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June 14, 2008 12:22 PM   Subscribe

E. D. Hill has company. Jamison Foser of Media Matters for America summarizes how Obama is treated by the press. (via Jay Lake)

MediaMatters has lots of stuff about McCain too.
posted by joannemerriam (118 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aside from "we should completely ignore the mainstream media," I've never known what to take from mediamatters.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:31 PM on June 14, 2008


This election, I'm just going to pretend to believe that people aren't this stupid. Obama is going to win this thing, despite all of this.
posted by empath at 12:36 PM on June 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Darn... I was all set to cruise over the McCain stuff, curse the media for incompetent swine, and happily go back to my life. But at least a quick perusal seems to point to distortion in the other direction, ie., predominantly distorted to sell McCain.

I love this country.
posted by emmet at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2008


Tucker Carlson says Obama... "seems like kind of a wuss"...

Tucker's complete lack of self-awareness is downright endearing. I imagine him standing in front of the mirror, straightening his bow tie, running a hand through his hair, catching his own eye, glancing away and quickly back, then staring, captivated by what he sees. "Who's a bad, bad man?" Tucker whispers to his reflection. "You are, Tucker," Tucker purrs back. "You are."
posted by dyoneo at 12:52 PM on June 14, 2008 [51 favorites]


Media Matters? Seriously? GYOB.
posted by Heminator at 1:22 PM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


We do have to ask ourselves, though, whether we want a President who terrorist fist jabs his baby mama. My answer is "no."
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 2:21 PM on June 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


Obama is going to win this thing, despite all of this.

It certainly looks that way right now. While the raw polls are relatively close, a new CNN poll says that 63% of Democrats are very enthusiastic about voting, compared to only 37% of Republicans. Additionally, only 16% of Democrats are not enthusiastic, compared to 36% of Republicans. This despite the fact that the Republicans have had months to unite behind McCain, whereas many Clinton supporters are still feeling sore. If things stay this way or if the trend continues, the difference in turnout will cause a landslide.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:28 PM on June 14, 2008


Mr. Dr. Steve, what the hell does that even mean?
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 2:39 PM on June 14, 2008


It means FEEDE NOTTE YE TROLLE
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:41 PM on June 14, 2008 [7 favorites]


I think its quite reasonable to assume that Clinton supporters will vote for Obama, the election is still months away, which is time for a) the sting of having their favored candidate lose to fade, and b) the awful realization that yes, McCain is going to be Bush's third term to sink in.

Actually, and meaning no slight to my fellow Obama supporters, I'd be less certain that they'd come around en masse than I am about the Clinton supporters. Most of Clinton's supporters are older, they've been through several election cycles and they know the value of closing ranks with the party. Many of Obama's supporters are first time voters, they aren't really there for the party, or to stop McCain, but exclusively for their candidate, and I think on that basis its reasonable to assume that quite a few of them would stay home on election day if Obama wasn't the candidate. Obviously that isn't meant to describe all Obama supporters, but it does describe a significant percentage.

Clinton got the vast majority of the old party hands, and they'll stick with the party candidate in the end, despite their (understandable) grumpyness at losing.

As far as the election itself goes, we ain't seen nothing yet. As outrageous as FOX's "terrorist fist jab" bullshit is, it is guaranteed to get worse as the campaign season progresses. I'm betting we'll see several right wing radio hosts, on small market AM programs anyway, routinely using the word "nigger" before October.

This election is going to be ugly. The right is desperate, its candidate sucks, the Democrats have a candidate with relatively good speaking skills [1], a fair amount of charisma, and the horrible wreck the Republicans have made of America in the past 7 years as a powerful backdrop for every campaign point Obama wants to make. The only chance the Republicans have at victory is race baiting, and they will take it. They have to. But I'm going to guess it won't work so well, America may not be a utopia of racial harmony, but I don't think the racist crap really resonates as well as FOX and the Republicans are hoping it will.

MPDESA Is that actually a hint that you don't support and enjoy Fox's treatment of Obama? I'm stunned.

[1] Obama is no Bill Clinton in the speech making department, but considering that Bill Clinton may have been the best speaking president we've had in 50 years that's none to surprising.
posted by sotonohito at 2:55 PM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]




I am pretty sure that everyone is convinced that the media is secretly plotting to destroy whichever candidate they support.
posted by vorpal bunny at 3:00 PM on June 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the introduction to Media Matters. I had no idea there was an organization dedicated to spilling thousands of words on matters of such sweeping import that they cannot be ignored. In the words of one critic:
Creating verbose mountains out of molehills has perhaps never paid so well. Yawn. Yawn.
Yawn.
posted by fydfyd at 3:00 PM on June 14, 2008


WSJ:
"For the second time this week, Fox News Channel was driven to respond to criticism over on-air statements about Barack Obama, in this case for screen text that described the Democratic presidential candidate's wife as 'Obama's baby mama.' The term is often applied pejoratively to unwed mothers.

...The phrase baby mama or baby mother is Caribbean in origin, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as 'the mother of a man's child, who is not his wife nor (in most cases) his current or exclusive partner.' It has gained wider currency in recent years through use in hip-hop lyrics and celebrity magazines.

...Among friends, 'baby mama' could be construed as friendly or a joke, according to Bakari Kitwana, an artist in residence at the University of Chicago who has written about the phrase in his book "The Hip Hop Generation." But he says its use to describe the wife of a presidential candidate is disrespectful.

