Sen. Joe Biden, the vice presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, was on CNN, MSNBC and even Fox News discussing the debate and offering analysis. Sen. Biden looked vice presidential and confident in his words and records as he went on the major cable networks for interviews. Meanwhile, Gov. Sarah Palin is still being hidden by the Republicans. How can people be confident that Gov. Palin is ready to be vice president of the United States when she is still being shielded from the media and managed so carefully by the campaign team of Sen. John McCain. Is this a form of sexism that the Republicans wanted her on the ticket, but now seem to not respect her enough to let her go out and face the music without all of these ridiculous conditions? How bad do the Republicans look when Sen. Obama knows he does not have to shield Sen. Biden from the mainstream media because he is supremely confident his vice presidential candidate can confidently conduct himself. Meanwhile, Gov. Sarah Palin is essentially on the back of a political milk carton.
Archive for September, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama was masterful in his approach to dealing with Sen. John McCain during the first presidential debate at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford. Sen. Obama repeatedly spoke of his agreements with Sen. McCain on some of the issues. Some people have taken it as a sign of weakness, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it showed Sen. Obama’s ability to reach across the political aisle to complement people and concede when those on the other side are doing things the right way. Most important of all, it was a smart strategy for Sen. Obama to connect with the independent voters who detest political partisanship and want someone who is focusing more on the issues and less on gotcha politics. I think that is one of the reasons that Sen. Obama looked far more presidential in this debate that was supposed to play to Sen. McCain’s supposed strengths relative to foreign policy. Sen. McCain was extremely condescending to Sen. Obama by repeating lines like “he just doesn’t understand.” That was something that did not play well with even some of the regular voters that even Fox News interviewed for debate analysis … on FOX NEWS! About the only people who felt that Sen. McCain won and looked more presidential were the usual highly-conservative pundits on Fox News and the people in Sen. McCain’s camp (now free to jump back into politics as apparently the Arizona senator’s campaign is running again … since he decided to show up in Mississippi for this debate).
Sen. Barack Obama went confidently on Sen. John McCain’s political turf (a debate at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, largely centered on foreign policy) an had a strong performance … one this blogger believes he solidly won. Of course, our “friends” at Fox News Channel shockingly see it the other way, but are we really surprised by that? I think not. Most of what I took in from the post-debate coverage was from CNN to get a more unbiased perspective (or at least more balanced perspective) on how Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain performed in this first presidential debate (one that Sen. McCain was gracious enough to show up to). Sen. Obama was strong and decisive in his comments. It was noticeable to me that he talked many times directly to Sen. McCain who looked away, looked at moderator Jim Lehrer, looked at the crowd and looked down at his podium. Sen. Obama was confident and well-versed on foreign policy and looked very presidential. There is no doubt in my mind that Sen. Obama won the debate (although I do concede that McCain had a strong finish). McCain appeared far too condescending, angry at times and rattled as he fumbled over mispronounced names of the Pakistan president and the Iranian president. It was interesting to me to listen to the conservative panel on Fox News Channel declare Sen. McCain the winner and ignore some of his pronunciation gaffes, the fact that he said the Iraq war would be quick and easy, that we knew where the (still yet-to-be-found) weapons of mass destruction were located and so on and so forth. Sen. Obama was strong, he was level-headed, he was well-prepared, and his delivery was very strong.
You know you’re in trouble, as the Republican nominee for the vice presidency, when someone as rabidly-conservative as Kathleen Parker is firing criticisms at you. But, that is precisely the position that Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for the vice presidency, finds herself in these days. Parker, who generally takes in, processes and spits out Republican talking points like a machine, has shown that even some on the right wing are becoming increasingly concerns with the viability of Gov. Palin, whose popularity and approval ratings are plummeting. “Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick – what a difference a financial crisis makes – and a more complicated picture has emerged. As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.” Here is a final comment from Parker on Gov. Palin, “Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.”
Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy again has shown his anti-Democrat, pro-Sen. John McCain bias and he has done it at the expense of decency on the conservative cable network. Doocy repeatedly interrupted his “liberal” guest and all but applauded his “conservative guest. After repeated interruptions of the one guest he then turned around and called the “liberal” guest rude when he had the nerve to do the same thing later in the segment. Is Doocy so crazy that he could not remember rudely interrupting his guest only to turn around in crazy fashion and criticize the previously interrupted guest for being rude and interrupting? We know that Fox News is the network conservatives follow, but the hosts could at least pretend to try and show some drop of objectivity in their presentation. Doocy and his morning crew have sacrificed any claim to objectivity the Fox News Channel ever had. This is the same network that, in almost clinically-psychotic fashion, then turns around and routinely calls other networks, Web sites and newspapers biased. It’s unbelievable. Once again, our friends at Fox News Hounds were all over this one.
News Hounds on blatant Doocy bias:
Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, of Alaska, clearly is in over her head in her candidacy for vice president of the United States of America. Even some Republicans are beginning to splinter off and see the all-too-ugly truth that Gov. Palin is nowhere near prepared to serve as president of the United States and the thought of her being one step away from the presidency is a thought that is nothing short of chilling. Unfortunately, it’s probably too late for Gov. Palin to bail out of a spot she should never have allowed herself to be put in to begin. The latest example of Gov. Palin’s lack of preparedness to be vice president of the United States was on full display during her recent interview with Katie Couric. Now, being a smooth talker does not necessarily equate to being presidential or vice presidential. However, being or appearing ill-prepared for even the most common questions (delivered with authority) should not be enough to knock someone off stride – someone in the mix to possibly become vice president of the country. CNN’s Jack Cafferty was one of many people quick to point out Gov. Palin’s struggles, struggles he termed “disastrous,” in a commentary. Said Cafferty to CNN colleague Wolf Blitzer, “There’s a reason the McCain campaign keeps Governor Palin away from the press.” I wonder if people will heed this warning, from Cafferty, as documented by Huffington Post, “If John McCain wins this woman will be one 72-year-old’s heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, it should.”
It’s not exactly breaking news to point out conservative Rush Limbaugh playing racial politics as part of his fanatical devotion to the extremist wing of the Republican Party (there are many, many good people in the Republican Party … Rush Limbaugh simply is not one of them). Anyway, Limbaugh has made a career out of playing to the racial fears (black people and Muslim are dangerous) and racial animosity (under qualified black people are stealing jobs from more qualified white people thanks to the evils of affirmative action) of those on the right wing. He plays to the weaknesses of so many conservatives. Here is the Limbaugh smear, “These polls on how one-third of blue-collar white Democrats won’t vote for Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic Party nominee for president of the United States, because he’s black, and – but he’s not black. Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood? He doesn’t have any African – that’s why when they asked whether he was authentic, whether he’s down for the struggle. He’s Arab. You know, he’s from Africa. He’s from Arab parts of Africa. He’s not – his father was – he’s not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American. I guess that’s splitting hairs, I don’t – it’s just all these little things, everything seems upside-down today in this country.” So, Obama’s dad is from Africa, his mom is from America (Barack himself was born in America), but he is not African-American according to Limbaugh. That is just plain dumb. Oh, and by the way, Kenya (where Barack’s father was from) is not an Arab country. First of all, this is anti-Muslim racism. Limbaugh and people on his side of the political spectrum have been trying to play upon fears of Muslim people in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This is why so many people are doing everything within their power to try and portray Sen. Obama as a Muslim or an Arab. Don’t buy into fear smear.
