Campaign Watch

By Ken Shepherd | November 5, 2008 | 3:20 PM EST

Screencap of YahooIf Michelle Obama gets tired of merely entertaining dignitaries as first lady, she might try her hand at editing for the Associated Press. After all, according to the AP, her husband has made it "cool" to be an American again. Yahoo.com is giving play to the story by featuring it as a top headline in the "World" section of its news page (see image at right).

From AP writer William J. Kole:

VIENNA, Austria – She was a stranger, and she kissed me. Just for being an American.

It happened on the bus on my way to work Wednesday morning, a few hours after compatriots clamoring for change swept Barack Obama to his historic victory. I was on the phone, and the 20-something Austrian woman seated in front of me overheard me speaking English.

Without a word, she turned, pecked me on the cheek and stepped off at the next stop.

Nothing was said, but the message was clear: Today, we are all Americans.

By Rich Noyes | November 5, 2008 | 3:01 PM EST

Before the networks had even declared Barack Obama the winner Tuesday  night, CBS historian Douglas Brinkley announced that the “Age of Ronald Reagan” was “coming to an end tonight.” Shortly before 11pm EST, Brinkley told anchor Katie Couric: “We're looking at a historic victory for the Democrats and Barack Obama. I think you have to go back to 1964 when Lyndon Johnson had such a landslide over Barry Goldwater to see how momentous this is.”

In a Tuesday night piece wrapping up yesterday’s election, Newsweek’s Michael Hirsh sought out liberal historian Robert Dallek, who similarly declared that Obama’s win “is probably going to mark the end of the Reagan era — this whole conservative impulse that has dominated the country's politics for the last generation....I think you're going to see a whole new era of federal progressive activism.”

Maybe, maybe not.

By Tim Graham | November 5, 2008 | 2:52 PM EST

Now that America's demonstrated it's not as hopelessly racist as many minorities (and minority journalists) assumed, should we expect more optimism from the media? Not from NBC anchor Brian Williams, who insisted to Tavis Smiley on PBS Monday night that this country suppresses discussions of race and "If Obama wins this election, if these polls hold true, I think the national conversation about race -- game on.

By Noel Sheppard | November 5, 2008 | 2:32 PM EST

As the election postmortems continue, it seems a metaphysical certitude media representatives will cast Tuesday's results as indicative of a continued national shift to the left they believe began when the Democrats took over Congress in 2006.

However, the exit polls don't reflect such a shift at all.

In fact, there has been virtually no change to the percentage of folks claiming to be liberal or conservative in their political ideology since 2004.

Here are the relevant numbers (2004 here and 2008 here):

By Matthew Balan | November 5, 2008 | 1:28 PM EST

During a special post-election edition of American Morning on early Wednesday morning, CNN correspondent Carol Costello seemed to be confused as to what California’s proposed Proposition 8 would do and hinted that she was opposed to the effort. The initiative would amend the state’s constitution to ban same-sex "marriage." Costello first stumbled as she tried to explain the proposition: "These are the results that we have -- voting yes means you -- you would overturn -- voting yes means there would be a ban on same-sex marriage -- that's 52%. The no votes have 48%." She then continued as to when the results would be certain, and gave a hint as to where she stood on the issue: "We probably won't be able to call that until much later this afternoon, although we do remain hopeful." [audio excerpt here]

Co-anchor John Roberts introduced Costello’s segment, which began 23 minutes into the 4 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, and stated how, besides the presidential race, "from same-sex marriage to abortion, there were some hot-button issues on state ballots across the country, and our Carol Costello has been tracking the results of those." Costello actually focused on the same-sex "marriage" ballot questions during her report and didn’t mention anything of the other issues.

By Kyle Drennen | November 5, 2008 | 1:19 PM EST

Maggie Rodriguez, CBS The co-hosts of Wednesday’s "CBS Early Show" used as many glowing adjectives as they could think of in reporting Barack Obama’s election to the presidency, with Harry Smith leading the way:

"America votes for change. Barack Obama elected the 44th President of the United States after a decisive victory over John McCain. The nation opens a new era, a powerful moment in history."

