March 2, 2008

Howard Kurtz is back with a new column on Obama..Yea, baby. He devoted a good portion of his CNN show on the same topic, (suddenly he is interested in the type of coverage the Democratic candidates are receiving in the press) but left the psychotic ramblings of Erick at Red State out of his teevee show...When I talk about media criticism regarding Hillary Clinton, I mean how much time the media spends on irrelevant---Matthews type--statements like these or how much money John Edwards paid for a haircut. I'm sure Chris Matthews will cover the John Hagee/John McCain endorsement just as closely. But for Howard Kurtz, that's the type of criticism he passes off as valid.

Tapper's litany: "That you didn't put your hand over your heart during the national anthem, that you no longer wear an American flag on your lapel pin, that you met with some former members of the Weather Underground, and now they are questioning your wife's comments when she said she hasn't been proud of the U.S. until just recently."
Obama dismissed the criticism as "nonsense." But did the exchange mark the end of a long period in which the media have gone easy on the man who could all but clinch the Democratic nomination in tomorrow's primaries?

Lapel pins and patriotism----this is what Kurtz calls "media scrutiny."

Some conservative commentators, after years of obsessing over Hillary Clinton, are now training their fire on Obama. Cincinnati radio host Bill Cunningham, appearing at a John McCain event, generated a wave of coverage last week by challenging the media to "peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama."

In his Times column, Bill Kristol picked up on Obama's comment in October that he views wearing a flag pin as a substitute for true patriotism. "Obama's unnecessary and imprudent statement impugns the sincerity or intelligence of those vulgar sorts who still choose to wear a flag pin," Kristol declared.

Erick Erickson, editor of the blog RedState, wrote that voters should be wary of "the liberal anti-gun former cokehead whose feminist wife hates America."

Sorry Howard, that's called "smearing" a candidate or swiftboating. That's not criticism.

Erickson concedes that his "cokehead" crack was a distraction, saying he would not join the ranks of partisan commentators who "write in such a hyperbolic way that it destroys their credibility. It's going to be the template, as with the Clinton-haters, for the Obama-haters to report on the salacious and the rumors."

See, when you say things like this...

Erick Erickson, editor of the popular conservative megablog RedState, conceded that progressives currently enjoy an advantage over conservatives online — though he attributed it to an asymmetry in free time, since conservatives “have families because we don’t abort our kids, and we have jobs because we believe in capitalism. get treated like a man of substance by Howard Kurtz, the major media man of the Washington Post and CNN. Conservatives can say or write anything at all...

Glenn Greenwald has much more:

So according to Kurtz, the media has given "scant attention" to the Obama/Farrakhan matter even though Obama has never had anything to do with Farrakhan, and "little pickup" to the fact that Obama met once (ten years ago) with two Chicago law professors who were Weather Underground members 40 years ago. But the most beloved media figure in decades, John McCain, this week openly embraces one of the most extreme haters in the country, says how "honored" and "proud" he is to have his endorsement, and that still hasn't made Howie Kurtz's column.

That is what Kurtz is holding up as an example of what we need more of. The only type of "media scrutiny" our establishment press is capable of and interested in when it comes to Democratic candidates is: "Hey Barack, Rush Limbaugh says you hate America and Matt Drudge showed that you hate the flag and The Politico says you love Terrorists. Do you?" Howard Kurtz has spent weeks stomping his feet, demanding to know why there isn't more of this. Today, he optimistically suggests that these increasingly coordinated media/right-wing attacks mean -- finally -- that the media is doing its job when it comes to on

Thank you Glenn. And Mark Halperin made an astute observation on Reliable Sources, too late of course.

I think our business is filled with too many people who are thin- skinned. It's not about being an advocate for one candidate or another. It's about, is the coverage fair? And I know plenty of smart people in politics who are neutral in this race, plenty of smart people in journalism who would tell you that the coverage hasn't been fair. It's great that this analysis is taking place now; it's a little too late.

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