Obama can certainly lose this race. But McCain's going to have to find a better way to win it than by invoking Paris Hilton or by sniping in his most recent ad how "life in the spotlight must be grand but for the rest of us, times are tough."
What's tough for McCain is that despite having had a practice run at the presidency once before, it didn't limber him up, cause him to realize that even the elderly now skillfully navigate the Internet or help him craft a "vision thing."
In the short run, jealous jabs at Obama for having too much face time on the covers of Rolling Stone and GQ may appear to close the gap in national polls. But the aggregation of images -- Obama in Germany, Obama with his cute girls and beautiful wife, Obama visiting his grandmother in Hawaii -- is by dribs and drabs helping America feel familiar with him, visualize him on foreign soil, and see him, perhaps, as both human and presidential.
In some ways the tightening numbers work for Obama, not against him.
The Chicago Sun-Times today includes Mary Mitchell's column, "We can deny it, but race slithers into campaign." The subheadline reads "Obama, his campaign trying to transcend it -- but can't." The article makes a startling assertion about Senator Barack Obama:
Obama tries to avoid talking about race, as do his surrogates, staffers and supporters.
In her August 4 blog post -- "Energy fueling Monday's agenda. Obama, 47 today, acts, McCain reacts" -- Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet glossed over a ludicrous statement by Sen. Barack Obama wherein the presumptive Democratic nominee suggested that properly inflating tires would eliminate the need to drill for more domestic oil.
Sweet noted that Republicans are :
[P]laying defense, because talking about oil prices is the Obama team agenda--are offering tire gauges to reporters, mocking Obama for suggesting that people keep their tires inflated properly in order to save gas.
But the Illinois senator didn't just echo some public service announcment about how properly inflated tires improve fuel economy. What Obama critics are making light of is this recent comment from last week where he suggested it does much, much more. It would eliminate our need to drill for more oil (emphasis mine):
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:
Check out the promotional ad for Lynn Sweet's reporting from Obama's Mideast tour, as captured from the Chicago Sun-Times Web page today. The caption reads "Lynn Sweet Aboard O-Force One! Get up-to-the-minute updates from Barack Obama's World Tour."
With the media's history of Obamagasms, wouldn't the Mile High Club be a better comparison to draw?
In her July 15 column, "'Tasteless cover,' fascinating story," Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet lamented that the fuss over the New Yorker's satirical Obama cover art sucks all the oxygen out of the political newsroom. As such, it leaves almost incombustible the otherwise potentially explosive reporting by reporter Ryan Lizza, who penned the New Yorker cover feature (emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON -- The shame of the controversy over the cover of the latest edition of the New Yorker -- portraying Barack and Michelle Obama in the Oval Office, her wielding an AK-47, him in a turban and robe outfit suggesting he is a Muslim -- is that it draws attention away from a very good story inside by Ryan Lizza about Obama's Chicago political roots.
The cover hides an in-depth story about Obama's political roots, taking us to Hyde Park, the Gold Coast and Springfield. Lizza brings us inside Obama's Chicago political world and the political culture that spawned the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The July 11 Second Amendment Freedom Rally in downtown Chicago was ignored by both of Chicago's major newspapers (Tribune search on "gun rally," not in quotes, is here [HT Say Uncle]; Sun-Times search on "gun" is here).
Focusing on the Tribune: Its editorial board last month advocated repealing the Second Amendment in the wake of the Supreme Court's Heller ruling, holding that the amendment confers an individual right. Perhaps not coincidentally, it has frequently covered anti-gun events with a similar number, or even fewer, participants, than were at Thursday's event.
At least one Chicago TV station did cover the Second Amendment Freedom Rally. Here is part of the report filed by Leah Hope at ABC affiliate WLS (video is also at the link; bold is mine):
Did you know that violent white men are never arrested for their actions? The Chicago Sun-Times' Mary Mitchell is sure of it, if you aren't. In another of her typically race baiting articles, Mitchell this time says that any time a white man is engaged in violent behavior, he is let off "to go on his merry way," never to be "held accountable" for his actions. Race monger Mitchell is sure of this, see, because she saw a traffic scuffle between two "old white guys" where no arrests were made by Chicago police.
Two "old white guys" let go without arrest after a traffic altercation? Wow, case closed, racism exists, eh?
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.'"
With more fallout from the Supreme Court's latest 2nd Amendment ruling, the Chicago Sun-Times has published an op ed wagging a finger at the Supremes saying that the Heller decision will be a "tax on Chicago citizens," and that it is a tax to be "paid in blood and money." The Times scolds the Court with all sorts of dire warnings and worries that blood will flow in the city but, as with D.C., the violence in Chicago with its extreme gun ban often causes the city to top the lists of the most violent cities in America. So, why the Sun-Times imagines the current 25-year-old gun ban is worth keeping is anyone's guess.
