First, I occasionally appear on Chicago Tonight: Week in Review and this blog is paid for by NBC, so apparent conflicts of interest abound. But I think last Friday night’s show needs a few clarifications – particularly some statements made by veteran political reporter Mike Flannery.
1. Flannery asserted that Barack Obama’s momentum could be reversed if there is a last-minute surprise, like what happened in Spain in 2004 when terrorists bombed a Madrid rail station. The media narrative at the time was that the bombing shifted the election results, but that theory – spun aggressively by the Bush administration – has largely been debunked.
2. Flannery stated that one of Obama’s biggest campaign mistakes was the “bitter” comments made to San Francisco fundraisers. He should have known, Flannery said, “that Republicans would have somebody in there with a microphone.” Of course, Obama was caught on tape not by a Republican but by a Huffington Post citizen journalist named Mayhill Flower – who was and is an Obama supporter.
Posted in Presidential Poop, Punditocracy, Uncategorized
Tagged Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bruce Dold, Hillary Clinton, Jim Litke, Mayhill Flower, Mike Flannery, Ross Perot, Tony Rezko, Week in Review
1. “Barack Obama wore a flag lapel pin during the first debate and John McCain did not, for those who monitor patriotic accessorizing,” Zay Smith notes in his Sun-Times Quick Takes column today.
Maybe both candidates were trolling for crossover votes.
2. “Forty-six percent of American voters are still unable to correctly identify Barack Obama as a Christian,” Smith also writes.
Yeah, but that’s a higher percentage of Republicans who identify John McCain as a Christian.
3. “The people of Cook County need a state’s attorney who is ready to run the office now, not someone ready to learn on the job,” the Sun-Times writes today in its endorsement of Anita Alvarez for Cook County State’s Attorney.
Experience will be much less important when the paper endorses Barack Obama for president – just as it was when the paper endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
Posted in Division Street, Presidential Poop, Punditocracy
Tagged Al Gore, Anita Alvarez, Barack Obama, Christopher Hitchens, Cook County, Division Street, flag pins, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mary Mitchell, Sun-Times, Tony Peraica, Willie Horton
“Fantastic. Could not have been better. Hillary Rodham Clinton laid out the case to vote for Barack Obama better than he does himself,” Lynn Sweet writes.
“She offered the electrifying fight that the limpid Obama has not – setting off paranoia among Democrats that they had chosen the wrong nominee or that Obama had chosen the wrong vice president,” Maureen Dowd writes.
And most stunning, this from Kos: “But rising to the occasion, Hillary Clinton was perfect. I’m quite convinced she would’ve been our nominee had she voted against Bush war in Iraq, and she would’ve been a great nominee.”
You mean you wouldn’t have made her out to be a sleazy racist bitch had she not voted the same way Joe Biden did on the war?
With the Obama campaign keeping us in high suspense today, let’s take a look at the contenders.
1. JOE BIDEN. Joe Biden? I happen to be a Joe Biden fan. He’s super-smart, has a great sense of humor, and knows foreign countries down to the block level. But if you put him on the ticket, you’ll have to spend valuable time and energy cleaning up after him. And truthfully, he creates a stature gap, because he’s bigger than Obama. Also, the idea of him as Secretary of State is a laugh. He’s not what I would call a diplomat. Funny, though, how the pundits who dismissed his presidential run from the get-go have suddenly discovered his virtues.
2. TIM KAINE. Who? He’s in his first term as governor, which gives him more executive experience than Obama but would create a ticket with less total experience than the Bear’s quarterback duo of Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman. Plus, you couldn’t very easily paint John McCain as out-of-touch because he’s not very familiar with the Internet given that Kaine doesn’t know how to sign up for a text message.
3. EVAN BAYH. I predicted Bayh long ago – and have the witnesses to prove it – but truthfully I didn’t know that he not only voted for the Iraq War, but co-sponsored the authorization. I’m not sure how Obama gets past that one.
Posted in Presidential Poop, Punditocracy
Tagged Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Chet Edwards, Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Kathleen Sebelius, Mike Bloomberg, Russ Feingold, Ted Strickland, Tim Kaine
The Internet has been around a long time now – long enough to threaten the survival of many newspapers, including the Sun-Times – and yet, the traditional media still largely has a cornpoke view toward the dangfangled technology. And these are the people begging for your trust and patronage?
Consider the editorial “Web Enables Obama To Confront Rumors Head-On” in the Dim One today.
By that title, you’d think this would be a piece appreciating the use of the Web to combat scurrilous smears – a tool not available to, say, those smeared by Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s; or to poor Edmund Muskie in 1968, who, like Hillary Clinton, never really cried; or to Nixon’s enemies in the 1970s and Michael Dukakis in the 1988 campaign and so on.
But no. This, instead, is another tired rant against the Internet. Let’s take a closer look at the complete lack of rational thinking emanating from the geniuses at the Sun-Times.
“For several weeks, a scurrilous rumor about Michelle Obama has wafted through the blogosphere with an awful stench.”
Note the correlation of the blogosphere with a place reeking of an awful stench. How does that explain Rush Limbaugh and Bob Beckel?
Maybe the Sun-Times ought to rail against the radiosphere and TVsphere.
“But you didn’t hear about it in this newspaper for the best of reasons: Not a shred of evidence said it was true.”
The Sun-Times no problem publishing a Christopher Hitchens column a few months ago, though, stating as fact that Bill Clinton was a rapist. (And where is the S-T’s outrage at WTTW for allowing a local author to state that Bill Clinton “is dating” on Chicago Tonight recently without proof?)
Posted in Dumb Ideas, Moral Dilemmas, Public Service Announcement, Punditocracy
Tagged Art Petacque, Barack Obama, blogosphere, Edmund Muskie, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joseph McCarthy, Mary Mitchell, Michael Dukakis, Michael Sneed, Michelle Obama, Robert Novak, Sun-Times, Swift Boat