Three days after CNN slammed the dishonest ad from the pro-Obama Priorities USA super PAC that blames Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death, Friday's CBS This Morning finally got around to covering it. But correspondent Nancy Cordes downplayed the liberal group's spot by also targeting a Romney ad that was "panned" by unnamed fact checkers, and claimed that "other Romney ads have taken Mr. Obama's words out of context."
Cordes also dredged up the famous and entirely accurate anti-Michael Dukakis Willie Horton ad from 1988 as an example of negative ads being "a hallmark of presidential campaigns for decades."
New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, better known as James Taranto’s punching bag at Opinion Journal, has a new blog at nytimes.com, “The Loyal Opposition.” On Tuesday Rosenthal posted the provocatively titled “Herman Cain and the ‘Liberal Media,’” where he broadcasts his alarm at how “quickly the right wing jumps on an issue almost in unison,” blames Republicans for injecting racial fears into modern-day politics with Willie Horton, and even claiming the phrase "community organizer" is racist when applied to Obama.
New York Times political reporter Matt Bai still hasn’t forgotten the "overtly racist" Willie Horton ad and sees "a racial element" in just about every attack against President Obama, no matter what the issue. His latest "Political Times" column, "Race and Republican Attacks on Obama," posted online Tuesday, pivoted from Newt Gingrich’s latest press drubbing to the matter of racism and the G.O.P.
Newt Gingrich did his level best to appear level in his "Meet the Press" interview Sunday, maintaining a mostly subdued, thoughtful tone except for one telling moment -- when David Gregory, the host, asked him if his labeling of President Obama as the "food stamp president" might have racist connotations. "Oh, come on," the former House speaker huffed. "That’s bizarre." All he meant, Mr. Gingrich went on to explain, was that Mr. Obama’s policies would turn all of America into Detroit, which probably didn’t endear him to Eminem.
Bai turned virtually every attack hurled at Obama into a racially tinged assault.
Is there a racial element to some of the attacks on President Obama? It’s pretty hard to argue there isn’t, when a conservative writer like Dinesh D’Souza argues that Mr. Obama sees the world like an African nationalist (a theory Mr. Gingrich praised again in his interview Sunday), or when Donald J. Trump asserts that Mr. Obama isn’t smart enough to have gotten into Harvard or to have written his own books.
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tied together Republican opposition to same-sex marriage, the Ground Zero mosque, and illegal immigration, as he charged that "the Republican method" for electoral success is "hate." The MSNBC host opened the show: "The Republican method for winning elections is hate. Hate somebody. Anybody will do. We have seen it this year with immigrants and now, Muslims. And now, in our fifth story tonight: for the first time, we have a former head of the Republican party confirming that, yes, his party does it. They do it to win and did it in 2004 and 2006 against gay Americans. He said this even though he himself is no longer denying that he, too, is gay."
Without evidence, Olbermann also blamed the stabbing of New York City cab driver Ahmed Sharif on those who oppose construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Although he later admitted that the mosque was not mentioned by the suspect, the MSNBC host suggested a link as he teased the show:
In a portion of Matt Lauer's interview with Barack Obama, not aired before the Super Bowl, but aired on Monday's Today show, Lauer asked the president about the release of a Guantanamo prisoner coming back to haunt him. However, Lauer couched the question in not public safety, but political terms as he asked the president, "If one of those people that's released goes back and takes part in the planning of, or carrying out of, an attack against U.S. interests, you're gonna have a Willie Horton times 100 situation." In other words Lauer bypassed asking how upset the president would be if a released Guantanamo prisoner killed U.S. citizens, nor asked how worried Obama would be if Republicans made a Willie Horton like ad, featuring the terrorist, to hurt him politically.
The following exchange was aired in the 7am half hour of the February 2, "Today" show:
MATT LAUER: Let me go on quickly, if I can, to some other subjects. You signed an executive order in your first week, that says you'll close the military detention center at Guantanamo within a year. So the clock is ticking. And already you've heard the criticism that you don't know what you're gonna do with the 245 prisoners being held there?
BARACK OBAMA: It's the right thing to do, ultimately it will make us safer. You've already seen in the reaction around the world, a different sense of America by us taking this action.
Should I be worried? I just agreed with something Neal Gabler said. On yesterday's Fox News Watch, the liberal media critic opined that the MSM is backing Benazir Bhutto over Pervez Musharraf in the current Pakistan crisis -- and not for the loftiest of motives.
And could Hillary fall prey to the scenario that brought down Michael Dukakis?