'Michelle Obama is not Fox News's homegirl,' Mr. Kitwana said. 'You're taking something out of its culture and political context.'"
posted by ericb at 3:03 PM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Chuck Todd | MSNBC
"To fight the rampant e-mail and Internet rumors that have attempted to 'Swift Boat' his campaign, [the] Obama camp launched a 'Fight the Smears ' Web site to head these off. The [conventional wisdom] is that attacking these issues head on is smart. Kerry and Dukakis admit they ignored rumors for too long before addressing them. In this minute-by-minute news cycle, attacking rumors head on is necessary. The only potential problem… rumors that normally wouldn’t be picked up by the mainstream media may now at least be referenced, perpetuating the rumors for the casual observer. The real challenge will be with the media and its decision about whether they need to pivot from reporting what's true to deciding whether it's necessary to report what's NOT true. It's a brave new world."
Video | 8:58.
posted by ericb at 3:09 PM on June 14, 2008


ericb Actually, I'd argue that FOX is not taking something out of its political and culrural context at all. They can't come right out and say "Look, he's black and you shouldn't vote for him because he's black, all right?" So they hint, they emphisize anything that otherizes Obama or highlights the fact that (shock) he's black.

The "terrorist fist jab" remark, the "Baby Mama" label both serve to emphisize the fact that Obama is black, to drive home to the most regressive and fearful of their viewers that, in a manner they consider to be important, Obama is Not Like Them. Its not insensitive, as the person you quoted implied, its deliberate.
posted by sotonohito at 3:12 PM on June 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


Its not insensitive, as the person you quoted implied, its deliberate.

I whole-heartily agree. And sotonohito has it right. We a'int seen nothing yet as to how ugly things will get.
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Err. And *you have* it right.
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on June 14, 2008


apropos of nothing: Michael Savage called Obama an "Afro-Leninist"; it makes me think of him with a big mustache and even bigger hair.
posted by heeeraldo at 3:20 PM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heh.

FoxNews ain't SEEN Teflon yet.

All these smears will backfire and Obama, by being seen as "rising above" them, will waltz into the White House. Yay!

The worm has turned, and, as usual, it's the hardcore right wing who has failed to get the memo.

Keep it up, Fox. You're helping the man get elected.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:24 PM on June 14, 2008


Frankly, I could care less what MediaMatters says about anything.
posted by RavinDave at 3:43 PM on June 14, 2008


Frankly, I could care less what MediaMatters says about anything.

So, what, you care some positive amount about what MediaMatters says? that's a pretty weak statement.

But seriously though, why all the hate on MM?
posted by episteborg at 3:53 PM on June 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


Heavens! If that man becomes president my hopeless unhipness will become evident to everyone.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 4:00 PM on June 14, 2008


Frankly, I could care less what MediaMatters says about anything.

I find the website to be a valuable source of information, as it serves as a watchdog over the machinations of the media and journalism here in the U.S.
posted by ericb at 4:04 PM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


For the inside workings of media and journalism I enjoy reading Jim Romenesko's Poynteronline.
posted by ericb at 4:06 PM on June 14, 2008


I think all you people who believe Obama's gonna skate into the White House have learned jackshit since 2004. In fact, if I bothered to search I'm sure I'd find countless statements that pretty much make the same claim about that election--just change the name of the democrat. Get off the internet and hit the streets--you live in a bubble where the vast majority of the American populace doesn't hang out.

As a non-USA'n, I see a repeat of four years ago where you folks are looking around in bewilderment after the election wondering wtf happened.
posted by dobbs at 4:20 PM on June 14, 2008 [20 favorites]


Even if Obama's name was Mohammed, and he was educated in a terrorist training camp, he couldn't be in tighter with powerful, modern-weapons-weilding, theocratic, terrorist-supporting, anti-semitic Moslems than George Bush is -- as evidenced by his recurrent kissy-kissies with the Saudis. Every thing they accuse Obama of being in secret, George Bush is in the wide open: creating a huge new socialist federal government, offering gigantic new entitlement programs, turning the nation's security forces against our own people. I don't like Obama myself, but I have to laugh at the way his opponents accuse him of being everything that they already are. There is absolutely nothing even the most sinisterly intentioned Obama could do that would be worse that what Bush has done to the nation already.
posted by Faze at 4:32 PM on June 14, 2008 [8 favorites]


Faze, I like Obama, but you should never tempt *any* politician with statements like that. It's just begging them to prove you wrong.
posted by Ryvar at 4:40 PM on June 14, 2008


This election, I'm just going to pretend to believe that people aren't this stupid. Obama is going to win this thing, despite all of this.

Back when Clinton first ran, I said the same thing, only in reverse. Here was a guy that came in late, out of nowhere, that most people had never heard of. Prior to the election and after the Barbara Walters interview, he admitted he had cheated on his wife and lied to the American people. He was up against a standing president who was also a previous ambassador to the U.N. , a substantial domestic political career, and had "won" the first Gulf war. I thought, there's no way Bush could lose.

I agree with you completely and hope you're right.
posted by sluglicker at 4:49 PM on June 14, 2008


This election, I'm just going to pretend to believe that people aren't this stupid.

Um... anyone? Anyone? Mencken?
posted by rokusan at 5:02 PM on June 14, 2008


Just wanted to point out, re: Fight the Smears, that Tim Russert's last Russert on Politics piece for MSNBC before his death was on that site.
posted by JHarris at 5:33 PM on June 14, 2008


The Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism (part of the Pew Charitable Trusts) is a less biased source.

