Sunday, August 17, 2008
Media Covered Up Rev. Wright's Extremism
The three major network news outlets "censored and manipulated" Barack Obama's longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright's sound bites to cover up his extremism, a new study by the Media Research Center charges. In a report scheduled for release Wednesday, the MRC states: "Rev. Wright's noxious recorded sermons suggesting that America deserved 9/11 and that the federal government created AIDS as a tool of black genocide were widely viewed on YouTube and discussed on talk radio and cable TV. But what about the network news shows, the programs most watched by the least politically involved viewers?...
"A Media Research Center study of ABC, CBS, and NBC news broadcasts from the formal announcement of the Obama campaign on February 10, 2007 through July 15 reveals that a viewer watching only broadcast TV news would have received a much more limited (and even censored) version of Wright's sermons." Among the key findings of the study:
A Fox News Channel report on March 1, 2007, delved into the "black value system" of Rev. Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. But the name of Rev. Wright did not surface on the Big Three networks until a year later, on CBS on Feb. 28, 2008. The first story with excerpts from a Wright sermon did not air until two weeks later, on ABC on March 13. By that time, 42 states had already voted in the primaries.
Snippets of Wright's sermons drew only 72 seconds of evening news coverage in all of March, an average of 24 seconds per network. None of the Big Three aired any of Wright's 2003 sermon accusing the federal government of hiding the truth about their "inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color," and all three "mostly ignored" his remarks calling the 9/11 attacks "America's chickens coming home to roost."
On March 18, the evening news shows carried nearly six minutes of highlights from Obama's "race speech" that day, in which he discussed race in America and defended his relationship with Wright, saying: "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother." That was about five times the air time they devoted to Wright sound bites in the entire month of March.
Wright's April 28 comments at the National Press Club reiterating his claims about an AIDS conspiracy and America deserving 9/11 went virtually unreported, with the AIDS comments receiving no air time and the 9/11 charge just 23 seconds. The same Big Three aired nearly six minutes of clips of Wright's "softball interview" with Bill Moyers on PBS, the MRC disclosed.
The report concludes: "In today's rapid-fire political atmosphere of cable news, talk radio, and the Internet, media analysts can easily make the mistake of believing that the leading network news outlets were tough on a candidate because of the general perception of how the entire media - Old Media and New Media - brought a controversy to the public's attention.
"But voters who sampled only a light menu of news from Big Three network TV could easily have missed the depths of Reverend Wright's outrageous remarks. No one could find in these stories a scouring scrutiny of Obama's decades of membership in his controversial church."
The Corsi book: Obama confirms relationship with Communist party member
With the release of a 40-page "Unfit for Publication" report attacking Jerome Corsi's new book, The Obama Nation, it should be obvious that the media-backed presidential candidate, Barack Obama, is terrified of having his carefully concealed communist and foreign connections exposed to public view.
However, the Obama campaign's attack on Corsi's book and Corsi personally acknowledges on pages 9 and 10 of its report that the mysterious "Frank" in Obama's 1995 book, Dreams From My Father, is in fact the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member Frank Marshall Davis. This identification by AIM and others hasn't been disputed by the media, which has desperately tried to ignore the Obama-Davis relationship, but the Obama campaign has not responded to it until now.
The admission that Obama's mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, an identified CPUSA member, can only add to growing public concern about Obama's relationship with a Communist pawn of Moscow who was the subject of security investigations by the FBI and various congressional committees which examined Soviet activities in the U.S.
According to these official documents, cited first by AIM and also by Corsi in his book, Davis was a secret CPUSA member who became a member of an underground communist apparatus in Hawaii. As late as the 1970s, Davis was involved with a CPUSA front organization, the American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born, dedicated to keeping foreign communists such as labor leader Harry Bridges from being deported from the U.S. Davis, a friend of Bridges, a secret CPUSA member, became Obama's mentor during the years 1975-1979.
But the Obama report makes no admission that Davis was a communist and doesn't dispute anything Corsi documents about Davis's membership in the Communist Party. Instead, the report picks and chooses from Obama's book in order to try to put some distance between Obama and Davis. The report attempts to play down instances in which Obama soaks up Davis's anti-American thoughts and pro-communist "poetry."
