Politico has made a list they call “The top ten media blunders of 2008” and I call bullshit. Here’s a taste:
6) ABC Democratic Debate in Philadelphia: Co-moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos faced plenty of blowback following the Obama-Clinton debate for spending the first half focused on what many complained were trivial issues — his relationships with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, and his stance on flag pins.
Response: Gibson and Stephanopoulos weathered the criticism, but also didn’t get another debate. Little was heard about Wright after that, or about Ayers until the McCain campaign went hard at the link in the final weeks of the race.
They DID face plenty of blowback – from Obama supporters, including the Obamabloggers and the rest of the corporate media. The reason for the outrage? Charlie and George committed the ultimate sin of questioning The Lightbringer. Even supposedly “neutral” blogs freaked out over the debate. Crooks & Liars did 11 posts on the topic, and not one of them discussed which candidate won (Hillary, Duh!)
Trivial questions? They asked Obama one question about his “bitter-cling” comments, questioned him about about inconsistencies in his claims about Rev. Wright, and asked him how well he really knew Bill Ayers (Obama lied, claiming “This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood”) Not everyone considers those trivial issues.
They asked Hillary if she thought Obama could beat McCain and about her Tuzla Airport statements. They also asked both of them if they would pledge to take the other as their running mate (neither one gave a definite answer)
They asked Obama a follow-up about Tuzla Airport which gave us this exchange:
STEPHANOPOULOS:Senator Obama, your campaign has sent out a cascade of e-mails just about every day, questioning Senator Clinton’s credibility. And you, yourself, said she hasn’t been fully truthful about what she would do as president. Do you believe that Senator Clinton has been fully truthful about her past?
OBAMA: Well, look, I think that Senator Clinton has a strong record to run on. She wouldn’t be here if she didn’t.
And, you know, I haven’t commented on the issue of Bosnia. You know, I…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your campaign has.
OBAMA: Of course. But the — because we’re asked about it.
This exchange is revealing because it shows that the Obama campaign was pushing media story lines despite repeated denials that they were doing so. As I recall, Obama supporters did not consider the Tuzla Airport kerfluffle “trivial” prior to the debate.
Obama was so traumatized by the way he was treated that he refused to do any more debates with Hillary, and would only agree to two debates with McCain.
This next one was okay until they slid a zombie lie into the last sentence:
1) New Hampshire primary: Pundits predicted a campaign-ending, double-digit loss long before the polls closed, and some networks, perhaps disbelieving the results, didn’t call the election until after Obama had already conceded. “I will never underestimate Hillary Clinton again,” Chris Matthews said on MSNBC.
Response: The New Hampshire debacle came up again and again, especially when cable talking heads began saying Obama had sewn up the nomination. But many pundits, perhaps wary of repeating their previous mistake, kept up with the claim the race was neck and neck well after the delegate math no longer gave Clinton any opening.
If I have to explain what’s wrong with that last sentence then I’ll do it while slapping you across the face with a dead fish.
What’s missing from the list of media blunders? Here’s a few off the top of my head:
1. The lack of coverage of the theft of Hillary’s delegates at the RBC meeting in May and/or during the convention in August.
2. The failure to “vet” Obama.
3. “Babygate” aka “The Great Alaskan Panty-sniff Raid.”
4. The lack of coverage of Obama’s fundraising.
5. The RFK fauxrage.
6. Pretty much all the rest of the media coverage (or lack thereof) of the primary and general campaigns.
7. Everything involving this guy:
and/or this one: