.


    I think Hillary missed a good opportunity (none / 0) (#3)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:50:36 PM EST
    when she was asked if Obama is a Muslim... not that her answer was wrong.
    No, she should not have "defended" Obama's christianity.
    She should have attacked the premise of the question, and simply refused to answer.

    Yeah, right. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kmblue on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:54:39 PM EST
    The story would have been she refused to (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by jawbone on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:37:58 PM EST
    address Obama's Muslim issue!

    I agree (none / 0) (#7)
    by esmense on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:56:53 PM EST
    Tweety was (none / 0) (#49)
    by PlayInPeoria on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:49:14 PM EST
    having fits over this, Most of his tiem was spent trying to get commenters to agree. Joewouldn't ... He was really pouting it on to Joe.

    But ... really... WHY was she EVEN asked to comment on his religious belief. No person can speak for another person's spirituality.


    I think it's outrageous she was asked... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:13:50 PM EST
    ....that question. I think it is outrageous to ask that question of anyone about anyone. What a stupid thing and the Obama camp should be outraged that the question was asked at all. It's absurd.

    I think she could've done a better job (none / 0) (#82)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:09:10 PM EST
    qualifying it.  After she said that there was no evidence to the contrary that he was a Christian that the question asked of her in the first place was inappropriate because you don't ask someone about something as personal as someone else's religious convictions.

    NBC tonight (none / 0) (#4)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:51:24 PM EST
    covered the NAFTA story pretty fairly (and left a lot of blanks for the viewer to fill in, oddly) then they tossed back to the "other" controversy this weekend about whether or not Clinton answered the "is Obama muslim?" question clearly enough.  But-get this-I watched the original interview last night, and I say this as a Clinton supporter: Clinton was not as emphatic as she could have been.  The point I am making is that tonight on NBC, they made her answer seem MUCH more emphatic through creative editing, and then they showed that stupid tourist shot again with Obama in tribal dress.

    It makes me wonder how much more quickly the press's love affair with Bill Clinton would've deteriorated if there had been such a thing as the internet Bill's first term.

    I really think Digby and Greenwald are not taking the internet into account, or the media's reliance on the net as a "source," when they talk about how quickly the positive press for Obama will degrade.  

    That's Just Depressing (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:05:03 PM EST
    Both that Hillary's answer is an issue and that they showed that stupid photo of Obama.  The NAFTA thing I think is something of a real issue.  I assume they hit on it by accident.  In the hopes of guiding them in the future, I've prepared a couple of handy lists:

    Real Issues

    • Healthcare
    • Iraq
    • Afghanistan
    • The economy
    • The subprime mortgage meltdown
    • Foreign relations (does not include rumors of sexual liaisons with hot, vaguely foreign-looking staff)
    • Either Senator's Voting Record
    • Serious allegations of corruption, fraud, waste or abuse (note: it is not serious just because it is on Drudge's front page).

    Not Real Issues
    • Anything involving flag pins, the plege of allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, or other symbolic, but ultimately shallow, displays of patriotism.
    • Anything regarding the candidates' clothes, including but not limited to cleavage and preference for dressing left or right.
    • Polls on various general election match ups more than six months before the general election.
    • Whether or not a candidate is a secret Muslim, a secret lesbian, or knows the secret handshake.  
    • Whether or not a candidate makes you cross your legs or sends a thrill up them, it is not news.

    The press didn't have a love affair with (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by derridog on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:59:28 PM EST
    Bill Clinton. They played gotcha with him all the time. He ALSO had an expensive haircut.  It was given to him by a stylist who, get this, actually GOT ON HIS PLANE to cut his hair during a stopover (I think he was from Los Angeles -but I could be wrong) and charged him a LOT of money. The press is not very original in their attacks cause they know that the American Public has no attention span.  Not that I've ever seen them accuse a Republican of having an expensive haircut. Then of course there was the constant talk of "bimbo attacks" and various bimbos actually attacking.

    Then there was  his "failed Presidency," which started before he even took the oath of office because he didn't appoint his cabinet members soon enough. Dave Barry did a joke column on  this.

    The press never has love affairs with Democrats. They are only having one with Obama now to knock HIllary out of the race because she's a threat to their corporate masters.


    As I recall (none / 0) (#55)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:05:03 PM EST
    The press adored Clinton in the beginning.  Talk of the new JFK abounded.  GLBTs were ecstatic that they were finally being recognized.  People were filled with hope and possibility.

    That lasted maybe six months.

    And you forget that even with the Monica stuff, he had a 60% approval rating.  That was higher than JFK when he was assassinated.


    65% not 60% (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Mike Pridmore on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:50:55 PM EST
    Also higher than Reagan at the end of his second term.  Tied with Reagan for a lifetime rating of 57%.

    Well, the approval rating when Congress (none / 0) (#60)
    by derridog on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:11:52 PM EST
    was impeaching him was indeed gratifying, but that had nothing to do with the Press, which was trying its damndest to aid and abet the Republican witch hunt by turning the whole thing into the OJ trial, part II.

    The approval rating reflected the country's disgust with Congress and the whole stupid thing.  One thing people understand very well  is adultery and we all know that Clinton isn't the only one who engages in it.


    true (none / 0) (#67)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:23:52 PM EST
    but the original point I was trying to make was that the press fell over themselves at the alter of Bill Clinton.  Even as a Clinton supporter (and ardent campaigner) I thought it was silly.  

    Then, he got into the White House and they realized that he was really a politician, and he started to get things done and boy, they hated him then.


    No, not really a love affair (none / 0) (#65)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:20:14 PM EST
    with the press, after that other affair surfaced (the Gennifer Flowers interview, when Hillary helped Bill to win it -- but that got the press all appalled and puritanical . . . and I don't want to get into the incredible hypocrisy of that on the part of the press, but anyone it has stories:-).

    Which is why she should not have (none / 0) (#9)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:58:03 PM EST
    answered at all. It was lose-lose, IMO.

    don't you think not answering (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:00:19 PM EST
    saying, "I'm not going to answer that" would've been looked at by certain folk as a tacit approval?

    I agree with lose-lose.  There was no way for her to get out of that question and keep all the folks involved happy.


    Well, she would have to explain why (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:01:25 PM EST
    she wasn't answering, of course... and that strategy carried its own risks, but that question should not have been addressed to Hillary.

    Bingo. It ought not have been asked (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:05:51 PM EST
    and I thought that was in her tone. And in her answering no, over and over and over. She needs the media, but that put her at a disadvantage, and the reporter abused what is a privilege. I wish she had answered it more forcefully, from the first, not just in her tone -- but she came right back to call the question ridiculous. And she didn't answer that he was "religious enough" or something.

    Can you imagine how much MORE her (none / 0) (#20)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:07:30 PM EST
    answer would have been parsed if she had said "I am sure Obama is  a good christian", given Clinton Rules?

    Yep, it was a trap (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:38:32 PM EST
    and I remember actually being taught not to do those in J-school. I am soooooo happy to be out of journalism for decades now. I got to be a national wire editor at a daily in the Watergate era and then got out -- I guess I somehow knew it never would get my pulse racing like that again, bells ringing on the wire machines a dozen times a day . . . and feeling that we actually were doing something good for the country, getting it back. Today? Bah.

    from the MSM's (none / 0) (#15)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:03:39 PM EST
    Oh, that Howie Kurtz! (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kmblue on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:11:42 PM EST
    I read the linked story and noticed Howie says the Clinton campaign "angered the press again" by not telling the press she was going to appear on

    Clinton really asks for it, doesn't she Howie?


    This is telling (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by nemo52 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:14:40 PM EST
    from Kurtz'e Wapo article:

    "Yet Clinton's team angered the press again by not telling traveling reporters in Texas that she was flying to New York to appear on "SNL" -- "

    The press just loves to be pandered to -- and that affects how they play the candidates, too.


    Ha! (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:20:12 PM EST
    Let me quote a new one from the same article:

    But, Tapper says, holding Obama accountable is difficult because he speaks to reporters infrequently.

    Wtf?  This is what you do: "Hello, Obama campaign?  This is Jake Tapper.  I'm going to run a piece tonight calling the Rezko property deal into question.  Do you have a response?  No?  Okey doke.  Well, thanks.  Tune in at seven."  Then you run the piece and say they had no comment.

    Reams of stories were written about Howard Hughes and the man never talked to anybody but himself.  I cannot believe Tapper gave this as a reason.  Incredible.


