Howard Kurtz Asks: Is The Media Pumping Up The 'Angry Mob' Narratives At The McCain/Palin Events? Malkinites Are Called To Duty!

[media id=6580] The answer to that is a resounding: NO. It's a direct result of the Limbaugh/Savage/Hannity/FOX News infestation in our society. Howa

The answer to that is a resounding: NO. It's a direct result of the Limbaugh/Savage/Hannity/FOX News infestation in our society. Howard brings up an Obama incident at one of his gatherings, but it has no equal justification to this discussion. As we've seen in video after video, the insane hatred toward Obama by McCain supporters is beyond the pale and the amount of falsehoods being spewed by McCain supporters is rather sad. And yes, McCain and Palin are helping to whip up this hatred for Obama because they trail in the polls. Calling Lee Atwater. And it doesn't matter if McCain tries to now calm down his base, the damage is already done and this is a big story.

The right wing blogosphere is in damage control mode. Check out Memeorandum on this push back against reality. The Malkinites lead the charge.

Kurtz: Lynn Sherr, as I said, I've gone to a lot of rallies where a lot of crazy things have been said. Why are the media this week pumping up this story about McCain and Palin's crowds as if it is their fault if there's a bit of ugliness that breaks out?

KURTZ: Roger Simon, I'm certainly not saying that what people say at these rallies, particularly if it's ugly stuff, shouldn't be covered. It's part of the story. But it seems that the press has kind of adopted this theme that McCain and Palin are stoking the anger.

ROGER SIMON, POLITICO.COM: Well, it may be that McCain and Palin are stoking the anger. It seems to me that John McCain is riding a tiger, and he's trying not to fall off that tiger and get eaten by it.

When your vice presidential running mate goes around the country saying Barack Obama is palling around with terrorists, and when you run ads that say, you know, he's a liar, he's not telling the truth about this unrepentant terrorist, and then you wonder why people in the crowd shout out "terrorist" when you mention the name Barack Obama, this anger is coming from somewhere. It is being ginned up by a campaign, and it is logical, I think, to assume that these people are only responding to what they have heard from the candidate's mouth. And it's fair game and it's, in fact, responsible for us to report how the crowds are reacting.

KURTZ: For example, Candy Crowley, I was in Indiana with Obama this week. And there was some nut job in the crowd who started screaming about Obama was going to bring about the new world order, and he was ejected from the scene and people booed. Hardly anybody reported that because, who cared? But it seems to me that in the case of McCain and Palin, we have decided that they are somehow responsible for this. And I just question whether that's fair.

Full transcript via CNN below the fold.

LYNN SHERR, AUTHOR, "OUTSIDE THE BOX": Well, I think it's a logical outcome, Howie, of having citizens become, if you will, citizen journalists. We're all looking for that authentic voice. We're all looking for, what's out there, what are the people saying? And I think the real issue is, how does the candidate respond?

We want to hear these voices; they are authentic voices, if they are. We want to know how the candidate responds, however, and I think Senator McCain's response the other day when the woman said that Obama was an Arab, and he immediately took the microphone away from her, I thought was an interesting indication of how he could be quick on his feet after letting all these other terrible things go by the week before.

Just, by the way, I happened to be listening to the Rush Limbaugh show. Somebody happened to get on the phone, turned out to be a Republican for Obama. Limbaugh was for the first time speechless.

I think we see in these people how they respond, and that's what we're looking for.

KURTZ: Roger Simon, I'm certainly not saying that what people say at these rallies, particularly if it's ugly stuff, shouldn't be covered. It's part of the story. But it seems that the press has kind of adopted this theme that McCain and Palin are stoking the anger.

ROGER SIMON, POLITICO.COM: Well, it may be that McCain and Palin are stoking the anger. It seems to me that John McCain is riding a tiger, and he's trying not to fall off that tiger and get eaten by it.

When your vice presidential running mate goes around the country saying Barack Obama is palling around with terrorists, and when you run ads that say, you know, he's a liar, he's not telling the truth about this unrepentant terrorist, and then you wonder why people in the crowd shout out "terrorist" when you mention the name Barack Obama, this anger is coming from somewhere. It is being ginned up by a campaign, and it is logical, I think, to assume that these people are only responding to what they have heard from the candidate's mouth. And it's fair game and it's, in fact, responsible for us to report how the crowds are reacting.

KURTZ: For example, Candy Crowley, I was in Indiana with Obama this week. And there was some nut job in the crowd who started screaming about Obama was going to bring about the new world order, and he was ejected from the scene and people booed. Hardly anybody reported that because, who cared? But it seems to me that in the case of McCain and Palin, we have decided that they are somehow responsible for this. And I just question whether that's fair.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it needs some context. I think, first of all, we need to know that all throughout this campaign, from the primaries on, there were lies and smears about Barack Obama on the Internet. There were people out there saying things about Barack Obama in Hillary Clinton's crowds. So, you know, it has been there all along. It's not something that just came up with John McCain.

Second of all, I think it behooves us to remember that it helps the Obama campaign to have these stories out there because it shows, you know, by osmosis McCain is intolerant. Is McCain, you know, over the top here?

It has nothing to do with -- because I agree here that there is some culpability, but it was also unclear to me because I don't cover McCain, because all I saw was the one report at the beginning about somebody in the crowd yelling "terrorist," and the author said it was unclear whether he was talking bout Ayers or Obama. Now, we saw the questions...

KURTZ: Right.

CROWLEY: ... at McCain's town hall meetings, but he answered those in the way that Lynn was talking about. So I'm unclear how big this is.

KURTZ: All right.

Let me -- does this ever happen to you, where the crowd turns on you?

SIMON: Oh, sure. Covering George Wallace.

I was at a rally in 1976, this was after Wallace had already been shot. And Wallace would put the press in the front rows and he would point to the press and say, these are the enemies, these are the people. And we went up to him afterwards because we were afraid to go outside and we said, "Why are you instigating?" And he said, "I don't instigate, I just lay down the hay where the goats can get it."

And that was George Wallace.

KURTZ: All right.

SIMON: And it was only Mary McGrory (ph) who saved us afterwards from the crowd because she engaged the crowd in calm conversation.

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