Media Matters on Limbaugh comments:
Sen. John McCain, a shell of the man of integrity who ran for president unsuccessfully in the Republican primary in 2000, is finding it difficult to be truthful. Apparently, his lack of honesty came back to bite at least one late night television show host, and a prominent one at that, in the butt. Oh, and David Letterman (who was blown off for an interview by McCain so the Arizona senator could supposedly go back to Washington D.C. to deal with the economic crisis. Apparently, McCain took a wrong turn on his way back to D.C. and ended up in a nearby studio doing an interview with Katie Couric) was highly displeased (rightfully so). So, even though McCain has continued to unbelievably claim that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, he is suspending his campaign (an almost unprecedented move in the history of presidential politics) to deal with the economic crisis. I thought the fundamentals of the economy were strong? Hey, if the fundamentals of the economy are strong then I think McCain should have several hours to spare to discuss foreign policy in a debate (especially in a world with two wars going on … one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, a potential nuclear threat brewing in North Korea and increasingly unstable situations with Russia and Iran). Consider this from the Web site Crooks and Liars, “In what can only be described as the most desperate political move in modern presidential history, John McCain is proving that he is wholly unfit to lead our country. I hope David Letterman is not the only one with a national stage to speak the truth about this. McCain is scared out of his mind and this hoax only solidifies the point. The McCain/Palin ticket is plummeting in the polls, the Davis/Freddie Mac scandal is reaching a fever pitch, they’re trying to keep Palin locked in a bubble and more and more Republicans are becoming furious with the way this sham of a campaign is being run. Barack Obama needs to stand firm and not give in!”
So, apparently Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee for President of the United States, is calling for a time out … A TIME OUT! WHAT! Apparently, things have been a little too difficult for the Arizona Republican senator who has decided to suspend his campaign (on the eve of the first presidential debate on Friday in Mississippi). McCain wants to delay the Friday evening debate … under the guise of wanting to focus on finding measures to solve the current economic crisis in the United States. So, if things are going rough and a war breaks out (I mean … besides the other two wars we have going on in Afghanistan and Iraq) … is Sen. McCain going to try and call a time out so he can restrict himself to just one important issue at a time. Hey, a president needs to be able to handle more than one issue at a time. Isn’t that what a president is supposed to be able to do? If some crisis breaks out with Russia or with Iran … is McCain going to try and call leaders of those two nations and ask them if they can chill out for a bit while he huddles his team together in a time out? For some reason, I am doubting that is going to fly to well on the international stage and it shouldn’t fly too well on the national stage. McCain is looking pitiful and sad. I am sure McCain’s plane can fly him back from Mississippi to Washington D.C. fairly quickly. If not, perhaps he can bum a ride on Sen. Barack Obama’s plane.
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh has made many racial attacks on Sen. Barack Obama, and many other people of color throughout his career. But, for the purposes of this blog, I will focus on his race smears against Sen. Obama, the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States. He referred to the biracial Obama and actress Halle Berry as “Halfrican Americans.” Typical Limbaugh: Disgraceful and dumb, but enabled by legions of blind loyalists who follow him like ants after food. So, Limbaugh has been known to play racial politics to try and emphasize the fact that blacks are black and somehow different and dangerous … people who need to somehow be isolated and carefully watched … avoided at most costs. Limbaugh is like leftover food cluttering and stinking up your refrigerator: He’s not as good as it once was to some people, he’s old and tired, people don’t really want him as much as they once did, people would much rather have something fresh and good, and most people would rather just throw him away and be done with him. Now, some people would strongly dispute whether or not what Rush Limbaugh had to offer was ever good in the first place.
Media Matters on Limbaugh:
Bill O’Reilly’s so-called “Obama Chronicles,” a 25-part hit job designed to try and marginalize Sen. Barack Obama’s historic candidacy for the presidency hit another new low. O’Reilly aided by another conservative, right-wing hack, attempted to make the same tired and weak connection between Obama and Bill Ayers . As Fox News Hounds points out, Obama’s mission was to do what he could to help poor kids and others in the inner city of Chicago. It’s part of that community organizing the Republicans have enjoyed bashing throughout this campaign season. O’Reilly’s weak effort to is like an old movie series that keeps going on and on … long after everyone has yearned to stick a fork in it. What, aren’t there like 20 more parts to go? This is an unbelievable waste of time and resources and shows obvious bias as it is not balanced by any comparable look into Sen. John McCain’s record (his service and Vietnam, how that might have impacted his medical conditions, his medical records, leaving behind his wife and the mother of his kids, marrying his second wife who had all kinds of crazy money when he met her, his associations with John Hagee and Rod Parsley, the Keating Five, and so on). O’Reilly spent the whole show working his three favorite angles: general bashing of liberals (particularly the so-called mainstream media), whining about the treatment of Gov. Sarah Palin (a woman for whom he seems to have an unhealthy obsession) and (no O’Reilly Factor show would be completely without) trashing Barack Obama with the help of biased right-wing guests.