It recently released a study of media treatment of Obama, Clinton, and McCain.

Obama and Clinton had about the same percentage of positive press, Obama 69% vs. Clinton 67%.

McCain? 43%.

Draw your own conclusions.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 5:49 PM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Draw your own conclusions.

My conclusion is that the Republicans selected a disastrous candidate.
posted by Ludi at 6:14 PM on June 14, 2008 [7 favorites]


sotonohito- Actually, and meaning no slight to my fellow Obama supporters, I'd be less certain that they'd come around en masse than I am about the Clinton supporters. Most of Clinton's supporters are older, they've been through several election cycles and they know the value of closing ranks with the party. Many of Obama's supporters are first time voters, they aren't really there for the party, or to stop McCain, but exclusively for their candidate, and I think on that basis its reasonable to assume that quite a few of them would stay home on election day if Obama wasn't the candidate. Obviously that isn't meant to describe all Obama supporters, but it does describe a significant percentage.

Well, with all respect to your opinion, I think you're (mostly) wrong.

Obama does have a number of young supporters, but he also has majority Democratic support from most other demographics in most states which have any chance of going Dem. His campaign would've never made it this far if it was only being driven from college campuses, and really the only major demographic he has lost in most parts of the country is middle aged white women. Since we know that, unfortunately, college campuses are not packed with black people, even these basic numbers show that this theory is wrong. Percentage wise, his largest voting block was black voters, do you think they'd really have flipped to McCain if Clinton was the nominee?

Aside from that...Whoever mentioned it above is correct, more than anything I agree that the worm has turned. When people my age (I'm 26) do occasionally tell me that they're voting McCain or thinking of it, I ask them how many presidential accomplishments they can point out from the last 7.5 years. When they inevitably come up short, tying together Bush and McCain ideology almost always does the trick.

There are certainly plenty of people in plenty of states that have a fundamentally different outlook for this country than I do. But I do think that after years of feeling like I was in the minority, I feel like people from all sorts of life have caught up. If McCain is successfully tied to GWB policy, the level of frustration with said policy will mean that nothing short of major catastrophe can prevent an Obama presidency.
posted by rollbiz at 6:19 PM on June 14, 2008


bloc, not block. Sorry...
posted by rollbiz at 6:21 PM on June 14, 2008


it serves as a watchdog over the machinations of the media

Watchdogs have teeth and are feared by wrongdoers.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:24 PM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Fortunately, rollbiz, the point is moot since Obama is the candidate. I'd like to think you are correct, but it doesn't jibe with the majority of Obamites I've seen.

I do agree, strongly, with dobbs. The absolute last thing we need is some sort of belief in Obama's invincebility or inevitability. That's what did in Clinton, she and her staff thought she was inevitable and Obama creamed 'em. We also shouldn't underestimate the power of the right wing noise machine (which at this point includes all cable news networks, and the big three broadcast stations) to put out a false frame about Obama. Look at what they did to Gore and be aware that they will be looking to do the same thing to Obama. And that's ignoring talk radio.

Getting Obama into the Oval Office is going to be a bitter, dirty, and ugly fight. We need to do serious GotV effort, especially among traditionally non-voting groups, and we need to exercise *CONSTANT*VIGALANCE* when it comes to smears. Kerry's pathetic, and classic whimpocrat, lack of response to the swift boat smear showed us exactly how not to act. Every smear that comes up must be smacked down hard and fast. There is no rising above smears.
posted by sotonohito at 6:45 PM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


All these smears will backfire and Obama, by being seen as "rising above" them, will waltz into the White House. Yay!

Waltz? He'll moonwalk, dude.
posted by jonmc at 7:03 PM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama is no Bill Clinton in the speech making department, but considering that Bill Clinton may have been the best speaking president we've had in 50 years that's none to surprising.

Speak for yourself. Obama is by far the better public speaker, imo. He's probably the best presidential orator we've had since JFK. One of the reasons I'm planning on going to the inauguration in January in person, instead of watching it on tv as I usually do, is because Obama will certainly give something as poetic and inspiring as the "Ask Not" speech. He's just that good.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Kerry's pathetic, and classic whimpocrat, lack of response to the swift boat smear showed us exactly how not to act.

I would like to take this opportunity, without responsibility, substance, or guaranteed veracity, to tell a story I heard last night from a friend of mine who is a waiter at a known restaurant in NYC.

The story is that John Kerry walked up to the bar in this establishment, by himself, and very loudly ordered a kir, "straight up." It's weird enough that a dude walks into a bar by himself to order a kir, but I have no idea what it means to have one straight up. Either way: immediately afterwards, he proceeded to very noisily lock himself in the bathroom stall, crying for help.

The flipside is that the whole Clinton family have also come into his establishment, and that they were extremely nice, charming, "looking better than they do on TV," and tipped well.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:08 PM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


...he proceeded to very noisily lock himself in the bathroom stall, crying for help.

Is this code for something? I don't get it.
posted by DU at 7:16 PM on June 14, 2008


Kerry's pathetic, and classic whimpocrat,

wait a minute..the guy who has actually been under fire is a wimp and the fratboy who never did and likes to pose in a flight suit is some kind of swashbuckler? Call me when the shuttle lands, please.
posted by jonmc at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


the right wing noise machine (which at this point includes all cable news networks...)

