Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

A Response To Bob Herbert

April 26, 2008

Hi Bob,

Full disclosure at the outset, I’m an Obama fan.  I think he’s the best thing to happen to US politics in near on 50 years.

Anyway, I just finished your article “Heading Toward the Danger Zone” and I have to say, I’m quite disappointed.

I’ve become increasingly frustrated of late with what I perceive to be the lack of grounding in a lot of articles I see about the election.

In fact, re-reading portions of your article make me want to scream.  America needs better from people in your position.  You’re hurting America.

Let’s break down a couple of points you made.

Barack Obama is winning, so why does it look like Hillary Clinton is having all the fun?

Really?  I mean seriously Bob?  You really think that Hillary is enjoying this?  She’s about to lose the nomination for a job that she has wanted for at least 30 years.  She’s about to lose the nomination that she would have said it was impossible for her to lose prior to Iowa.  She’s having fun?  It might have been a figure of speech, but it was poorly chosen and misleading.  If you don’t think she’s crushed, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Democrats are filled with anxiety about their prospects in November.

Something that has been completely lost in the discussion about Obama’s electability, is the glaring contrast that Clinton is significantly less electable.  People are simply focusing on Obama’s perceived shortcomings right now because Clinton’s no longer matter.  She’s not going to be the nominee.

The Rev. Wright fiasco undermined the fundamental rationale of the entire Obama campaign — that it would be about healing, about putting partisanship aside, about reaching across ethnic and party divisions to bring people together in a new era of cooperation.

I can’t really tell what your angle is here but you are certainly part of the problem.  The Reverend Wright “fiasco” didn’t undermine anything.  To the extent that it had any effect at all, the Reverend Wright “fiasco” indicated *at most* how gullible and malleable the American public has become, due to the efforts of *people like you*, Bob.  Reverend Wright’s angry sermons, boiled down to endlessly looped sound bites, did a disservice, to Wright (first and foremost) along with every American who was subjected to them.  Incidentally, please watch the full sermons and write an article about whether you agree or disagree with the comments in context.  Imagine taking some risks as a journalist rather than trotting out this herd-mentality-tripe for a change.

Senator Obama did his best with his speech on race in Philadelphia

“Did his best.”  That speech was simply a “good try,” was it Bob?  This might be where I start to get really angry.  This might be where you really start to disrespect the public.  A singular example of political honesty and personal intellect that the candidate penned himself and you dismiss it as a good try.  Perhaps if we had a Commander in Chief who could string together such a sequence of ideas, we wouldn’t have the blood of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis on our hands.  A speech where he was honest enough to speak about our racist heritage *and* the fact that affirmative action is institutionalized racism of a different bent should be lauded.  A speech where he drew attention to his mixed racial heritage in a storm of controversy about racial remarks should be respected.  A speech that treated the American public respectfully and, for a change, with honesty and openness should be held up as an example of what politicians can be.  A speech like that should not, Bob, be dismissed as a failed attempt.  To do so is beneath you and should be beneath all of us.

Your article can be summed up with this fatuous statement:

The big issue in this campaign is the economy and jobs. But if you were to ask most voters how Senator Obama plans to fight for them on this crucial matter, you’re likely to get a blank stare.

You see, Bob, the implication is that if you were to ask most voters about the plans of McCain and Clinton on the topics of the economy and jobs, you’d get an accurate policy synopsis.  And therein lies the problem.  You question his electability, Clinton’s is worse.  You raise up a bunch of (highly manufactured) controversies and gaffes.  Clinton and McCain both have more of them of greater significance and import to Americans than Obama does.  You finish with the vague idea that voters don’t know what Obama stands for, implying (wrongly) that voters have some detailed knowledge of the McCain and Clinton platforms.

Your article flows well but, from a content standpoint, it fails and fails hard.

Work harder.



Obama’s speech on race – CNN’s pathetic headline

March 18, 2008

After Barack Obama‘s brilliant, moving speech (video) on the issue of race in politics and America, I was interested to see what sort of coverage he’d be getting at the major news outlets.

Here’s what the genius brigade at CNN decided to run with:

CNN’s first attempt

This headline was quickly retracted in favor of one that far more accurately captured the spirit of the speech:

CNN’s second, much better attempt

Ah, sweet, sweet main stream media. Good job.