The Chicago Tribune is so enamored with President-elect and hometown hero Barack Obama that it's featuring a photo gallery devoted to "White House romance" directly below its Web page masthead (see screencap at right).
The 28-image gallery features four photographs of the first couple-to-be including Barack and Michelle "shar[ing] a tender moment at the Election Night rally" and another of them leaving "Spaggia restaurant after dinner, the day after winning the election."
To be fair, Tribune editors did include photos of other first couples going all the way back to the Trumans. Even so, Trib editors sought fit to include two photos from the 2000 Democratic Convention of Al and Tipper Gore, including the infamous on-stage kiss between the then-vice president and his wife.
In the wake of the election of the Historic Obama, as reporters are pressed by their editors to perhaps consider that large 47.3 percent of the electorate that didn’t vote for History, out comes the idea of conservatives gripped by white-man panic, with stories soaked in sociologists tagging gun owners with a "deep-seated fear of the armed black man," exacting "retribution for the very deep-seated legacy of slavery."
My friend Cam Edwards tipped me to this story in Wednesday's Chicago Tribune, headlined "Obama win triggers run on guns: Buyers said to fear crackdown on their rights, civil unrest." Reporting from Houston, deep in red-state rage, Howard Witt wrote the election if causing a run on gun stores for guns and ammo:
Some say they are worried that the incoming Obama administration will attempt to reimpose the ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004. Others fear the loss of their right to own handguns. A few say they are preparing to protect themselves in the event of a race war.
In a new afterword to his memoir, 1960s radical William Ayers describes himself as a "family friend" of President-elect Barack Obama and writes that the campaign controversy over their relationship was an effort by Obama's political enemies to "deepen a dishonest narrative" about the candidate.
In response to Chris Matthews' claim that his job is to make the Barack Obama presidency a success, the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief Doyle McManus suggested the MSNBC host needs to see a neurologist.
Although I agree that Matthews clearly has a fixation that needs attention, I'm not sure it's physiological rather than purely psychological.
Regardless of the cause, the symptom was the source of discussion on Sunday's "Reliable Sources":
Studs Terkel, author and broadcaster, died on Halloween. Barack Obama observed: "Studs was not just a Chicago institution, he was a national treasure. His writings, broadcasts, and interviews shed light on what it meant to be an American in the 20th century." Obama highly praised Terkel when he was alive, declaring him " not just a national treasure - he's one of Chicago's treasures."
Terkel's politics were liberal, vintage FDR. He would never forget the many New Deal programs from the Great Depression and worried that the country suffered from "a national Alzheimer's disease" that made government the perceived enemy.
If you needed any more evidence that the media meme regarding Sarah Palin not being qualified for vice president is nothing but liberal propaganda from America's Obama-loving press you got it on Sunday's "The Chris Matthews Show."
After the panel of New York magazine's John Heilemann, the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page unanimously concluded that Palin was a horrible choice as John McCain's runningmate due to her lack of qualifications, they all agreed that she will be a serious candidate for president in 2012 if Obama wins this November.
Interesting hypocrisy, wouldn't you agree?
Readers are strongly encouraged to strap themselves in before proceeding to the following partial transcript of this astonishingly revealing segment (video embedded upper-right):
Who you choose to surround yourself with makes you what you are and we already know Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's associations with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko and William Ayers.
Chicago Tribune staff writer Rex Huppke has solicited the expertise of communist party leaders to defend Barack Obama from the fallout of the now famous answer he supplied to a man referred to as Joe the Plumber.
In an article with the misleading headline "Socialists: Obama No Socialist" Huppke applied some painstaking logic to reach his conclusion that Barack Obama can not be a socialist if avowed communists will not state that he is.
Local communists, rarely tapped as campaign pundits, say Sen. Barack Obama and his policies stand far afield from any form of socialism they know.
John Bachtell, the Illinois organizer for Communist Party USA, sees attempts by Sen. John McCain's campaign to label Obama a socialist as both offensive to socialists and a desperate ploy to tap into fears of voters who haven't forgotten their Cold War rhetoric.
