CNN anchor Campbell Brown led her Election Center program on Wednesday with a critique of the “double standard” concerning the recent attention on the $150,000 that the Republican National Committee spent on vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin: “My issue: there is an incredible double standard here, and we're ignoring a very simple reality. Women are judged based on their appearance far, far more than men. This is a statement of fact. There has been plenty of talk and plenty written about Sarah Palin’s jackets, her hair, her looks....Compare that to the attention given to Barack Obama’s $1,500 suits or John McCain’s $520 Ferragamo shoes. There is no comparison.”
Brown spent more than 2 minutes on the matter, in which she related her own experience of how women “get scrutinized based on appearance” much more than men do: “...I speak from experience here. When I wear a bad outfit on the air, I get viewer e-mail complaining about it, a lot of e-mail, seriously. When Wolf Blitzer wears a not-so-great tie, how much e-mail do you think he gets? My point is, for women, unfortunately, appearance is part of the job. If Wolf or Anderson shows up on the air without makeup, do you think you would even notice? I show up on the air without makeup, trust me, you’ll notice.” The CNN anchor then defended the RNC’s efforts to help Palin appear visually good: “All women in the public eye deal with this issue, and it’s for this reason that I think the RNC should help Palin pay for hair, clothes, and makeup. It is part of the job.” She concluded her commentary by labeling the attention on Palin’s clothing a “peripheral issue” in the presidential campaign.
Barack Obama was so pleased with the findings of a CBS News/New York Times poll that he gave it a plug at the October 15 presidential debate: "Two-thirds of the American people think that Senator McCain is running a negative campaign, versus one-third of mine."
That's what the poll showed, but do people believe this because McCain's ads really are more negative, or because the media have spent more time complaining about them? MRC intern Lyndsi Thomas went over all 213 broadcast morning and evening news stories that discussed the candidates' ads from the end of the primaries (June 4) through October 21. The results show the networks aired nearly three times as many stories criticizing McCain's ads (84) as hitting Obama's (32).
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez discussed the congressional races with the editor of the liberal New Republic magazine, Michael Crowley, and asked: "Now, if the Democrats get to 60 seats, as they hope to, what would be significant about that?" Crowley replied: "...in the Senate the other -- the opposition can filibuster. And if you have 60 votes you can basically tell them to 'shut up and we're going to pass our bill, sit down.' So 60 votes is the magic number because the opposition, if they have 41, can draw things out and prevent you from passing a bill so 60 is a magic number and it's one Democrats are really hoping they can get..." Rodriguez never identified Crowley’s liberal leanings and Thursday’s segment marks his forth appearance on the Early Show since July, always depicted as a neutral political analyst.
Throughout the segment, Rodriguez highlighted possible seats that Democrats could gain: "In North Carolina, a seat that's been held by -- for 36 years by a Republican, could be in danger of going to a Democrat, right?" Crowley replied: "It's a sign of the kind of year we're in...North Carolina is becoming a more Democratic state. Democratic registration has just really exploded, outpacing Republicans...there's a lot of Democratic energy in that state right now." Rodriguez moved on to Kentucky: "Kentucky, red state through and through. John McCain will probably get it, but not necessarily Mitch McConnell, who's been there for two decades." Crowley responded: "McConnell, I think maybe seen as tied to the Bush Administration, helping them shepard some of their things through. Supported the bailout bill, which his colleague from Kentucky opposed. He's being tied to special interests. So really dramatic race there."
Spreading the WordAs we reported earlier, former Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings drops one rhetorical bomb after another on the media in a new article for GQ magazine. All of them reinforcing what we already knew, best summarized by Hastings himself: the press's "objectivity is a fallacy."
It has been a horrendous year for the media's credibility, and Hastings's statements only make it worse. "If (it) sounds like I had some trouble being ‘objective,' I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters aren't just covering a story, they're a part of it-influencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidates-and despite what they tell themselves, it's impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively."
Hastings is utterly derisive of both former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Senator and Presidential nominee John McCain, both of whom he covered during the Republican primary. He in fact dreamed repeatedly of doing Giuliani harm as some sort of warped civic duty.
As NewsBusters reported, CNN, in a recent interview with Sarah Palin, misquoted "The National Review’s" Byron York. In response, York appeared on the October 22 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor." Host Bill O’Reilly began the interview in charging CNN told him (or his staff) that they will not issue a correction to their misleading question. In addressing Governor Palin's question over which "National Review" correspondent wrote such a scathing attack on her, Mr. York replied "the answer is nobody wrote that."