I'm fairly certain that Keith Olbermann would, correctly, take strong and vociferous umbrage with this. Did you bother to watch his show last week?

Here's his take on McCain's "that's not important" line about when the troops come home:

part 1
part 2
posted by Justinian at 7:37 PM on June 14, 2008


Obama: If They Bring A Knife, We Bring A Gun - At a fundraiser last night in Philadelphia -- a unity event of sorts, featuring former Hillary-backers Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter -- Barack Obama vowed that he will not be passive in the face of political attacks: "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."

It doesn't look like Sen. Obama is going to sit still for any swift-boating this year. This should be in an interesting election season.
posted by octothorpe at 7:42 PM on June 14, 2008


I understand that Obama is a Chicago politician and all, but perhaps the guy trying to avoid being painted by racists as a scary fringe black man should refrain from references involving guns and knife fights. At least he didn't go on to the bit about sending the other guy's goons to the morgue.
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on June 14, 2008


"The Press"? Looks like the vast majority of those quotes are from admittedly right-wing commentators. That's to be expected.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:00 PM on June 14, 2008


All these smears will backfire

I don't know how FOX newscasters walk down the street without being spit on. "terrorist fist jab"??

Here's his take on McCain's "that's not important" line about when the troops come home

Olbermann is over the top but man does he serve an important purpose.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:13 PM on June 14, 2008


All these smears will backfire

In the end, I have to agree. After awhile, people get tired of watching foodfight level arguments, since they inevitably escalate to the point of unbearable ugliness. Obama will win, and McCain is basically a sacrificial lamb, since I get the impression that the other GOP'ers have never really liked him all that much, which makes his loyalty to them baffling and saddening.
posted by jonmc at 8:57 PM on June 14, 2008


it serves as a watchdog over the machinations of the media

Watchdogs have teeth and are feared by wrongdoers.


Guard dogs and attack dogs are the canines that inspire fear with the promise of teeth.

Watchdogs just give warning.
posted by cinemafiend at 9:22 PM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bowling is supposed to be a Demo sport? Wasn't it Nixon who installed a bowling alley in the White House, over the pool which FDR and JFK used?
posted by Cranberry at 10:12 PM on June 14, 2008


Bowling is supposed to be a Demo sport? Wasn't it Nixon who installed a bowling alley in the White House, over the pool which FDR and JFK used?

Bowling is a stereotypically white sport and basketball is a stereotypically black sport. Intimating that bowling is a sport of "real folk," whereas an interest in basketball is insufficient in that regard, is simply plain old passive-aggressive racism.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:35 PM on June 14, 2008


...he proceeded to very noisily lock himself in the bathroom stall, crying for help.

Is this code for something? I don't get it.


No code. He just got stuck in a bathroom stall. Then he clambered to get out of his predicament.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:37 PM on June 14, 2008


Get off the internet and hit the streets--you live in a bubble where the vast majority of the American populace doesn't hang out.

As a non-USA'n...


So, as a Canadian, then, you're in a better position to take the cultural temperature of the vast majority of the American populace? Wow, thanks for that.
posted by hifiparasol at 11:56 PM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


No code. He just got stuck in a bathroom stall. Then he clambered to get out of his predicament.

I think your talking point has thesaured too close to the sun.
posted by srboisvert at 12:06 AM on June 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


So, as a Canadian, then, you're in a better position to take the cultural temperature of the vast majority of the American populace? Wow, thanks for that.

Hah. That is pretty funny.

I saw an Obama sticker on a pickup truck earlier today. The guy's a bit more then an internet meme.
posted by delmoi at 12:15 AM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama and Clinton had about the same percentage of positive press, Obama 69% vs. Clinton 67%.

McCain? 43%.

Draw your own conclusions.


Except that most of McCain's negative press came attacks that he wasn't conservative enough. Your liberal media is still a myth.
posted by afu at 1:09 AM on June 15, 2008


Oct. 19, 2004: MetaFilter calls the election for John Kerry, predicting a narrow 49.2% win and even a 55% almost-landslide.

If anything, MeFi has 0-2 record when predicting Presidential election results. This website's endorsement has proven to be the kiss of death for candidates -- all due respect, our Obama-has-already-won friends might try to be a little more prudent, or the morning of Nov. 5 could have a very nasty surprise in store for them.
posted by matteo at 4:37 AM on June 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


jonmc, regardless of Kerry's valor in combat he didn't display similar valor when it came to politics. Bush and his proxies went after his greatest strength - Kerry's war record - and Kerry sat back and refused to engage.

Likewise, in the Senate he and his fellow wimpocrats were too fearful of having the Republicans attack their patriotism that they cooperated in all of Bush's insanity, apparently never realizing that the Republicans would attack their patriotism no matter what they did.

There's apparntly a difference between the kind of bravery it takes to face actual combat and the kind of bravery it takes to face politicial challenges. Either that or sometime after Vietnam Kerry lost his nerve.
posted by sotonohito at 4:49 AM on June 15, 2008


If Michael Savage, Ben Stein, Sean Hannity, Tom Delay, and Rush Limbaugh are all attacking you, you must be doing something right.
posted by Project F at 5:06 AM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


This served as a reminder that I should give Mr. Obama a few more dollars. Fightin' ain't free.
posted by Project F at 5:09 AM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


"If Michael Savage, Ben Stein, Sean Hannity, Tom Delay, and Rush Limbaugh are all attacking you, you must be doing something right."

