My Beef With Politico's Top Ten Media Blunders List

All in all, I like Politico's list of the Top Ten Media Blunders of 2008, by staff writer Michael Calderone, appearing on the website this evening. How can you be too tough on a list that includes, among other faux pas:
  • MSNBC's use of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as election night and convention co-anchors;
  • The New York Times's suggestive but unsubstantiated story about John McCain and lobbyist Vikki Iseman; and
  • The MSM's lack of curiosity despite the National Enquirer's solid reporting on the John Edwards affair?
But no story about a list would be complete without some beefing and second-guessing, and I have some.  Here's blunder #6 on the Politico list [emphasis added]:
ABC Democratic Debate in Philadelphia: Co-moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos faced plenty of blowback following the Obama-Clinton debate for spending the first half focused on what many complained were trivial issues — his relationships with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, and his stance on flag pins.

My kvetch is two-fold.  First is Politico's description of Obama's relationship with Wright and Ayers as "trivial." Is it really irrelevant that Obama for 20 years sat in the pews of the Right Reverend GD America, and chose to launch his political career in the home of an UDT?

Second, I fault Politico for its deficit in the guts department.  If it thinks Obama's relationship with those two men is trivial, say so.  But Politico pulled a variation on the Katie Couric "some say" gambit, writing that "many complained" the issues were trivial.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.