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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2008
Posted at 11:58 p.m. ET
The polls are bizarre. Some show Obama with a double-digit lead. Others show the race tightening. I have no idea which is right. An informed source told me this evening that people at Republican National Committee headquarters are gloomy, and believe that the double-digit figure is accurate. This, of course, may be spin, a way to lower expectations and whip the troops into action. On the other hand, it may be an accurate reflection of internal polling.
Charles Krauthammer feels that this is the time for conservatives to stand fast. His argument:
Contrarian that I am, I'm voting for John McCain.
I'm not talking about bucking the polls or the media consensus that it's over before it's over. I'm talking about bucking the rush of wet-fingered conservatives leaping to Barack Obama before they're left out in the cold without a single state dinner for the next four years.
I stand athwart the rush of conservative ship-jumpers of every stripe — neo (Ken Adelman), moderate (Colin Powell), genetic/ironic (Christopher Buckley) and socialist/atheist (Christopher Hitchens) — yelling "Stop!"
I shall have no part of this motley crew. I will go down with the McCain ship. I'd rather lose an election than lose my bearings.
I especially like the part about the state dinners. I've argued many times that the party-invitation mentality is a powerful force in politics, one not to be underestimated.
McCain the "erratic" is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.
Nor will I countenance the "dirty campaign" pretense. The double standard here is stunning. Obama ran a scurrilous Spanish-language ad falsely associating McCain with anti-Hispanic slurs. Another ad falsely claimed McCain supports "cutting Social Security benefits in half." And for months Democrats insisted that McCain sought 100 years of war in Iraq.
You mean, the saint acted in an unsaintly way? Take this columnist's name. Report him.
McCain's critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What's astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers.
The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is...
...Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the last year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world?
Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?
I wish the McCain campaign had the literary skill to put it that way.
There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis — indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?
Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.
Well said. Well reasoned. I hope America listens.
October 23, 2008. Permalink
UPDATE AT 4:00 P.M. ET: The Dow closed in positive territory. The tentative figure is, up 173.
UPDATE AT 2:58 P.M. ET: The IDP/TIPP tracker, just published, has Obama up only one point. This was the most accurate poll in 2004, but, as we emphasize, past performance is no guarantee of future result. This poll shows the smallest Obama lead of any poll, and must be considered an outlier, at least for now.
UPDATE AT 2:53 P.M. ET: The Dow has recovered somewhat, but is still down 117.
UPDATE AT 2:23 P.M. ET: Whoops. The Dow is now down 202.
UPDATE AT 1:49 P.M. ET: Battleground poll has Obama up four, up from two yesterday. Hotline has him up five, no change. Gallup's traditional model has Obama up four, down one from yesterday. Their expanded model, taking into account possible new voters, has Obama up six, down two from yesterday. Obama's lead in all polls ranges from 14 points to 1 point. Among trackers it ranges from 12 points (Zogby) to four (Battleground and Gallup traditional). The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Obama up 7.1 points. In the primaries, Obama consistently overpolled by about seven points. That may not hold true in the general election.
COMMENT: Some of these results are more encouraging than the ones out earlier today. But we have less than two weeks. If the "big lead" polls are correct, McCain is probably out of it. But if the "small lead" polls, less than a five-point deficit, are right, he has a shot. He's got to fight.
UPDATE AT 1:33 P.M. ET: The Dow is down, but only by 17.
UPDATE AT 9:39 A.M. ET: The Dow is up 124 at opening, something of a surprise.
UPDATE AT 9:33 A.M. ET: Rasmussen has Obama up seven, 52-45, up from six yesterday, and five the day before. Rasmussen thus ratifies the upward trend we've seen in many (but not all) polls in the last three days. The 52-percent figure is the highest Obama has been in the Rasmussen poll this year.
COMMENT: McCain is running out of time. The election is a week from Tuesday. The race normally tightens toward the end. If some polls are to be believed, this one is widening. Colin Powell's cynical endorsement of Obama may have had the desired impact.
Posted at 8:10 a.m. ET
There has been ample grumbling from the tut-tutting left about "hate" in the McCain campaign. Victor Davis Hanson alluded to the charge in the piece below. But now James Kirchick, an assistant editor at the liberal New Republic, joins a small but growing number of writers on the left who are clearly disgusted at the self-righteousness and double standards of some of their amigos. Writing in The New York Daily News, he says:
In his endorsement of Barack Obama last week, former Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell said that "I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated [with] terrorists.' "
This is a serious accusation to level, and Powell ought to have had the courage to name names.
