"Obama Campaign Wages Fight Against Conservative Group's Ads" is the third story from New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg in five days that attacks an anti-Obama ad from the American Issues Project that questions the ties between Obama and homegrown terrorist Bill Ayers, cofounder of the Weathermen, the group that tried to blow up the U.S. Capitol in 1971.
In each story, Rutenberg appears far more worked up about the legality of the ads than in the underlying facts of Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist turned professor of education in Chicago. The first 10 paragraphs of Rutenberg's online filing Wednesday are devoted to the back-and-forth machinations, again questioning the group's funding while suggesting dubious links to the McCain campaign. Rutenberg noted that Obama is striking back with a counter-ad and the threat of legal action to have the ads taken down.
For good measure, Rutenberg took another bite out of the best-selling book "The Obama Nation" (his first one was in a front-page story on August 13).
Did Maureen bury the lede? The ostensible subject of Dowd's column of this morning, Yes, She Can, is the way that Hillary, with a big helping hand from Bill, is undercutting Obama and casting a shadow over his upcoming convention. But tucked down as her 12th paragraph comes this [emphasis added]:
The Clintons know that a lot of Democrats are muttering that their solipsistic behavior is “disgusting.” But they’re too filled with delicious schadenfreude at the wave of buyer’s remorse that has swept the Democratic Party; many Democrats are questioning whether Obama is fighting back hard enough against McCain, and many are wondering, given his inability to open up a lead in a country fed up with Republicans, if race will be an insurmountable factor.
Dowd might be a thorn in many a side, but the New York Times columnist surely has a wealth of well-placed Dem sources. When she blithely states as a fact that a "wave of buyer’s remorse has swept the Democratic Party," is that not some pretty big news?
Despite the years of hype over how money is the root of all campaigning evil by the press, the respected polling organization reports voters' belief that there is a bigger problem in political campaigns: media bias.
Amanda Carpenter has an interesting little blurb over at Townhall.com where she reports on Townhall's catching the Washington Post misidentifying three donors as McCain contributors when, in reality, these donors did not donate to the McCain campaign at all. It seems some due diligence was dropped at the Washington Post, for sure. Good thing the new media was there to correct the story!
In his story headlined "Bundler Collects from Unlikely Sources," the Post's Matthew Mosk thought he had a way to insinuate that McCain was taking campaign donations from some "unlikely" Muslims. Mosk detailed what he thought was the campaign donations from three people, Ibrahim Marabeh, and Nadia and Shawn Abdalla, each with Muslim sounding names, that he claimed donated to the McCain campaign through a campaign "bundler" named Harry Sargeant III -- a bundler being a campaign supporter that goes out and gathers many donations from friends and associates for his candidate of choice.
Mosk apparently thought that Harry Sargeant III was suspicious because he owns an oil-trading company and the three others apparently seemed suspicious merely because of the sound of their names. But at her Townhall blog, Carpenter discovered in short order than none of the four donors in the Washington Post story donated to the McCain campaign at all.
Joe Scarborough has estimated that 95% of the elite media will pull the lever for Barack Obama. Even so, evidence continues to mount that the MSM is beginning to view the Dem candidate with a more discerning eye. The latest example comes from an unexpected corner, that occupied by NBC correspondent Martin Savidge. As NewsBusters has reported, on everything from climate change to Jesse Helms to the Jena Six, Savidge has consistently toed the liberal media line.
But on MSNBC this afternoon, interviewing an Obama supporter, Savidge surprisingly suggested that Obama was "a bit of a liar" on the subject of oil industry donations that he and John McCain have accepted.
It’s not just the thrills racing up and down Chris Matthews’ leg. Writing in Thursday’s Investor’s Business Daily, author William Tate documents that campaign donations from employees of big media companies are tilting 100-to-1 in favor of the Democrats so far this election cycle.
That’s right, 100-to-1.
[UPDATE: FNC's Bret Baier, in the "Grapevine" segment on the Friday, July 25 Special Report with Brit Hume, read an item on the IBD numbers.]
It’s perhaps not a surprise that those working for NBC Universal are the most eager givers to the Democrats, racking up $104,184 in contributions this cycle, compared to just $3,150 to Republican candidates. Maybe more surprising is that those at Fox broadcasting and the Fox News Channel combined to give $41,853 to the Democrats, with no listed donations going to the Republicans. (Only $1,280 was listed as coming from Fox News employees.)
Look for Mika Brzezinski outside the Danish embassy. True, the Danes had nothing to do with the New Yorker's publication of the Obama cover. But what more time-honored locale to protest an irreverent cartoon of a figure adulated with religious fervor?
