CNN Concerned Anti-Obama Book 'Might Catch on With Some Voters'

Never Again!  Not the Holocaust.  We're talking about the MSM's determination not to let Barack Obama be "Swiftboated." In successive segments today, CNN provided a perfect example of the phenomenon. First, a one-sided trashing of Obama Nation, the anti-Barack book by Jerome Corsi, who co-authored Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.  In the succeeding segment, anchor Suzanne Malveaux worried out loud to Paul Begala that Barack Obama might not be responding fast enough to attacks against him, thereby "falling into the same trap as John Kerry."

Introducing the first segment, Situation Room anchor Malveaux didn't hesitate to make unequivocal claims as to the Corsi book's inaccuracy.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX: There's a new book out about Barack Obama, and it is not flattering. The facts are mixed with accusations about Obama that are misleading or just flat-out wrong. Yet despite all of this, there is concern that author's claims might catch on with some voters.  Our CNN's Jessica Yellin joining me now, and Jessica, the author even admits that there is an agenda here behind this book.

View video here.

Eek: an agenda! CNN prefers its authors agenda-less.  You know, people like the perfectly non-partisan Sy Hersh and Ron Suskind, who get invited onto the network and accorded respectful treatment.  CNN didn't deign to have Corsi on, but played a brief clip from a Fox News appearance he made.  Malveaux then spoke with CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin.

JESSICA YELLIN: [The book] alleges Obama is on the extreme left of American politics and has extensive connections to Islam and with radical racial politics. This despite the fact that for months Obama's been explaining he's not Muslim.

Cut to clip of Obama . . . explaining he's not Muslim. Do I smell a straw man?  Corsi isn't quoted as claiming Obama is Muslim, only that he has connections to Islam, a different proposition.  Obama on the extreme left?  You mean, like having the most liberal voting record in the Senate, to the left of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders?  Connections to radical racial politics?  What a slur! It's not as if Obama was married by and for 20 years sat in the pews of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, or was political buddies with Father Pfleger or anything.

Minutes later, speaking with guest Paul Begala, Malveaux's anxiety for Obama's sake shown through:

MALVEAUX: The Democratic presidential nominee of four years ago is trying to help the current presumptive nominee. John Kerry hopes what happened to him does not happen to Barack Obama. So Kerry and supporters roll out a website called "Truth Fights Back."  It promises to fight lies from what it calls the right-wing smear machine.  Joining me are CNN political contributor, Democratic strategist Paul Begala, and Republican strategist Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Mitt Romney. Good to see you guys; thanks for joining us.
I want to start here by talking about this new website that John Kerry has up.  He's saying he's coming back and he wants to make sure that all these smears and lies basically are addressed.  Is Barack Obama, is he responding to some of these attacks quick enough, or is he falling into the same kind of trap that John Kerry was in at this time last summer [cycle?].
PAUL BEGALA: You know, a little of the latter. I think a lot of Democrats are worried and wondering if Obama is going to hit, and hit back hard. I think what Senator Kerry is doing is good; it's probably very encouraging to the Obama folks and to Democrats like me.  But you know, I'm a George S. Patton Democrat. Patton said the purpose of war is not to die for your country. It's to make the other guy die for his country.  Right. The purpose of a campaign is not merely to respond to every attack. So let's not overlearn all this rapid response.  I was part of that with Bill Clinton. How about rapid attack?

Let's deconstruct Malveaux.  Kerry wants to help Obama avoid "what happened to him"—as if "what happened" to Kerry is an agreed fact.  The Swift Boat Veterans would adamantly say, and many would agree, that they exposed the truth about Kerry.  But Malveaux is concerned that Obama might not be fighting back fast enough against "these smears and lies."   Which smears and lies?  Malveaux doesn't bother citing one.  And what "trap"?  How many days is it since John Kerry promised to release his full military record?

Note: I haven't read Corsi's book and am not vouching for its accuracy.  The point is that Malveaux trashed it while taking as received truth that John Kerry was falsely attacked four years ago.  By the way, a senior NB editor highly recommends another book that critically examines the Obama record: The Case Against Barack Obama, by David Freddoso.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.