What was Obama thinking? Very difficult relationships to explain......

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If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
Irvine511 said:

there's the virgin bloody mary. you get all the antioxidants, yet none of the vodka.

though i could always order a shot of Stoli. and when no one's looking, it could somehow deflower said drink.

You're a wise one, my friend.:hi5:

Also, Sula's apparently on board now too.:up:
sean, if you are ever in the DC/NOVA area and you don't contact us for a brunch date, you will be in big trouble. :wink:


Monday, March 03, 2008 5:58 PM by Domenico Montanaro
Filed Under: 2008, Obama

From NBC/NJ’s Aswini Anburajan
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Led by the Chicago press corps that has covered Obama for years, the candidate today faced a barrage of questions in what turned out to be a contentious news conference.

Questions centered on why his campaign had denied that a meeting occurred between his chief economic advisor and Canadian officials as well as questions on his relationship with Tony Rezko, a Chicago land developer and fast food magnate, now on trial for corruption charges.

Obama claimed that when he had first denied the meeting between Austan Goolsbee and any members of the Canadian administration he provided "the information that [he] had at the time."

He added, "Nobody reached out to the Canadians to try to reassure them. They reached out, unbeknownst to the rest of us; They reached out to Mr. Goolsbee, who provided them with a tangible conversation and repeated what we've said on the campaign trail."

When did the meeting take place? Why did the Canadian officials reach out? Did Goolsbee not come forward right away and admit the meeting to Campaign Manager David Plouffe and Obama when both denied it last week? These are questions that went unanswered as the press conference was cut short.

Much of the back and forth, though, between reporters and Obama was about his relationship with Tony Rezko, with reporters demanding to know why new details were emerging from the case though Obama and his staff had claimed they had been forthright with all the details.

Obama and Carol Marin, political editor at NBC5 in Chicago and columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, tangled over how up front Obama had been about Rezko. Obama cut off her line of questioning, saying that Marin's questions were personally motivated.

"Carol, can I just say I have to really dispute this,” Obama said. “It is true that you wanted an individual sit down, but I don't think that's fair to speak for the entire Chicago press corps because on this -- Let me finish," he interjected as she tried to interrupt.

“Before you were reporting on these issues I had an avail,” Obama said, pointing to members of the Chicago press corps who were present, “where I literally stood there and took every question people could think of."

Lynn Sweet from the Chicago Sun-Times then jumped in and told Obama that he may have answered questions for the Chicago press, but many other reporters hadn't had a chance to hear him on the issue.

"I just want to make that point an issue," Obama said. "You may still have questions, which I'm happy to answer, but I don't think it's fair to suggest somehow that we've been trying to hide the ball on this. There have been more attacks. There have been several hundred stories written on this issue. The fact of the matter remains unchallenged."

Obama went on to detail his relationship with Rezko, repeating that the land deal had been a "bone-headed" move.

"On the other hand, there have been no allegations that I betrayed the public trust,” he argued. “There have been no allegations that I did him any favors.”

A third reporter followed, asking Obama why information about fundraisers or other details had not been answered by the campaign. He raised the issue of how details were emerging in the case, like the fact that Obama and Rezko had toured the property that resulted in the questionable land deal between the two men.

Obama continued to say that reporters' interest was due to the fact this was "a hot story."

He claimed that his campaign would be happy to provide the details, but when asked why the campaign hadn't been forthcoming, he said, "What happens is these requests I think can go on forever, and, at some point, we've tried to respond to what's pertinent to the question that's been raised."

He added, "There's no question that he raised money for us, and there's no dispute that we've tried to get rid of that money."

Toward the end of the press conference, the question of Goolsbee's meeting was raised again. Obama answered curtly and then walked out after a staffer called last question. The press erupted with shouts, but Obama continued to walk out.

He paused only to say, "Come on guys; I answered like eight questions. We're running late.”

On the flight from San Antonio to Dallas, Obama, unsurprisingly, did not wander back to make small talk with the traveling press corps.
I saw the video of him in that press question situation. It did seem as if he was annoyed, perhaps because the press has not done that to him before to that extent-not that I have seen. He better get used to that if he is the nominee, and he better answer the questions. No more pillows for him :wink:
I guess the media doesn't like to be mocked. I'd say it's pathetic that SNL played any role, not to mention how awful the show is.