“The Chicago Tribune did something today it had never done before -- it had not endorsed a Democrat for President, not even Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson in his two runs,” CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric touted Friday night before heralding the endorsement of the candidate from the paper's circulation area: “But today, the Trib endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama. It said he's better suited than John McCain to restore a quote, 'common sense of national purpose.'”
The endorsement editorial posted Friday afternoon, but presumably to appear in Sunday's newspaper, acknowledged the paper's admiration for the hometown Senator is nothing new: “On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign. We wrote that he would celebrate our common values instead of exaggerate our differences. We said he would raise the tone of the campaign. We said his intellectual depth would sharpen the policy debate. In the ensuing 22 months he has done just that.”
The dead tree media, the dinosaur media, the Old Media has spoken. It's officially worse than ever! The Chicago Tribune has pronounced political discourse worse than ever before and it's all because of that "obnoxious" Internet. So, you folks reading this should know that the Trib blames these rancorous times on you. Of course, what the Trib and its "experts" suffer from is My-Lifeitis, that well known sickness that afflicts those that imagine that today is worse than it's ever been, that only in their lifetimes have things become so bad. In other words, they are historically illiterate.
Now, before I get into the Trib's somewhat blinkered analysis of today's political climate -- or as the Tribune prosaically says, the "more polarized political environment" -- I have to ask one thing of the Trib: Are you guys just now noticing that the Internet tends to stir the pot? Where have you been the last ten years?
The Tribune notes that the door or William Ayers is decorated with pictures of celebrated cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and murderous Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. These pictures alone contradict the narrative that William Ayers is somehow a repentant former radical:
On August 27, 1996, in the midst of that year's Democratic National Convention in the Windy City, the Chicago Tribune had interesting news (posted in full at my web host for fair use and discussion purposes) about what was then a new Internet initiative.
That Tribune story serves to confirm why the distancing from and supposed ignorance of the past activities of William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn by presidential candidate Barack Obama and other members of the Democratic Party ring very hollow.
James Coates's Tribune piece begins with an all-too-typical whitewash of the pair's violent past. But what's revealing is what Ayers and Dohrn were involved with, and who else was involved with them (bolds are mine):
Bernardine Dohrn and William Ayers took to the streets 28 years ago to protest what they considered the injustices in the world, especially the war in Vietnam.
The former leaders of the Weather Underground still are fighting injustice, but--adapting to the changing landscape of American politics--their current arena is the World Wide Web.
Liberal Chicago Tribune columnist and blogger Eric Zorn argued today that while Bill Ayers violent past must be condemned, it is improper to label him as a domestic terrorist (emphases mine):
My view is that one can unequivocally condemn the campaign of destruction and bomb-setting waged by the Weather Underground and still ask whether "terrorism" is or was the right word to describe that form of violent guerrilla protest.
To me, a terrorist is one who attempts to create malleable fear in a population through random acts of mayhem; someone who uses his own amoral unpredictability to magnify the power he is attempting to exert in an effort to create change.
In a rapid fire display of flip-flopping that would make even the staunchest of liberals proud, Newsweek's Howard Fineman manages to change his opinion on the justification of an Obama-Lincoln connection three times in just under 900 words.
The random logic is hard to see through all the gooeyness behind the concept of such a ridiculous comparison in the first place, but once you wipe the screen, you'll be able to spot it clear as day.
Fineman starts by asking himself a few questions:
Is there any reason, other than the lean frame and knack for giving good speeches, to compare the two men? Is there any reason to see in Obama a Lincoln-like ability to unite a "house divided" in our perilous times? Is that even a fair question to ask or comparison to make?
While most of us would scoff at the notion, Fineman concludes otherwise:
"Does Palin have explaining to do," Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear asked in her post-vice presidential debate blog post. Here's how Brachear opened her October 3 entry at her "The Seeker" blog:
Pentecostals have called on the mainstream media to stop mocking their sister Sarah Palin. But when will the Republican vice-presidential candidate answer the questions that swirl every time a new church video surfaces on YouTube? Was Thursday's prime time debate yet another missed opportunity?
