Lawrence O'Donnell Takes Conservative Boston Herald's Side Over Obama's
If you looked out your window at roughly 8:50 Wednesday evening, you may have seen pigs flying.
At that moment, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell was actually taking the side of a conservative newspaper in a dispute with - wait for it - President Obama (video follows with transcript and commentary):
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: In "The Rewrite" tonight, Boston’s conservative-leaning newspaper the Boston Herald is accusing the White House of playing favorites with the local media. The President is in Boston for fund-raising events today and tonight and the Herald says its reporters were not given full access because of an op-ed written by Mitt Romney that the Herald published on its front page back in March. That op-ed entitled “Obama Misery Index hits a Record High” ran on the same day President Obama was in Boston for a previous fund-raiser.
For more details on this matter, please see "White House Threatens Boston Herald's Press Access for Not Being Favorable Enough to Obama." But I digress:
O'DONNELL: The Herald says it made a request to send a pool reporter to today’s events. Pool reporters provide information to the rest of the media when there's limited access at a press event. The Herald said in turning down their request, White House spokesman Matt Lehrich mentioned the Romney op-ed from the last time President Obama was in town. Lehrich’s email to the Herald said in broken English, “I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters.” Good luck trying to diagram that sentence. “My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting President of the United States to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President's visits.”
Okay, White House, let's get something straight here: The Boston Herald is not unbiased. Let's get something else straight: The Boston Globe is not unbiased. The New York Times is not unbiased. The Washington Post is not unbiased. There are now maybe no more than ten cities left in America that have more than one newspaper. Boston is one of those lucky cities. The Boston Globe, the dominant paper in the region, likes you guys in the Obama White House. The Boston Herald doesn't like you. Get used to it. And understand that the Herald can do you no harm. You won Massachusetts by nearly 26 points. You are going to win Massachusetts again no matter what the Herald says about you. If the Herald had the power to change minds in Massachusetts, John Kerry would not be a senator and Deval Patrick would not be a governor.
The faithful adherents to the Herald's view of politics did not vote for Barack Obama and will not vote for Barack Obama, but they deserve to read firsthand accounts of Obama events as seen through the biased eyes of Boston Herald reporters and editors.
And if you think Mitt Romney’s Herald front page op-ed was a little tough on President Obama, you got to read the Herald more often. You should have seen what they used to do to Teddy Kennedy day in and day out. Senator Kennedy didn't like the Herald, but he didn't try to hide from it. He knew the Herald had a job to do and they were going to do a job on him. Teddy was always tough enough and good-natured enough to take it. He joked with me many times about Herald stories that hit him hard.
The headline for Mitt Romney’s piece about president Obama was "Why He's Failing and How to Get it Right." If that's the worst headline Barack Obama gets in the Boston Herald, he will be very, very lucky. When Senator Kennedy made the mistake of causing trouble for the Herald by simply trying to enforce an FCC rule against the same ownership of a broadcast station and a newspaper in the same city, the Herald put its star columnist Howie Carr on the front page where Howie Carr began his column with the glaring headline "Was it Something I Said Fat Boy?"
Now, in fairness to O'Donnell, he was born and raised in Boston and obviously has a deep affection as well as knowledge of his hometown.
But taking the Herald's side over Obama?
Makes you want to go out and buy a bunch of lottery tickets, doesn't it?