The Sun-Times, though, is filled with woe at the Heller decision and offers the downright stupid solution of more gun banning despite the singular fact that their "solution" has miserably failed in every city it has been tried -- including the very one they claim to care about. Not to mention that the Times seems to have no clue about the Constitution nor any respect for the citizenry of that same city.
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.
Apparently, the Chicago media have decided that the meme for the 2008 general election is going to be that anyone who doesn't vote for Barack Obama is a racist because this is the second editorial (that I've seen, anyway) in Chicago stating such a theory. Last week the Daily Herald voiced the assumption and this week it's the Sun-Times with the volatile Andrew Greeley taking up the cause of ridding the world of racism one Obama vote at a time.
Beginning with some meaningless banter where he throws around the names of a few Greek philosophers to sound erudite, Greeley then voices the fear that if Obama loses in November it might prove we are a racist country. "Sen. Barack Obama's victory, we are told by the cheering sections,"Greeley writes, "was a great victory for the American dream. Racism may well be in retreat... What if Obama is defeated? The whole world and most African Americans will scream 'racism!'" Greeley follows that with enough evidence for us to realize that he believes that the charge would be justified. He informs us that any vote against Obama has been thus far based on "bigotry," "racism," etc.
Leave it to Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times to get her kufi in a twist over the decision by Northwestern University to withdraw the honorary degree they had intended to bestow upon Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's racist "spiritual mentor."
In the sort of backwards logic of a woeful Black victim mentality -- Mitchell’s specialty -- Mitchell is claiming that the decision to rescind the racist Rev's honorary degree is an illegitimate one because the decision was made in March "before his image and words exploded on YouTube and became a headache for Barack Obama." Mitchell acts as if Wright's outrageous hate-speak was born fully-grown out of nowhere when he burst onto the national scene in March. But it was all rather well known in Illinois long before that.
As of 11:05 p.m. EDT I found quite different play among some major newspaper Web sites regarding the verdict handed down by a Chicago jury against former Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko today. Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times gave prominent play to the story on their Web sites, and the Los Angeles Times similarly teased the story on its front page, four headlines down the left-hand column. But the New York Times downplayed the story while the Washington Post failed to tease it at all on the Web site's front page.
"Ex-Obama Fund-Raiser Is Convicted of Fraud" read a teaser headline under the "More News" menu on the NY Times Web page, about a quarter of the way down the page. A search through the Washington Post's online edition -- looking for keywords "Obama" "Rezko" and "Blagojevich" -- found no links to articles regarding Rezko's conviction, however.
News Flash!: Liberal politician decries price gouging, vows to use government to fix problem, mugs for cameras to hog credit.
Oh wait, that's not really news at all. Unless you work for the Chicago Sun-Times.
The online edition of the paper gave Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin a virtual press release with a 9-paragraph story by reporter Maureen O'Donnell. Here's an excerpt:
The Second City has become first in the nation for high gas prices, with consumers struggling as oil company profits soar, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday.
"We've got to stop the price-gouging,'' Durbin said.
He took credit for a new Federal Trade Commission probe into record fuel prices as he spoke before a BP station at Roosevelt and Wabash with regular gas selling for $4.25.
At no point did O'Donnell mention that previous FTC studies on price gouging have given liberals little if any ammo on the price gouging charge. Perhaps most notable among them the spring 2006 FTC study conducted to probe if there was price-fixing after Hurricane Katrina (available here as PDF).
We can all painfully recall when back in 1998 New Yorker columnist Toni Morrison obsequiously called Bill Clinton our "first black president," can't we? I suppose it isn't surprising that Morrison is now supporting Barack Obama since she is all about race, of course. It should be noted Obama is a tad blacker than Bill Clinton so the race mongers of the left are finally streaming to him after a slow start. Yes, the racemongers are a block sewn up by the Obama campaign at last. But this leaves the identity politics folks with a problem. What of the purported but fading "first woman president," Hillary Clinton? Well, the Chicago Sun-Times is here to help us out with that, pulling a Morrison by calling Barack Obama "our first woman president."
Sadly, columnist Carol Marin, a reporter with a reputation in Chicago of being a real reporter (in other words, one that reports, not one that emotes), unleashed the latest of the many absurdly adulatory honorariums bestowed upon Barack Obama by the pliant and sycophantic media. Sadly, Marin's reputation may take a hit for this foolishness of calling Obama "our first woman president."
Old Media business reporters have a definitionally-incorrect habit of labeling single industries or economic sectors as being "in recession," when the term, as defined here, can only describe national economies or the world economy. Two examples of this are New York Times reporter David Leonhardt's description of manufacturing as being in recession in February 2007 (laughably incorrect, in any event), and the Times's employment of the term "housing recession" 25 times since October 2006, as seen in this Times search (with the phrase in quotes).