Mika has condemned the New Yorker cover as "dangerous." Why dangerous? Mika doesn't quite say. But by darkly musing about unspoken perils that derive from the mocking of Obama, she would apparently place irony about her candidate off limits. Mika sounded the alarm on today's Morning Joe.
He ain't triangulating, he's my post-partisan. That's Eugene Robinson's innovative new MSM means of covering for Barack Obama. As Obama sprints toward the center and away from many of the positions that won him the nomination from the liberal Dem base, WaPo columnist Robinson has suggested that the nominee isn't engaging in the kind of cynical "triangulating" that made Bill Clinton famous. No, Obama's just being the post-partisan he really was all along.
Robinson trotted out his theory on last evening's "Race for the White House" on MSNBC in reaction to Obama's announcement, mirabile dictu, that far from junking Pres. Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives—long a target of the secular left—a President Obama would actually expand the program! Sounds like a cynical ploy to some. But not to Robinson . . .
For months, the mainstream media has obsessed with the evils of the "right wing attack machine." Recently, CBS bizarrely labeled attacks on Obama’s campaign financing flip flop "swift boating." ABC’s George Stephanopoulos even defended the Obama campaign’s discrimination against Muslims to "combat the issue" of false rumors that Obama is a Muslim.
While much of the mainstream media frets about the alleged GOP slime machine, they ignore the much larger, more heavily financed true smear machine from the left. The Politico reports that far left blogger John Aravosis, who also humiliates those who do not fit his brand of liberalism, is now attacking McCain’s Vietnam War record (ironically is exactly the outrage directed at the "swift boat" veterans)
The absence of liberal outrage over Barack Obama’s decision to reject public financing for his presidential campaign took a jaw-dropping turn on the hard-left Pacifica Radio network and its show "Democracy Now!" Host Amy Goodman, who regularly welcomes long screeds from Bill Moyers and his fervor about our bought-and-sold elections, welcomed two campaign "reformers" on Monday, and both failed to criticize Obama or his decision. Goodman proclaimed: "I have to say, it’s interesting to hear campaign finance groups be so uncritical of this decision when this is the very issue that, for example, you, John Rauh, have set up your organization around, Americans for Campaign Reform, and particularly around the issue of clean money and elections and cutting down the role money plays in elections."
This raises the question: have liberals been touting campaign finance "reform" out of genuine socialist conviction, or has it all just been a cynical pose that only lasts as long as they perceive conservatives and Republicans will have a campaign fundraising advantage? Where is Bill Moyers on this? He skipped the fire-and-brimstone sermonizing about it on his Bill Moyers Journal last Friday, a day after Obama’s announcement.
In the past when Warren Buffett has spoken out the "super rich" needing to pay a higher tax rate, the media have hung on his every word. But, now that he has spoken out against a windfall profits tax on oil, will they notice?
"I think it is very hard to have windfall taxes," Buffett said. "Steel has doubled in price. Is that a windfall for the steel producers? Sure. Corn is $7 a bushel; soybeans are at $15 a bushel. I don't think any candidate in his right mind with the number of electoral votes in farm states would say you ought to tax farms specially because they are getting a windfall."
PBS's Bonnie Erbe hosts that network's weekly news analysis program, "To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe," is a weekly columnist for Scripps Howard Newspapers, and blogs at USNews.com.
Erbe called for the impeachment of George Bush in February 2006. Anyone looking through her Scripps Howard archive will conclude that she can't possibly be labeled a conservative ideologue -- which is why her take on the attempt by CNN's John Lewis to make it appear as if both the Obama and McCain campaigns are equally hampered by flip-flops is so compelling.
Here's how "A battle of accused political 'flip-flops'," the CNN report at which Erbe takes umbrage, begins:
Days after both men reversed course on major issues, the presidential campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain spent much of Sunday's talk-show circuit working to ensure accusations of "flip-flopping" don't stick.
The Boston Globe published a really weird, yet inadvertently hilarious, editorial in which they claim that because Barack Obama broke his promise to accept public financing of his campaign...that means we need even more campaign finance reform in terms of both more money and legislation. I kid you not. First the obligatory knuckle rap on Obama by the Boston Globe for going back on his word:
SENATOR Barack Obama has presented himself as the candidate of change, but the change he announced yesterday is a throwback to the no-holds-barred rules of campaign finance that prevailed before Watergate. Obama will be the first major party candidate since Watergate to reject public financing in the general election, instead relying on his base of more than 1.5 million donors for a war chest that could easily double or triple the $84.1 he would get in public financing. His decision deals a body blow both to the system of campaign finance and to his own reputation as a reform candidate.
CNN’s senior political correspondent Candy Crowley, during a report on Thursday’s "The Situation Room," must have thought it was a foregone conclusion that Barack Obama would give up on his pledge that he would accept public financing for his presidential campaign. "If you raised more than a quarter billion dollars in the primary season, would you limit yourself to $85 million in the fall campaign? Duh!" While she did point out Obama’s previous statements affirming his dedication to public financing, both she and Wolf Blitzer used subdued language to describe this broken promise, and tried to spin how this might be a potential issue in the campaign.
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann seemed to mock John McCain's military service as he quipped that McCain was "awol" for not showing up for a Senate vote on providing college tuition to American troops, and further accused McCain, whom he called "Senator 'I Support the Troops,'" of "supporting himself instead of the troops." The MSNBC host also mocked McCain as being at the "front lines" of a fund-raiser in California. Notably, just a few weeks ago, Olbermann thought it was amusing to scold Ann Coulter for making a crack about Barack Obama being a "Manchurian candidate" because it might remind people of McCain, even though it was Olbermann, not Coulter, who drew a connection as he observed that the film The Manchurian Candidate was about a "presidential election and an American war hero POW who'd been brainwashed in Southeast Asia." (Video of Olbermann's "Manchurian Candidate" comments can be found here.) (Transcripts follow)
It's not unusual for journalists to attempt to distance themselves from the appearance of political ties, especially when trying not to be perceived as biased. But saying you do and actually doing are two separate things.
U.S. News & World Report Editor-in-Chief and chairman of Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP) Mort Zuckerman was asked about donating money to Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton's fading campaign by Huffington Post blogger and MSNBC "Morning Joe" regular John Ridley on the May 9 "Morning Joe."
"I wish I could make a contribution, but I'm in the world of journalism and I can't, but thank you for the offer," Zuckerman said.
..... and waits until the 30th paragraph of its online story to reveal it.
The feds seem to be closing in on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich -- and at least one Chicago television station seems determined to minimize exposure not only of his party affiliation, but of others who have received tainted campaign contributions.
CHICAGO (CBS) ― In an explosive development reaching to the state's highest office, a former high-ranking state official claimed Tuesday that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was on hand when he presented $25,000 in campaign money to now-indicted fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.
Ali Ata, 56, a former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, said Blagojevich then asked Rezko if he had talked to Ata about a job on the state payroll.
Ata said later, after he made a second $25,000 campaign contribution, Blagojevich again brought up the subject of a job and said it should be one in which Ata "could make some money."
Time magazine is using the fact that the Democrat presidential candidates are currently being forced to raise more money to battle each other as evidence that the Democrats are much better at online campaign fundraising than the Republicans. Political blinders were firmly in place on Time writers Michael Scherer and Jay Newton-Small when they triumphantly put forth their reality-challenged thesis of Why Democrats Rule the Web:
Republicans, who once were far ahead of Democrats in whizbang TV technology, let their party fall behind the nerd curve as Howard Dean and later John Kerry revolutionized and then exploited online fund-raising in 2004. Four years later, the Democrats have widened that gap, using the Internet not only to raise cash but also to organize canvassers and plot get-out-the-vote efforts. Republicans say the Democrats' Web advantage is due to not just greater enthusiasm but also smarter strategies...
As a loyal Clinton campaign email subscriber, rarely a day goes by that I don't hear from Hillary or Bill. It's good to know they're thinking about me. But today brings some very troubling news: Hillary is WAY behind on her fundraising goal for TV airtime in Pennsylvania. [screencap below page break]
I had been torn between door hangers and yard signs, when I decided to check out some of the other options, and . . . YIKES! As you'll see from the image, the budget for TV airtime in Pennsylvania is $2.5 million, but Hillary has raised only $129,947. That works out to only 5.1% of the goal!
The title to this article is exactly how I'd write it if I were a political hack trying to drum up a faux controversy for use by other political hacks in the mainstream media. Which is exactly what Sam Stein of the Huffington Post did on February 12th as he broke out the yellowkid journalistic mold for a fantasy leftist hack attack on John McCain headlined in giant font, McCain Received $100,000 From Firm Of Abramoff Notoriety.
Before I comment further on the idiocy of Stein's assertions it is only fair that I mention that there is nothing in his article that isn't true just as there isn't anything untrue in mine here. Barack Obama did in fact receive over $80,000 from the same firm that Stein tries to hang John McCain with. In addition both John McCain and Barack Obama were eclipsed by the $162,450 amount received by Hillary Clinton from employees of the same jaded firm.
As media digest the recent John McCain sex scandal allegations by the New York Times, one side of the story seems destined to get ignored: one of the four co-authors took money from a liberal activist group to fund a hit piece about Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.) in 2006.
Before becoming an investigative reporter for the Times, Pulitzer Prize winner Marilyn W. Thompson was editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky.
As Howard Kurtz reported in October 2006, Thompson was in the middle of what one might call a pay for play hit piece against that state's leading Republican figure (emphasis added):
The New York Times's John McCain "bombshell" story, hinted at since December, was unloaded on Thursday's front-page -- and promptly fizzled out among conservatives and liberals alike, who dismissed the story from a four-person team as a strained mix of sex innuendo and old news (The Keating Five?).
It's no wonder if you take a look. This story is all hype and no substance:
There has been significant speculation in the MSM that an upshot of the NYT's McCain piece could be to rally support for McCain from conservatives like Rush Limbaugh who heretofore have been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about the Arizona senator.
Typical was this exchange from today's Good Morning America, which followed an appearance by McCain campaign advisor Charlie Black.
I was offered the privilege on Friday of introducing Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana at CPAC, who gave a nice, staunch speech about conservatism and urged John McCain to "embrace the Right and the Right will embrace you." In my introduction, I noted that Brent Bozell said it used to seem like many Republicans on the Hill were conservative leaders when Reagan was president, since they were carrying out Reagan's work. But now, when Republicans are back in the minority and conservatives are discouraged, there might be five people you can identify as conservative leaders on the Hill. You might debate the other four, but nearly everyone nods their head at the mention of Mike Pence. You can see the Pence video at TownHall.
On one of our issues in Medialand -- the reimposition of a "Fairness Doctrine" to clamp down on conservative talk radio -- Pence has been a stalwart. He received several standing ovations, including these lines on freedom of speech:
In ackowledgment of what he says is the Republican Party's counting on "fear and loathing of Hillary Clinton" to bring together Conservatives and Establishment Republicans behind now presumptive Party nominee John McCain (now that Mitt Romney has suspended his effort), Rush Limbaugh this afternoon announced that he is considering raising coin to assist her in her attempt to win the Democratic nomination over Illinois Senator Barack Obama.
One major flash-point in the January 21 Democratic debate was when Hillary Clinton slammed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for ties to Tony Rezko, an indicted real estate developer. Shortly thereafter a photo from the Clinton administration depicting Sen. Clinton with Rezko and her husband came to the fore, and Clinton subsequently denied knowing Rezko.
Fast forward to today and the Associated Press reporting that Hillary Clinton booster L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took campaign contributions from Rezko. The question remains how much the media, outside the Associated Press, will care:
Romney struck first on the day before the winner-take-all Florida primary. He attacked the Arizona senator for his legislation reducing the role of money in politics, for his position on immigration and for his support of an energy bill that Romney said would have driven up consumer costs.
Funny, seems to me political campaigns are flush with cash and that campaign finance has grown, not shrunk, since 2002. What McCain's bill did do, however, was to enact a ban on so-called soft money, as well as institute bans on third-party issue ads airing 60 days prior to a general election. The issue ad ban was overturned in a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, despite McCain's wishes to the contrary:
Every four years, the media try to offer the Republican electorate advice on what the GOP should do to achieve victory. Buyer beware: those eager to accept the media’s conventional "wisdom" ought to recognize that these are blueprints for Republican domination of Washington only if it’s a domination by the party’s liberal wing. Currently, the simmering stew of conventional "wisdom" suggests that Sen. John McCain is going to emerge as the obvious front-runner for 2008 because his is the winning message for Republicans.
All the recurring media love for McCain – he’s the only candidate who can go on Fox News and call journalists "Trotskyites" and the liberals all laugh – should remind conservatives why they distrusted him in 2000. His victory in the South Carolina primary warmed the hearts of liberal journalists everywhere. To represent the media giddiness, see Jill Zuckman in the Chicago Tribune. It was "a healthy dose of poetic justice as he beat his Republican rivals and vanquished the ghosts of his 2000 defeat under a barrage of scurrilous smears."
But all is back to normal now that the dust has cleared. Not only did most of the media gloss over this ever evolving story but nearly all of them took a pass on the Sun Times latest revelation that Barack Obama has surfaced as an "unnamed political candidate" in a federal indictment against Rezko on corruption charges.
Riled! Angry Romney Rips Reporter Sparks fly as Mitt Romney tells reporters lobbyists aren't running his campaign.
According to anyone else who has watched the video, theirs is a difficult assessment with which to agree.
As we stated when we posted the video last night (video below as well), the Associated Press' Glen Johnson angily interrupts Romney on the podium mid-sentence, already visibly flustered, and only proceeds to become more so as he tries to drive home the semantic difference between a campaign "run"ner and a campaign "adviser".