The left-wing blogosphere's outrage against ABC ["Boycott Fig Newtons!"] over its allegedly unfair questioning of Obama during Wednesday's debate has seeped over into the MSM in the form of Derrick Z. Jackson's Boston Globe column of this morning. While the headline moots the matter in the interrogative "Tough questions or just plain bias?", there's no doubt as to the answer in Jackson's mind. Just two paragraphs in, the columnist unleashes [emphasis added]:
In some 1,600 words of transcript, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos tried to eviscerate Obama in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
So the perfidious ABC pair was trying to gut Barack Obama. Why? The closest Z comes to explaining is his assertion that Stephanopoulos failed to question Hillary Clinton as closely because he "was once a senior policy adviser to Clinton's husband." What's that? Pro-Dem bias in the MSM? Derrick, we could have a place for you at NewsBusters!
Jackson never did get around to explaining why Charles Gibson would want to field-dress Obama.
The essence of Jackson's beef is what he sees as a double-standard. Obama was hit with hard questions about Rev. Wright, but the media largely gave Republicans past a pass on their attempts to ingratiate themselves with Bob Jones and his university. Prediction: come the general, we'll be hearing lots of questions aimed McCain's way about his affiliations with the Reverends John Hagee and Rod Parsley.
Jackson ends thusly:
Obama instead is asked by the moderators to hand them either his former minister's head, or his own. Does your minister love America as much as you?
Answer no, he disowns the man who officiated his marriage and baptized his children, diminishing the very complexities he spoke about in his speech on race. Answer yes, Obama destroys his campaign.
Well, guess what? Sometimes there aren't any good answers. But shouldn't the kinds of questions for which no simple response exists be precisely the ones a conscientious moderator should ask?