Maggie Rodriguez described what it was like to be at Obama’s victory speech in Chicago: "I have to say that to be here last night for that moment was to live history, it was a privilege...the sea of waving American flags and feeling the euphoria and the emotion that was emanating from that crowd here last night...a chilling victory speech, it -- it left people here just speechless, it was breath-taking."

By Tim Graham | November 5, 2008 | 11:37 AM EST

Jaws dropped among NBC viewers just after President Bush's gracious White House speech today in the 10am hour of Today welcoming President-Elect Obama. NBC political analyst Chuck Todd accused Bush of looking like he "wanted to bask in the reflected glory of the

By Mark Finkelstein | November 5, 2008 | 7:46 AM EST
My NewsBusters colleagues, and conservatives across the blogosphere, are sure to be vying to document the most outrageous examples of the MSM's fawning reaction to the Obama victory.

Hopefully I'll have the honor of at least a brief clubhouse lead with my entry, the words of CBS Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen during this morning's opening segment.
JULIE CHEN: Yeah, it was so moving, um, last night.  You couldn't help but feel so emotional, and I agree with you [Maggie Rodriguez], I think John McCain did a really classy job in his speech [he did, but MSM loves Republicans best as losers] in acknowledging Barack's [Julie on first-name basis] big win.  And what was most inspiring to me was when Barack Obama was addressing that huge crowd, was watching such a diverse group of faces, all with so much hope in their eyes.  That made me feel really good.

View video here.

By Brent Baker | November 5, 2008 | 4:03 AM EST
At about 2:50 AM EST Wednesday morning, MSNBC went live to NBC News reporter Dawna Friesen in London for world reaction to Barack Obama's election and she triumphantly declared: “It's not an overstatement to say that this is what the world wanted. Poll after poll done in countries around the world over the past few months has showed that people wanted Barack Obama to win.”

After blurry video of Kenyans dancing and singing a song which “had only two words, 'Obama' and 'miracle,'” Friesen held up the front page of London's left of center The Independent and explained how the newspaper's headline “dubbed” Obama "The history man." She also decided to highlight:
The diplomatic editor of The Independent interestingly writing that now is the time to undo the damage done by George W. Bush. I think much of the world does see this as really turning a page, moving on from George Bush. And the diplomatic editor says there's a global yearning for a seismic shift in American foreign policy.
By Brent Baker | November 5, 2008 | 12:36 AM EST
At 11:49 PM EST, live from Morehouse College in Atlanta, ABC News reporter Steve Osunsami choked up and came near tears as he recalled how “my father used to tell us that there's n
By Brent Baker | November 4, 2008 | 11:31 PM EST
In an interview from Chicago's Grant Park taped shortly beforehand and aired on ABC just past 10:30 PM EST/9:30 PM local time, an excited Oprah Winfrey told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts:
I haven't seen this sense of unity since 9/11, really, really, and 9/11 was this tragic experience that brought us all together and now we're all brought together in the name of hope. Not since 9/11 have I experienced anything even kind of close to this.
Of course, the 47 percent who voted for McCain may not share Winfrey's unity.

She had prefaced that contention: “It's my town. My town's been vibrating all day. I mean, from the moment I left the building this morning -- the doorman, everybody vibrates, just great. It's one of the greatest experiences of, certainly my lifetime and it's been wonderful, I think, for everybody in the country who has called somebody or somebody has called them. Everybody was e-mailing everybody standing in line.”

By Tim Graham | November 4, 2008 | 9:59 PM EST

NBC anchor Brian Williams appeared on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS on Monday night and trashed Joe the Plumber's anti-tax cause as a silly issue, not a serious question about the redistribution of wealth: "Look at how our attention was able to get pulled into pigs and lipstick and plumbers.