"The National Review" correspondent also added that "perhaps this CNN thing was a mistake, but it fits in a much larger pattern of that behavior," alluding to the media’s overwhelmingly pro-Obama bias. York exemplified such a corrupt pattern in quoting "The New York Times" editor Bill Keller claiming he puts the most anti-McCain article on the front page whenever the senator complains about bias. Bill O’Reilly concluded the segment opining "I think ideology has now over ridden any kind of journalistic ethics at all."
In an interview with Barack Obama aired on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith lobbed softballs at the Democratic candidate, spending half the interview on Obama visiting his ailing grandmother: "Lincoln said, 'all I ever hope to be, I owe to her,' in speaking about his mother. Your grandmother was very much like a mother to you. How important is this trip?" Smith later observed: "Some people say there's risk involved in this, with so little time left." Obama replied: "Yeah, well, the -- I think most people understand that if you're not caring for your family, then you're probably not the kind of person who's going to be caring for other people."
Realizing that he is supposed to be a serious journalist, Smith moved on: " I want to talk about some campaign issues..." One of the "issues" Smith asked about near the end of the interview was: "Whoever gets elected president, somehow, has to put their arm around the whole country and say, 'we're in this together.' Can do you that?" That gave Obama the opportunity to call for unity and attack conservatives at the same time: "I can. And I think that's the tone that we've set from the beginning of this campaign. I mean, look. Is Sean Hannity suddenly going to get on the air waves and say 'You know, I was wrong about this Obama guy, he's my man.' No, that's not going to happen. I mean's there's going to be a certain wing of the Republican Party that is, you know, dug in and resistant to the notion that we need to change direction."
On Tuesday's "Nightline," co-anchor Cynthia McFadden conducted her second interview this week with Hillary Clinton and, once again, offered no policy questions and focused only on pushing the New York senator to bash Governor Sarah Palin. The liberal journalist repeatedly questioned, five times in total, variations on whether or not Palin is qualified or good for women. At one point she even asserted, "But it must rankle you, I mean, to be compared to Sarah Palin."
Below are McFadden's (unsuccessful) attempts to get Clinton to slam the Republican vice presidential nominee.
CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: Is Sarah Palin good for women?
MCFADDEN: I feel like you're bending over backwards. I mean, I feel in some ways as if a man with the qualifications that Sarah Palin brings to this role, you'd have no problem with taking the gloves off and saying, hold it just a second.
MCFADDEN:Is she ready to serve as commander in chief, senator?
MCFADDEN: Does she deserve, does she have the right to stand on your shoulders in this regard?
A new study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism found that since the Republican National Convention, there have been three times more negative press reports about John McCain than positive ones.
By contrast, during the same period, media coverage of Obama has been more positive than negative.
Think this might be impacting voter perceptions?
Here are the study's key findings (emphasis added):
If observers of this campaign have learned one thing, it's that you had better not stand up David Letterman or Brian Williams if you hope to run for high office, lest you risk their diva-like wrath and pouting. Promoting his exclusive interview with John McCain and Sarah Palin, on Thursday's "Today" show the anchor of "NBC Nightly News" repeatedly complained about how long he had to wait to interview Palin, as Williams whined at the top of the segment:
Well let's be very blunt. We have waited patiently, 55 days since Sarah Palin was named to this ticket to get this interview, since her naming as vice presidential nominee.
Then after airing a few clips from the interview, Williams moaned to "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer:
So Matt, again, a 55 day wait for this interview, limited amount of time between the three of us and then later the two of us.
Williams also emphasized his own network's poll that Palin had become a drag on the ticket:
Amanda Carpenter at Townhall brings our attention to something amazing: NBC and MSNBC are working with ACORN and other left-wing interest groups in a "nonpartisan" effort at "Election Protection." Is that a bad joke, working with ACORN on ballot integrity? An NBC press release on Tuesday announced:
With less than 14 days before Election Day, NBC News and Election Protection will be joining forces to help voters ensure that their vote will count. The news leader and the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition will work together to promote the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline and www.866ourvote.org website so that voters can receive live assistance if they encounter problems, and access the information before they head to the polls now through Election Day.