OR....you could be the leading democratic party front-runner and nothing you say or do could ever be wrong in the eyes of YOUR mob....so the OTHER mob simply needs ratings too. I think it has less to do with "doing something right" and more to do with unceasing lip flapping, ass kissing, and verbiage before an election.
posted by unpoppy at 5:37 AM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama will certainly give something as poetic and inspiring as the "Ask Not" speech. He's just that good.


In case you hadn't heard yet, I'm going to repeat this because I think it illustrates the way cosmic forces of history and destiny seem to be swirling around this guy:

When Obama gives his acceptance speech at the convention in Denver on Aug. 28, when he officially becomes America's first black nominee of a major party, it will, by total coincidence, be the 45th anniversary - to the day - of MLK's Aug. 28 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech.

You know Obama is going to kick some ass with that.



Also: Historians Predict a Blowout
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:04 AM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


My conclusion is that the Republicans selected a disastrous candidate.

John McCain debates himself on Supporting Bush [video | 1:32].
posted by ericb at 7:17 AM on June 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


They can't come right out and say 'Look, he's black and you shouldn't vote for him because he's black, all right?'
You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"--that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me--because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."
-- Lee Atwater on the Southern Strategy

Wasn't it Nixon who installed a bowling alley in the White House, over the pool which FDR and JFK used?

Nixon installed the press room over the pool.

I understand that Obama is a Chicago politician and all, but perhaps the guy trying to avoid being painted by racists as a scary fringe black man should refrain from references involving guns and knife fights.

I'm pretty sure he's referencing Sean Connery in The Untouchables.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:49 AM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Bowling lanes were first built in the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift for President Truman in 1947...Truman didn't care for bowling himself, but allowed staff to start a league. These were moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955 to make way for a mimeograph room.

In 1969, President and Mrs. Nixon, both avid bowlers, had a new one-lane alley built (paid for by friends) in an underground workspace area below the driveway leading to the North Portico."*
posted by ericb at 8:11 AM on June 15, 2008


[1] Obama is no Bill Clinton in the speech making department, but considering that Bill Clinton may have been the best speaking president we've had in 50 years that's none to surprising.

For the life of me, I cannot think of a single Clinton speech that stands out in any way as memorable. I do remember the disastrous 1988 keynote speech that almost destroyed his political future, and a couple of his SOTUs seemed to be better than most, but otherwise, I'm drawing a blank. As for Obama, I have very strong recollections of at least 4 Obama speeches, and can probably even quote a few lines from them.

Clearly, Bill is (or was, prior to this year) better at speaking extemporaneously than Obama, but Obama clobbers him on the stump.
posted by psmealey at 8:12 AM on June 15, 2008


I'm pretty sure he's referencing Sean Connery in The Untouchables.

Yep.
"You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?"

..."Isn't that just like a wop? Brings a knife to a gun fight. *
posted by ericb at 8:15 AM on June 15, 2008


I'm pretty sure he's referencing Sean Connery in The Untouchables.

Of course he is; that's why I referenced him being a Chicago politician.

Did the fact that Obama was referencing Jay-Z when he brushed that dirt off his shoulder stop Geraldine Ferraro from calling him a sexist over the gesture? No, it did not. Same thing.
posted by Justinian at 8:27 AM on June 15, 2008


It doesn't look like Sen. Obama is going to sit still for any swift-boating this year.

Which is very good news. For all the crap about Ayers, Wright and Rezco, Obama is, by recent standards, a boy scout. They also can't take him down on his biggest weakness (inexperience), because McCain has had at least 2 or 3 "huh?" or bad judgment moments over each of the past 12 months. Obama looks like a sage steady hand when you compare his minor missteps to McCain's outrageously clueless gaffes.

So, they can't win on dirt, and they can't win on the facts, so they'll have to take him down with innuendo and coded racism.

What's he's doing is incredibly smart. He's taking them one at a time, going after the rumors, going after the bullshit being slung at is his wife, and blowing them up. This is taking a page from Clinton's 1992 campaign playbook, and making it even more streamlined (Rapid Response 2.0). As long as they can maintain an overall tone of incredulity mixed with righteous indignation, and not act defensively, I think Obama will win going away.

However, five months is a long time.
posted by psmealey at 8:30 AM on June 15, 2008


I think its quite likely that he'll win, he's got the charisma and (much more important) he's got the will and skill to fight back against the Republican smears. He and his staff have obviously learned the lesson of Kerry: there is no such thing as rising above vicious attacks, they *MUST* be countered as quickly as humanly possible.

I look at his near instant response to Clinton's 3AM ad as the best sign that he'll mop the floor with McCain.

Plus, of course, McCain is a truly terrible candidate. When, not if but when, McCain throws one of his infamous temper tantrums during the McCain/Obama debates I expect to see his ratings plumet.

Mind, Obama faces serious obsticles, especially a press corps that is united behind the meme that McCain is a saintly, All American, tough guy. The fact that any Democratic candidate must first defeat the entrenched trad-media before they can even begin to take on their nominal opponent is sad, but an unavoidable fact of modern American politics. I think he'll manage it despite the best efforts of the trad-media to crush him.
posted by sotonohito at 9:13 AM on June 15, 2008


The Coming Obama-McCain Mudfight.
posted by ericb at 9:19 AM on June 15, 2008


I cannot think of a single Clinton speech that stands out in any way as memorable.


