Thursday, 28 August 2008

OBAMA'S "FAIRNESS DOCTORIN''"

Ken Berwitz

As readers of this blog know, I have determined that the Obama people have come up with a new wrinkle on the "fairness doctrine".  it is called "fairness doctorin'".  Simply stated, fairness doctorin' is when you don't like the truth so you do whatever you can to avoid having people here it.

With this in mind, the following account by Warner Todd Huston of newsbusters.org and conservablogs.com will make all the sense in the world:

Obama Campaign Tries to Shut Down Chicago Radio Show

August 28, 2008 | Filed Under Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Media Bias, News, President, Publius Contributor, Security/Safety, Society/Culture, Warner Todd Huston |

-By Warner Todd Huston

Members of Barack Obamas campaign HQ in Chicago tried to shut down a local radio show on the Citys most powerful radio signal, WGN 720, because they didnt like a conservative guest that was on going on the air to discuss Senator Barack Obamas ties to local terrorist William Ayers. This is a shocking attempt at stifling political free speech and a bald attempt to quash debate by the office of the Democratic Partys nominee. The funny thing is, WGN is the most liberal station in the City with every host but one slavishly supporting the junior Senator from Illinois.

Show host Milt Rosenberg, the stations only conservative leaning host (probably to be considered more libertarian than Republican), had on short notice asked conservative writer Stanley Kurtz to come on the air to discuss his work on uncovering Obamas ties to terrorist Wiliam Ayres and the Annenberg Challenge project. Kurtz was just in Chicago for his investigation and Rosenberg contacted Kurtz only that morning to appear. At the same time, Rosenbergs producer contacted the Obama campaigns HQ which is but blocks from the radio station in downtown Chicago to offer some time on the air with Kurtz to debate Kurtz claims about Obama and Ayres. The campaign, however, flatly refused the offer of the equal air time and instead tried to drum up via email a protest of the show, trying to get it stopped.

After the refusal of host Rosenbergs offer to appear on the air with Kurtz, the Obama campaign issued an extensive email (The Chicago Tribune has the full text) to drum up protests of the radio station, which said in part

In the next few hours, we have a crucial opportunity to fight one of the most cynical and offensive smears ever launched against Barack.

Tonight, WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears. Hes currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers.

Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse.

The email gave the Rosenberg show contact info and told people to call and protest Kurtz appearance. The email also lied to its supporters by acting as if the Obama campaign was not offered fair rebuttal time.

It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves. At the very least, they should offer sane, honest rebuttal to every one of Kurtzs lies.

I happen to live in Chicago and by chance was listening to the Milt Rosenberg show and heard for myself the host assure listeners that he offered the air time to the Obama campaign, an offer that was refused. Rosenberg even went so far as to offer any other show date for the Obama campaigns rebuttal to Kurtz work.

Then, in compliance with the Obama campaigns email instructions, a parade of callers was aired all telling Rosenberg to shut down the Kurtz interview. Each caller was quite insensible to the unAmerican reaction in which they were indulging and each one was entirely unreasonable and uninformed on the facts. Sadly, this anti-American attitude seems typical of Obama supporters nation wide.

Now, Dr. Rosenbergs show is one of the most intelligent, even high brow, shows on the radio, so schmaltzy, exploitation radio is as far from his style as one can get. Rosenberg interviews authors of the highest standing and show topics range from philosophy, to Opera, to physics and political science. He even does a delightful yearly show on the misuse of the English language as well as one on the years best literary offerings. Like I said, exploitation radio he aint.

So, for the Obama campaign to act as if this particular show is an affront to reasoned debate is an outrageous charge. Just as outrageous is the Obama campaigns obvious desire to destroy free political speech. It makes one quake to wonder what sort of oppressive climate an Obama presidency would impose on the country?

That, folks, is fairness doctorin' in all its glory.  If you don't like the facts fight tooth and nail to suppress them so that the boobs...er, voters won't get wind of what they are.

Do you like fairness doctorin'?  I hope so.  Because if Mr. Obama is elected be assured that you will get four, maybe 8, years of it.


BILL CLINTON'S SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

I've been asked why I have not commented on Bill Clinton's speech.

Here's why:

"Everything I've learned in eight years as president and the work I've done since, in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job":  Bill Clinton last night

Those were the words uttered by a man absolutely dedicated to defeating Barack Obama and installing his wife into the White House throughout the entire campaign.

A comment like that reduces anything Mr. Clinton said down to boilerplate BS - the stuff he had to say or they won't let him on the podium.  It has all the honesty of a car salesman claiming that the Hummer he's trying to sell you gets 35 miles to a gallon - in town.

Any other questions?


MSNBC ON THE VERGE OF IMPLODING?

Ken Berwitz

We've all heard the philosophical question about what happens when an irresistable force meets an immovable object.

Well what happens when unsurpassed egos meet....er, other unsurpassed egos? 

This, courtesy of Noel Sheppard of www.newsbuster.org, appears to be the answer:

Is MSNBC Feud More Serious Than Management Admits?

As more and more media outlets begin to notice the feud going on between some of MSNBC's highest profile on air personalities, a question begins rising to the surface: just how serious is it?

Although the network's President Phil Griffin told the Wall Street Journal he wasn't concerned, others at MSNBC say this situation is much worse than management is letting on.

As reported by Jossip Wednesday (emphasis added, h/t Johnny Dollar, photo courtesy Jossip):

[I]n the past few hours we've spoke [sic] to a number of 30 Rock staffers in Denver, New York, and Washington some of whom thought it more productive to speak to us than attend to the on-going live DNC coverage and the common wisdom is: 1) Nobody can believe how much Keith Olbermann is getting away with, even if he does draw ratings; 2) As an Olbermann protege, Rachel Maddow is attracting negative feelings from staffers, since she stays mum on many of these catfights, but "there's still time" to represent; 3) MSNBC head Phil Griffin is alienating staffers by publicly defending Olbermann while privately bashing him, and it's left many wondering when that will leak (oops); 4) MSNBC publicist Jeremy Gaines appears increasing [sic] stressed out and can be seen "shaking" with a phone attached to his ear dealing with reporters; 5) You don't want to run into Chris Matthews anytime soon, especially en route to the bathroom, because he has zero pleasant things to say right now; 6) Joe Scarborough is definitely stressed, but he's managed to calm down a bit today and can be seen laughing and gabbing; 7) None of this is helping ratings, with MSNBC scoring the lowest numbers against Fox News and CNN in convention coverage.

Fascinating.

.

There's lots of stuff here.  But the one thing that jumps out most prominently is how much keith olbermann appears to be hated by the people on his own network. 

I remember when Jimmy Breslin, the rancorous (though Pulitzer prize-winning) writer, moved out of New York City to the suburbs.  He got into fight after fight with the people in surrounding houses and was utterly despised.  When he moved back to the city, the neighbors literally had a block party to celebrate.

I wonder how big the party will be when olbermann eventually becomes over-mann.

Mauve Thanks for your thoghtus. It's helped me a lot. (01/14/12)


KARL ROVE DEBUNKS BARACK OBAMA'S "ACCOMPLISHMENTS"

Ken Berwitz

No wonder Democrats hate Karl Rove.  Look at how completely he debunks their fraudulent claims about Barack Obama.

No excerpts on this one:  Here is the entire article, straight from www.weeklystandard.com.  Read it and marvel at what dishonesty you were treated to about Mr. Obama and how easily Mr. Rove disposes of it. 

Pay special attention to the two paragraphs of summation and analysis at the end, which I've put in bold print.  They put it all together beautifully:

Biden's Exaggerations
Inflating Obama's record will not resolve doubts.
by Karl Rove
08/28/2008 2:30:00 AM


THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION exposed the central defect of Senator Barack Obama's candidacy: the absence of compelling evidence he is up to the job of president. The expos comes courtesy of a bad habit of his running mate, Senator Joe Biden. When in doubt, Mr. Biden exaggerates. And in the past week, he did a lot.

Voters expect candidates to embellish, but only so much. Go beyond acceptable stretching and a candidate may squander his most precious political possession: credibility. Mr. Obama may be on this perilous path.

Last Saturday, America heard Mr. Obama's new running mate exclaim, "I watch with amazement as he came to the Senate. I watch with amazement!" Mr. Biden's hyperkinetic praise is what we expect a running mate to offer his benefactor at the top of the ticket.

But Saturday and again Wednesday night, Mr. Biden also praised Mr. Obama for three specific legislative accomplishments. One of them was an ethics bill, called by Mr. Biden in his acceptance speech "the most sweeping in a generation." However, many critics--including Hillary Clinton--criticized it as weak. For example, under Mr. Obama's bill, lobbyists may buy politicians meals if they are eating standing up but not if they're sitting down. Mr. Obama's bill didn't ban privately funded travel for congressmen or authorize an independent investigation office. But Mr. Obama did help draft, negotiate, and push the legislation that passed. The other two supposed accomplishments are more problematic.

