Friday, April 18, 2008

Far-Left Nomenklatura Sends an Open Letter in Support of the Obamanable Showman!

The Politburo-wannabes in the Union of Socialist States of America have signed a letter whining about ABC's debate last night.

Good these ca-reepos have outed themselves so we can get a good idea of just who Bill Ayers will turn to for moral support if he ever gets his bomb squads up and running again! The Nation has the gall to call these propagandists "journalists," as though working for Pravda or Tass makes one a "journalist."

UPDATE Mary Katherine Ham at has the best analysis on the Nomenklatura 'splodin' dudes [metaphorically] jumping up and down and holding their breath while smoke comes out of their ears:
I was on O'Reilly last night talking about the whiny uproar over the debate. They're icing the kicker, here, and it may work on the next left-leaning moderator charged with working a debate. They're very sensitive to being called right-wing tools, and the Left blogs know it.

Like that gentleman behind the curtain we should pay no attention to, these whiny weirdos like Tom Shales, the voluminous gasbag at the Washington Compost, or Greg Mitchell of a bogus lefty publication called Editor & Publisher which has been busy chronicling the steady decline in the number of journalists and stock price of the NYT & Tribune Group---caused by the suffocating leftist tilt of said publications.

John Harris and Jim VanderHei have slapped down these spurious representatives of the people in a nice Politco smackdown of the Nation Wall of Shame link at the top of this post:
Two of the questions ABC asked Wednesday were related to subjects that have largely been met with media yawns.

One was Obama’s casual association with 1960s era radicals and would-be bomb-setters William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn: What is the nature of his relationship?

Another was about a questionnaire from a 1996 legislative race in which he endorsed a ban on handguns. Obama said the questionnaire was filled out by someone else and was in error about his views at the time. But it was later found that his handwriting was on the document: What gives?

One can dispute the relevance of these stories — though it seems certain they will be of interest to many moderate voters Obama would need in the fall — but it is indisputable that if Clinton was facing similar questions they would be the subject of constant and all-consuming coverage. There is an obvious double standard.

2. The rise of the liberal echo chamber. It used to be that if a reporter received a letter that started, “You biased S.O.B.,” it was almost certainly coming from someone on the right. In 1998 — the year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Bill Clinton’s impeachment — those notes began coming in equal measure from the left. During the Bush era — when the media stumbled in coverage of the march to war in Iraq — complaints are much more likely to come from liberals.

But it has only been in this campaign cycle that we have seen the liberal echo chamber — from websites like The Huffington Post and cable commentators like Keith Olbermann — be able consistently to drive a campaign story line. In the past, it was only the conservative echo chamber — Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh — who regularly drove stories in new media and old media alike. This is a huge shift.

3. The blurring of lines between journalist and advocate. The Huffington Post is an admirable enterprise, staking a flag in a new media landscape. Its success this year was made possible by the openness of the Web and the decline in what was once the near-monopoly power of old media institutions like The New York Times to set the agenda on national politics. (Politico is itself an experiment in that new media landscape — one reason we admire Huffington.)

But it covers politics with a mix of traditional reporters and analysts, like Tom Edsall, and with people who define themselves principally as advocates. Many of these advocates, like The Huffington Post as a whole, are proudly cheering for Obama. (This is true even though the site, almost apologetically, broke the story about Obama’s recent remarks saying small-town Pennsylvanians turn to guns and God because they are bitter.)

Obama benefits also from probably the strongest bias of traditional, old media reporters: Against partisan combat and for a brand of politics that would transcend differences in favor of cooperation and centrism on elite issues like entitlement reform. Many of these reporters see Clinton representing bad, angry, contrived old politics and Obama bravely leading the way for good, civil, authentic new politics.

4. Covering politics as it is versus as it should be. Many of the people complaining about ABC’s coverage, even some Clinton supporters, disliked the questions and the tone because they felt they were serving as a warm-up act for Republican attacks in the fall.

It is not an easy balance. It is not reporters’ job to promote the opposition’s story lines — especially dubious ones like the suggestion that because Obama does not favor flag pins on his lapel it reflects adversely on his patriotism. But nor can serious reporters avert their gaze from the fact that questions about how well candidates connect personally and culturally with voters matter a lot — they were decisive factors in both the 2000 and 2004 elections.

Gibson and Stephanopoulos handled this balancing act responsibly. They asked tough questions of both candidates. In the wake of the debate, it is time for Obama’s cheerleaders in the media to ask some questions of themselves.

Game, set, match.

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