In preparation for Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention, Monday’s CBS Early Show continued it’s fawning over the wife of the presidential candidate as co-host Harry Smith declared: "Michelle Obama steps out tonight to address the nation. Is she Barack's best asset?" The show featured three segments on Michelle Obama, two of which were complete fluff.
In the first segment, Bianca Solorzano looked at five things that people might not know about Michelle Obama: "Michelle Obama is known for her fashion-forward style, but when it comes to her style of eating, she likes good old-fashioned comfort food. We asked close friend and family confidant Valerie Jarrett to give us the inside scoop, beginning with Michelle's favorite food." Jarrett replied: "Oh, that's easy, French fries." Jarrett is of course an Obama campaign worker, in addition to being a "family confidant." It was also revealed that Michelle Obama exercises daily, her favorite singer is Stevie Wonder, and she watched the ‘Dick Van Dyke Show’ as a child. In June, the Early Show did a similar segment on Barack Obama and informed viewers that he "loves to play scrabble" but "does not like ice cream."
Solorzano went on to highlight how outspoken Michelle Obama is: "Another thing close to Michelle's heart -- honest views." A clip was played of Obama appearing on ABC’s The View claiming that: "People aren't used to strong women."
Now that Barack Obama has chosen Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate, will liberals in the media question the Delaware senator about a Washington Post interview from October 2007 in which he cited low minority population as a reason Iowa schools are performing better than those in Washington D.C.?
Biden asserted in the October 25, 2007 article, "There's less than one percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than four of five percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with." [Emphasis added]
The Post reexamined the quote in a generally positive editorial that ran on Sunday. The paper took pains to note that in 2007, "The Biden campaign quickly issued a statement asserting that the candidate was referring to socioeconomic status, not racial differences." The editorial proceeded to simply chide Biden for being too free with his comments.
ABC’s Chris Cuomo kicked off Democratic Convention week with a very positive portrayal of Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. On the August 25 edition of "Good Morning America," Cuomo asked such hard hitting questions as to Michelle Obama’s fashion choice the night of her speech.
Cuomo portrayed Jarrett as a friendly house wife neighbor of the Obamas', Cuomo declared Jarrett has "been called as close to [Obama] as a sister." What Cuomo neglected to note that, according to David Freddoso, Valerie Jarrett "was the chief executive of a company that managed a housing complex that became so run-down it was seized by the federal government."
The morning host could not be bothered with such inconvenient facts, instead asked the staunch Obama supporter "what don’t they know that you know?" "is he ready?" and "what is your greatest fear for Barack and Michell?"
Chris Cuomo only asked mildly tough questions about why Obama did not pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate and the recent tightening in the polls.
Monday’s "American Morning" featured a segment on CNN political analyst Roland Martin’s recent TV One interview with Michelle Obama which seemingly sought to counter negative assertions about Obama by Republicans and “crazy folks on the right.”
After airing a clip of Obama talking about her blue-collar upbringing, during which she stated that her story was the "quintessential American story," co-host Kiran Chetry asked Martin about how important it would be for Obama to address that in her speech at the Democratic National Convention. In his reply, Martin contended that "crazy folks on the right" are to blame for mischaracterizations of Obama, although he has previously acknowledged that "idiot Democrats" were also to blame for certain rumors:
CHETRY: Roland, how important is it going to be for her to bring that up tonight as she gives the speech?
MARTIN: It’s vital because it lays the foundation that, look, I’m just like you. I’m not, you know, I wasn’t some rich kid who went to Princeton and Harvard where I had a silver spoon in my mouth. She makes the point in the interview on TV One last night that, look, I was born in a two bedroom apartment, grew up with my brother, my dad, my mom. So, when you’re able to tell that story, you’re able to counter this different kind of version that’s been put upon her by frankly a lot of the crazy folks on the right.
CBS’s Early Show and NBC’s Today on Monday morning touted, without offering specifics, what CBS reporter Dean Reynolds called Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden’s “wealth of experience” and “long record of accomplishment” on foreign policy; NBC’s David Gregory asserted that Biden had “deep foreign policy experience.” On Sunday’s Good Morning America, reporter John Berman also declared “Biden’s foreign policy expertise fills some holes in Obama’s resume.”
But CNN’s American Morning asked their Iraq reporter, Michael Ware, to rate Biden’s major contribution to recent foreign policy debates, his plan to partition Iraq into three separate regions. “Madness,” Ware declared, adding: “No one is for partition unless of course you're an Iranian-backed political party because they'd love to have a self-governing zone in the south that effectively would become an extension of Iran.”
