How many Obama untruths will it take before the mainstream media will act?
we should start a pool. for hillary, it took about a week for her one whopper
By Charles Bird Posted in 2008 — Comments (8) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
On the whole, the mainstream media is so bedazzled with Barack Obama that it won't do its job in holding the Illinois Senator accountable to his words. That job is left to the fact checkers, the blogs and Friends of Hillary and Bill. No wonder Bill Clinton is so angry. Obama's getting away with it and Team Clinton is not. When Obama started his campaign, he promised a new kind of politics, but what we've actually seen--especially in the last month--is a growing pile of old-style untruths. Instead of a new way, we're getting the Chicago way. Let's recap:
More below the fold...
The 100-year war.
Obama said this:
You know, John McCain wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years.
The Columbia Journalism Review makes the harsh assessment that Obama is "seriously misleading voters--if not outright lying to them--about exactly what McCain said." Michael Dobbs' Fact Checker site is less harsh but comes to a similar conclusion. Here's what McCain actually said.
Questioner: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for fifty years…
McCain: Maybe a hundred. Make it one hundred. We’ve been in South Korea, we’ve been in Japan for sixty years. We’ve been in South Korea for fifty years or so. That’d be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. Then it’s fine with me. I would hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Qaeda is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day.
For Obama to be honest about McCain's statement, the Democratic frontrunner must also believe that we're still at war in Germany, Japan and Korea. This is what a senior Obama advisor called a "clean shot" against McCain. That was a clean shot? I'd like to see they consider a dirty shot.
Obama's JFK-Selma Connection.
In Obama's own words:
What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, "You know, we're battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we're not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites." So the Kennedys decided we're going to do an air lift. We're going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is.
This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Alabama.
The Fact Checker concludes that Obama's words are "misleading in a number of ways":
- It implies that the airlifts of Kenyan students in 1959 and 1960 were somehow a response by the Kennedys to the bad image that America was getting around the world as a result of the civil rights protests in places like Selma and Birmingham. That is not the case. Mboya organized the airlifts as part of an effort to prepare his country for independence. Nearly 8,000 Americans had contributed money to the program by the time the Kennedys got involved.
- Obama credits the Kennedys with bringing his father to America. The Kennedys did not fund the 1959 airlift.
- Obama implies that he is somehow the product of the Selma events. As other bloggers have pointed out, the Selma march took place in 1965, four years after Obama's birth. (The Obama campaign now says that he was referring to the civil rights movement in general, rather than the Selma protest in particular.)
A casual listener to Obama's Selma speech could come away with the impression that he is the offspring of a mythical union between the Kennedys and the civil rights movement.
Obama earned three Pinocchios for this one because of significant factual errors and/or obvious contradictions.
Obama and his taking of money from oil companies.
Factcheck.org calls this statement "too slick":
I don’t take money from oil companies.
Technically, that's true, since a law that has been on the books for more than a century prohibits corporations from giving money directly to any federal candidate. But that doesn’t distinguish Obama from his rivals in the race.
We find the statement misleading:
- Obama has accepted more than $213,000 from individuals who work for companies in the oil and gas industry and their spouses.
- Two of Obama's bundlers are top executives at oil companies and are listed on his Web site as raising between $50,000 and $100,000 for the presidential hopeful.
Obama masking his liberalism.
From The Politico:
During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion — positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he has projected during his presidential campaign.
The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.
Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he "never saw or approved" the questionnaire.
They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who "unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position."
But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama — the day after sitting for the interview — filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer.
As Ed Morrisey notes, the Obama team's response makes no sense. Barack Obama is trying to package himself as a transcendant candidate who can cross party lines for change, but the sad fact is that his views are left and liberal, and he has the most liberal 2007 voting record in the U.S. Senate. Someone needs to explain to me how a person on the far left can convince people on the right that their views are wrong and that they must join him to bring about "hope" and "change". Seems like someone more centrist [*cough McCain*] could do a better job of it.
A McCain presidency would be a Bush third term on energy?
On the subject of energy and oil, Obama said this:
Make no mistake, this is an area where John McCain is offering a third Bush term.
Obama's statement is dishonest because it is so disingenuous. When it came to the 2005 energy bill, the Senate voted 74-26 in favor. According to Jake Tapper, Obama voted "yea" and McCain voted "nay". Whose vote is closer to a Bush third term? It looks to me like Obama's. President Bush has been pushing for drilling in ANWR since his first term. To the chagrin of most Republicans, McCain is opposed. McCain's energy security plan is significantly different from the Bush version.
Obama on his pastor's "acknowledgment".
On The View as reported by AP, Obama said this:
Had the reverend not retired and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn't have felt comfortable staying there at the church.
There is no record anywhere of Reverend Wright making any such acknowledgement (cite).
Obama's anti-NAFTA mailer.
More from factcheck.org:
Barack Obama's campaign is distributing a mailer in Ohio that plays upon anti-NAFTA feelings in the Buckeye State. But the flyer is misleading:
- Obama is quoted as saying that "one million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio." But those figures are highly questionable and from an anti-NAFTA source. Other economic studies have concluded the trade deal resulted in much smaller job losses or even a small net gain.
- The mailer quotes Hillary Clinton as saying "NAFTA has been good for New York and America." That quote, however, is taken out of context. She also said in that same news conference that NAFTA was flawed and old trade deals needed to be revisited.
All of this dishonesty has happened in the last month or so. How much more can we expect in a head-to-head contest? Why is Obama getting a relatively free pass from the mainstream press? When will the mainstream media step in and start doing its job? The bets are on.