News Flash: What the Media Are Watching

Cal Thomas | Syndicated Columnist | Monday, July 28, 2008

News Flash: What the Media Are Watching


July 28, 200

A Block – Obama Media Coverage

May be the biggest infomercial in history. Media giving his magical mystery tour so much free time it should count as an in-kind contribution.

Andrea Mitchell complained of “fake news” by which she meant dod handouts of tape of Obama. Journalists in the past have resisted, even protested and sometimes refused to use government handouts. If it were Bush or McCain, the protest would have been louder. The tape was heavily edited to the point where Obama was seen making a swish shot while playing basketball and the perfectly diverse crowd of adoring faces.

Obama’s handlers have shut him off from daily questioning. Charles Gibson properly confronted Obama over his inconsistent statements about Jerusalem.

Katie Couric devoted twice as much time to Obama as she did McCain. But at least she and Charles Gibson of ABC tried to pin him down on some of his inconsistencies. Kudos to Charles Gibson and Katie Couric for pinning him down on his refusal to admit the success of the surge and his flipping on some issues. She called it an Obamathon.

Some, like Allesandra Stanley of the New York Times have suggested Obama is a better story and that’s why he is getting all this coverage. That is a qualitative, not a professional judgment. It is no wonder critics refer to their treatment of him as “the one.” Straight from “The Matrix.” And “The Messiah.”

He stiffed the European press.

Here’s something else: what if the liberals vaunted “fairness doctrine” was in force? Could they have given such worshipful coverage of Obama?

B Block – Coverage of McCain This Week

McCain would help himself a lot, especially when the media need to demonstrate fairness, if he would come up with a better storyline than helicopter to an off-shore oil rig, which was canceled due to weather, and settling for an audience of cancer patients in Ohio.

The New York Times added to evidence of its left-wing bias by requiring McCain to “mirror” Barack Obama’s arguments on Iraq before publishing his op-ed. I wasn’t aware Obama gets to set the standard for opinion and relevancy. David Shipley, the op-ed editor, served in the Clinton administration. The New York Post published it.

McCain’s so-called base has deserted him, as I knew they would. They liked the maverick. The prefer the liberal.

On the Sean Hannity interview, McCain continues to be reluctant to go for the jugular. He’s got to strip away the façade that is Obama and paint him as reckless, dangerous and too much of a chance to run the country in time of war and other threats. Lee Atwater convinced a reluctant George H. S. Bush to do this in 1988 and that’s why he beat Mike Dukakis.

McCain’s big mistake was thinking the media would love him if he granted them almost unlimited access.

C Block

Federal judge tosses out fine of CBS for Janet Jackson. Good. There’s far more trash on TV than a millisecond of a bare breast. CBS’ “Victoria’s Secret” shows, for example.

Jonathan Edwards has them on his trail. Since Gennifer flowers and Bill Clinton, the Enquirer has enjoyed a semi-serious and reluctant acceptance by the MSM. The Enquirer claims several witnesses, including a photographer. Edwards has not categorically denied it.

Michael Savage – this was a media matters hit. They’ve been trying to silence conservative talk radio. Say nothing about the likes of Howard Stern.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.