But if I wanted to be consistent with this routine form of journalistic malpractice, I would characterize the newspaper business -- at least in terms of the top 25 in the industry's food chain -- not as being in recession, but instead as going through a deep, dark, painful, protracted depression.
Four men that greased the wheels of the Daley machine in Chicago had their federal convictions upheld by an appeals judge, the Chicago Sun-Times noted in an April 16 article. Yet although Daley is a lifelong Democrat and the Democrats run Chicago lock, stock, and barrel, the Sun-Times failed to even casually mention either Daley's or Gov. Blagojevich's Democratic bona fides.
The federal appellate court in Chicago Tuesday upheld the conviction of four men charged with running the patronage hiring system in Mayor Daley's City Hall.
The ruling sent waves of angst through City Hall, Gov. Blagojevich's office and other government offices where some had hoped the court would find the age-old practice of giving plum government jobs to cronies was legal.
The former Daley aides -- Robert Sorich, Tim McCarthy, John Sullivan and Patrick Slattery -- were convicted of mail fraud:
This morning, I noted at BizzyBlog that during a Saturday eulogy for a former appellate judge, Mr. R. Eugene Pincham, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, "former" pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ and acknowledged mentor of presidential candidate Barack Obama, characterized Fox News as "Fix News." This criticism was, of course meant to be derogatory.
I suggested (fifth item at link) that the "Fix News" name is really a good one:
I like the “Fix News” nickname, because Fox does fix and repair a lot of what Old Media misreports and distorts.
Little did I know at the time that Old Media coverage of Wright's eulogy sermonizing would become proof of that.
The audio of Wright's Saturday sermon can be downloaded at the web page containing Art Golab's coverage at the Chicago Sun-Times (see first item under "Related Stories"). At roughly the 9:30 mark of its 25-plus minutes, Wright says:
Jefferson had intelligence, but he also had babies by a 15 year-old slave girl. (I) think the judges call that pedophilia.
On April 2nd, the Chicago Sun-Times' Andrew Greeley accused anyone who isn't a Barack Obama fan of having a "sick mind." This takes political name calling to its worst level thus far in the campaign. Sadly -- but all too typically -- the sort of uncivil ignorance displayed by Greeley is exactly the kind we always see from liberals who want to shut down debate by an out of hand branding of their political opponents as bad people, not just people who have a difference of opinion. To hatemongers such as Greeley, conservatives aren't just wrong, they are evil and now he's decided that anyone who doubts Obama is mentally ill.
Greeley attacked conservative columnist Thomas Sowell, who Greeley claims has a "very clever" sick mind, as well as several others, some by name and others by inference. Greeley claimed that Sowell indulged in "hate" for Senator Obama in his columns. Naturally, Greeley doesn't give us any examples of "hate" for Obama, he merely states it outright as if it were axiomatic. In fact, he ascribes the emotion of "hate" as a result of a "sick mind" to several columns he alludes to but his only examples discuss interpretations of Obama's motivations and actions described by conservatives without any hateful rhetoric involved.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's (D-Ill.) name has cropped up quite a few times in the ongoing trial of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) benefactor Tony Rezko. Yet in their latest coverage, both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times left out Blagojevich's party affiliation. The Sun-Times, however, did take note of the Republican party affiliation of another politico caught up in the maelstrom, William Cellini (see screencap at right, photos via AP/Sun-Times).
The caption for a photo montage accompanying the April 3 article "Levine: Blagojevich knew", reads, "Clockwise from left: Gov. Rod Blagojevich; Tony Rezko; Stuart Levine;Chicago businessman-turned-Hollywood producer Tom Rosenberg; longtime Illinois Republican Party power William Cellini."
Tribune staffers Bob Secter and Jeff Coen also covered the development in a story filed shortly after midnight Eastern time on April 3.
The Chicago Sun-Times really pulled a whopper in their March 26th piece about a tax on bottled water that the Chicago City Council passed earlier this year. Chicago levied a 5 cent a bottle tax on each unit of bottled water sold in the city expecting to raise $875,000 a month on the tax. But somehow this windfall to the city has yet to be realized with the tax booty so far only amounting to $554,000. Because of this "below expected" revenue the Sun-Times claimed that this shortfall is "exacerbating a budget crunch" for the city.
I'm sorry Sun-Times but a tax shortfall isn't "exacerbating a budget crunch." The city itself is doing the "exacerbating" not the taxpayers. The City Council created a never before heard of tax and then spent the money it assumed it'd get. But then it didn't get it. How can we blame the taxpayers who avoided the tax -- legally avoided it, I might add -- for any "budget crunch"? The budget crunch is the fault of wild spending by the Chicago City Council, not by the taxpayers not being bled enough.