Election Protection is the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
That would be the same "nonpartisan" lobby group that's staunchly opposed conservative Supreme Court nominees from Bork to Alito.
Brian Williams, who was enamored with Barack Obama in two interviews this year in which he celebrated the liberal Democrat's achievements, in a Wednesday interview with the Republican ticket challenged the premises of their campaign. Recalling the woman in an audience who claimed Obama is Arab, Williams channeled left-wing efforts to discredit McCain: “Did this campaign get out of your control?”
When McCain raised Joe Biden's warning that Obama's election will precipitate “an international crisis,” Williams countered with how “Joe Lieberman said on Face the Nation quote, 'our enemies will test the new President early. And it has happened throughout modern history.'” Unsatisfied by McCain's explanation, Williams followed up: “When he says the new President will be tested, though, I'm missing how that's different from Senator Lieberman saying quote 'our enemies will test the new President early.'”
In the last question in the interview excerpt aired on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Williams forced them to respond to Colin Powell as Williams cited his assessment Palin is unqualified:
Consistency on the CBS Evening News: Wednesday night Dean Reynolds concluded his piece on Barack Obama's campaign day by asserting “McCain's campaign tactics...have drawn criticism even from some Republicans” and next Chip Reid ended his story on John McCain's day on the trail by highlighting how “Gordon Smith of Oregon,” otherwise unidentified, “today became the fourth Republican to urge John McCain to stop those robo-calls to people's homes linking Barack Obama with William Ayers” -- all before a full report on how Sarah “Palin's carefully cultivated Joe Six Pack image is now bumping up against a six-figure wardrobe.”
Reynolds helpfully previewed some additional CBS News bias in advance as he reported “this afternoon, the Early Show's Harry Smith asked Obama about McCain's campaign tactics that have drawn criticism even from some Republicans,” and after a clip of Obama declaring he would never make unfair attacks on his opponents, Reynolds concluded: “Obama says he understands that politics is a rough business, but he insisted there is no equivalence between his campaign tactics and John McCain's.”
Anchor Katie Couric soon announced: “Sarah Palin may think the world of Joe the Plumber, too, but that doesn't mean she intends to dress like him. In fact, the Republican Party has spent $150,000 on Governor Palin's wardrobe, something that may not square with her image as a down-to-earth every woman.” The story from reporter Nancy Cordes ended with another media-generated controversy:
Regular CNN commentator Jack Cafferty may be "on the mend" after a three-week break for a "unanticipated encounter with a surgeon’s scalpel," as he put it, but he certainly hasn’t recovered from his Palin Derangement Syndrome. He launched a new attack on the Alaska governor on Wednesday’s Situation Room. This time, Cafferty returned to the issue of Trooper/Taser-gate and brought up two additional issues that came up this week -- how the RNC spent $150,000 on Palin for new clothing, make-up, and hair care for Palin, and how she used taxpayer’s money to pay for her children to travel with her to official functions. He then came to the following conclusion about the Republican vice-presidential candidate: "How do you present yourself as any kind of candidate of reform when the practices you employ put you in the very same category as every other two-bit, sleazy, opportunistic politician that has come before you?"
Cafferty then asked as his hourly question, "Should Sarah Palin reimburse Alaska taxpayers for her children’s travel and entertainment expenses?" Of course, when Cafferty read some of the viewer responses to this question, he lined up nothing but anti-Palin comments.
CNN contributor Roland Martin’s Wednesday column on CNN.com bluntly accused Republicans of exhibiting "fear and desperation" in their criticism of Barack Obama: "McCain's campaign is no longer about issues. He and his supporters want to bring up anything and everything to derail Obama, and nothing is sticking, so they just keep returning to their old bag of tricks." This "bag" apparently includes bringing up issues like Obama’s 20-year relationship with left-wing firebrand Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the socialist labeling of the Democratic presidential candidate, and his associations with terrorist Bill Ayers and ACORN.
Martin first labeled McCain an "old fighter," but not as a compliment: "Watching Sen. John McCain and top Republicans swing wildly in their attempts to slam Sen. Barack Obama, with less than two weeks ago to go before Election Day, is like watching an old fighter -- clearly out of gas, his legs turned to rubber, and all he can do is grab, hold, punch behind the back, just anything to try to win." He then used his "old bag of tricks" line.