But if the relationship were so innocent, why didn't Obama identify Frank by his full name in his book and denounce his communist and anti-American views? Why doesn't he denounce those views now?
At this point, it is clear that Corsi is to Obama what the National Enquirer is to admitted adulterer and liar John Edwards. The Enquirer exposed Edwards secret life when the rest of the media were refusing to investigate the candidate and making fun of the Enquirer.
It is noteworthy that the Obama campaign's "Unfit for Publication" report begins with citing negative "reviews" of the Corsi book from various publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Time magazine. The media are angry and jealous because Corsi did the heavy lifting that the media refuse to do.
While Obama's communist and foreign connections are of serious and ongoing concern, Corsi's treatment of Obama's admitted drug use has emerged as a special raw nerve for the Obama campaign and his media acolytes. They realize that many Americans, whose families have been decimated and destroyed by illegal drugs, may recoil at the thought of having an admitted user of marijuana and cocaine occupy the oval office.
Acting on information provided by a left-wing group known as Media Matters, which functions as an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party, the New York Times attacked Corsi for charging that Obama has "yet to answer" whether he ever dealt drugs and when he stopped, if indeed he ever did. The Times protested that Obama has answered that charge, at least the part about quitting marijuana and cocaine, by saying that he hasn't used drugs since he was 20 years old.
So why did Corsi raise the subject when it supposedly has been put to rest? It's because, as an experienced investigative reporter, he knows that a few perfunctory denials, which could be expected from someone running for office, do not constitute any form of proof or convincing answer that he in fact ever did quit drugs. As Corsi has suggested in defending his book's account of Obama's admitted drug use, self-reporting by drug users about when they quit is notoriously unreliable. Every drug addict claims to have quit at one time or another. That's what drug testing is all about.
Joyce Nalepka, president of Drug-Free Kids: America's Challenge, points out that recovering cocaine addicts say that the high from cocaine is so intense that you never stop wanting it. She points to the case of former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who was caught twice using cocaine. Barry was caught in one case as a result of a police sting and another because of court-ordered drug testing. Don't you believe Obama when he says he quit drugs? "No," replied Nalepka. "And I didn't believe Mayor Barry either."
Regarding the Davis-Obama relationship, now confirmed by the Obama campaign, the Post, as well as its "conservative" competitor, the Washington Times, recently ran a dishonest Associated Press story that portrayed Davis as a positive influence on Obama who had no affiliation with the CPUSA. This was the real lie.
Prior to that, the only time the Post came close to mentioning Davis was after I held a May 22 news briefing on the subject and Post reporter Dana Milbank attended and then attacked our event without mentioning that the main subject was none other than Frank Marshall Davis. Of course, dishonest coverage like this helps explain why Corsi's book is meeting a pent-up demand for facts about the candidate and is so successful. The American people understand that they are not getting the truth about Obama from the mainstream media.
Another line of attack-that Corsi is doing the bidding of the Republican Party and the John McCain campaign-makes no sense because Corsi writes very critically of McCain and is a member of the Constitution Party, which is fielding its own presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin, this fall. Plus, Corsi's editor at WorldNetDaily, where he writes regularly, is Joseph Farah, whose book, None of the Above, argues against Obama and McCain.
The pro-Obama media emphasize that the Corsi book is published by Simon & Schuster's Threshold Editions, whose main editor is former GOP strategist Mary Matalin. The 40-page Obama report dishonestly claims the Corsi book is "brought to you by the Bush/Cheney Attack Machine." But it is clearly the case that Corsi and Farah are independent conservatives who have no allegiance to the GOP. Corsi has written articles and even a book attacking the Bush/Cheney Administration's secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership, a forerunner for an emerging North American Union.
Corsi has written a book on Obama for the obvious reason that little is known about the Democratic candidate, and there is no evidence that the major media are interested in uncovering or publicizing the hidden facts about him. On the other hand, the media are doing a good job covering McCain's controversial connections, such as his ties to lobbyists for foreign countries.
Post reporter Eli Saslow writes that the Corsi book "lacks major revelations." Wouldn't it be nice if the Post let us decide that for ourselves? Why not run a true and accurate story about Frank Marshall Davis and let the readers decide? But Saslow must figure that such a story would only hurt the media's candidate.
Saslow let the truth slip: "Until recently, he [Obama] had the luxury of presenting his story alone." Since when should a presidential candidate have the ability to present his own story without critical comment and investigation by the media? And especially on the subject of admitted use of marijuana and cocaine and connections to communists? But that has been the case with Obama, and that is why Corsi is being attacked.
Distorting the DHL Deal
An AFL-CIO flier and Obama campaign ads say that McCain cost Ohioans 8,000 jobs. We say that's a distortion of the record
Ads from the AFL-CIO and the Obama campaign claim that McCain is partly to blame for the loss of more than 8,000 jobs in Ohio. They paint a false picture.
There's at least some truth in both ads: German-based DHL announced a deal that could result in 8,200 lost jobs in Wilmington, Ohio. And McCain did in fact oppose an amendment that would have kept DHL from buying Wilmington-based Airborne Express. McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, was also a DHL lobbyist charged with easing the merger through the Senate.
But the ads go too far. Some statements about McCain are misleading and some of the inferences the ads invite are unsubstantiated:
* The ads charge that McCain opposition to a 2003 amendment helped DHL and amounted to turning his back on workers. That's misleading. McCain said he opposed a version of the amendment because it was a special project inserted into an unrelated bill, not to help DHL. And the Teamsters union praised the merger at the time, saying that it would lead to more jobs. And at first, more jobs indeed followed.
* The ads also imply that the DHL merger is a direct cause of the job losses in Ohio, which we find to be both unlikely and unsubstantiated. Airborne Express had laid off 2,000 employees before the merger, and analysts at the time said that the struggling carrier would need to make expensive investments in its international infrastructure to remain competitive.
The AFL-CIO and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama are blaming John McCain for the loss of more than 8,000 jobs in southwestern Ohio. The AFL-CIO mailer is the most explicit, saying that "McCain helped cut a deal that sent over 8,000 jobs to a foreign-owned company." Obama's television ad, which began airing on Aug. 14, charges that "John McCain helped pave the way for foreign-owned DHL to take over an American shipping company." An Obama radio ad, which began airing in Ohio over the weekend, repeats the message that McCain "used his influence in the Senate to help foreign-owned DHL buy a U.S. company and gain control over the jobs that are now on the chopping block in Ohio."
In 2003, DHL, a company owned by Deutsche Post (the German equivalent of the U.S. Postal Service) announced that it would purchase the ground fleet of Seattle-based Airborne Express. The merger gave DHL a fleet of more than 15,000 trucks, as well as ownership of Airborne's Wilmington, Ohio, hub, which consisted of a sorting facility and the world's largest privately owned airport.
Legal challenges from United Parcel Services and FedEx prevented DHL from purchasing Airborne's air freight service. That's because federal law prohibits foreign ownership of any U.S. airline. As a result of those legal challenges, DHL had to sell the airline it had already owned to American investors. That airline became ASTAR Air Cargo. Moreover, when DHL purchased Airborne Express, it had to spin off the air cargo portion into a separate business, ABX Air, which remained under the ownership of the original Airborne Express stockholders.
The upshot is that DHL cannot fly its own packages. It collects packages on the ground and transports them to airports, but it has to contract the air transport of those packages to U.S.-owned airlines. DHL had used ABX Air (which also operated the sorting facility in Wilmington) and ASTAR Air Cargo to move packages by air. But, in May 2008, DHL announced that it would no longer use ABX or ASTAR and would instead pursue an agreement to contract its sorting and air freight to UPS. ABX Air President John Graber says that the move could cost his company 6,000 jobs. Wilmington's mayor, David Raizk, told the Dayton Daily News that another 1,000 ASTAR employees as well as 1,200 DHL workers could face unemployment as well.....