Fox News Hounds on O’Reilly’s Fox News-sanctioned ongoing attack of Obama:
Neil Cavuto, having already divorced himself of the perception he is objective, has been totally exposed as a right-wing hack posing as a business reporter/analyst on the very biased Fox News Channel (clearly in the tank for Sen. John McCain in his bid for the presidency and completely infatuated with Gov. Sarah Palin). Now, being a right-winger is one thing, but making a racist statement on the air is an entirely different thing all together. The comment was reported on Fox News Hounds and apparently was made Sept. 18. Here are Cavuto’s words, “Did you warn or express concern about any things that happened? I’m not saying that one or the other is beyond blame, I’m just saying I don’t remember a clarion call that said Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster? Maybe if you said it, enlighten me.” Are you freaking kidding me? Is he criticizing Fannie and Freddie because they had the audacity to loan to minorities? Another disgusting example of Fox News Channel bias and racial politics. Apparently, in Cavuto’s world it’s OK for people to take out loans to buy houses … just as long as you’re not a minority.
Fox News Hounds on Cavuto’s racist comment:
Mary Mitchell, of the Chicago Sun-Times, has been one of my favorite newly-discovered columnists. Part of that is due to the political campaign this season and her straightforward approach to column writing. One of her latest pieces has to do with the infidelity of Sen. John McCain upon his return from Vietnam that led to his wife at the time, Carol, being thrown aside for the younger and richer Cindy McCain. I read some more details about McCain that I had not heard before. It’s especially sad because Cindy raised their family, stood by him, endured a serious accident that left her in rough physical shape and more. Perhaps Fox News Channel’s conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly should consider the producing the McCain Chronicles (he won’t because he is in the tank for McCain and the Republicans) to show us what Sen. McCain is really (and tell us about his shaky history) like instead of being biased and anti-Democrat with his Obama Chronicles (abusing his platform at Fox News to attack Sen. Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama). We know O’Reilly is biased, but come on, Bill. It’s time he stepped up and kept it fair. Thankfully, we have some writers in the mainstream press who are trying to give us the other side of the political spectrum to balance attacks on Sen. Obama and his wife.
Mary Mitchell in the Sun-Times:
Fox News Channel, the firm designated to handle the public relations of the Republican Party, is at it again with the puff-piece interview series Republican advocate and conservative mouthpiece Sean Hannity conducted and is airing. You have to wonder how much Hannity and Palin practiced the script to make sure they were on the same page to execute their performance before the conservative American people. It’s difficult to put together segments like Hannity and Palin put together on Fox. It takes a good product to sell, it takes careful planning and it requires a commitment to talking points about the product in question. Hmm. Doesn’t it kind of sound like an infomercial.
Maybe this Jon Stewart video will clear things up:
Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News, is at it again – defending the honor of poor Gov. Sarah Palin. Not long after bashing Michelle Obama, wife of Sen. Barack Obama, and labeling her as an angry black woman (while trying to get at least three other women who know Michelle to do likewise – the did not), he comes swinging in like Tarzan to protect poor Gov. Palin from the horrors of those he attacks on a nightly basis from the left wing of the political spectrum. O’Reilly, man, you really have to wonder if there is some kind of a mental issue going on with this guy. He swears up and down he is politically impartial (we know otherwise), but then aggressively attacks everything on the left wing he considers extremist while ignoring extremists on the right wing (either out of fear or outright political bias). I am still trippin‘ out over the fact that he is doing these Obama Chronicles while not answering legitimate questions that need to be answered about Sen. McCain? I am still wondering how he can bring a right-wing guy who rights an attack book on Obama to give analysis of Barack’s relationships and people who have inspired him (I am guessing it was O’Reilly who was the one to decide who Barack’s influences were for the purpose of the show). How many times has he sent his producers to ambush Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Rod Parsley, John Hagee, Laura Ingraham, Hal Turner or any of the other conservatives for their outrageous comments?