(AP)NEW YORK — Life imitating art or just a coincidence? A study of campaign coverage found the media took a sharper look at Barack Obama the week after "Saturday Night Live" spoofed journalists enthralled by his candidacy.

The NBC comedy show on Feb. 23 opened with a mock debate where journalists were rough on Hillary Clinton while being starry-eyed about Obama. It matched complaints the Clinton campaign had made _ and she even referenced the comedy skit during a real debate last week.

During the week, Obama was the dominant person in 69 percent of presidential campaign stories, according to a study by Project for Excellence in Journalism. That's the biggest percentage one candidate had received in any week this year.

Many of the stories took a tough look at Obama, such as a Feb. 25 ABC "World News" study on his Illinois legislative record and a "CBS Evening News" report on his career three nights later.

It's hard to say whether "SNL" acted as a de-facto assignment editor, since some of the stories were probably being prepared before the NBC show aired, but it did seem to crystallize a thought that had been percolating, said Mark Jurkowitz, the project's associate director.

"There were a lot of factors at play," Jurkowitz said. "But there's no question the skit, if nothing else, was perfectly timed."

With no primaries last week, news outlets had the time to look at other stories, as well as the time to look at their own performance. The Washington Post, New York Times and ABC's "Good Morning America" all ran stories addressing whether the media has been fairly covering the Obama-Clinton contest.

"Saturday Night Live" this past weekend opened its show with another fake debate where journalists played easy for Obama. This time, the skit ended with an appearance by Clinton herself.

The project studies 48 different media outlets, including newspapers, Web sites and television networks, as part of its examination of campaign coverage.
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Here's a piece critical of Obama that was published before the SNL episode, but which was in my opinion long overdue, written by the fabulous Naomi Klein. :heart: I like Obama better than I did a couple of months ago, and I'm certainly not wild about Hillary (like deep, I have no candidate in this election, being more to the left than any of the candidates), but it has been obvious to me that the media has been treating Obama differently than Clinton (maybe she deserved it) and looking at him through rose-colored glasses. Anyway, I think this is a good piece, and it reflects something I've personally been bitching about for some time now (though not in here).

Published on Friday, February 29, 2008 by The Nation
Obama, Being Called a Muslim Is Not a Smear
by Naomi Klein

Hillary Clinton denied leaking the photo of Barack Obama wearing a turban, but her campaign manager says that even if she had, it would be no big deal. “Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.”

Sure she did. And George W. Bush put on a fetching Chamato poncho in Santiago, while Paul Wolfowitz burned up YouTube with his antimalarial African dance routines when he was World Bank prez. The obvious difference is this: when white politicians go ethnic, they just look funny. When a black presidential contender does it, he looks foreign. And when the ethnic apparel in question is vaguely reminiscent of the clothing worn by Iraqi and Afghan fighters (at least to many Fox viewers, who think any headdress other than a baseball cap is a declaration of war on America), the image is downright frightening.

The turban “scandal” is all part of what is being referred to as “the Muslim smear.” It includes everything from exaggerated enunciations of Obama’s middle name to the online whisper campaign that Obama attended a fundamentalist madrassa in Indonesia (a lie), was sworn in on a Koran (another lie) and if elected would attach RadioShack speakers to the White House to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer (I made that one up).

So far, Obama’s campaign has responded with aggressive corrections that tout his Christian faith, attack the attackers and channel a cooperative witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee. “Barack has never been a Muslim or practiced any other faith besides Christianity,” states one fact sheet. “I’m not and never have been of the Muslim faith,” Obama told a Christian News reporter.

Of course Obama must correct the record, but he doesn’t have to stop there. What is disturbing about the campaign’s response is that it leaves unchallenged the disgraceful and racist premise behind the entire “Muslim smear”: that being Muslim is de facto a source of shame. Obama’s supporters often say they are being “Swiftboated,” casually accepting the idea that being accused of Muslimhood is tantamount to being accused of treason.

Substitute another faith or ethnicity, and you’d expect a very different response. Consider a report from the archives of this magazine. Thirteen years ago, Daniel Singer, The Nation’s late, much-missed Europe correspondent, went to Poland to cover a hotly contested presidential election. He reported that the race had descended into an ugly debate over whether one of the candidates, Aleksander Kwasniewski, was a closet Jew. The press claimed his mother had been buried in a Jewish cemetery (she was still alive), and a popular TV show aired a skit featuring the Christian candidate dressed as a Hasidic Jew. “What perturbed me,” Singer wryly observed, “was that Kwasniewski’s lawyers threatened to sue for slander rather than press for an indictment under the law condemning racist propaganda.”

We should expect no less of the Obama campaign. When asked during the Ohio debate about Louis Farrakhan’s support for his candidacy, Obama did not hesitate to call Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments “unacceptable and reprehensible.” When the turban photo flap came up in the same debate, he used the occasion to say nothing at all.

Farrakhan’s infamous comments about Jews took place twenty-four years ago. The orgy of hate that is “the Muslim smear” is unfolding in real time, and it promises to greatly intensify in a general election. These attacks do not simply “smear Barack’s Christian faith,” as John Kerry claimed in a campaign mailing. They are an attack on all Muslims, some of whom actually do exercise their rights to cover their heads and send their kids to religious school. Thousands even have the very common name Hussein. All are watching their culture used as a crude bludgeon against Obama, while the candidate who is the symbol of racial harmony fails to defend them. This at a time when US Muslims are bearing the brunt of the Bush Administration’s assaults on civil liberties, including dragnet wiretapping, and are facing a documented spike in hate crimes.

Occasionally, though not nearly enough, Obama says that Muslims are “deserving of respect and dignity.” What he has never done is what Singer called for in Poland: denounce the attacks themselves as racist propaganda, in this case against Muslims.

The core of Obama’s candidacy is that he alone–who lived in Indonesia as a boy and has an African grandmother–can “repair the world” after the Bush wrecking ball. That repair job begins with the 1.4 billion Muslims around the world, many of whom are convinced that the United States has been waging a war against their faith. This perception is based on facts, among them the fact that Muslim civilians are not counted among the dead in Iraq and Afghanistan; that Islam has been desecrated in US-run prisons; that voting for an Islamic party resulted in collective punishment in Gaza. It is also fueled by the rise of a virulent strain of Islamophobia in Europe and North America.

As the most visible target of this rising racism, Obama has the power to be more than its victim. He can use the attacks to begin the very process of global repair that is the most seductive promise of his campaign. The next time he’s asked about his alleged Muslimness, Obama can respond not just by clarifying the facts but by turning the tables. He can state clearly that while a liaison with a pharmaceutical lobbyist may be worthy of scandalized exposure, being a Muslim is not. Changing the terms of the debate this way is not only morally just but tactically smart–it’s the one response that could defuse these hateful attacks. The best part is this: unlike ending the Iraq War and closing Guantánamo, standing up to Islamophobia doesn’t need to wait until after the election. Obama can use his campaign to start now. Let the repairing begin.

Naomi Klein is the author of many books, including her most recent, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Visit Naomi’s website at www.naomiklein.org, or to learn more about her new book, visit www.shockdoctrine.com .
I don't understand why this story is such a big deal. If Obama had sold him a Wheaties box on eBay, no one would care. But since it involves an expensive piece of land, it makes news.
I think it's the people involved in the transaction and the association with those people-not the land. If Hillary Clinton did same, whoa Nelly..

NY Times

March 5, 2008
News Coverage Changes, and So Does Tone of the Campaign

Over the last few days, the tone of the Democratic contest seems to have shifted, with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign more buoyant and Senator Barack Obama’s more defensive.

That shift may be traceable in part to the “Saturday Night Live” show on Feb. 23, when, back from the writers’ strike, it mocked the news media for treating Mr. Obama more gently than it treated Mrs. Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton amplified that view later in a debate, and her aides stoked it all week, practically browbeating reporters.

Now comes evidence that the publicizing by the Clinton campaign and the news media may have helped flip the coverage as it questioned Mr. Obama more aggressively.

Mr. Obama was the subject of 69 percent of all campaign articles last week, from Feb. 25 to March 2, and Mrs. Clinton was the subject of 58 percent of articles about the election, according to a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The organization, part of the Pew Research Center, specializes in empirical methods to evaluate the news media.