There is some truth to the ads. As we said, as many as 8,200 workers in Wilmington are likely to lose their jobs as a result of DHL's decision to outsource to UPS. It's also true that in 2003, some senators supported legislation that was designed to make German-owned DHL's purchase of U.S.-owned Airborne Express less attractive. McCain did in fact oppose the legislation. And it's true that DHL paid $185,000 to the firm of Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, to lobby for the merger (the $590,000 cited in the AFL-CIO mailer represents the entire amount that Davis' firm collected from DHL during Davis' tenure, most of which went for lobbying on other measures). But it's misleading to say, as Obama does, that McCain "used his influence" to help DHL "buy a U.S. company and gain control over" the 8,200 jobs in question. The AFL-CIO's claim that McCain "could have stopped the deal" is one we find dubious, to say the least.
Obama's Well-Oiled Machine
While Barack Obama and his family were sunning on the beach in Hawaii last week, it was full speed ahead at his headquarters here. When I visited for the first time, the suite of rooms on the 11th floor of a rather posh office building on North Michigan Avenue -- known as "The Magnificent Mile" -- was filled with young people, most of them engrossed with the laptops on their desks.
I went there in part to take the temperature of Obama's senior aides before next week's opening of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Having seen the Obama "machine" at work in places from Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina and elsewhere during the nomination fight, I was curious how they were gearing up for their first national campaign.
The answer to the first question is that they seem very confident. As for the second, they appear to have expanded the scope of their efforts without losing the purposeful focus that was so important in the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the other challengers.
I had just come from listening to George McGovern lament the lack of discipline that wrecked his 1972 nominating convention and, perhaps, his chance of challenging Richard Nixon. "My acceptance speech was the best speech I ever gave," he said, "and it went on at 3 a.m. Eastern time, so nobody saw it." That is unlikely to happen to Obama. Now that he and Clinton have agreed -- sensibly -- on giving her the roll-call vote her ardent supporters demanded, no contentious issues of policy or procedure remain to be ironed out.
One of the people I interviewed, senior adviser Anita Dunn, said that the convention goal is to present a "very future-oriented agenda, focused on solving key problems like health care. We'll leave the negative messages to the Republicans." We'll see. I will not be shocked if many of the Democratic speakers take shots at John McCain -- but some of the partisan rhetoric may not make the one hour of prime time the networks have allocated to the Democrats each night.
The Obama people believe that McCain has squandered an opportunity to make a positive case for his own election in the many months since he secured the votes for the Republican nomination. David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, argues that McCain is already feeling a backlash to his "negative attacks" and that the resulting skepticism may undercut any potential benefit he derives from the debates this fall.
But the Obama folks are not leaving it to chance. Plouffe said that "turnout is the big variable," and the campaign is devoting an unusually large budget to register scads of new voters and bring them to the polls. "That's how we win the Floridas and Ohios," he said, mentioning two states that went narrowly for George W. Bush. "And that's how we get competitive in the Indianas and Virginias," two of six or seven states that long have been Republican -- but are targets this year. "That's why I pay more attention to the registration figures than to the polls I see at this time of year," Plouffe said. "The polls will change, but we know we need 200,000 new voters to be competitive in Georgia, and now is when we have to get them."
Obama interrupts vacation to raise $1.3 million from home state donors
Hawaiian vacations aren't usually money makers, but Barack Obama's has been, as his home state supporters contributed $1.3 million to his campaign at a sold-out fundraiser Tuesday.
Obama interrupted his weeklong family getaway for the event at the Kahala Hotel & Resort, where 500 people donated at least $2,300 apiece to his presidential campaign to hear him speak. Posted at the entrance was a photo collage of Obama's youth in Hawaii, featuring his poofy teenage hairdo and his jump shot on the high school basketball team. Donors who gave $10,000 or more were included in a VIP reception where they got to mingle and pose for pictures with Obama and his wife, Michelle. The pair didn't get too buttoned-up on their vacation and went uncharacteristically casual for a high-dollar fundraiser, him in a short-sleeve shirt and her in a sun dress.
Obama joked that his wife married him only when she found out he was from Hawaii. He said he's been yearning to get back to Hawaii ever since he began running for president a year and a half ago. "I kept on telling my staff, I'm worried about Hawaii," he said. "It's going to be really embarrassing if we don't pull it out. I think I need to spend two or three days campaigning. They said no." He thanked Hawaiians for campaigning for him in his absence.
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