Fox News Hounds on O’Reilly bias (I know, it’s old hat by now):
The Republican Party had a number of outstanding candidates it could have picked for vice president before it settled on Gov. Sarah Palin. As we know, historically, the Republicans have fought vigorously against affirmative action policies. But, has the Republican Party now changed its stance on the issue of affirmative action with the selection of Palin to fill out their ticket. Now, many people have speculated that had Palin been a man where was no chance on the planet she would have been picked if she was a man. Now, there are several other women the Republicans could have selected who would have been good for the party and would have had national credibility along with the strength and credentials to stand up to criticism. Instead, the party went with the younger Palin who they thought would energize women (young and old) and convince women to support their gender in the voting booth (rather than support the policies that are important to them). A blog from Black America Web caught my attention as it explored what some people might perceive as the hypocrisy of the G.O.P. with respect to affirmative action. Now, there is no way Palin would have made it through the Republican primary as a legitimate candidate for president. She would have been a first-round or second-round knockout … we have to be honest. Clearly, the fact that Republicans have held her back from the media for so long and then been so selective in who gets to talk to her shows a lack of confidence in her credentials and her ability to face anyone other than a hand-picked interviewer. Could you imagine the Democrats needing to train Sen. Joe Biden on what to say or to prep him to answer questions about key political issues? No. So, what makes Palin such an attractive pick? This writer has an interesting perspective.
Black America Web:
I was willing to give the conservative and biased Bill O’Reilly the benefit of considerable doubt with his series on Sen. Barack Obama and those in his inner circle. But, after fighting through a couple segments, it is clear that this is nothing more than a Republican hit job for which Fox News has been contracted to pull off. I watched the segment where he ripped on Michelle Obama and called her an angry black woman and tried to get his guests to do the same (they refused). Then, on Wednesday, I watched as he talked about three “mentors” of Barack, but used a right-wing author of an anti-Obama book to talk about Barack’s mentors. It made no sense … unless you’re a right winger. The author proceeded to regurgitate right-wing talking points throughout his segment and accused Obama of being the only person to bring race into the campaign (as if we live in this Utopian country where we’re all color blind). Sorry, but the United States is not the Smurf Village and we’re not all the same color. That author came on the show with an agenda and I am sure he executed the conservatives game plan … aided and abetted by Bill O’Reilly. Race is a factor in this campaign and if you need proof just look at the anti-Muslim racism many conservatives are using (trying to paint Obama as a Muslim as if that is somehow some disqualifying factor in the race for the presidency). How has it become so politically correct to exhibit anti-Muslim racism and to do it so blatantly?
Bill O’Reilly, host of the controversial and partisan Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor, did not quite go on the lynching party against Michelle Obama, but he certainly took some shots at her by playing the “angry black woman” card against her. Consider this quote from O’Reilly during his ongoing attempt to define Sen. Obama through his own narrow-minded perspective (I pulled this from the Web site Media Matters). Now, I have a lot of people who call me on the radio and say she looks angry. And I have to say there’s some validity to that. She looks like an angry woman. Did you ask her about that?” Throughout the segment, he attempted to get two women (Vogue magazine contributing editor Rebecca Johnson and Human Events columnist Michelle Oddis) familiar with Michelle Obama to try and paint her as an angry black woman who hates her country, is not warm and fuzzy and is somehow insensitive – all very sexist portrayals that serve only to demean the women who do not fit into certain stereotypes of how we feel women are supposed to behave. O’Reilly worked hard in an attempt to try and get the two women to validate his clearly prejudiced opinion of Michelle Obama. Both of the women, however, defied his best efforts to shape Michelle Obama in O’Reilly’s image of her. Maybe O’Reilly will come to realize that his dangerous stereotypes of women (happy-go-lucky and cheerful all the time with big smiles), in general, and black women (angry, haters of America and ungrateful), as a whole, are very dangerous. O’Reilly needs to leave these stereotypes, which he put in stereo for his right-wing-leaning viewers, where they belong: in the past.
Media Matters on O’Reilly segment about Michelle Obama: