Friday, October 31, 2008

On the Death of Journalism

“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists.” — Barack Obama in his memoir, Dreams From My Father; and a statement widely ignored by the allegedly mainstream media.

On the Death of Journalism
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 31, 2008

While the conversation between Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher has gotten more of a workout than Joan Rivers plastic surgeon, all one needed to do was read the words of the junior senator from Illinois in his book Dreams From My Father or review his words spoken in television and radio interviews over the past seven years.

Yet this material has been glossed over, ignored and covered up by the mainstream media in an effort to protect “their” candidate and help give him the coronation they have been attempting to coordinate since they threw senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) under the media bus. People seem to have forgotten that McCain was the media darling of the 2000 campaign primary season as top competitor to then Texas Governor George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, back at el ranchero, the Obama-Biden team continues to not make headlines for the numerous statements coming out of their collective mouths and for the information that has not come out of their campaign. Within the past week the Obama threshold of tax increase safety has summarily been lowered from the initial high water mark of $250,000, to $200,000 over the weekend of October 25-26, to the $150,000 as said by Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) during a speech earlier this week, to the $120,000 uttered by Obama surrogate Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) on October 31 – which was no treat and most definitely a trick being played on the American taxpayer.

So, Senator Obama, what is the figure that you will settle upon for drawing the line in the sand where your tax increases will start affecting people? I probably should not have dared to ask the anointed one that hardball question because now I am subject to having my taxes audited, my garbage rooted through and perhaps my neighbors questioned about my comings and goings along with my personal habits, a al Joe the Plumber, who has been put through the wringer.

The treatment of Joe the Plumber by the Obama campaign is downright sinister and McCarthyesque – another Joe, just so people don’t mistake him for Eugene McCarthy. So, while the media is doing Obama’s bidding – one only need examine the statistics – the Obama campaign is punishing various media outlets who are not part of the Obama-media love fest.

Case in point; look at the treatment meted out to WFTV Orlando, FL news anchor Barbara West. Like Joe the Plumber, West dared to ask tough questions of Biden last weekend when she queried the VP nominee about Obama’s economic plans. Biden asked if the questions were a joke and wanted to know who wrote the questions for her. Following the interview the Obama campaign promptly cancelled the upcoming interview Jill Biden was to have with the Orlando station and blacklisted the station at least through Election Day. After taking their ball and going home to sulk, the Obama campaign subsequently banished the reporters from the Washington Times, New York Post and Dallas Morning News all for committing the heinous crime of endorsing John McCain. The Obama campaign alleged that it needed to make room on the campaign airplane for other publications’ reporters. OK, but why those three publications?

Numerous reporters who have traveled with the Obama campaign have indicated how aloof and distant the presidential nominee is with the media, while, interestingly enough, although no longer the media darling, McCain is much more at ease with the media traveling with his campaign. If this is the type of behavior one can expect from an Obama administration, his may be the most closed and cloistered in history – and that’s saying something recalling the animus Richard Nixon had for the press.

Regarding the statistics alluded to earlier, independent research has indicated that during the weeks following the two party’s national conventions, negative news reports about McCain versus those about Obama run over 74 percent against McCain and only about 15 percent against Obama on all media outlets combined, save for Fox News where negative reports about both candidates run 40 percent each. Now that’s fair and balanced.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Times is so deep in the tank for the Obama campaign that it refuses to release a video it possesses of a 2003 banquet at which Obama toasted and talked positively about so-called professor Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) spokesman. Khalidi is also described as a friend of Obama’s, something neither man has denied. Yet, not only does the left-leaning Times not feel obligated to give the public an opportunity to judge for themselves, but virtually all media outlets, save for Fox News and conservative talk radio hosts, have given Obama a pass regarding his relationships with so many other questionable sorts.

The alleged mainstream media has accepted at face value the superficial and rather suspect explanations lobbed by Obama regarding his relationships with Weather Underground, unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers, Obama’s 20-plus year pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the incendiary Reverend Michael Phleger and political fixer and felon Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Apparently the media did not deem it important to report that Obama gave praise, in print, to a book Ayers wrote. Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows, but these are people who hopefully will not find themselves in the Lincoln Bedroom during an Obama administration, or any other, for that matter.

And don’t forget that while the New York Times wrote their “expose” about Cindy McCain’s admitted addiction to painkillers years ago, that alleged paper of record said nothing of the cocaine use admitted by Senator Obama. Don’t lose sight of the hammering GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin took because the party bought her a new $150,000 wardrobe. This did not come out of the pockets of the taxpayers or the government, and, if any of the reporting media outlets bothered to look past their own noses, they would have learned that the wardrobe was either being donated or returned after its use. To be fair, the notion of returning the wardrobe is akin to a free rental and no doubt the stores at which the clothing was purchased would cost some poor salesperson a nice piece of commission. Donating the entire wardrobe or auctioning it off for charity would have made the most sense.

Clearly, the media is fixated on blasting the GOP at every turn and giving a free pass to the Democrats – even when Senator Biden opens his mouth to insert an entire shoe store. On Sunday, October 19 at a campaign event in Seattle, Biden said, “Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

Now there’s a confidence booster sure to send chills down the spines off all Americans. John Kennedy was tested via the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1961, but to borrow phrase with credit to the late Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen, “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” Kennedy served in the United States Navy during World War II. Kennedy served in the United States Congress from 1947-53 when he moved to the United States Senate having won election to that body in 1952 and reelection in 1958 before running for president in 1960, whereas Obama worked a little more than 140 days in the Senate before declaring his presidential intentions. Yet, the media all but ignored Biden’s remarks. For the most part, it is via McCain campaign ads that anyone sees Biden’s frightening predictions.

And where was the media questioning of the Democratic VP nominee when he said paying taxes is patriotic, when he said that Senator Clinton would be a better vice presidential candidate and when he said about the top of his own ticket, Senator Obama, that the presidency does not lend itself to on the job training? Only on Fox News and some conservative talk radio programs are such issues discussed, but Obama does not appear on those programs to answer the tough questions.

Was the media on a collective holiday when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared the election over several weeks ago? It is widely known that Pelosi was on holiday after gaveling the House out of session before discussing the energy crisis in order to return home to sell books. Has anyone seen Pelosi’s book? Me neither.

What about when Senator Obama said that American troops overseas were “air-raiding villages and killing civilians?” Only McCain campaign ads provide that information to the public. The media has also given Obama a pass regarding his comments about Iran, North Korea and Venezuela being tiny countries that don’t pose a serious threat. Wow, now there’s a serious case of naïveté in the foreign policy arena. Again, and this is sounding more and more like a broken record – these are Obama’s words and little, if any, questioning is taking place to challenge a man vying to be Commander in Chief. Having said he would sit down with the leaders of those countries as well as Castro’s Cuba without preconditions, something Senator Clinton said she would not do, why hasn’t the media, save for Fox News, publicized this more? A president willing to sit down with the leader of a rogue nation calling Israel a “stinking corpse” and wanting to wipe the Jewish state off the map sounds more like an Appeaser in Chief, not a Commander in Chief – a 21st Century Neville Chamberlain.

Last, but certainly not least, where the media has completely folded like a cheap tent is in closing their eyes to the information they have not gathered. Either they refuse to do their homework because they are so deep into the Obama tank or they are simply incompetent. Either way, they should cease to identify themselves as journalists. Even political southpaw Dan Rather said the media’s double standard is standard operating procedure. Days after Rather’s enlightened remark, during a CNN interview with Governor Palin, the reporter agreed with the GOP VP nominee that there is indeed a media double standard and bias. I wonder if that reporter is still employed by CNN.
  1. Occidental College records – Not released
  2. Columbia University records – Not released
  3. Columbia Thesis paper – Not available
  4. Harvard College records – Not released
Selective Service Registration – Not released
  6. Medical records – Not released
  7. Illinois State Senate schedule – Not available
  8. Law practice client list – Not released
Certified copy of original birth certificate – Not released
10. Embossed, signed, paper certification of live birth – Not released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published – None
12. University of Chicago scholarly articles – None
Record of Baptism – Not released or not available
14. Illinois State Senate records – Not available

That list is what should keep people up nights wondering how this great nation could possibly elect a person to the highest office of the land on Tuesday with so many unanswered questions. Overall, the media is an intellectually dishonest industry that should not take it upon itself to anoint the next president, but instead provide as much unbiased information as possible to allow the voters, one in seven of whom claims to still be undecided, a clear path to making the best decision they can without being unduly influenced.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

No comments:

Post a Comment