Spreading the WordOn yesterday's Situation Room, CNN's Drew Griffin completely mischaracterized the nature of a "quote" from National Review's Byron York during his interview with Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Griffin said to Gov. Palin: "Governor, you've been mocked in the press, the press has been pretty hard on you, the Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, ‘I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above.'"
This is a complete distortion, a falsehood. The full quote from the National Review's Byron York shows he was in fact dressing down the media, NOT Gov. Palin. "Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or - or, well, all of the above."
MRC President and Newsbusters.org Publisher L. Brent Bozell, III issued the following statement in response:
In a segment that seemed obnoxiously coy, on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Bill Plante wondered: "...the president has not been out on the campaign trail for Senator McCain, something he offered to do when McCain locked up the nomination in March. So what's up?" Plante later explained: "His press secretary says Mr. Bush has had a lot on his plate the last few months." He then played a clip of himself pestering White House Press Secretary Dana Perino: "So he's been too busy to campaign?" Perino slapped down the question: "I didn't say that. You heard exactly what I said. I know what you're getting at, but I'm not going to play."
Plante finally discovered the reason for Bush’s absence on the campaign trail: "In fact, Senator McCain has gone out of his way to distance himself from the president because Mr. Bush's approval rating hovers around 24%." Plante compared that to Bill Clinton’s popularity at the end of his presidency and even seemed to brag: "Eight years ago, President Clinton, despite his impeachment, had a 61% approval rating. He campaigned for Al Gore and thought Gore should have asked him to do even more."
Wednesday’s CBS Early Show continued pressing the theme that the election is over as co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "Countdown to election day. The swing state showdown continues as Obama appears to open up an advantage in early voting." Co-host Harry Smith cited polls with wide margins to further shovel dirt on the McCain campaign: "New polls out with just 13 days to go until election day. A poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal gives Barack Obama a ten-point lead over John McCain, that's 52% to 42%. A poll by Reuters, C-Span, and Zogby shows the same ten-point spread." Correspondent Jeff Glor followed with a report: "Those poll numbers you mentioned and the math in these states makes the situation look increasingly difficult for John McCain."
Glor went on to describe how: "John McCain will campaign today in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Florida, following a big push for Pennsylvania." However, Glor immediately threw out the wet blanket: "Though registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the state by more than a million voters..." Glor also touted how Smith’s Tuesday interview with McCain was referenced by Joe Biden during a recent stump speech: "Joe Biden is sharply challenging John McCain over those controversial robocalls...Following Harry Smith's interview." Highlighting an Obama stump speech, Glor declared: "Obama pointing out that Florida, where he spent Tuesday, and where we've seen those long early voting lines, lost more jobs than any other state in the past year." Glor concluded the segment by observing: "In Florida, and other battleground states, officials say Democrats are early voting in greater numbers than their Republican counterparts, a good sign for Obama."
NBC’s Tom Brokaw, CBS’s Bob Schieffer, and former NBC reporter Maria Shriver were all on CNN’s Larry King Live on Monday night. Shriver effusively described her support for Obama: "I think he'd be great not just for this country, but I think for the whole world and for America's standing in the world. I think he is a thoughtful man, a deeply reflective man, smart, inclusive." But the stand-out moment of the hour came in the first segment, when King underlined Rush Limbaugh’s assertion that Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama was all about race. King asked Brokaw in response: "Does that mean, Tom, that Limbaugh's endorsement of McCain was because he was white?" Brokaw snapped: "No. I don't want to go there. But what I would say is that Rush Limbaugh is going to match his credibility up against Barack Obama and a lot of people would like to have money in that pool."
Rush Limbaugh is a terrorist. That according to Joy Behar, who said so on the October 22 edtion of "The View." Barbara Walters, who previously only held such a standard for Elisabeth Hasselbeck, called out both Behar and Hasselbeck for allegedly never diverting from a partisan or ideological line. Hasselbeck defended herself noting past criticisms of Rush Limbaugh. Joy Behar, who also called Sean Hannity a "Dangerous Force in America," immediately jumped in and shouted that Rush Limbaugh is "not a Republican" but a "terrorist." [audio excerpt here]
As Joy Behar has previously described friendly exchanges with the king of talk radio in the past, one has to wonder if such a line was to attract attention. After branding the conservative icon a "terrorist" Behar proclaimed "you heard it hear ladies and gentlemen." Hasselbeck replied "make your news headline."
Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet told a Chicago radio duo this morning that Sen. Joe Biden was not referring specifically to Barack Obama in his now-famous comment at a fundraiser that the Illinois senator would be "tested" by a crisis in the first six months of his administration. (h/t e-mail tipster Rose Wagner)
LYNN SWEET, Chicago Sun-Times: It turns out that the Republican National Committee spent more than 150,000 [dollars on Gov. Palin's wardrobe].
DON WADE, co-host: Wait a minute. It's hard to focus on a story like that when Joe Biden is warning that we're going to have an international crisis if Barack Obama is elected and nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody's asked Joe Biden what do you mean by that?
During an interview with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Drew Griffin ripped a phrase out of a recent article by National Review’s Byron York which criticized the media’s coverage of Palin and characterized it as an attack on the Alaska governor. Griffin pointed out how "[t]he press has been pretty hard on you. The Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, ‘I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above.’" In the original article, which was originally only in the print version of National Review, York used the "incompetent" phrase to attack the media: "Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward or - well, all of the above."
ABC reporter Jake Tapper contended on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" that John McCain can still win the presidential election and observed to co-host Diane Sawyer, "...If there's one thing the American people like doing, it's having the media say that this is all over, that one guy's going to win, especially a Democrat." [audio excerpt here]
He added, "And then they say, well, not so fast. Not so fast, media. We have a say on this on Election Day." Tapper also argued, "I would never count John McCain out. It is a very, very big hole he's in. But he can get out." Earlier this week, Tapper was one of the few journalists to highlight a false claim by the Barack Obama campaign that John McCain would "cut" $882 billion in Medicare benefits.
NBC's "Today" show has yet to report on the scandal surrounding Florida Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney paying off a former mistress, but on Wednesday's show David Gregory did find time to report on Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann being in "hot water," for her criticisms of Barack Obama on last Friday's "Hardball."
Furthering the story his NBC colleague Chris Matthews started with Bachmann's "Hardball," interview, co-anchor Matt Lauer introduced the Gregory piece: "Call it a million dollar mistake. A controversial congressman, congresswoman went on television and said some things she probably regrets. And her remarks, then helped her opponent raise a staggering amount of money."
Liberal reporter David Wright took a swipe at Sarah Palin on Wednesday's edition of "Good Morning America." Discussing Senator Joe Biden's comments over the weekend that Barack Obama will face an international incident within the first six months of his (potential) presidency, the ABC journalist editorialized, "Her own glass house notwithstanding, Sarah Palin has thrown some stones on the issue, too, even though she's not above making gaffes of her own."
He then introduced a clip of Palin speaking to a Denver NBC affiliate and asserted that the Republican vice presidential nominee "didn't seem to understand the job description of the position she's running for."Palin was featured observing that the vice president is "in charge of the United States Senate. So, if they want to, they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes." Taking issue with Palin's comments, Wright retorted, "Technically, the vice president does preside over the Senate. But the most they usually contribute is a tie breaking vote when required."
The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on the Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends this morning to discuss the media's stone silence on Delaware Democratic Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden's alarming comments on Sunday: "... (M)ark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him...."
Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin later rightly pointed during an interview on CNN that were she to have said the exact same thing, the press would have "clobbered" her.
Motley discussed all of this, and noted that a potential Barack Obama Administration would be a "call to arms" for the New Media, because in the last eighteen months the traditional media has time and again proven themselves to be utterly incapable of objectively covering the Illinois Democratic Senator.
At the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "The McCain campaign under fire for spending $150,000 on clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin and her family." Correspondent Jeff Glor later introduced the story: "Meanwhile, there's another story this morning that's getting a lot of attention and it's about Sarah Palin, who's gotten a lot of attention herself. It turns out that attention has come at a price." Correspondent Meg Oliver reported: "This is what she's wearing these days on the campaign trail, expensive designer clothes, apparently paid for by the Republican National Committee. Spending records filed with the Federal Election Commission showed the RNC paid for campaign accessories from upscale department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, where nearly $50,000 was spent, Neiman Marcus, $75,000, and $4700 for hair and makeup."
However, in a June 18 puff piece, the Early Show attempted to describe Barack Obama as a common man when it came to fashion: "...if you're wondering about that GQ look, don't expect stories about fancy custom tailoring." That was followed by Chicago Sun Times reporter Lynn Sweet explaining: "I interviewed him. I said where do you get your suits? And he says he bought them off the rack at Nordstrom's and Bloomingdale's." What exactly is the difference between Sarah Palin getting her clothes at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and Obama getting his clothes at Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s?