I felt tremendous excitement in 1992 when it looked like a smart fresh young face was going to replace a tired, old and embarrassingly stupid Bush. But I don't really remember one specific speech from that campaign.
However, Clinton's speech after the OKC bombing, which at the time seemed to be one of the most horrifying things that could happen to this country, was the first time a politician had ever really moved me. He actually made me feel better. It was a great speech.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:47 AM on June 15, 2008




Isn't anyone a bit troubled by Obama's abrupt about-face on the Jerusalem question? Forget the issue itself (That way madness lies.), but the fact that he took an unequivocal stance on a united Jerusalem one day, and backpedaled like Lyle Lovett walking into a barbershop the next. Either he gave in to pressure or he didn't understand the issue in the first place. Neither reflects well. Maybe there's a middle ground I don't see.
posted by RavinDave at 10:01 AM on June 15, 2008


The middle ground is that he was pandering to AIPAC and the Jewish vote and always intended to back off if pressed. Is that stunningly new politics? No. Is it what you do to get elected? Yes. I wish he hadn't made the statement in the first place but I'm willing to give him a pass since you can't effect change if you don't win the election in the first place.
posted by Justinian at 10:26 AM on June 15, 2008


Well ... yeah ... okay .... I s'pose. But he ended up alienating more than if he had just STFU. What sort of "cunning plan" is that? At least he coulda tempered the sentiment: "I would like to see a united Jerusalem" vs. "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided." I dunno ...
posted by RavinDave at 10:32 AM on June 15, 2008


The Chicago Way
posted by Bugg at 10:36 AM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Isn't anyone a bit troubled by Obama's abrupt about-face on the Jerusalem question? Forget the issue itself (That way madness lies.), but the fact that he took an unequivocal stance on a united Jerusalem one day, and backpedaled like Lyle Lovett walking into a barbershop the next. Either he gave in to pressure or he didn't understand the issue in the first place. Neither reflects well. Maybe there's a middle ground I don't see.

My interpretation (I tried really really hard to be charitable) was this: Jerusalem will be part of the negotiations, but only on the level of Palestinian rights of access, representation in city government, that kind of thing. Which isn't all that bad of a stance for a moderate politician to take, if that's what he was really going for.
posted by nasreddin at 10:40 AM on June 15, 2008



"If Michael Savage, Ben Stein, Sean Hannity, Tom Delay, and Rush Limbaugh are all attacking you, you must be doing something right."

OR....you could be the leading democratic party front-runner and nothing you say or do could ever be wrong in the eyes of YOUR mob....so the OTHER mob simply needs ratings too. I think it has less to do with "doing something right" and more to do with unceasing lip flapping, ass kissing, and verbiage before an election.

Amen.
posted by mattholomew at 11:10 AM on June 15, 2008


Isn't anyone a bit troubled by Obama's abrupt about-face on the Jerusalem question? Forget the issue itself (That way madness lies.), but the fact that he took an unequivocal stance on a united Jerusalem one day, and backpedaled like Lyle Lovett walking into a barbershop the next. Either he gave in to pressure or he didn't understand the issue in the first place. Neither reflects well. Maybe there's a middle ground I don't see.

Good luck finding anyone on Metafilter troubled by or questioning anything Obama says or does, until he's running against the next anointed one some time in the future.
posted by mattholomew at 11:13 AM on June 15, 2008


I just keep wondering why no one ever commented on McCain's performances in the last Republican primaries. 70-74% when running pretty well unopposed? Looks like McCain was doing about as well as John Kerry did at the same point in 2004. No idea what to read into that, though, except that over 25% of the Republican primary voters in Kentucky turned out to vote against McCain when there was no other big race on the ballot for them.
posted by dilettante at 11:33 AM on June 15, 2008


Good luck finding anyone on Metafilter troubled by or questioning anything Obama says or does, until he's running against the next anointed one some time in the future.

Those were two distinctly useless contributions to the mix. I'm going to interpret from your lack of use of any of the standard quoting conventions, that you haven't spent much time here. Otherwise, you'd see that, while it is likely true that the MeFite majority is pro-Obama, it's not blindered, unwavering support. I would put the majority of us in the guardedly optimistic category.

When the only way anyone can get elected in this country (other than a 51% strategy mixed with some voter suppression and some voter fraud) is to demonstrate just how mainstream you are. Many if your base will invariably find this off putting. I find reason to be hopeful about Obama's message and his candidacy (particularly as compared with Hillary Clinton's commitment to business as usual, and McCain's barren vision for our future). But, I harbor no illusions that he may be forced to compromise in directions that might be objectionable, but necessary. You just have to hope that he chooses to compromise on ancillary issues and not core ones (see President Bill Clinton, President 1993-2001 for an example of the latter.

For what it's worth, NO ONE is going to change US Israel policy in a 20 minute speech. It's probably going to take many years, and a lot of seriously hard work to shift stances in dribs and drabs.
posted by psmealey at 11:59 AM on June 15, 2008


Those were two distinctly useless contributions to the mix. I'm going to interpret from your lack of use of any of the standard quoting conventions, that you haven't spent much time here. Otherwise, you'd see that, while it is likely true that the MeFite majority is pro-Obama, it's not blindered, unwavering support. I would put the majority of us in the guardedly optimistic category.

OK, how about some examples?
posted by mattholomew at 12:58 PM on June 15, 2008


Some examples of what, exactly? Being guardedly optimistic?!?
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on June 15, 2008


Justinian, how about some examples that it's "not blindered, unwavering support"?
posted by mattholomew at 1:52 PM on June 15, 2008


Well, he could be better at bowling.
posted by aqhong at 2:01 PM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't know how it is in the rest of the country, but here in NC, black people love to bowl. I've been the only white person at the alley more than once.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 2:04 PM on June 15, 2008


Once I bowled a 7. I think I got some kind of a prize for that --- maybe a kick on the butt.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 2:33 PM on June 15, 2008


Justinian, how about some examples that it's "not blindered, unwavering support"?

You mean like what I posted about Obama's Jerusalem comments like FIVE POSTS before you claimed that all we did was blind, unwavering support? Where I said it was not a good comment and that it was pandering to AIPAC?
posted by Justinian at 2:45 PM on June 15, 2008


Justinian, how about some examples that it's "not blindered, unwavering support"?

Well, he doesn't actually walk on water yet.
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:00 PM on June 15, 2008


You mean like what I posted about Obama's Jerusalem comments like FIVE POSTS before you claimed that all we did was blind, unwavering support? Where I said it was not a good comment and that it was pandering to AIPAC?

OK, I'll apologize for my confusing post. My initial response to yours came from genuine surprise at seeing anyone criticize Obama here in a genuine way and I don't want to denigrate what you did. psmealey made the generalization that "most" MeFites do not have 'blinded, unwavering support' but everything I've read so far seems exactly blinded and unwavering. If there are genuine criticisms out there other than "well, sure Clinton's better at extemporaneous speaking but...." I would like to see some examples. One post does not disprove a generalization.
posted by mattholomew at 3:00 PM on June 15, 2008


Well, he doesn't actually walk on water yet.

Actually, platitudes about 'hope' and 'change' greatly enhance this ability, so it's coming any day now.
posted by mattholomew at 3:05 PM on June 15, 2008


Okay, here's another mattholomew: I don't think there's a chance in hell that Obama will do what is necessary for our economy to avoid disaster in the long term. Namely, to slash Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Defense spending. And, yes, it's necessary to reduce spending in all of them.

I happen to think that McCain will be even worse. He won't reduce spending and he'll reduce revenue further by either additional tax cuts or by making Bush's cuts permanent. It may be true that Democrats are typically tax and spenders. It is undeniably true that Republicans are just plain spenders. And I know which is worse for the economy when it comes to choosing between spending and running up huge debts versus spending and not running up huge debts.

If you think all that happens on Metafilter is unwavering adulation for any politician, you aren't reading closely enough. I would probably agree that the majority of Mefites think Obama will be far better than McCain, but that's hardly some sort of radical position. My pet cat might just be better than McCain in that he would do nothing but sleep and sit around vomiting all day and so at least wouldn't be actively harmful to the country like McCain would be.
posted by Justinian at 3:30 PM on June 15, 2008


Justinian, fair enough. And I agree with the points you've made.
posted by mattholomew at 3:33 PM on June 15, 2008


psmealey made the generalization that "most" MeFites do not have 'blinded, unwavering support' but everything I've read so far seems exactly blinded and unwavering.

Uh, yeah. Okay. My father can beat up your father. I made that "most... do not have" to refute the implied (and ridiculous) generalization that no MeFite is ever critical of Obama. By and large, MeFites are a savvy and rigorously demanding bunch, and while quite a few have invested in Obama's campaign, mentally and emotionally, this certainly does not make them hopelessly charmed by the candidate or disinclined to criticize him.

To imply otherwise, is both insulting and self-defeating. And your attempt to draw attention to my generalization by making generalizations bother before and after the fact is just plain stupid.
posted by psmealey at 4:20 PM on June 15, 2008


"it illustrates the way cosmic forces of history and destiny seem to be swirling around this guy"

I prefer to think I'm not religious or superstitious at all, but if he sustains a traumatic head injury after taking office and miraculously recovers, I'm killing myself immediately.

I will vote for him of course, but the guy is obviously too good to be true, so he must be the anti-christ. Wait a minute, if he's the anti-christ then I ain't voting for him. I'd rather abortion be outlawed and we stay in iraq forever, thanks.

Okay, I'm insane. But that's exactly how some whitebread americans are gonna think, you wait. I've already had two liberal young friends spontanously say the exact same thing to me, apropos of nothing. It's not because he's black, it's because we seem to be living in a time when the very foundations of our civilization are converging onto an apocalyptic point.

Oil shortages, environmental collapses, global climate change, etc. Might as well add Armageddon while we're at it. If his race has anything to do with it at all, it's because the absolute pinacle of irony would be for the one we hope to save us from our eternal flame of racial guilt and other conflagations of sorrow to be our downfall.