Nonetheless, the notion that the McCain campaign, and conservatives more broadly, have stooped to an unprecedented level of "sleaziness" with negative, nasty and mendacious campaign tactics has become the accepted media narrative over the past several weeks. "Smear" is the word you most often hear nowadays next to "Republican." But while it may be true that some in the conservative fever swamps have resorted to ugly tactics, they don't hold a candle to the left's rhetoric over the past eight years.
It's heartening to see that some on the left recognize that.
Liberal pundits are attempting to outdo one another in describing just how unscrupulous conservatives have become. In The New Yorker last week, Hendrik Hertzberg referred to McCain-Palin rallies as "blood-curdling hate-fests." Frank Rich went one step further in The New York Times, decrying the "Weimar-like rage" of the Republican Party base, evidenced by a few attendees at a Sarah Palin rally who shouted "terrorist" and "off with his head" when she mentioned Barack Obama.
There's an old saying in show business: You're responsible to your audience. You're never responsible for your audience.
Rich's use of the term "Weimar-like rage," ironically in a column decrying Republican scare tactics, is but one example of the left's careless usage of Nazi allegories to describe people and policies they don't like. Since 9/11, major anti-war rallies have included people holding signs and puppets comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler. Leftist writer Naomi Wolf, who has expressed fears that the feds were monitoring her children's letters from summer camp, recently published a book titled, "The End of America," which likens the Bush administration to a fascist junta.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann spews over-the-top, hateful rhetoric in his "Special Comments" on a regular basis. He has said that the Bush administration threatens America with a "new type of fascism," referred to the GOP as the "leading terrorist group in this country" on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, and has said that Fox News is "worse than Al Qaeda" and "as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was."
I'm so glad someone is bringing this out.
By imputing the crazy views of a few right-wing extremists to all conservatives, Obama supporters cut off legitimate concerns about their candidate's positions and qualifications for office. Anyone troubled by the Democratic presidential candidate's years-long association with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers and his dismissal of that individual as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood" becomes a right-wing lunatic. Anyone who raises the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is answered with an eye roll.
To be sure, the McCain campaign has made its fair share of exaggerations and distortions about its opponent's record. But nothing he or his surrogates have done is any more egregious than the lies, hysteria and ad hominem attacks that have poured from the mouths and keyboards of the left. So pardon me for being a little skeptical about the pundit class' selective indignation over gutter-ball campaign tactics. It would have been nice if they paid attention the last eight years.
Wonderful, wonderful. One of the characteristics of the left, of course, is the tendency to accuse others of the very tactics they use themselves. They will, on college campuses, shout down speakers and bar others from visiting. But if you dare criticize them, they accuse you of "censorship." They will host the worst hatemongers, allies of Louis Farrakhan. But if you raise questions, you're accused of racism. It's an old tactic, worn thin.
Kirsten Powers spoke out yesterday. Now this column. There are sane voices in the liberal camp. We have that small ray of light.
October 23, 2008. Permalink
Posted at 7:13 a.m. ET
Victor Davis Hanson has become one of the most important conservative voices in the years since the 9-11 attacks, in large part because he's a perceptive historian. He says that not since 1976 have the American people been so eager for a political shakeup.
Why then is the charismatic Barack Obama not quite yet a shoo-in?
Easy. Voters apparently still don't know who Obama is, or what he wants to do -- and so are still not altogether sure that Obama is the proper antidote to George Bush. After more than a year of campaigning, he still remains an enigma.
And that is remarkable. Many people seem to read into Obama what they wish - not the best way to pick a president.
Obama can dismiss his past associations with Bill Ayers as perfunctory and now irrelevant. But why then did an Obama campaign spokesman say Obama hadn't e-mailed with or spoken by phone to Ayers since January 2005 , suggesting more than three years of communications -- in a post-9/11 climate -- after Ayers said publicly he had not done enough bombing?
Oh, silly. Colin Powell says this isn't important. And Colin Powell is always right, isn't he? Isn't he? Okay, he was wrong on WMD in Iraq and opposed Reagan's "tear down this wall" speech. But other times? I'll move on.
Many of Obama's surrogates, from congressional leaders like Rep. John Lewis to his running mate, Joe Biden, have suggested that the McCain and Palin candidacies have heightened racial tensions. Do such preemptory warnings mean that one cannot worry about Obama's 20-year relationship with Rev. Wright or long association with Father Pfleger?
Hmm. Do we have to answer that?
It's also unclear exactly what Obama's message of "hope" and "change" means. The hope part turned a little weird when Obama, in prophetic fashion, proclaimed, "We are the ones we've been waiting for," and later put up Greek-temple backdrops for his speech at the Democratic convention.
Not exactly in the democratic - small "d" - tradition, was it?
And change? Obama himself has changed positions on FISA, NAFTA, campaign public financing, town-hall meetings with McCain, offshore drilling, nuclear and coal power, capital punishment and gun control, his characterization of Iran, the surge in Iraq, and the future of Jerusalem. So change from what to what?
Don't confuse us with complicated and relevant questions. The press doesn't. So why should a historian?
A Martian who reviewed Obama's past elections in Illinois, the various associations he once cultivated, his brief voting record in the Senate, and the positions he originally outlined when he announced his presidential campaign might objectively conclude that America could elect either the most far left or the most unknown presidential candidate in its history.
I just hope that it is still not racist or McCarthy-like -- or blasphemous -- simply to suggest that.
If you appear to be skeptical of Obama, any charge against you will do. And the media will go along. They'll even make the charge. Anything to bask in the halo of The One.
Pretty chilling, ay?
October 23, 2008. Permalink
UPDATE AT 6:49 A.M. ET: Zogby has Obama up 12 this morning. He also has him leading among independents by 30 points.
COMMENT: There are several other polls that have Obama in this territory, although that figure for independent voters seems way out of line. The Powell endorsement may, for some absurd reason, have had an effect. We await the other trackers, out later today.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2008
INCREDIBLE NOTE AT 10:05 P.M. ET: In researching Urgent Agenda each day I've seen reporters doing handstands trying to find something negative to say about John McCain, but this one takes the prize - the ultimate reporter-as-Obama-messenger incident of the campaign. Footage of John McCain as a prisoner in North Vietnam has just been released. This is the way Britain's Sky News reported it:
10:09 pm UK, Wednesday October 22, 2008
Footage of John McCain being interviewed as a bedridden prisoner during the Vietnam War has been released by the French national archive.
The video portrays the Republican as a hero but the message may be tarnished as he is filmed smoking a cigarette.
In the footage an emotional and shirtless McCain passes a message to his wife saying he will get well and loves her.
Please read the second paragraph again: "The video portrays the Republican as a hero but the message may be tarnished as he is filmed smoking a cigarette."
Is this beyond the pale, or what? John McCain's heroism is diminished because, in 1967, he smoked a cigarette?
Media bias? There is no media bias. Why, this is just perceptive reporting. Right?
I think I've seen it all.
October 22, 2008.
UPDATE AT 9:50 P.M. ET: Please note that this is Thursday morning in Asia: "Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks slumped, sending the region's benchmark index to the lowest level in four years, after commodity prices tumbled on concern a global economic slowdown is reducing demand for raw materials."
COMMENT: Will probably affect our market tomorrow, which was weak enough today.
SENSITIVITY...EXCEPT TO THE VICTIMS
Posted at 7:2 2 p.m. ET
Political correctness is a curse upon the land. It is wrong in every circumstance because it stifles debate and short circuits the search for truth. Here, though, is a particularly outrageous case, and the culprit is our own FBI.
The FBI removed all mention of the controversial term “honor killing” from the wanted poster of a double-murder suspect after FOXNews.com ran a story announcing the use of the term.
Yasser Abdel Said, wanted for the murder of his two daughters, has eluded authorities for almost a year. The bodies of the young women — Sarah Said, 17, and Amina Said, 18 — were discovered in the back of a taxicab in Irving, Texas, on New Year's Day.
According to family members, Said felt he was compelled to kill his daughters because they had disgraced the family by dating non-Muslims and acting too "Western."
This is a rather famous case. You will note the deep outrage of feminist groups. Not.