I suppose that mocking Republican candidates is an essential element of a Washington Post editorial writer's job description. Even so, it was jarring to hear the snide comments of WaPo editorialist Jonathan Capehart [seen right in file photo] about Sarah Palin read on the air today. Not merely did he mock her shopping habits, Capehart came very close to accusing Palin of . . . "child abuse."
Mika Brzezinski, at the Morning Joe helm with Joe Scarborough off on assignment today, led the show with the Politico report that the Republican National Committee has spent more than $150 thousand on clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin and family. Also aired was a clip of Palin describing the duties of the vice-president to a third-grader, the accuracy of which has been questioned.
After seven weeks of the news media deriding Sarah Palin, Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday night seemed to delight in emphasizing how, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which led the NBC Nightly News, Palin is hurting McCain as Obama surges ahead. And Williams touted Colin Powell's Sunday endorsement of Barack Obama as “the shot heard 'round the world.” After reciting how the survey of registered voters put Obama up by ten points, 52 to 42 percent, Williams asserted: “Perhaps more dangerous for the GOP ticket, most of those polled do not believe Sarah Palin is qualified to be President, by a margin of 55 percent to 40 percent.”
However, take a look at the PDF of the full poll, which did not pose the same question about Obama, and you learn that despite the media's pounding the public perception of her qualifications has been remarkably consistent across three NBC/WSJ surveys (see question 29d) with more considering her unqualified than qualified not anything new: 40 percent called her “qualified” in the September 19-22 poll, 41 percent replied qualified in the poll conducted October 4-5 and she returned to 40 percent in this new survey. Meanwhile, “not qualified” grew only slightly, from 49 to 50 to the current 55 percent which Williams treated as big news.
Surprisingly, the October 21 "View" mentioned Congressman John Murtha’s "my constituents are racist" comments. Though Joy Behar called it a "stupid thing to say," they were much gentler on Murtha than on Michele Bachmann, who stated that Obama has associated with anti-American individuals.
Joy Behar labeled Bachmann a "red baiter" and alluded to the McCarthy era. Whoopi Goldberg asked "it okay for someone to start attacking your beliefs in your country because you don’t agree with their views?" Sherri Shepherd, who has confused historic time lines, recalls growing up in the McCarthy era before other co-hosts reminded her she was not yet born. Even the token Republican, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, would not defend Congresswoman Bachmann.
Is this a case of labeling one anti-American for a simple disagreement? A transcript of a recent "Hardball" interview demonstrates that she clearly alluded to Obama’s associations, William Ayers and Reverend Wright, who are indeed anti-American.
Tuesday’s CBS Early Show promoted a narrative of Barack Obama courageously suspending his campaign to visit his sick grandmother in Hawaii, while a losing John McCain runs negative attack ads. Co-host Harry Smith led the show by declaring: "Breaking news. Barack Obama set to leave the campaign trail to be with his ill grandmother. We'll assess the impact on the race, just two weeks from election night." Meanwhile, in a later report, correspondent Jeff Glor explained: "And the latest CBS News/New York Times poll is giving him a 13-point national lead, despite what the Obama campaign considers unfair attacks...The poll showed Obama's favorability rating went up ten points, while John McCain's held steady."
In a 7:30AM news brief co-host Russ Mitchell proclaimed: "...just two weeks before the election and Barack Obama is putting family before politics for two days beginning on Thursday. Obama will fly to Hawaii to visit his ailing 85-year-old grandmother." In a segment later in the 7:30AM half hour, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Democratic strategist Dee Dee Myers: "Barack Obama taking two days off the campaign trail, with our latest poll showing that he's 13 points ahead of John McCain. Will that make a difference?" Myers replied: "His grandmother is ailing, he wants to make sure he gets home to Hawaii to spend time with her. And, you know, consequences be damned-" Rodriguez added: "Exactly."
In the same segment, Rodriguez turned to Republican strategist Kevin Madden and asked: "...the same CBS News/New York Times post poll, shows that John McCain's strategies are not necessarily working. I'd like to show you that his favorability, since the debate, has gone down and people cite these as the reasons: His attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin, the top two reasons. Let me ask you, Kevin, is it working to be out there on the trail saying he's a socialist, to put out these robocalls?"