Wednesday, July 30, 2008

You Know It Won't Happen

Via BoingBoing, a link to Radley Balko's "A Few Questions for Barack Obama." Read them! Here's one example:
In your autobiography, you admit to using marijuana and cocaine in high school and college. Yet you largely support the federal drug war — a change from several years ago when you said you'd be open to decriminalizing marijuana. Would Barack Obama be where he is today if he had been arrested in college for using drugs? Doesn't the fact that you and our current president (who has all but admitted to prior drug use) have risen to such high stature suggest that the worst thing about illicit drugs is not the drugs themselves, but what the government will do to you if you're caught?
I hold no hope these questions, or their pale imitations, will ever be presented to Obama, especially in any debates. The networks have already been caught being used and abused by the Democrats with planted questions.

They are already sympathetic to Obama. Look at this report of his reception by a group of reporters. The Commercial Appeal's Wendi Thomas was there and this is what she had to say:
Yes, many of us are journalists who try to keep secret our political leanings. But many in the room were students. Or PR professionals. Or invited guests from Chicago with no ties to the media.

You’ll hear no scrutiny of how many white journalists applaud when McCain shows up (he was invited but did not attend UNITY). Still, the UNITY president, Karen Lincoln Michel, felt it necessary to deliver a warning.

“This is a live event on CNN,” Michel told the audience just before Obama took the stage, “The whole world is watching.”

Watching to see if we’d applaud, and if we did, if we’d do so too enthusiastically. As if our silence is proof of our professional pledge of objectivity and clapping means we’re Obamaniacs.

Thing is, I can be quiet on the outside and jumping for joy on the inside. Most black folk who work in corporate America have mastered what W.E.B. DuBois called “two-ness,” this deft dance between who we are and who white America wants us to be.

“I would ask that I am treated like other candidates in terms of expectations,” Obama said, and with that, summed up the trials and tribulations of many of us who labor to represent our communities accurately in predominately white newsrooms — even in predominately black cities.

So no, I didn’t clap. On the outside. I know how to be two in one, how to deal with the double-consciousness of which DuBois wrote.

But on the inside, I was beaming. And no number of lectures can dampen my pride, if only at the historic essence of the moment.
After all, donations that can be identified as coming from media workers favor Democrats 100 to 1!

So, no, I don't expect those folks to behave indifferently and even-handedly. How can they? And I don't expect those great questions -- and their counterparts for McCain -- to be asked. Ain't gonna happen.

By the way, read the comments in the BoingBoing post. It's amusing to no end to watch the lefties who make up a majority of BB's readership tie themselves up in knots over this. Great questions ... but, but, but....

INSTANT UPDATE: But wait! There's more.

Dana Milbank has a piece in yesterday's Washington Post where he expresses some of the peeve of the reporting classes that Obama isn't treating them with the proper intimacy:
Another reason for Obama's confidence -- the press -- is also an unfaithful partner. The Project for Excellence in Journalism reported yesterday that Obama dominated the news media's attention for a seventh straight week. But there are signs that the Obama campaign's arrogance has begun to anger reporters.

In the latest issue of the New Republic, Gabriel Sherman found reporters complaining that Obama's campaign was "acting like the Prom Queen" and being more secretive than Bush. The magazine quoted the New York Times' Adam Nagourney's reaction to the Obama campaign's memo attacking one of his stories: "I've never had an experience like this, with this campaign or others." Then came Obama's overseas trip and the campaign's selection of which news organizations could come aboard. Among those excluded: the New Yorker magazine, which had just published a satirical cover about Obama that offended the campaign.

Even Bush hasn't tried that. But then again, Obama has been outdoing the president in ruffles and flourishes lately. As Bush held quiet signing ceremonies in the White House yesterday morning, Obama was involved in a more visible display of executive authority a block away, when he met with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani at the Willard. A full block of F Street was shut down for the prime minister and the would-be president, and some 40 security and motorcade vehicles filled the street.
It's a cult of personality.

Don't take that article as a sign that the media will turn on Obama. All it takes are some small adjustments from the campaign and they'll swoon even more.
Fresh from his presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection, Obama settled down to some presidential-style business in Washington yesterday. He ordered up a teleconference with the (current president's) Treasury secretary, granted an audience to the Pakistani prime minister and had his staff arrange for the chairman of the Federal Reserve to give him a briefing. Then, he went up to Capitol Hill to be adored by House Democrats in a presidential-style pep rally.

Along the way, he traveled in a bubble more insulating than the actual president's. Traffic was shut down for him as he zoomed about town in a long, presidential-style motorcade, while the public and most of the press were kept in the dark about his activities, which included a fundraiser at the Mayflower where donors paid $10,000 or more to have photos taken with him. His schedule for the day, announced Monday night, would have made Dick Cheney envious:

11:00 a.m.: En route TBA.

12:05 p.m.: En route TBA.

1:45 p.m.: En route TBA.

2:55 p.m.: En route TBA.

5:20 p.m.: En route TBA.

The 5:20 TBA turned out to be his adoration session with lawmakers in the Cannon Caucus Room, where even committee chairmen arrived early, as if for the State of the Union. Capitol Police cleared the halls -- just as they do for the actual president. The Secret Service hustled him in through a side door -- just as they do for the actual president.
Milbank explains it all for you, if you read carefully. It's all about making Obama look presidential now so that he feels presidential to voters by Election Day. Never mind that he's not got the experience, track record, or rising level of accomplishments; he seems presidential on television. The media treat him as presidential and that will help sell him to American voters.

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