Kate Phillips blogged the Obama-Cheney dueling national security speeches Thursday morning at nytimes.com. Phillips got her Cheney feedback from New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg, who was listening to Cheney live at the American Enterprise Institute. Cheney began his speech right after President Obama had finished addressing an audience at the National Archives.
A double standard was soon evident. While the reporters reacted passively to Obama's speech, simply relaying great chunks of it which went unchallenged, Phillips and Rutenberg peppered Cheney's speech with questions on several occasions or otherwise sniped at him. Some excerpts from the Times's live coverage of Cheney's speech:
Mr. Cheney Begins | 11:22 a.m. The former vice president steps up -- and you know he's ad-libbing a little when he begins by saying that you can tell that President Obama was in the Senate, not the House, (where Mr. Cheney once served), because representatives have a five-minute rule on the floor for speeches.
Yesterday I forecasted that by and large the mainstream media would paper over or outright ignore the testimony of Captain Richard Phillips. The commanding officer of the MV Maersk Alabama told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that arming senior officers on merchant ships should be part of a larger anti-piracy policy that includes beefed up U.S. Navy patrols and escorts. Also testifying, Maersk chairman John Clancey disagreed with his employee about arming the civilian sailors.
Well today, that newspaper which touts itself as bearing "all the news that's fit to print" failed to include a story on the testimony by the former Somali pirate hostage. That's right, the New York Times failed to even carry an Associated Press wire story, according to a search of the New York Times Web site for content published between April 30 and May 1 that mentions "Richard Phillips." A similar scouring of the print edition's A-section confirmed that the paper didn't carry the story.
What's more, it's not as though the Times was unaware of Phillips' testimony before the fact. As Kate Phillips and Janie Lorber noted in an April 30 post at the Times' The Caucus blog:
New York Times reporter Kate Phillips is absolutely sure that Barack Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment wasn't referring to Sarah Palin, and wishes people would stop talking about it. Here's Phillips's Wednesday evening entry on the Times's political blog, "McCain Ad: The Wolves Are OutAgainst Palin."
Forget how worn that "lipstick on a pig" talk is getting at this point. Let's, uh, put a little gloss on that for a second, even though the liberal blogosphere and others have been awash in media-bashing today for anyone even writing about Senator Barack Obama's comments that the McCain campaign is putting "lipstick on a pig." He contended that it was all about the McCain-Palin ticket representing no change.
(And there's no question that Senator Obama did not refer to Gov. Sarah Palin as a pig during his talk last night in Virginia. Although the allusion to lipstick within a week of Ms. Palin's popular line at the Republican convention has prompted a great deal of chatter around the Internet.)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia managed to smear both McCain and fighter pilots in general when he told his home state paper, The Charleston Gazette, on Monday that:
"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."
Phillips led off with Rockefeller's apology, not his offensive comments, then moved quickly on to his endorsement and praise of Obama.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV personally apologized to Senator John McCain of Arizona on Tuesday after remarking in an interview that Mr. McCain's years as a Navy fighter pilot would not have given him an understanding of everyday issues faced by Americans.