Monthly menstrual extraction makes an awesome DIY abortion process; fuck McCain's attempt to control women's bodies like a third century pimp. At least McCain isn't the anti-christ.
posted by bravelittletoaster at 5:55 PM on June 15, 2008


psmealey, I'll suck it up and admit to some unclear wording in my original post. I'm not claiming that no MeFite ever criticizes Obama, I am saying that there is a marked lack of criticism of him. I'd like to see a few links that I might have missed that offer some substantial criticism. So far browsing through the posts tagged with Obama hasn't helped much. I'll be the adult here and refrain from name calling.
posted by mattholomew at 6:14 PM on June 15, 2008


mattholomew, you can post some links that "offer some substantial criticism" of Obama and if we all whip out our crucifixes and sprinkle holy water on our monitors as we read them, well...I guess then we'll have to concede that you were right. (About the blinded, unwavering support, that is; not about his status as demi-god.)
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:05 PM on June 15, 2008


I am saying that there is a marked lack of criticism of him. I'd like to see a few links that I might have missed that offer some substantial criticism.

mattholomew -- go at it. By all means I'd welcome such an FPP from you. It should make for an interesting discussion/thread.
posted by ericb at 7:15 PM on June 15, 2008


mattholomew -- Heck -- forget about a separate FPP. Can you round up some info (and supporting links) relative to the criticism of Obama that you seek? I'm open to learn from you and your position relative to what you find.
posted by ericb at 7:24 PM on June 15, 2008


Yesterday at my local dive bar I saw two "good ol' boys" give each other a terrorist fist jab.
posted by frecklefaerie at 9:25 AM on June 16, 2008


Isn't anyone a bit troubled by Obama's abrupt about-face on the Jerusalem question?

Sure, I agree with mattholemew. Not that his eventual stance was surprising, but because he made a declaration in his AIPAC speech which was a major change in policy AFAIK and then had to walk it back the very next day.. bad form.

For critiques of Obama's policy team & what they might do, from a progressive POV, I recommend the diaries titled "Audiology of Hope" here [warning, link to Daily Kos, though the author no longer posts there since it's simply the Daily Obama now].

I don't want McCain to be president but I don't misunderestimate him, he was written off once before after all. Going by the number of undecided in Gallup right now it looks to me like there are a lot of people unhappy with both candidates. I'm looking forward to a lot of dirt being slung by both sides unfortunately.. from team Obama, stuff about McCain being "confused" and "losing his bearings" (eg, old and senile) and trying to provoke him into showing his famous temper. From McCain, the stuff on experience and Obama being liberal (would that it were, he's not a liberal) and then GOP groups painting Obama as scary/unpatriotic/militant (ugh), attacking Michelle like they did Teresa Heinz Kerry, and.. like they put gay marriage ballot initiatives in 2004, I understand this time they're setting up some on affirmative action. I wonder why. It's going to be ugly.
posted by citron at 9:42 AM on June 16, 2008


This has certainly been instructive. I make the observation that MeFites seem to lack skepticism of Obama, the response back is nuh-uh because we say so, and when I ask for some evidence otherwise I'm told to go construct some. Thanks guys!
posted by mattholomew at 11:16 AM on June 16, 2008


Frank Rich: Angry Clinton Women ♥ McCain?
posted by homunculus at 11:28 AM on June 16, 2008


... and when I ask for some evidence otherwise I'm told to go construct some.

I can't find any "evidence" -- whether it be true criticism or "marked lack of criticism of him." Can you?
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on June 16, 2008




“I make the observation that MeFites seem to lack skepticism of Obama, the response back is nuh-uh because we say so, and when I ask for some evidence otherwise I'm told to go construct some.”

So you’ve made a purely speculative, baseless claim, are then subsequently refuted, and you want us to provide evidence supporting or denying your own opinions? The burden of proof is rightly upon you.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 1:32 PM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Media Matters? Seriously? GYOB.

Now it all makes sense. Heminator is this guy (warning: salon article)!!!

So I'm gonna go ad hominem on this and suggest that his opinion isn't worth its weight in the spittle that probably trickled down his chin as he spat it at the screen.

/Ah-ha! Moment
posted by saulgoodman at 2:17 PM on June 16, 2008


I think Media Matters is great, most importantly they keep a record of some of the most awful BS being let off by the national right-wing media establishment (Gratuitous Rev. Wright coverage, anemic John Hagee coverage). But I think they miss the regional crap I get to hear often on AM and FM talk radio I hear whenever I drive through areas like the central valley in CA.

An example of the type of propaganda they're spewing on regional talk shows (this is exactly what I've heard): "These new revelations about Obama have COLORED my views. No pun intended. Blah blah..." and the subtle racism went on like this.

Sadly, these people have been granted access to public airwaves and radio licenses, where everyone can hear them without the interruption of public comment, no internet necessary.
posted by peppito at 3:35 PM on June 16, 2008


Thanks saul, I'd forgotten about that guy.
posted by octothorpe at 3:47 PM on June 16, 2008


I read this whole thread without logging in. When I got to the bottom, the text ad said, in giant letters:

ULTIMATE COLON CLEANSE
posted by redteam at 8:15 PM on June 16, 2008


"you either are or you aren't" - Hate, Fear, and Caveman Politics
posted by mrgrimm at 9:34 PM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lapel pin at the GOP state convention in Texas: "If Obama is President... will we still call it the White House?"
posted by ericb at 11:22 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]




C&L has the Stewart video too.
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on June 17, 2008


What bothers me most about discussion of the upcoming race on MeFi is how people keep comparing Obama to Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Don't think so? Find me evidence that they don't.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:18 PM on June 19, 2008




Tennessee Democrat: Fox News made me believe Obama was ‘terrorist-connected.’
"I was not as well prepared as I should have been when speaking with reporters, and I should have taken more time to research Senator Obama’s positions. My comments did reflect questions I had after what I had seen reported on Fox News, but I should have taken some time to check the accuracy of what I saw on television before speaking publicly. My statement that Senator Obama 'may be terrorist-connected' was incorrect, and I apologize for making it."
posted by ericb at 8:03 AM on June 20, 2008


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