    That line just JUMPED out at me (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:40:26 PM EST
    as I found it so stunning. Like Lou Dobbs last week, all ticked about the story of Obama holding no hearings of his Senate subcommittee. Lou was mad about that, but nowhere near as mad as he was because, as he complained, nobody called to tell him about it before.

    holy crap (none / 0) (#19)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:06:49 PM EST
    ABC news's opening stories were written by the Clinton campaign.  They even showed the press corps yelling at Obama about not taking all of their questions.  Now they are going into Rezko.

    I Suspect (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:09:37 PM EST
    That the first part, Obama not taking the press questions, drives the second part, the harsher coverage.  Because a lot of press coverage is driven by access, it's one of the primary reasons they love McCain.

    Well Hillary has been working entirely too hard. (none / 0) (#64)
    by derridog on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:17:05 PM EST
    Let's just tell her to tell the press that, if she's elected, they will all get a turn to stay in Lincoln Bedroom, with room service, and she will personally give them all foot massages.

    Chicago press could have told them (none / 0) (#89)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:07:25 PM EST
    that's actually been Obama's modus operandi quite often there, re Rezko and more. It's wise to manage the message, and that means managing media access -- but that also means you get what you give, and sometimes you just have to get the tough questions and give answers. That has not been his style. I think he got sort of spoiled in Springfield, far from Chitown -- often only one or two bureau reporters there to cover all of the legislators. And Obama made news there only in his last year, and under the protection of the party pachems. He just may not have been ready for the presidential campaign and press corps coverage -- and it just hit, because they treated him with the softest kid gloves in the history of modern media for too many months.

    I disagree with Greg (none / 0) (#26)
    by dk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:14:07 PM EST
    that only a tiny and unrepresentative number of Obama supporters have spewed bile when Hillary's supporters point out the unfair treatment she has received.  

    I'm not saying it's a majority of Obama's supporters, but using the word "tiny" seems, to me, to be an understatement.  

    Maybe Greg has not been to HuffPo lately (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:16:56 PM EST
    ...Or dailykos, c&l, americablog, etc... nt (none / 0) (#61)
    by ahazydelirium on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:13:36 PM EST
    Or Open Left (none / 0) (#85)
    by jen on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:31:59 PM EST
    I went there today, via a link (here?) and stumbled on a thread that was just the most disgusting bunch of vile hatred I've seen since I quit going to dk. It was so disturbing I actually jumped in and commented, and left a link to Sargent's piece BTD linked here. Haven't gone back to see what they did to me... :(

    Don't hold your breath. (none / 0) (#59)
    by phat on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:11:50 PM EST


    I don't think this was as accident of passion (none / 0) (#63)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:15:05 PM EST
    Nor was it a conspiracy, either obviously.

    But I don't think Obama was capable of winning the nomination without the helping hand.   I also think his supporters became aware of that early on.  

    There's lots of things people can conclude from this.  

    Fighting against it will do no good. (none / 0) (#90)
    by halstoon on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:14:39 PM EST
    The media loves drama, and anything they can do to create drama they will do. They also like to expose the Emperor as being naked. Hillary was the dominant favorite a year ago; nobody even seriously suggested otherwise. The press jumped on the chance to pick her apart, Obama sounded really good on a big stage, and bam! they had their drama.

    Now, Hillary is on the ropes, Obama threatens to walk into the WH w/o a fight, and the media is there to say, "Uh-uh. Not so fast." Now he'll take all kinds of blows and see if he can withstand it. Not only that, but they did go crazy on Hillary, so now they have to be equally ridiculous about Obama. After all, how many times has that picture and his middle name been brought up in the interest of "covering" the story. All that does is saturate the market to make sure that everyone does in fact see it, know that people accuse him of being Muslim, and hear it over and over and over. They definitely do him no favors by mentioning the stupid story every day.

    They'll get around to McCain. Right now, the Dems are such a story that the media doesn't want to change its lead. The also don't want it buried due to the Dem race. All the more reason either Clinton or Obama needs to win this nomination. All the scrutiny is on their party right now.

    The press didn't make McCain the president in 2000, so don't expect it to happen now. They'll eat his ribs, sure, but in the end, when they need to sell some ads, they'll eat him for lunch.


    Obama and Iraq (none / 0) (#93)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:14:08 PM EST
    I have come to feel that the energy from the media in pushing Obama is of the same quality that pushed the war in Iraq.

    Anyone who questions the righteousness of Obama is the equivalent of a terrorist: they must be pro-Clinton. And to be pro-Clinton is to be bad indeed.