By contrast, a review of Brachear's blog entries dealing with Sen. Obama's controversial former pastor,Rev. Jeremiah Wright, show Brachear did not have similar concerns with Obama's relationship with Wright. Indeed, back in June, Brachear asked, "Can a candidate worship in peace?" The Trib staffer was referring to the fact that Obama was leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, blaming media scrutiny for ruining the worship experience for himself and his fellow parishioners:
Reporting on a decision by LifeWay Christian Stores to not promote a magazine whose cover story lauded female pastors, Chicago Tribune religion reporter Manya Brachear stacked the deck against the Christian bookseller, failing to speak to a staffer there for an explanation of a policy decision on a magazine the stores carry on their shelves. Yet if she had done her homework, Brachear may have found ample reason that the book store may have had to suspect the editorial judgment and theological conviction of the magazine in question.
In her September 25 post, "Gospel magazine too risque for rack," Brachear found room to quote the publisher of Gospel Today magazine and a female pastor featured in its September/October 2008 issue. Brachear snarked that the decision by Lifeway to put the magazine behind the counter was much like what convenience stores do to racy magazines:
Rev. Kimberly Ray never thought she'd be on the cover of a magazine considered too risque for the racks. But this month, Ray , the head of Angie Ray Ministries and Church on the Rock in Matteson, joined four other female pastors on the cover of Gospel Today magazine.
Because the article broke Southern Baptist rules about women in the pulpit, Lifeway Christian Bookstores, a chain run by the Southern Baptist Convention, pulled its glossy pages from the shelves and tucked it behind the counter where 7-Elevens normally stash Playboy and Penthouse.
Chicago Tribune correspondent, Howard Witt, seems to have found the villain to blame in case Barack Obama loses in November: elderly prejudiced white people. However, such "prejudice" is not their fault, Witt "generously" allows, since they suffer from atrophied frontal brain lobes. Witt's article claims that such people will be more likely to vote against Obama due to the prejudice induced by these diseased frontal lobes (emphasis mine):
Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to suggest Mike Barnicle's nearly as deep in the tank for Obama as Chris Matthews, for whom he subbed for on tonight's Hardball. Mike's actually refreshingly down-the-middle compared to the regular host.
Still, when at the very end of this evening's show Mike asked a question of Jill Zuckman, the Chicago Tribune reporter on the Palin beat, wondering [hoping?] whether the wild enthusiasm for Sarah has run its course, he got an answer that I don't quite think he was expecting.
As we move into week three of the Sarah Palin era, it has become clear that one of the media's attacks on her has involved convincing the public that John McCain -- due to age and illness -- will likely die while in office thereby putting her in charge of the White House.
As such, her qualifications must be greater than those of the normal vice presidential candidate.
The Chicago Tribune nicely debunked this scare tactic Sunday by -- heaven forbid -- actually addressing the facts involved in age and mortality in the year 2008 (emphasis added):
The media and the Obama campaign (but I repeat myself) are comparing the "experience" of'the Democrats' presidential nominee to that of the GOP's vice-presidential pick -- meaning, one must assume, that the debate over his experience vs. John McCain's is over, in McCain's resounding favor.
Let's look back a couple of months at a post I put up on July 14 (with minor revisions) that gives a, uh, concrete example of one of Barack Obama's management "experiences" -- one that the national media has (of course) totally ignored.
Rep. Charles Rangel paid no mortgage interest on a beach resort property for more than 10 years, a lawyer for the powerful House committee chairman said Friday.
The New York congressman's lawyer, Lanny Davis, told The Associated Press that Rangel got his no-interest deal for the villa in the Dominican Republic because he was an original buyer in the resort development, and in the early days after the purchase the rental income failed to meet expectations.
Not mentioned is that the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which Rangels chairs, writes tax laws. You know, laws like paying taxes on rental income. Additionally, Rangel's political party is not identified, no doubt merely an inadvertent lapse in reportage.
Guess we're really going to have to put on our thinking caps to figure out to which party Charlie belongs. Think, think, think. What, you already know?
JUNEAU, Alaska — When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sought to illustrate her frugality and flair to delegates at the GOP convention Wednesday, she described how she disposed of a corporate jet acquired by her unpopular predecessor.
"That luxury jet was over the top," Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, said to loud cheers. "I put it on eBay."
