Campaign Watch

By Brent Baker | November 3, 2008 | 9:53 PM EST
Just as with all his previous interviews with the broadcast network anchors, Barack Obama had nothing to fear from his final pre-election sit-down, this time with CBS's Katie Couric, who laughed along with him about being a “nervous wreck” on election day, raised Jeremiah Wright not to press him about Wright's incendiary anti-American rants but to ask if the McCain campaign had given its “approval” to a state party to raise the topic, and concluded by fawning: “If things go your way on Tuesday and you become this nation's first African-American President, what will that mean to you personally?”

In the excerpts from the interview conducted Sunday in Columbus, Ohio and aired on Monday's CBS Evening News, Couric posed four questions, starting with “fears that perhaps an unbridled, unchecked, filibuster-proof Democratic majority will overreach and move the country too far to the left. How can you assuage people's concerns about that?”  Instead of hitting him on how much the decision by the McCain campaign and the news media to drop Wright helped him avoid a subject that would have hurt in swing states, she treated Republicans as the miscreants: 
The Pennsylvania Republican Party is starting to run an ad in that state which features your former minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, saying quote, “God damn America.” Do you think they would have run that ad without the approval of the McCain campaign?
By Mark Finkelstein | November 3, 2008 | 8:49 PM EST
If the Republicans had a few more spokesmen like Haley Barbour, the political landscape might look a lot different.  The Mississippi governor's down-home good humor and razor-sharp wit are a formidable combination. Barbour's killer combo of skills was on display on this evening's Hardball.  When Chris Matthews challenged his criticism of Obama's tax credit plan, Barbour good-naturedly backed him down with an impressive disquisition on New Deal history.  When he was through, Matthews had to admit that Haley was right.

I'd encourage people to view the video, not only for the entertainment value, but as a case study of how to defeat a member of the liberal media.
By Matthew Balan | November 3, 2008 | 6:12 PM EST

During a roundtable discussion on Monday’s Newsroom program with conservative talk show host Martha Zoller and her left-wing colleague Mike Malloy, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez strangely differentiated between "intellectual" conservatives who are "not so crazy" about Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and social conservatives who "love" her. Sanchez then described Zoller as a "mix" of the two. Later in the segment, Malloy opined that Sarah Palin "brought out the crazy people. That's what the Republican base is. The Republican base are people who don't want the queers to get married. They don't want a woman to have a right to privacy. They want to do away with capital gains taxes, which has nothing whatsoever to do with their life. What Sarah Palin did was bring out the knuckle-draggers, the mouth-breathers..."

By Ken Shepherd | November 3, 2008 | 5:55 PM EST

Joe Klein has noted the passing of Sen. Barack Obama's maternal grandmother in a November 3 blog post at Time magazine's Swampland blog. While most journalists and political pundits would say a kind word or two and express condolences for the Illinois senator on the passing of his grandmother, Klein used the occasion to heap praises upon Obama and exult in his imminent apotheosis.

What follows is the complete text. I'm posting this at about dinner time, so you've been forewarned to not eat on a full stomach (emphases mine):

By Lyndsi Thomas | November 3, 2008 | 5:54 PM EST
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and "News Live" on Sunday and Monday repeatedly played clips from Sen. John McCain's appearance on the November 1 edition of "Saturday Night Live" for a combined total of 11 times. One MSNBC host, Alex Witt, on Sunday, even claimed, "We're gonna have a lot of clips of that for ya so you can be smiling through this morning." However, MSNBC did not show even one clip of Ben Affleck's impersonation of "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann from the same broadcast.

Many of the hosts expressed that they thought McCain was funny during his SNL appearance, probably because he was making fun of himself and his campaign. But apparently MSNBC didn't want its viewers laughing and smiling at SNL's imitation of Olbermann which cast him as pompous and as someone who commonly has hypersensitive overreactions. After all, a senior executive at the cable channel has admitted that Olbermann "runs MSNBC."
By Kyle Drennen | November 3, 2008 | 4:59 PM EST

On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen introduced a new campaign segment: "...throughout this morning, we're bringing you the voices of Americans and what they're thinking as they prepare to vote." In the brief video clip that followed, Colorado Springs City Council member Jan Martin Described herself as a "lifelong Republican" explained: "I think we are at a place and a point in time where hope and unity are two things that this country needs more than anything." The only problem is that Jan Martin was similarly touted by the New York Times in early October, at which point, NewsBusters’ P.J. Gladnick discovered that she was a member of the Colorado Springs chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Colorado’s Gay and Lesbian Fund. In the Early Show segment Martin worried: " There's an uncertainty of what it will mean to my future political career, but I really believe that this election was too important not to -- not to take a stand."In the 8AM half hour, co-host Maggie Rodriguez introduced a video clip of a McCain supporter: "We heard from a voter who supports Barack Obama. Now how a McCain supporter feels about this election." However, voter Amy Myers did not exactly give McCain unequivocal support: "We checked into both candidates’ tax plans and had realized that we would be saving three times as much in Obama's versus the McCain tax plan. The difference in the tax plans is not enough to change my vote. I feel that McCain, for me, is the proper candidate."

By Justin McCarthy | November 3, 2008 | 4:02 PM EST

Media biased against McCain because his campaign is not doing well. That was George Stephanopoulos’ rationalization on the November 3 edition of "The View." Elisabeth Hasselbeck questioned Stephanopoulos about the media’s pro-Obama bias. With studies out demonstrating the media has been clearly far more pro-Obama in its coverage, Stephanopoulos could not dispute the facts. Instead the former Clinton adviser spun it as a result of the faltering McCain campaign.

By Scott Whitlock | November 3, 2008 | 3:50 PM EST

"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer prompted Barack Obama supporter Caroline Kennedy to gush about just how excited she was over the senator's possible victory. Sawyer also probed for scintillating details, such as wondering, "Where are you going to watch [the election returns]?" Regarding the Kennedy daughter's endorsement of the Democratic presidential candidate, Sawyer gushed, "So, do you feel that what you wrote has been fulfilled? And that you do have a sense of excitement that people told you they felt with your father [John F. Kennedy]?"

Looking for celebrity gossip, Sawyer reflected on Kennedy's glitzy February appearance with Obama: "You, Maria Shriver, Oprah, standing there for that morning of endorsement. Have you talked to each other? Did you talk to each other this weekend? What are you saying?" The ABC journalist even excitedly referenced the possibility of a position for her in the Obama administration. She bubbled, "So, the speculation game is already begun. And this morning, it is Caroline Kennedy ambassador to name-your-country."

By Ken Shepherd | November 3, 2008 | 3:42 PM EST

Reporter Clive Crook really likes Barack Obama and in a November 3 op-ed practically endorsed him for president. But, the Financial Times reporter worries, the Illinois senator has some loopy economic ideas.

Yes, your just read that correctly. A reporter for one of the Anglosphere's well-respected financial newspapers admits he'd vote for Obama were he an American citizen -- Crook is a subject of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II -- but he hopes his stump speech populism is all a vote-getting gimmick.

As you read this, imagine the clamor, if not outright outrage, if a conservative-leaning foreign journalist like say Mark Steyn endorsed McCain only to question his foreign policy prescriptions (emphases mine):

By Justin McCarthy | November 3, 2008 | 2:13 PM EST

Whoopi Goldberg wants to settle it once and for all: She read the Constitution! Though she apparently still has not read as far as the 13th Amendment. On the November 3 edition of "The View," in discussing a recent Howard Kurtz item noting the tough tone of John McCain’s recent interview, Whoopi once again alluded to her notorious "slavery" sandbag of Senator McCain.

Whoopi took issue with some letters she has received urging her to actually read the Constitution and accused everyone else of not reading "the damn Constitution." Whoopi then seemingly confused the Constitution and the Declaration of Indepdence. She then attacked McCain’s strict constructionist interpretation concluding that an originist judge would return to slavery. Claiming "I read [the Constitution], I know what I was asking," Whoopi apparently missed that the 13th Amendment clearly forbids slavery and any originist judge would know that.

By Kyle Drennen | November 3, 2008 | 11:52 AM EST

Harry Smith, CBS On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked exclusively to two Canadian comedians, Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel, who prank called Sarah Palin: "Pranksters pulled a fast one, over the weekend, on vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Comedians from Canada posed as French President Nicolas Sarkozy." Smith later asked them: "Did you get the sense when you were on the phone with her, did she have any idea what was going on?" Trudel replied: "No...She was as gullible as Britney Spears. She -- there are only two people that we pranked that never caught on that it was a joke and that we had to explain it to them at the end. Sarah Palin and Britney Spears. And Britney Spears could not ever be President of the United States but Sarah Palin could." Audette added: "But they're both good least." Smith agreed: "That accounts -- that does account for something."

In addition to portraying Sarah Palin as stupid, the comedians and Smith also described how bad her staff was. Smith asked: " long did it take you and how did you start?" Trudel replied: "We started Tuesday, last Tuesday, it took four days. It's our fastest one except Britney Spears, so you can put that in the same category, her staff." Audette added: "It was pretty quick, actually. Because when we pranked Paul McCartney it took us about two months...Bill Gates, a month, Britney Spears, two days, and Sarah Palin about four or five days." Trudel later observed: "Yeah, and it's pretty disturbing to see that idiot's like us can go through to a vice presidential candidate that could be eventually the most influential and the most powerful person in the world...Too stupid comedians...with a bad French accent...and go through her staff." Smith concluded: "I think you said it all."

By Seton Motley | November 3, 2008 | 10:39 AM EST | Media Research Center
Matthew Vadum (Right) Speaking Truth to Flower Power
As Bill Cosby said via Fat Albert and the Gang, it's like school on Saturday: No class. Contributor, the estimable Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center, made an October 30th appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, during which he discussed the many illegal activities of the community organizing group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and their long relationship with the media's all-time favorite candidate: Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama.  Soon thereafter, Mr. Vadum changed his Facebook Profile photograph to one of him hamming it up with his Daily Show interlocutor John Oliver. 

This was all too much for New York Times reporter Dan Mitchell.  Mitchell sent Mr. Vadum a poison Halloween Facebook email, which is hostile from start to finish and in which he calls Mr. Vadum the aforementioned body part.

The Mitchell email in its entirety, with the one word redacted so as to maintain our G-rating: