Sunday, July 20, 2008

Media Bias Against Clinton and What Obama Doesn't Want You to Know

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by BrandingIron

by access2justiceI had a hard time believing it when my friends on a different blogging site told me that the only news station that wasn't biased against Hillary Clinton was Fox News (dubbed "Faux" News by the progressive bloggers); I despised Fox News and its role in the 2000 Presidential Elections. However, the more I read online and the more I watched CNN and MSNBC--the larger cable news networks--the more I saw that Clinton victories were downplayed and Obama losses were shrugged off. Dan Abrams was the only one to acknowledge this, and even then I was still skeptical about Fox...until the day wee hours before the first polls opened on Super Tuesday.

I'd turned on CNN just to see if there was anything politically worth watching during the first few hours of Super Tuesday, and just about every minute someone said "Barack Obama". It was "Barack Obama this, Barack Obama that, Barack Obama in a few minutes to talk about--" Click. I switched the channel over to Fox News and lo and behold, Hillary Clinton was in the midst of an interview with "Fox and Friends".

I've watched Fox News for over 24 hours now. I'm feeling a bit dirty (perhaps as dirty as I felt when Anne Coulter said that she would campaign for Clinton if McCain is the Republican nominee). They've sofar lived up to my friends' suggestions about being the only television news source (aside from the smatterings of Dan Abrams on MSNBC) to be giving fair coverage of Clinton's campaign progress.

Rezko Money and Favors

The Obama campaign hasn't exactly felt the heat of skeletons tumbling out of any of its closets thanks to said media bias. When Clinton mentioned Rezko during the South Carolina debate, her "attack" was met with little applause and a murmur of boos; Obama wrote off Rezko as "about five hours' worth of work" with something Rezko-related (the What, who me? defense) in the California debate. However, that's not what Obama's own Chicago Sun-Times wrote about in a thorough investigation of Rezko/Obama last spring. "Rezko" is among one of a handful of things that gets underplayed and underreported in favor of keeping Obama's media image polished and Presidential. Read the original article here. Most telling are these paragraphs:

Obama has been friends with Rezko for 17 years. Rezko has been a
political patron to Obama and many others, helping to raise millions of
dollars for them through his own contributions and by hosting
fund-raisers in his home.

Obama, who has worked as a lawyer and a legislator to improve
living conditions for the poor, took campaign donations from Rezko even
as Rezko's low-income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many
African-American families in buildings riddled with problems --
including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat,
squatters and drug dealers.

The building in Englewood was one of 30 Rezmar rehabbed in a
series of troubled deals largely financed by taxpayers. Every project
ran into financial difficulty. More than half went into foreclosure, a
Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.

Exelon Money

Exelon is another example of something that Obama doesn't want the general masses of his following to know the whole truth about. When Exelon's Braidwood facility leaked radioactive tritium into the groundwater, Obama swooped in with legislation mandating disclosure of radioactive leaks. He even touted the legislation in Iowa; except that the legislation didn't pass because he watered it down for Exelon and it eventually got shelved. Oh, and he somehow failed to mention that he's received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Exelon for his Senate and Presidential campaigns. Apparently it doesn't matter when white folk drink nuclear tainted water, but when it comes to helping disadvantaged people of color, Obama's your man.

And yet he talks about Clinton and special interest groups.

Wal-Mart Spouses

Speaking of "special interests", Clinton's Wal-Mart tenure has also been a dead horse that sometimes hauntingly gets trotted out by Obama and his supporters. However, the Clinton's Wal-Mart tenure has already been examined by the New York Times and dismissed (Clinton served on the board as counsel to ensure womens' rights and environmental efficiency within the company); Michelle Obama's ties to Wal-Mart, however, had not until last spring when it was eminent that her husband would be running for president. So unfair, you say, as she's merely the wife of the candidate; well, so was Clinton at the time the Wal-Mart "scandal" was dug up by her husband's foes. In fact, there's not much difference between Hillary and Michelle, and reading about her is almost like reading a parallel life to that of Hillary's. Smart woman. Well-liked in her circle/profession.

And I guarantee you that she will be ripped to shreds just as bad as Hillary was.

A Million Little Angsty Black Kids

But enough about Michelle--back to the man himself. It seems as though Oprah Winfrey is making a habit of canonizing "writers" who like to exaggerate their lives in their memoirs for dramatic effect.

In his memoir, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, published 10 years ago, Sen Obama, 46, freely admitted to smoking marijuana and makes an oblique reference to hard drugs.

"I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years," he wrote. "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though." "Blow" is street slang for cocaine, "smack" is heroin.

In the book, Sen Obama recalls that he had "been headed" to the status of "junkie" or "pothead", which he describes as "the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man". He recalls smoking "reefer" in the backs
of his friends' vans, dorm rooms and "on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school".

That is not what Bryon Leong, a former classmate at the elite Punahou School where Sen Obama won a scholarship aged 10, remembers.

"He was known as a partier, as a guy looking for a good time, but not much more," Mr Leong said. "There was pot in Hawaii in the 1970s, but it wasn't a big deal."

"It wasn't like guys were smoking dope on campus and coming to school high," said Eric Kusunoki, 57, Sen Obama's teacher from age 15 to 18. "If they did, it would have been pretty obvious. If he did dabble with drugs or alcohol, I didn't
see it."

It's not exactly hard to see why someone in his position would want to exaggerate. He wants to reach "his people", which would turn out to be his core voting block; the "inner city" folk who've "been there, done that". But another word for that kind of exagerration is "lies" (and pandering, I suppose, in context), something that Oprah breathed fire all over the very fey James Frey for with his memoir.

Not a Friend of the Friends of Dorothy

If lying about things that happened in his memoir is merely a minor faux pas of a young, determined-to-be-somebody artist, consider this even greater faux pas: Despite proliferating the idea that he's a champion of civil rights for gays, Obama refused to have his photo taken with "the Gay Marriage Mayor". Oh, wait: "Civil rights" as it applies only to people of color, not sexual orientation/gay marriage. Gotcha. But I suppose that's the only thing that matters in a homophobic world.

Oops, He Did it Again...and Again...and Again...and Then Not at All

Everyone makes mistakes; that's a given. But you have to wonder about your state Senator if he claims to've pushed the wrong button on a half a dozen votes on issues affecting his constituents.

On June 11, 2002, Obama's vote sparked a confrontation after he joined
Republicans to block Democrats trying to override a veto by GOP Gov.
George Ryan of a $2-million allotment for the west Chicago child
welfare office.

Shortly afterward, Obama chastised Republicans for their "sanctimony"
in claiming that only they had the mettle to make tough choices in a
tight budget year. And he called for "responsible budgeting."

A fellow Democrat suddenly seethed with anger. "You got a lot of nerve
to talk about being responsible," said Sen. Rickey Hendon, accusing
Obama of voting to close the child welfare office.

Obama replied right away. "I understand Sen. Hendon's anger. . . . I
was not aware that I had voted no on that last -- last piece of
legislation," he said.

Obama asked that the record reflect that he meant to vote yes. Then he
requested that Hendon "ask me about a vote before he names me on the

That's not to say anything about his U.S. Senate voting record, where he's missed more votes, or voted "NV", than his opponent, particularly on key issues as a political strategy.

Sutherland said Planned Parenthood calculated that a 'present' vote by
Obama would encourage other senators to cast a similar vote, rather
than voting for the legislation. "They were worried about direct mail
pieces against them. The more senators voted present, the harder it was
to mount an issues campaign against the senator."

Yes, you read that right: Because Obama didn't want to leave himself vulnerable to "direct mail attacks", he refused to vote "yea" or "nay". That's some definitive decision making for you right there.

(Blasphemy That Even) Jesus Can't Save

As the race between the top two Democratic candidates heats up, bloggers are just now taking note (nothing in the mainstream media, as they seem to be shielding Obama from any and all negativity) of how inspirational but empty Obama's sermons really are, and how glassy-eyed the most fanatical of his followers are. The "c" word is coming up frequently; from "cult of personality" to just plain cult. Perhaps the best judge of who Barack Obama thinks he is comes from Barack Obama himself, from Men's Vogue:

When Morgan Freeman comes over to greet Obama, the
senator begins bowing down both hands in worship. "This guy was
president before I was," says Obama, referring to Freeman's turn in Deep Impact and, clearly, getting a little ahead of his own bio. Next, a nod to Bruce Almighty: "This guy was God before I was." (Okay, more than a little ahead.) But Freeman is eating it up.

That kind of hubris won't sit well with the church-going base of his support, particularly in the South (What? Faith-based campaigning, the same stuff Bush campaigned on? You didn't know? It's because the media doesn't want you to know; if they did, they'd report it).

True, these are all things that have been quietly--or in the case of Rezko, not-so-quietly--ignored by the media in favor of focusing on Obama's hypnotic Martin Luther King-like eloquence. Perhaps that's the real issue here; African Americans have been waiting for that kind of hope again, the same kind of hope that MLK gave them years ago before it was shot down coldly and abruptly. However, while Obama and King share a similar type of eloquence and presence, there is a fundamental difference between the two: One of them is a cocky political opportunist, his mind stuck in a utopian bubble, seizing on his gift of speech to keep all eyes off of the man behind the curtain.

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