Some Windy City restaurateurs are kicking bottled water to the curb all in the name, they say, of saving the planet, much to the delight of the Chicago Sun-Times. But it seems to me reporter Rummana Hussain may have washed over a juicier angle by burying a key fact eight paragraphs into her nine-paragraph March 27 article.:
Revenues from Chicago's new nickel-a-container bottled water tax are coming in at a rate nearly 40 percent below projections.
Could it be that the new water bottle tax adds yet another paperwork and accounting hassle for restaurant owners, some of whom would just as soon ditch bottled water than deal with the headache of complying with the law? Hussain didn't consider that angle, accepting on face value that restaurants are ditching bottled water purely out of concern for the environment.
The rantings of Barack Obama's pastor sound strange to most Americans, Christian or non-Christian, black or white. Yet to some in the media, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's preaching is in the "mainstream" of Christian doctrine.
Take the Chicago Sun-Times's David Roeder, reporting on Trinity United Church of Christ's (TUCC) Easter Sunday service:
Theirs is a mainstream Christian theology, but shaped by oppression that they feel yields a connection to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. It's a church they said most Americans could embrace if they only got beyond media sound bites.
Roeder noted that TUCC, as it proudly declares on its Web site, is "Unshamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian." The TUCC Web site also celebrates the church's identity as "an African people" that "remain[s] 'true to our native land,' the mother continent, the cradle of civilization."
Now, of course, there's a wide array of debate among "mainstream" Christians over varying points of Christian doctrine, both between and within denominations, but the notion of ethnocentric identity within the church itself is alien to the preaching and teaching with which most American Christians, black or white, would be familiar:
The liberal media has a simple policy about the religion of candidates. Democratic front-runners are "devout Christians," whether they go to church or not, since liberalism and the Lord’s work are pretty much the same thing. Republicans are the ones whose religious beliefs and associations are approached with fear and loathing.
Take one recent eruption from Obama about so-called gay marriage, as reported by CNSNews.com. "If people find that controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans." The scowling echo in that phrase disturbed many, that a Christian would say this piece of the Bible is true, and that other line of God’s word is obscure and worth ignoring. Is Obama trying to assemble today’s version of Thomas Jefferson’s bible, cutting out only the passages that display the Jesus he believes in, and shredding the rest?
You seriously have to question why the mainstream media feels compelled to hire activists to pose as reporters in their precious newspapers.
I contemplated taking the higher road in this article and setting emotion aside. But I feel compelled to call it like it is. Why should I or anyone else sit idly by while feckless reporters such as Abdon M. Pallash of the Chicago Sun Times use the power of an irresponsible press to push their one sided agenda as if it was news?
Here's how I see it. Vice President Cheney visited the Great Lakes Naval base last night to give a graduation speech to 4000 sailors who have decided that they wanted to be part of the greatest military in the world despite the fanatical antics of anti-war Berkeley types and their supporters in the press. Given that American soldiers have repeatedly been branded by the mainstream media in the false context of cold blooded killers, who are depressed and too stupid to get a real job you would imagine that these recruits decided the press was full of it and that a military career was the path they wanted to take anyway.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell has proven that skin color is deeper than hate in her Sunday column as she scolded Barack Obama for distancing himself from the endorsement of the racist Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan. Mitchell scoffed at Barack's denouncement of Farrakhan as merely a "game" to placate racist white people and tried to pump up the legitimacy of Farrakhan at the same time. Shockingly Mitchell excused every hateful thing ever said by Farrakhan and said that Barack should have "found a way" to accept Farrakhan's endorsement "without denigrating Farrakhan's legacy."
Mitchell scolded Barack Obama because he tried to make sure that voters don't think that he, Barack, supports the sort of racism evinced in the past by Louis Farrakhan. Saying that, "most black people understand the game," Mitchell seems to feel that the only reason Obama eschewed Farrakhan’s praise is because all those racist whites would pillory Barack for accepting such an endorsement and so, she feels, he had to trash Farrakhan. Sadly for Mitchell, Farrakhan is a worthy representative of the black community and she feels that Obama is somehow being an apostate to that community for dumping on Farrakhan.
In a July 12th NewsBusters article I noted that the Chicago Sun-Times made a move to revitalize their diminishing subscription numbers by turning back time and returning to its liberal roots. That sentiment was captured by Cheryl L. Reed in a statement she made after being promoted from the paper's book editor to the new editorial page editor.
We are returning to our liberal, working-class roots, a position that pits us squarely opposite the Chicago Tribune -- that Republican, George Bush-touting paper over on moneyed Michigan Avenue. We're rethinking our stance on several issues, including the most pressing issue facing Americans today: Bush's war in Iraq.