Saturday, Mr. Biden asserted Mr. Obama "made his mark literally from day one, reaching across the aisle to pass legislation to secure the world's deadliest weapons," a claim similar to one Mr. Obama made earlier in the campaign. Wednesday night, Mr. Biden was more expansive, claiming Mr. Obama was a leader "to pass a law that helps keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists." This implied a big, important controversial measure, passed with difficulty after the intervention of an extraordinary leader.

In reality, the Lugar-Obama Bill was passed on a voice vote on December 11, 2006. It was so routine, there was no recorded vote. The media didn't consider it important or controversial. Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post reported its Senate passage, though the Post ran a 798-word op-ed by Senators Lugar and Obama the week before it was approved. It was not the subject of a story on the CBS, ABC or NBC evening news--not when it passed, not when it was signed, not ever. No story about it appeared in Roll Call or The Hill, the daily newspapers that cover the minutiae of Congress. It drew only one squib in Congressional Quarterly--and that story didn't mention Obama, just Lugar. The Bush administration supported it. The legislation required the administration to report to Congress within 180 days "on proliferation and interdiction assistance" to secure the mostly conventional weapons stocks littering the nations born from the collapsed Soviet empire. It created a new State Department office to support the Bush administration's "Proliferation Security Initiative" aimed at interdicting weapons of mass destruction and conventional weaponry. And the bill authorized $110 million in funding. But this legislation didn't require a profile in courage to co-sponsor or hard work and powerful persuasion to pass, as Mr. Biden implied.

Saturday, Biden proclaimed: "But I was proudest, I was proudest, when I watched him spontaneously focus the attention of the nation on the shameful neglect of America's wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Hospital." The problem for Mr. Biden (and the object of his praise, Mr. Obama) is the problems at Walter Reed were revealed in articles in the Washington Post, starting February 18, 2007. Unless Mr. Obama writes for the Washington Post under the nom de media of Anne Hull or Dana Priest, he didn't "spontaneously focus the attention of the nation." The two reporters did. The legislation to correct the shortcomings emerged from a Senate committee Mr. Obama doesn't serve on and he played no significant role in drafting or pushing it through the legislative. Mr. Obama is not the real hero of the Walter Reed turn-around, despite Mr. Biden's extravagant claims.

Like Mr. Biden, Michelle Obama's speechwriter could not resist hyping her husband's work. Monday night, Mrs. Obama talked about "what he's done in the United States Senate, fighting to ensure that the men and women who serve this country are welcomed home not just with medals and parades, but with good jobs and benefits and health care--including mental health care." This is an apparent reference to the Dignity For Wounded Warriors Act, a bill Mr. Obama introduced that never made it out of the Senate Armed Services Committee, despite its Democratic majority. Americans missed the spectacle of Mr. Obama "fighting to ensure" because he was missing for that particular battle. And if he was fighting, he must have been ineffectual because fellow Democrats didn't think this bill was worth passing.

When candidates lack real accomplishments, they and those around them exaggerate what they have done, puff their performance, hype the difficulty of their activities and depict their work as far more substantial than it really is. But if you describe yourself as something you're not, or as having done things you haven't, a critical press corps may be aroused and the contrast with what people believe to be true may be jarring.

Mr. Obama should be way ahead in the race for the presidency but this week has seen five polls showing the essentially race dead even. Deep doubts remain about whether Mr. Obama is up to the job. His running mate and his handlers know this. So they are puffing his rsum, padding his accomplishments and claiming the work of others to reassure voters he is up to the duties of the Oval Office. It may work. But the American people are particular about who they elect as president. And voters do not tolerate candidates whose opinion of ordinary citizens is so low they think they can get away with misleading them.


3.3% GROWTH!! THE NON-RECESSION RECESSION

Ken Berwitz

The definition of a recesssion is when there is negative growth for two consecutive quarters. 

For a year or more now, Democrats have done everything short of  hiring Barack Obama's pal william ayers to bomb a few corporate headquarters, to talk down the economy.  Presumably this is because the worse the economy is the harder it will be for a Republican to win the presidency.

But, despite the lousy housing market and major mortgage loan problems, the economy is not only not receding, it is growing.  Strongly.

Here are excerpts from today's Associated Press article, which tell the tale:

WASHINGTON - The economy shifted to a higher gear in the spring, growing at its fastest pace in nearly a year as foreign buyers snapped up U.S. exports and tax rebates spurred shoppers at home.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. The revised reading was much better than the government's initial estimate of a 1.9 percent pace and exceeded economists' expectations for a 2.7 percent growth rate.

The rebound comes after two dismal quarters. The economy actually shrank in the final three months of 2007 and limped into the first quarter at a feeble 0.9 percent pace. The 3.3 percent growth in the spring was the best performance since the third quarter of last year, when the economy was chugging along at a brisk 4.8 percent pace.

Looking at these data, I can't help thinking back to the year 2000, the last year of Bill Clinton's presidency (plus 20 days in 2001). 

Clinton had spent years bragging about his great economy, based on a dot.com bubble that made things appear dramatically better than they actually were.  The bubble burst in late March of that year, and the economy went into free-fall.

Then, during the 2000 presidential campaign, every time candidate George Bush pointed out that the economy was in trouble, he was blamed for the downward slide.  "He's talking down the economy" was the line Democrats used then, and it was dutifully, relentlessly repeated by a media intent on electing Al Gore. 

Bush was literally being blamed for an economy he had nothing whatsoever to do with, based on a blatantly fraudulent talking point. 

Eventually the economic blow-down resulted in a recession - a real one - for 6 months.  And, again, with copious help from an in-the-tank media, it was referred to as the Bush recession (note:  Not one day of those 6 months was under a Bush budget.  The first day of the first Bush budget was October 1, 2001).

Now fast-forward to the present.  Democrats have gone out of their way to "talk down the economy" in dramatically more ominous terms than George Bush ever used in 2000.  But have you seen this same media villify them for doing so, as they were happy to do when it was Bush?

And here's the kicker of them all.  Because Democrats have put all their eggs in one basket - trying to win by claiming everything is wrong - strong economic growth presents a problem for Barack Obama.  A huge problem.  Conversely, it is a genuine boon for John McCain. 

Since this 3.3% growth rate is the last data that will be released before the election.  It is therefore what John McCain will use to bolster his relatively positive comments on the economy and Barack Obama has to explain away as a "recession". 

Which of the two sounds like it makes more sense?  See the problem?


HOW I FOUND OUT I WAS A GENIUS

Ken Berwitz

I never knew I was a genius this morning.  I never thought of myself that way - and, god knows, no one else did either.  But this morning I was apprised of my elevated status;  by none other than Matt Lauer of the Today show.

Now I do not know Matt Lauer and have never spoken with him.  So how could he have told me this?

It happened during Mr. Lauer's interview of David Plouffe, Barack Obama's campaign manager.

I only caught about a minute of the interview.  But what I heard was Mr. Lauer extolling Mr. Plouffe and stating that he is thought of as a genius in political strategy.  That was the word Mighty Matt used:  genius.

Then, to demonstrate Plouffe's genius, Lauer explained that he had uncovered 18 states which he deemed battleground states.  And he even named two of them:  Ohio and Pennsylvania.

That's when I realized I was a genius.  You see, even before I found out about David Plouffe's impossibly amazing analysis I, too, uncovered a great many battleground states.  And - this is where it gets truly astounding - two of the states were Ohio and Pennsylvania!!!

Can you believe it?  I looked at these two states, both of which have a large number of electoral votes and were close in the last presidential election, and concluded that they were battleground states.  On my own.  Just me.  BEFORE  I heard from Mr. Plouffe or found out what a genius this made him in the eyes of Matt Lauer.

I thought I was the only one to be this smart, and there's a genius saying the same thing.  It's hard to explain how wonderful that makes me feel.

I wonder if David Plouffe is as impressed with my analysis as I am of his.  I wonder if Matt Lauer will call or e-mail to confer genius status upon me the way he did for Mr.Plouffe.

After all, as they say, birds of a feather............


THE BIDEN SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

For the most part I thought the Biden speech - in fact, other than when he went into his attack mode, the entire Biden segment (beginning with his son's introduction and ending with his family coming to the stage) was terrific. 

Biden has a very compelling personal story.  He grew up without a lot of money (not poor, but far from on the economic A-team).  He got his family through a horror of all horrors - his wife and one of his children tragically being killed in a car crash.  He claims (and, I assume he is telling the truth) that after a day's work in the senate he commutes home by train, just like a "regular" Joe.  

Truthfully, Mr. Biden seems less like a senator and more like the kind of guy you want living next door to you, someone you'd count on if you needed a helping hand.

Politically, however, you get a very different Joe Biden. 

As a politician, Mr. Biden is a hard case liberal/leftist with a vicious, sarcastic streak;  one who can be counted on to make rash, unthought-out comments which he then has to (or at least should) apologize for.

That said, however, none of Mr. Biden's downside was in evidence last night.  Politics aside, as a human being Joe Biden is inspirational.

Does this translate into votes?  Is it nothing more than a one day snapshot immediately superseded by the head of the ticket, who is speaking today at the Colosseu....er, Partheno.....er, Lincoln Memoria...er, Invesco Field?

Time will tell.


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