Palin's statement implied the plane was sold through the online auction site revered for empowering millions of small entrepreneurs, and Palin's spokeswoman insisted Thursday that the transaction occurred. But the plane failed to sell on eBay.
Instead, the 23-year-old 10-seat Westwind II was sold in August 2007 for $2.1 million to a Valdez, Alaska, entrepreneur; that's about $300,000 less than a broker's asking price, according to news accounts.
Mainstream media complicity to destroy the candidacy of Sarah Palin is obvious. Numerous instances have been cited here at NewsBusters, some outrageously blatant. Slightly more subtle bias was evident in today's print edition of the Chicago Tribune. Nine letters to the editor were printed; eight of them were overtly anti-Palin and/or anti-Republican. The remaining letter was a plea for "the birth control education and access" that kids "so obviously need."
A few opinions expressed in today's "Voice of the People:"
Say what you want about the mainstream media, but one point is indisputable: They're a tenacious lot. So they're not going to let Hurricane Gustav dampen efforts to advance the Democratic presidential ticket.
With Sen. John McCain plans to run a positive ad tonight congratulating his Senate colleague Barack Obama on winning the Democratic nomination, Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva took the chance to scoff at the campaign's "Jekyll [and] Hyde" advertising approach, as if the Arizona Republican can't deem it polite to take a one day holiday from criticizing his opponent while planning on vigorously resuming the next day and every day hence until the general election:
"Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America,'' McCain says in the ad. "Too often, the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we'll be back at it. But tonight senator, job well done''
So which is it?
"Dangerously unprepared?'' or "Job well done.''
It looks like McCain was against Obama before he was for him.
Windy City newspapers this morning are devoting coverage to a he said/she said mini-scandal roiling among Democratic Convention delegates. From the Chicago Sun-Times.:
DENVER -- A black Hillary Clinton delegate on Sunday accused state Senate President Emil Jones of calling her an "Uncle Tom."
Jones -- Barack Obama's political mentor -- denied using the racially loaded slur against Chicago political consultant Delmarie Cobb, but two aldermen who said they witnessed the Saturday night exchange back up Cobb's account.
"Last night, I was called an 'Uncle Tom' by Emil Jones in the lobby of the hotel, right in front of [Ald.] Freddrenna Lyle and [Ald.] Leslie Hairston and [Ald.] Latasha Thomas," said Cobb, a member of Clinton's Illinois Steering Committee. "I walked over to him and asked him, 'What did you just call me?' "
The embarrassing flap came on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, which will open tonight with a string of Chicago speakers talking about Obama's life story. Jones is often referred to as Obama's "political godfather.''
In my post on Tuesday, I wrote about Stanley Kurtz's efforts to access the Annenberg Challenge files housed at the University of Illinois-Chicago. These files documented an educational initiative started by Bill Ayers and chaired by Barack Obama.
At that point, only AP writer Pete Yost had written anything about the story. Additionally, U of I rep Bill Burton issued a press release. Since that time, there has been no movement from the university and coverage by the MSM has been minimal, though it is finally beginning to pick up. To wit, as reported in a blog post at the Chicago Tribune, Chicago mayor, Richard Daley, declined to intervene in the matter by pressing U of I to release the documents to Kurtz, saying,
People keep trying to align himself [sic] with Barack Obama. It's really unfortunate. They're friends. So what? People do make mistakes in the past. You move on. This is a new century, a new time. He reflects back and he’s been making a strong contribution to our community.
According to Daley, we should move on and accept that any past relationship between Obama and Ayers was entirely innocuous, on his (Daley's) say so. Right.
So you can imagine the ire of union leaders when politically connected bureaucrats are getting bonuses despite a whopping $425 million shortfall. Surely the Tribune would dutifully note the Democratic party affiliation of the city's chief executive.
Of course not.
Now, I've heard it all before: "Ken, this is Chicago, it goes without saying the city is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Democratic Party."
But be that as it may, doesn't it behoove the city's newspapers to report the party affiliation of elected officials, particularly in stories that involve the compensation of politically-connected bureaucrats? Do major metropolitan city newspapers owe it to their readers to report, rather than assume readers know, the political affiliations of elected officials reported on in a negative light?