The girls’ great aunt, Gail Gartrell, has always called the case an “honor killing.” And for a few days — until last Friday — the FBI publicly agreed.
“The 17- and 18-year-old girls were dating American boys, which was contrary to their father's rules of not dating non-Muslim boys,” The FBI "wanted" poster read early last week. “Reportedly, the girls were murdered due to an 'Honor Killing.'”
Obviously, the wanted poster was written by the Zionist lobby and Joe Lieberman.
The FBI said Tuesday that it had deleted the term because the FBI never meant to attach a label to the case. Special agent Mark White, media coordinator in the bureau's Dallas office, told FOXNews.com that the FBI changed the wording “because the statement was not meant to indicate that the FBI was ‘labeling’ anything.
"The person who wrote it up did not see the misunderstanding that [the original wording] would create,” White said.
Yes, of course. We understand. We must be sensitive to the honor killer community.
But Gartrell was outraged by the change and called White’s explanation semantics.
“It’s wrong," she said. "Everybody knows this is an honor killing, but even our own law enforcement and the FBI succumb to the pressure?
“In the end, it may be our own justice system that prevents these girls from getting justice,” she said, pointing out that there have still been no leads after almost a year.
Well said, well said. Less oversensitivity, more criminal justice, please.
Mustafaa Carroll, the executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations in Dallas, said he agrees with the FBI’s decision.
“I’m glad they took it out until they find the guy, find the motive, and prove it in court,” Carroll said. “I’m happy in that this works against some of the stereotypes out there. … I appreciate [the FBI] reconsidering.”
I'm sure he does. And we all appreciate some of CAIR's strange activities and alliances.
Gartrell said she thought the FBI’s move was based on a desire to be politically correct. Phyllis Chesler, author of several books including "The Death of Feminism: What's Next in the Struggle for Women's Freedom," agreed that this was a plausible motive. And if cases like this continue to happen, she said, policy will have to change.
“They’re lucky they haven’t had to deal with many honor killings compared to places like the United Kingdom,” she said. “But if and when America begins to see more honor killings, maybe then the FBI will realize the importance of treating these cases differently.”
In the age of Obama? I'm not sure, but I hope she's right.
What an awful fate those two girls shared.
October 22, 2008. Permalink
UPDATE AT 7:01 P.M. ET: CHICAGO (AP) -- Media organizations will have to pay up if they want a prime spot to cover Democrat Barack Obama's Election Night party in a downtown lakefront park. Obama's campaign, awash in money after raising a record-shattering $150 million last month, is asking news organizations to pay anywhere from $410 to $1,870 depending on where they want to be and if they want telephone or Internet service in Grant Park.
COMMENT: Pretty typical of Chicago machine politics. It's loose change you can believe in.
UPDATE AT 4:53 P.M. ET: From the Politico: RICHMOND, Va. — Acknowledging that his running mate “sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes,” Democrat Barack Obama said Wednesday that vice presidential candidate Joe Biden meant to say this week that whoever is elected the next president — not just Obama — will be tested by foreign powers soon after taking office.
COMMENT: Weren't we assured by the in-the-tank press that Biden was the consummate expert on foreign policy? Now Obama is covering for Biden...on foreign policy. Still, the press asks no questions, probes nothing in Biden's history. Nothing to see, nothing to see. I'd trust Sarah's instincts over Biden's anytime.
UPDATE AT 4:31 P.M. ET: The Dow closed down 514. We're tanking again.
UPDATE AT 3:30 P.M. ET: With a half hour of trading to go, the Dow is down 448.
UPDATE AT 3:21 P.M. ET: Here's some encouraging news. The race in Florida has tightened. Mason-Dixon now has McCain up by one, 46-45. The story says, "The results mirror three other Florida polls this week that, taken together, show the race is dead even as Democratic nominee Obama's momentum appears to have slowed."
UPDATE AT 3:00 P.M. ET: With an hour of trading to go, the Dow is down 415.
UPDATE AT 2:58 P.M. ET: New polls are out, and they are all over the place. The Gallup tracker (traditional) has Obama up five, and the expanded model has him up eight. A Fox poll among likely voters has Obama up nine. The IBD/TIPP poll has him up four; and an AP poll has Obama up only one.
COMMENT: The spread among major polls is outside the margin of error, so someone's margin has a lot of error. The largest Obama lead is Zogby's 10, the thinnest is AP's one. The Real Clear Politics average is Obama up 6.8. We're two weeks out from the election. Watch the trends, not each report. Taken all polls together, I see no trend.
UPDATE AT 2:23 P.M. ET: The Dow is down 352.
UPDATE AT 11:36 A.M. ET: Dow is down 303.
UPDATE AT 10:55 A.M. ET: The Dow is down 261.
UPDATE AT 10:24 A.M. ET: Battleground tracker has Obama up two, up from one yesterday. Battleground shows the smallest Obama lead of all polls. Hotline has Obama up five, down from six yesterday. These variations are too small to be of immediate significance.
UPDATE AT 10:19 A.M. ET: The Dow is down 349.
Posted at 10:14 a.m. ET
We always depend on Tony Blankley to provide some terrific material, and again he comes through. A great frustration in recent days has been watching Republicans jump ship. Real heroes they. Blankley calls them on it, and takes on the old GOP wooden heads:
On the cusp of what some think will be a major Obama victory, we are beginning to see emerge what I will call "me-too conservatives" -- initially among conservative commentators (politicians to follow). I have in mind, among others: Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Chris Buckley, David Frum and Kathleen Parker.
Name the names, Tony. Name the names. The worst that can happen is, they'll call you a right-wing McCarthyite.
The hopelessly enthralled David Brooks wrote recently:
"(Obama) doesn't seem to need the audience's love. But they need his. The audiences hunger for his affection, while he is calm, appreciative and didactic.
"He doesn't have F.D.R.'s joyful nature or Reagan's happy outlook, but he is analytical. . His family is bourgeois. His instinct is to flee the revolutionary gesture in favor of the six-point plan."
Oh, did he actually say that? Well, writing for The New York Times changes a man.
Peggy Noonan charges that Palin's "political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy. . She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation -- 'palling around with terrorists.' . But it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. . She has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower. . She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts."
Oh, my. Has Peggy been napping up there on Mount Olympus through the past several generations of American politics? She accuses Palin of not engaging America in a Socratic dialogue, of using phrases untethered to a political philosophy. Exactly what philosophy are the slogans "change" and "hope" tethered to?
And the heart of the matter:
I think that Peggy may have unconsciously touched on what really is going on here when she accuses Palin -- who is attracting crowds as big, if not bigger than any Reagan ever drew -- of being a "follower not a leader."
Peggy's unconscious fear may be that it will be precisely Sarah Palin (and others like her) who will be among the leaders of the about-to-be-reborn conservative movement. I suspect that the conservative movement we start rebuilding on the ashes of Nov. 4 (even if McCain wins) will have little use for overwritten, over-delicate commentary. The new movement will be plain-spoken and socially networked up from the Interneted streets, suburbs and small towns of America. It certainly will not listen very attentively to those conservatives who idolatrize Obama and collaborate in heralding his arrival. They may call their commentary "honesty." I would call it -- at the minimum -- blindness.
Wonderfully stated. He writes as well as Peggy Noonan. Finally...
The new conservative movement will be facing a political opponent that will reveal itself soon to be both multiculturalist and Eurosocialist. We will be engaged in a struggle to the political death for the soul of the country. As I did at the beginning of and throughout the Buckley/Goldwater/Reagan/Gingrich conservative movement, I will try to lend my hand. I certainly will do what I can to make it a big-tent conservative movement. But just as it does in every great cause, one question has to be answered correctly: Whose side are you on, comrade?
One nice thing about Tony: Like Kirsten Powers (see below) it's obvious he doesn't care much about Washington party invitations, because he just lost a season's worth.
Great writing. Solid argument.
October 22, 2008. Permalink
UPDATE AT 9:41 A.M. ET: The Dow opened down 192.
UPDATE AT 9:32 A.M. ET: Rasmussen now is reporting Obama up six, an increase from four yesterday. Rasmussen joins most other pollsters in showing an upward trend for Obama. The Powell endorsement may have helped. This race is not tightening. It appears to be widening.
UPDATE AT 9:07 A.M. ET: LAKE WORTH, Fla. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday that Republican John McCain is offering little more than "willful ignorance, wishful thinking, outdated ideology" to an economy in crisis, seeking to capitalize on the main issue that is propelling him forward in the race for the White House.