Appearing later in the same show, Ware again scoffed at Biden’s proposal: “No one supports it. It ain't going anywhere.”
To kick off coverage of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, "Today" host Matt Lauer actually posed some challenging questions to Barack Obama's communications director, Robert Gibbs. The NBC host cited examples of newly minted vice presidential candidate Joe Biden praising John McCain's leadership and pointedly asked, "So, now, if Joe Biden goes on the attack against John McCain, isn't he going to come off sounding like just another politician who will do and say anything to get elected?"
Referring to reports that Biden has been warned to stay on message and not go off on verbose tangents, Lauer quizzed, "Can you take me through that warning? Who had the talk with Joe Biden?" After not getting an actual answer from Gibbs, he followed-up: "Well, but as communications director, it's your job to manage the message now coming out of both of these candidates, so wouldn't you have been involved in that discussion?"
Of course, the morning program did feature some typical examples of liberal talking points. A segment with reporter Ann Curry highlighted a clip of liberal historian Doris Kearns Goodwin discussing Barack Obama's speech and spinning, "He's still not that well known in parts of the country and because he [Obama] has been caricatured by the other side, his speech is probably more important than most acceptance speeches are."
On the roundtable segment of Sunday’s Meet the Press, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham exclaimed that the Democratic Party should be elated that for years, the Democrats "wanted a prize fighter. And they have two right now." The NBC show was discussing Meacham's interview with Obama in the September 1 Newsweek, in which Meacham supportively volunteered to Obama that while some worry he won’t be tough enough, "I think a careful reading of your life, even a cursory one, suggests the opposite. I just don't think you get to where you're sitting when you're 47 years old by being soft."
The Newsweek interview is all about the touchy-feely matters of Obama’s upbringing, and the absence of his father Barack Obama Senior, a theme Meacham highlighted on Meet the Press:
Employing the usual liberal assumption that Republicans are always nastier at attack politics, CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer suggested on Sunday morning that Barack Obama has yet to "go negative" in this campaign and "some" say he needs to "climb off the mountaintop and get down here and mix it up."
Did he miss all Obama's talk of Bush-induced "economic disaster" on Saturday? But then Schieffer suggested that Joe Biden's going to have to be Obama's spear chucker – well, "spear guy" – and he might not be able to attack McCain since "they are such close friends."
Did he not hear the "seven kitchen tables" crack in Springfield on Saturday? This talk about timid Democrats came after Schieffer asked his Democrat guests to unload on the controversy over McCain's multiple houses.
Hailing Barack Obama's attacks on John McCain's foreign policy as “profound” with “the fire I've been waiting for,” during live MSNBC coverage Saturday afternoon of Obama introducing running mate Joe Biden, Chris Matthews was pleased “he finally took on John McCain on the issue of our time, which is Russia” as “he used the word bluster twice.” Matthews then smeared John McCain and conservatives as warmongers: “There are a lot of neo-conservatives out there that just love the old black and white Manichaean cold war feeling again. They'd like to get rid of color television, in fact. Let's go back to the '50s and let's fight with the Russians again.” That earned approving laughter from co-anchor Keith Olbermann who later cited Biden's call “to restore America's soul” and wondered: “Does it bring it up to this kind of Lincolnian greater than the sum of the parts public good mission almost?”
Matthews explained to his viewers that Obama “referred to it as bluster because if you read the really smart columnists,” and those would be “people like David Ignatius and Tom Friedman” who are “in the middle politically,” Obama was just “calling it what it is, bluster. It's just words, just sword-rattling, and he called it today. I thought that was profound.”
At about 3:42 PM EDT, just after Biden finished speaking, Matthews oozed over Obama's address with “dignity and indignation,” comparing him to actors Denzel Washington and Spencer Tracy. Really:
When I was watching Barack, I said there's the fire I've been waiting for. Maybe it was the camera angle, but I was looking up, if you look at some of the stronger performances, and they're almost always strong by the actor Denzel Washington, when he's really sticking it to the bad guys at the end of the movies, when he's really making his sort of Spencer Tracy moment, there's something about the face, there's something about that statement of strength and even anger where you really make your point with dignity and indignation, and I thought he was doing it today for the first time as a candidate: Barack Obama taking the fight to the bluster of the opponent.