Mr. Obama generated more coverage than any candidate in any other week this year.

“The media scrutinized everything from his legislative record to his connections to Louis Farrakhan, and frequently addressed the question of whether journalists have been too soft on the front-runner for the Democratic nomination,” the study said.

In addition, many articles about Antoin Rezko, a Chicago builder who was a fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, reported on the start of his trial on kickback charges. Mr. Obama is not implicated in the case. But the two were involved in a land deal. Mrs. Clinton’s coverage level last week was also the highest for her, the report said, and it was less negative than it had been.

“With the Clinton media narrative focused on her being a candidate firmly in combat mode, she enjoyed a respite from recent coverage that had focused on her post-Super Tuesday losing streak and her campaign’s strategic shortcomings,” the study said.

While Mr. Obama dominated the coverage, the total of campaign news decreased in the week, accounting for 38 percent of articles. That is the lowest level since the project began in January, perhaps reflecting the absence of primaries last week and some pundits’ saying the race was over for Mrs. Clinton.

Yet the campaign outpaced all other topics. The economy was second, with 7 percent of coverage.

The project examined 48 news sources, 15 cable television programs, 13 daily newspapers, 8 radio programs, 7 network television programs and 5 Web sites.

“Saturday Night Live” thrust itself into the relative vacuum, portraying the news media as swooning over Mr. Obama and badgering Mrs. Clinton. Her campaign grabbed the pop-culture moment and stoked the idea, even rewarding the show with a surprise appearance by the candidate.

In the last few days, reports suggested that Mr. Obama was on the ropes and that Mrs. Clinton’s camp had been reinvigorated. The researchers suggested that the change stemmed at least in part from deeper scrutiny of Mr. Obama as the front-runner and to rethinking by news organizations about whether they had been fair.

At the same time, Mrs. Clinton became more aggressive, beginning to cast doubt on Mr. Obama’s readiness to be commander in chief.

No less an authority than Mr. Obama said Tuesday that he believed that reporters had been influenced by the Clinton campaign’s flood of complaints about news media bias.

“I am a little surprised that all the complaining about the refs has actually worked as well as it has for them,” he said, using a sports allusion to the news media as referees. “This whole spin of how the press has just been so tough on them and not tough on us — I didn’t expect that you guys would bite on that.”

Mr. Obama said later that he wanted to meet Tina Fey, the comedy writer and actress who was the guest host on “Saturday Night Live” when it all but endorsed Mrs. Clinton.

“Clearly, Tina Fey and I are going to have to have a conversation,” Mr. Obama said.

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Clinton aides passed up the chance to continue the line of attack against the news media. They would not say that the coverage had evened out, but they did not berate reporters.

“With regard to the media, I frankly don’t find it productive to comment,” said Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton’s spokesman. “I’m clearly not an unbiased source in this regard.”

When this article was posted on Tuesday on The New York Times Web site, several readers said the news media had been unfair to Mrs. Clinton. Many said reporters had not been tough enough on her. Many also focused on the role of “Saturday Night Live.”

“The line between politics and entertainment has become almost fatally blurred now, and I am uncomfortable with that,” a reader wrote. “SNL is NOT journalism, and it’s a sad statement that a late night comedy show might have a greater impact on our political path than a debate.”

Another reader wrote: “Don’t kid yourselves, the media didn’t suddenly have some revelation because of SNL. They are trying to sink Obama to keep this race, which they seem to love more than life itself, going. SNL just provided them a justification.”
Harry Vest said:
Compared to what the Clinton's have in their closet...not to mention the Bush's...= NO BIG DEAL

anyone want to guess how much they've made since 2000? $10m? $20m? $50m?

It appears that it was CLINTON'S campaign that told Canada to take the NAFTA bashing with a "grain of salt" NOT Obama...:hmm:

The Canadian Press wire service - the equivalent to AP - reports that Ian Brodie, chief of staff to Stephen Harper, was talking to journalists last week: "Brodie was asked about remarks aimed by the Democratic candidates at Ohio's anti-Nafta voters that carried economic implications for Canada." It quotes a witness who reported Brodie's remarks:

"He said someone from (Hillary) Clinton's campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt ... That someone called us and told us not to worry."
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