COMMENT: It's a characteristic of elites to use words like "dumb" or "ignorant" to depict their opposition. It makes them feel good about themselves. This is pure elitism.
UPDATE AT 8:14 A.M. ET: Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Stocks fell around the world, the euro sank to a 20-month low against the dollar and oil retreated as the deepening economic slump sapped corporate profit.
COMMENT: It's not wrong to look for some good news amidst the gloom. Gas at the pump is way down. A stronger dollar means cheaper imports. And American innovation, which is not a myth, can come into play.
UPDATE AT 7:13 A.M. ET: Zogby is reporting Obama up ten this morning. I'm not buying it, but I have to report it. Zogby has shown Obama soaring in the last week. Gallup shows the same thing. Other polls do not.
UPDATE AT 7:10 A.M. ET: From The Hill: Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest. Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nation’s first black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence. Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election, violence could ensue in cities with large black populations.
COMMENT: This story didn't come out of nowhere. We discussed months ago at Urgent Agenda the probability of intimidation in this election - a message that, if Obama isn't elected, there'll be "trouble." Now we're seeing it. And voters will be intimidated.
Posted at 7:03 p.m. ET
I've discussed media bias regularly at Urgent Agenda. I think, given the sheer extent of i it this year, that we can cautiously escalate the vocabulary and call it what it's become, media corruption. Corruption is a painful word to use about my old profession, but that is what we are seeing.
Occasionally an article comes along that perfectly describes this tragedy. Kirsten Powers, an active Democrat whom we often see on Fox News defending the Democratic cause, has the courage to speak out in a piece in today's New York Post. What she is describing is a profession abdicating its responsibility, and trading in its greatest asset, its credibility, for a place in the Obama universe:
Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden as his running mate prompted a small wave of warnings about Biden's propensity for gaffes. But no one imagined even in a worse-case scenario such a spectacular bomb as telling donors Sunday to "gird your loins" because a young president Obama will be tested by an international crisis just like young President John Kennedy was.
Scary? You betcha! But somehow, not front-page news.
Again the media showed their incredible bias by giving scattered coverage of Biden's statements.
Well Kirsten, stay goodbye to an invitation to the inaugural ball.
There were a few exceptions. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski flipped incredulously through the papers, expressing shock at the lack of coverage of Biden's remarks. Guest Dan Rather admitted that if Palin had said it, the media would be going nuts.
I never thought I'd be praising Mika Brzezinski or Dan Rather, but we surprise ourselves, don't we?
And Biden is the foreign-policy gravitas on the Democratic ticket, so his comments are actually even more disconcerting.
But please, we don't want to damage The One, do we?
The outtakes of his Sunday remarks don't begin to capture the magnitude of what he said. After warning the crowd that there would be some sort of international incident - Biden could think of four or five scenarios - he told the donors: "We're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."
What does that mean? Obama's election would provoke an international incident because of his inexperience and even Obama's biggest supporters won't be reassured by his response?
Yes, that's what it means.
"There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, 'Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don't know about that decision.' "
Biden is telling us that, at a time when Americans need to feel confidence in their government, they will be going "Oh my God." Not a great message.
Needless to say, if Sarah Palin said this about a McCain administration, the media world would be exploding.
Of course. Compare, please, the coverage of Biden's nutbaggery with the coverage of Sarah Palin, who apparently now holds press availabilities on her plane, and has become quite adept.
Whether you believe Biden is exaggerating, as he is known to do, or is providing real insight, the double standard in the media does even more damage to their lagging brand.
Part of the problem is their "Obama love," but we're also seeing the media elite's belief - prejudice - that anyone with an R behind their name is dumb. So, if they say something dumb, they must be dumb. A Democrat, like Biden, can make wildly inaccurate or outrageous comments and they are ignored because the TV and press insiders feel they "know who he really is."
From my own experience in journalism, I can attest to what Kirsten Powers is saying. Journalists think "they know." They often don't. But they must make us think that they do.
On the stump recently, Sen. Biden declared he had "three words" for what the nation needs: "J-O-B-S."
Lucky for him, his name isn't Dan Quayle, or that would have followed him for the rest of his career.
Thank you, Kirsten. If the Dems throw you out after this, you're always invited to my house.
October 22, 2008. Permalink