Campaign Watch

By Scott Whitlock | November 5, 2008 | 5:49 PM EST

"Good Morning America" foreign correspondent Jim Sciutto rhapsodized about international reaction to Barack Obama's victory on Wednesday and described the president-elect as "the winner who's capturing the world's heart." Sciutto described much of the foreign response with the phrase "only in America."

Then, taking a shot at President Bush, he then added, "That's what we keep hearing in so many places around the world, a sense that Barack Obama embodies the American dream, a dream that, frankly, has been tarnished overseas in recent years by a very unpopular war in Iraq, a very unpopular president in President Bush."

By Matthew Balan | November 5, 2008 | 3:53 PM EST

The Los Angeles Times and CNN.com came to different conclusions on Wednesday about the results of the vote in California over Proposition 8, with the Los Angeles Time reporting on Wednesday morning (local time) that "California voters approve Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages," while CNN stated that the "California ban on same-sex marriage undecided." As of late Wednesday morning, 95% of the precincts had reported their vote tallies, and 52% had voted in favor of the proposition, while 48% voted against it.

Staff writers Jessica Garrison, Cara Mia DiMassa, and Nancy Vogel, who wrote the LA Times article, gave a straight-forward outline of the battle over Proposition 8 during the past months, summarizing who had supported and opposed the proposal. On the other hand, the unsigned CNN story devoted only the first three paragraphs to the California proposition, and spent the rest of the article to ballot initiatives in other states.

By Scott Whitlock | November 5, 2008 | 3:48 PM EST

"Good Morning America" reporter Bill Weir gushed on Wednesday morning about the "transcendent" reaction to Senator Barack Obama's presidential victory. Discussing Tuesday night's jubilant crowds in New York City, where the ABC program is produced, Weir described the "melting pot of communal joy."

Weir enthused that the celebration was "the kind not seen on New Year's Eve or championship parades. At the crossroads of the world, voices from around the world shouted of the greatness of America." He added, "When the announcement was made, literal dancing in the streets...And people were locking in embraces, watching the speech there as well."

The journalist even recounted how he attempted to remind an African American mother of America's history with slavery. After this woman and her daughter saw a graphic on a jumbotron of all the presidents, one that included Obama as the nation's 44th commander in chief, Weir went over to the pair and attempted to invoke a negative reaction. He explained, "And I leaned over and said, you know, 12 of those men owned slaves. And the mother turned to me and said, 'That stain is washed.'"

By Justin McCarthy | November 5, 2008 | 3:30 PM EST

Three of "The View" co-hosts are comedians by profession, but they unintentionally provided some comedy to the November 5 edition of "The View." After two segments of basking over Barack Obama’s victory, and the historic nature of the first African-American president, Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg hammered away the need for more affirmative action. [audio excerpt here]

The panel’s two rich black women, whose children do not need a head start over poor white children, expressed disappointment that Nebraska voters approved a ballot initiative banning affirmative action. Sherri Shepherd felt that "there are some people who just need a leg up." Whoopi Goldberg, who just moments before celebrated Obama’s historic victory, opined that "if we lived in the country that we always pray that we’re going to wake up in where everything works and everybody is equal, you wouldn’t need affirmative action."

Earlier in the segment, Joy Behar, giddy over Obama’s victory, proclaimed it as "a triumph over negative campaigning." Did Joy forget the Obama ad mocking McCain’s age and war wounds?

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.