Three young African-American men stood up holding a sign that read "What About the Black Community, Obama?" as Barack Obama was talking about the economy at a town hall meeting here. Once the crowd realized what the sign, many started booing loudly, which caused Obama to turn around and look at the protesters.
Later, the piece updates with:
During a question and answer session, Obama called on one of the hecklers.
The word "heckle" is defined as "to harass (a public speaker, performer, etc.) with impertinent questions, gibes, or the like; badger." The word conveys an element of disrespect and incivility.
The word "protest," on the other hand, carries little of the acrimony associated with heckle.
Posted on the Los Angeles Times's Web site is the story "John McCain ad irritates many in Hollywood." The referenced ad, of course, is the one that uses Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to portray Barack Obama as a shallow celebrity.
Despite the headline citing "many," only two Hollywood types are quoted. "'I didn't think McCain could look silly,' mused Norman Lear. 'But that ad diminishes him and makes him look silly.'" And publicist Howard Bragman criticizes the commercial as "inauthentic."
If there are so many people who are irritated, you wouldn't know it by this article, which mainly conveys how much Hollywood heart Obama. The piece reports McCain used to enjoy some popularity there:
McCain's latest attempt at discrediting his handsome, photogenic young rival particularly galls stars and executives with a memory, because only eight years ago, McCain was a fixture in Hollywood fundraising circles when he tried to raise money from the very people his ad now ridicules.
On today's CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, network White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux moderated a discussion with Barack Obama at the UNITY convention of minority journalists. Beforehand, Blitzer asked her about someone who wasn't attending the conference:
BLITZER: Senator McCain, I take it, he was invited to address this conference, as well. Is that right?
MALVEAUX: Yes, he certainly was. His campaign said there was a conflict of interest, that he had a lot of other things that were going on. He wasn't able to attend. This is a conference that has spanned across four days or so here in Chicago. Thousands of people have attended. It happens every four years. And so it really is very important to the journalists here, a lot of writers, a lot of people who represent media throughout the country are going to be paying very close attention. It is a shame that he wasn't able to attend.
McCain begged off because of other commitments. That may well be true, but even if it weren't it would have been a mistake for him to participate. He would not have been received nearly as warmly as Obama and the contrast would have given the mainstream media an opportunity to joyfully focus on the disparity.
Much of the mainstream media is gushing over French President Nicolas Sarkozy gushing over Barack Obama. The Chicago Sun-Times's Lynn Sweet, for example, wrote that "The beaming looks Sarkozy showered on Obama needed no interpretation." Unfortunately for the media, those looks of love didn't lead to an explicit Sarkozy endorsement, something they could have really gushed over.
Minutes after both Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and the U.S. Supreme Court denied appeals to spare his life and he was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday evening for his role in a 1998 claw hammer bludgeoning of a friend, 34-year-old Dale Leo Bishop urged Americans to vote for the Illinois senator for president.
According to the Natchez Democrat, after being strapped to a gurney Wednesday evening and apologizing for the crime, the goateed Bishop uttered these final words:
On the Reuters Web site this morning appears this cryptic headline: "ADVISORY: Baghdad story on views on Obama is withdrawn" After that, it merely states, "The BAGHDAD item headlined 'Iraqis say they like Obama, divided on his policies' is withdrawn. The story was transmitted in error."
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is popular among Iraqis.
In two dozen interviews across the country, many told Reuters a black man would understand their plight.
Obama arrived in Baghdad on Sunday on only his second trip to Iraq. He wants to bolster his foreign policy credentials and counter accusations from Republican presidential rival John McCain that he has not seen conditions in Iraq for himself.
"I support Obama. I think he is the best for Iraq and for the world ... if McCain wins I will be devastated," said Mustafa Salah, an office worker in the southern city of Basra.
Today's Chicago Tribune features "Left speechless?," by columnist Clarence Page. Page, who also serves on the Tribune's editorial board, writes:
Besides whispering to another guest on the set that he would like to de-sex the Democratic presidential candidate, Jackson also accused Obama of "talking down to black people . . . telling niggers how to behave."
Jackson has since issued two statements of apology for his self-described "trash talking." He also might issue this word of advice: If you want to whisper something that could be damaging if traced back to you, don't whisper it over a microphone.
Am I surprised by Jackson's use of the racial slur? Not really. I was more surprised to hear that so many other people are shocked, especially non-African Americans.
Ethnic etiquette has always given greater latitude to epithets expressed about one's own ethnic group, as long as they are expressed inside of one's ethnic group. That's how people talk within one's family or ethnic group, especially when you regard your ethnic group as affectionately as you regard your nuclear family.
But if we hold Jackson to a higher standard, it is because he has held us to one too.
Last night's CBS 2 Chicago's newscast led off with a segment on Barack Obama's visit to Kuwait. The station's Web site includes a written report headlined "Soldiers Overjoyed To Meet Obama In Kuwait." The accompanying video is titled "Troops In Kuwait Thrilled By Obama Visit." Obama was "applauded thunderously" by "excited soldiers," according to reporter Susan Carlson. How the media determined the troops were both overjoyed and thrilled isn't detailed. President Bush and others have been greeted by our troops with similar enthusiasm, but I doubt that overjoyed or thrilled were used in describing it.
This typifies the caliber of detached, objective reporting we've come to expect when Mr. Wonderful is the subject at hand. The mainstream media will be tossing bouquets - and probably their undies - in the direction of Obama.
Carlson did mention on her video report that Obama's campaign hopes his overseas trip will "overcome criticism that he lacks experience in world affairs." He needs major help in that area. As noted on CNN.com earlier this year:
"Obama’s Lobbyist Policy Excludes Cleland" was posted last night on the New York Times's "The Caucus" blog. It relates that former Georgia Senator Max Cleland was disinvited from a Barack Obama fundraiser because the decorated war veteran is now a registered lobbyist.
The piece ends with:
As a surrogate for Senator John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign, Mr. Cleland often got marquee billing at campaign events, even landing a coveted speaking role at the Democratic National Convention. He lost his bid for a second term in 2002 after a Republican television advertisement depicted him as unpatriotic.
On Wednesday's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" on MSNBC, Chris Wallace of Fox News was designated as one of Olbermann's "Worst Persons."
OLBERMANN: Our runner up tonight, Chris Wallace of Fixed News, explaining to the TV critics of America, who were gathered tonight in solemn assembly in Los Angeles, insisting that during the primaries Fox had the straight news reporters anchoring the election coverage, and not someone like Keith Olbermann, who was delivering ten-minute screeds against President Bush, telling him to shut the hell up, telling Hillary Clinton to get out of the campaign.
Chris, I never told Senator Clinton to get out of the campaign. I never even suggested it.
Really? On his April 23, 2008 program, Olbermann talked with MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman. He brought up possible retribution against Clinton if she didn't drop out of the campaign:
DOBBS: Well, I'm very sorry that Julie Gerberding and the CDC is frustrated. But I'm a little more concerned about the fact that the American consumer right now is absolutely vulnerable. When the two agencies, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration still, after more than two months, don't have a clue as to what is going on here.
SCHIAVONE: It's just an astonishing turn of events. We know that the first case was recorded in early April. This thing is not only going on, but it shows no signs of pulling back. And as you say, they just don't have any idea what the cause is.
On this afternoon's CNN Newsroom, anchor Don Lemon interviewed Carolyn Lochhead, the San Francisco Chronicle's Washington correspondent. The topic was "Obamacans," conservative Republicans who support Barack Obama for president.
Lochhead wrote a recent article on the phenomenon and was brought on to discuss the mythical beast:
Today's Chicago Tribune carries a front page story on the late Jesse Helms, "5-time senator 'great patriot' who held fast to his beliefs."
The piece's author, Los Angeles Times staff writer Johanna Neuman, states:
Often he was the lone voice of dissent in the Senate. He was the only senator to vote against confirming Henry Kissinger as secretary of state during the Nixon administration. And he was the only senator to vote against making Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday.
Both assertions are wrong. MSNBC reported in a 2005 article on secretary of state Condoleezza Rice that Henry Kissinger was approved by the Senate in a 78-7 vote. And the King Center notes on its Web site that the King holiday bill, sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy, passed in the Senate by a vote of 78-22.
In its eagerness to portray the late Senator as an isolated, extreme extremist, the mainstream media are making up their own "facts."
He may be dead, but Jesse Helms is still driving liberals to distraction. May he rest in peace.
On Independence Day, CNN anchor Don Lemon reported the death of former Senator Jesse Helms.
LEMON: Conservatives are mourning the death of an icon. Former Senator Jesse Helms has died at the age of 86. The North Carolina Republican was known for his unyielding stands on some controversial issues.
LEMON (voice-over): Ever since he came to the Senate in 1972, Jesse Helms had been the champion of the extreme right. His positions frequently infuriated virtually everyone else.
Boeing pretends to be a good corporate citizen supporting Chicago arts groups and community organizations with grants. The company is listed prominently in playbills and annual reports.
But Boeing also abets torture. It is, after all, a defense contractor as well as a provider of civilian passenger jets. It is locked at the hip and the bottom line with the U.S. government.
Despite our pride in Boeing as a global corporation, it is as amoral as the German corporations that aided Hitler. Only money and contracts count with Boeing.
And what has Boeing done to warrant such withering criticism? Why, a Boeing subsidiary "since 2001 has provided flight and logistical support for at least 15 aircraft making 70 clandestine flights for the CIA. Jeppesen allows the CIA to transport prisoners such as ACLU plaintiffs Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, and Ahmed Agiza to secret locations where they were tortured as part of our government's 'war on terror.'"
Gerri Willis co-hosts CNN's daily "Issue Number One," a program devoted to the economy. For her, it appears almost every day is a struggle.
Last Thursday, she spoke of "high gas prices, one of the many cost(s) Americans struggles with in this economy." She took a break from the struggle on Wednesday, when a CNN anchor filled in for her and co-host Ali Velshi.
The previous day, however, her question to CNNMoney.com's Poppy Harlow was: "So what do you have to say to folks out there who are struggling to pay those (energy) bills?" Willis also employed another of her favorite words, tough. "There are," she noted, "all kinds of programs across the country to make sure that doesn't happen, but times are so tough." Later on the show, she observed: "These tough economic times can be especially hard on retirees."
Clout and corruption scandals that have plagued Chicago and Illinois politics in recent years have not laid a glove on Barack Obama, he told reporters here Wednesday.
"You will recall that for my entire political career here, I was not the the endorsed candidate of any political organization here," the Democratic presidential hopeful said at the Westin Hotel downtown.
That isn't accurate and wasn't from the time of his very first political race. When Obama sought state office in 1996, he completed a questionnaire from the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO). Asked what endorsements he'd received so far, Obama listed the 4th, 5th, and 6th Democratic Organizations, Aldermen Preckwinkle and Steele, and the New Party.
The Sun-Times article also reports:
Obama friend Tony Rezko was convicted of corrupting state government, but Obama was never implicated and has returned contributions Rezko made to his Senate campaign.
I debated whether to tell you this or not…but I did promise behind the scenes information here on GretaWire….so here it is…yesterday at 9:00am I personally booked Reverend Sharpton to appear ON THE RECORD at 10pm eastern to discuss Don Imus. At 8:12pm, less than 2 hours before we were to begin our 10pm news show, I received a call in my office from Reverend Sharpton…he said that Senator Obama’s campaign had called and asked him to appear on CNN at the same time he was due to appear on ON THE RECORD and thus could not make our show at the top. I told him that our first segment was the one he had been booked for almost 12 hours earlier and which we had discussed …he said Senator Obama’s campaign called and wanted him on CNN and that he was sorry.
So…here is my question: is Senator Obama’s campaign booking CNN now?
On her Tuesday evening "On the Record" program, Greta Van Susteren interviewed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The cost of gasoline was the first topic discussed. The speaker told of actions the Democrat-controlled Congress has taken. Charitably, these are marginal at best, yet Van Susteren didn't challenge Pelosi. Then the host asked about assigning blame for high gas prices:
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you assign all of the blame for the high prices on the Bush administration, or do you look back historically to a number of factors, including appetite by the American people, other administrations, other Congresses?
PELOSI: No, I don't assign blame to the Bush administration, I accuse them. I am more direct than that. I accuse them of ignoring something that was becoming apparent over time.
Ten years ago the price was under $11 in 1998--under $11. Two weeks ago, the cost of oil went up in one day nearly $11. So the policy decisions made by this administration in terms of energy have contributed to this oil crisis by not accepting early on the need for us to have renewable and other alternatives.
Yesterday's edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight included a report from Kitty Pilgrim on product recalls from China and the administration's efforts to reduce importation of unsafe products. "Bush administration officials are going through the charade of tougher enforcement with few results," according to correspondent Pilgrim. Using the term "charade" prepared viewers for where this segment was going:
KITTY PILGRIM, reporter: HHS Secretary Leavitt says he is optimistic the Chinese government will approve the opening of three FDA offices in China some time soon. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says if recalls continue at the current rate, it will be a 70 percent increase over last year. Lou?
No one missed the fact that Barack Obama and John Edwards looked right together. "They looked fantastic together," gushed Jill Zuckman, the Chicago Tribune's able political writer. "They looked like a ticket."
Ms. Zuckman is a Chicago Tribune national correspondent and her gushy enthusiasm may strike readers as something less than what would be be expected from an unbiased, detached reporter. Although it's not the first time Ms. Zuckman's conveyed her appreciation for the combo.
In her June 28, 2007 dispatch, "Fighting the 'Who?' factor - Candidates considered outside the top tier struggle to get even a once-over from voters," she writes of:
Obama, an electrifying orator and the most formidable African-American presidential hopeful in history; and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, a handsome Southerner and his party's most recent vice presidential nominee.
MoveOn.org sponsored a contest for the best 30-second pro-Barack Obama TV commercial. The winner, according to the Associated Press's article, "MoveOn ad features pro-Obama Republican," was an ad starring Air Force veteran John Weiler. The spot includes Mr. Weiler, whose military service is to be commended, saying "I've been a Republican since before I could actually vote." Not only that: "I'm a lifelong Republican and I'm voting for Barack Obama."
I don't know if Mr. Weiler is a lifelong Republican as he claims. I do know that if the Associated Press is accurate in its reporting, he must have been an extraordinary serviceman.
"He served in the Air Force from 1983 to 1989, leaving the service as a master sergeant," according to the AP. Is that not amazing? The Air Force Enlisted Promotions Fact Sheet shows promotion to Master Sergeant (E-7) requires eight years in the service. According to Military.com, "The average service wide active duty time for advancement to the rank of Master Sergeant is 17.06 years."
"Phil Donahue, 'Body of War' battle to get into theaters Former talk show host makes truth his mission, now on other side of the camera"
The headline would have been more accurate had it allowed that Donahue makes his truth his mission. An example of the truth, Donahue-style, included in the Tribune's story: "He's (Donahue) convinced the anti-war tone of his MSNBC talk show, which aired for a little more than six months, contributed to its demise."
The contention that Phil's MSNBC program was dropped unfairly is a popular theme with him. In the November 1, 2006 Fairfield (CT) Citizen News, Donahue is quoted: "We were canceled because of my political posture; my stance against the war. Our ratings entitled us to be nurtured not canceled."
Just needed a little nurturing, heh, Phil? How much nurturing is necessary when a show draws, as Donahue's did on at least one occasion, a puny 0.1 rating, an indicator that only 137,000 households are watching? How much nurturing is required when you're getting clobbered in the ratings by CNN's "Connie Chung Tonight"?
Last evening, Chicago's Fox News at Nine aired the segment "Cardinal George Talks About Pope's Visit to America." Reporter Nancy Pender's interview with Chicago's Cardinal Francis George included video of Pope Benedict XVI touring the United States as Ms. Pender provided the voice-over:
"The Cardinal says the visit reinforced his view of the Pope as a warm, compassionate man, and not the hardline conservative he's reputed to be."
CARDINAL GEORGE: None of us is totally responsible for our reputations, it's what you make of it. So if that's the reputation he had, then it turns out not to be entirely true, because the man I saw during this visit is the man I've known for the last 20 years since being a bishop.
Today's Chicago Tribune carries a frontpage article titled, "Michelle Obama's mission: Show voters humble roots." Mrs. Obama's recollections of how she and her husband not so long ago were deluged with bills and calls from collection agencies have become a major component of the campaign, designed to demonstrate that Senator Barack Obama understands financial difficulties and the folks encountering them. He feels their pain.
A September 12 NewsBusters' item, NYT Misreports Biden-Obama Exchange, detailed a reporting error in the New York Times' coverage of testimony delivered the previous day to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by General David Petraeus and Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker. The news story reported an exchange between Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), both Democratic presidential candidates:
The senators were allowed only seven minutes each for questions, a limit that Mr. Biden, as a committee chairman, tried to enforce. But he did not try overly hard to cut off Mr. Obama, perhaps because he did not want to be seen in the ungentlemanly act of silencing a political rival. “Why don’t you try to summarize quickly what you said, O.K.?” Mr. Biden genially asked him as his time ran out.
Retired steelworker Steve Skvara tugged at the heartstrings of liberals everywhere when he asked Democratic presidential candidates at an August debate sponsored by the AFL-CIO, "What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?" The underlying premise of his question, that something's wrong with this nation because taxpayers aren't picking up the tab for his spouse's health insurance, made him an instant celebrity in certain circles.
Chris Matthews invited Mr. Skvara to his MSNBC Hardball program and told him, "You're a great American to speak so well to the needs of this country." Matthews later fawned, ""Well, can I pay tribute — can I pay tribute to you, sir?" The CBS Evening News described Skvara's query as a time when "a moment of truth breaks through a political campaign event." Since his debut, Mr. Skvara's popped up in the media numerous times, including Oprah Winfrey's show.
In 1960, John F. Kennedy, who had been shocked by the hunger he saw in West Virginia, made the fight against hunger a theme of his presidential campaign. After his election he created the modern food stamp program, which today helps millions of Americans get enough to eat.
But Ronald Reagan thought the issue of hunger in the world’s richest nation was nothing but a big joke. Here’s what Reagan said in his famous 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing,” which made him a national political figure: “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.”
Justice Clarence Thomas settles scores in an angry and vivid forthcoming memoir, scathingly condemning the media, the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court, and the "mob" of liberal elites and activist groups that he says desecrated his life.
The piece later notes that "Thomas has particularly caustic comments about the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination."
He's baack! Steve Skvara, the man who won the hearts and minds of many in the mainstream media by essentially calling for other people to pay for his wife's health insurance will soon be on Oprah Winfrey's talk show.