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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:10 AM
Original message
Birth of a Backlash
The Wall Street Journal

Birth of a Backlash
By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
March 7, 2008; Page W12

Long months before two "Saturday Night Live" skits lampooned a media besotted with Barack Obama -- the deathless eloquence of his speeches, his cool, his grace, his swooning crowds -- a large audience of Americans had begun to grasp the import of the daily drip drip drip of this infatuation on the part of journalists and commentators, and their equally obvious coldness, to put it mildly, to Sen. Obama's competitor Hillary Clinton. It was hard to miss. Finally, in the past few days, journalists seem to have reacted to the adroit skewering they took in the SNL skits.

A few began peppering Sen. Obama with queries more difficult than he was accustomed to, about delicate matters like the question of Louis Farrakhan's support, and hotter ones concerning his campaign's evasive responses with regard to a visit to the Canadian Embassy by an Obama adviser. A meeting in which assurances were reportedly made that Sen. Obama's denunciations of the North American Free Trade Agreement should be viewed in the light of the political season and its requirements... And then there were questions about Mr. Obama's dealings with Tony Rezko, a major political donor now on trial for influence-peddling -- too many questions. Apparently unaccustomed to such persistence from reporters on these issues, the visibly irate candidate walked away, but not before charging that he had already answered eight questions. A diligent if hopeless search of media commentary on this exchange turned up no charges that Sen. Obama was "whining" -- a description TV pundits and analysts have frequently tossed at Sen. Clinton. It did her no good, one sage grimly warned after the last debate, for Hillary Clinton to have whined about being asked the first question all the time.

Maybe not, but ultimately it may have done her considerable good to be on the receiving end, continuously, of confidently contemptuous descriptions of her performances on the campaign trail. Also doing her good, finally, were all those recitals, by pundits and reporters, of her bleak chances -- particularly compared with the celebratory tones accompanying reports on Mr. Obama's crowds and his prospects, not to mention occasions like his endorsement by top stars of the Kennedy clan -- with its resulting suggestion that a successor to JFK now walked among us. There was Ted, then there was Caroline Kennedy -- endorsing Barack Obama at the suggestion of her children, as we were informed with curious emphasis. Maria Shriver, first lady of California, came forward with her own endorsement not long after, because, as she explained, she had awakened that very morning compelled by inner necessity to make this public announcement. Which she had willingly done, she confided, without even getting her hair and makeup done. And all this in the end did Hillary Clinton good, however it may have felt, because her treatment by the media did not go unnoticed by voting Americans -- among them, certainly, the crowds who turned out for her in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island.

(snip)

Still, she had one important power quietly working its magic for her and bringing out her voters. She had that army of pundits and journalists condescending to her, sniping, harrying her -- particularly in the past week -- to drop out, to give up, to let Mr. Obama concentrate on the battle. It helped, as well, for the public to have witnessed spectacles like the night of the Wisconsin primary, when every one of the cable news networks covered Mr. Obama's 40-minute-long stem-winder in full... Finally, it helped for the viewing public to have heard comments like Chris Matthews's heartfelt, if slightly delirious, reference -- by now forever enshrined in cultural memory -- to the thrill that ran up his leg when he heard an Obama speech. There's a lot to be said for a confessional mode that captures the spirit of the times so acutely. The same can't be said for an admission, by NBC reporter Lee Cowan, that told more than he intended. In an interview with his boss, Brian Williams, Mr. Cowan said that from a reporter's point of view it was almost hard to be objective about Obama.

(snip)

None of this is, of course, Mr. Obama's fault. He has merely been the beneficiary of adulation run amok in a large quarter of the media. We can now contemplate the strange and wonderful role that the media and their forecasts of Hillary Clinton's doom played on Tuesday -- a political resurrection story not exactly the equal of John McCain's, perhaps, but one we'll remember for a long time to come.

URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120486057223218799.html


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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. Alerting
Saying anything that is in any way critical of the Obama Machine is not permitted.

--p!
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. almost funny if not so true
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ProgressIn2008 Donating Member (848 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. You made me LOL!! I said to myself, "is this kind of post permissible on DU" as I read!
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. seems RW sites and smut are on the plate for so much of gd-p. lately:-(
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. Sad but quite true.
I'd love to see, in one spot, every sexist thing said against HRC compared to the supposed "evil" things said on here against Obama.

I bet the lists would be quite lopsided.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
5. "a political resurrection story not exactly the equal of John McCain's" Wow
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 01:46 AM by ProSense
how completely delusional!

Does this writer realize Hillary actual lost ground?

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Beregond2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. WSJ
Well, it's the Journal. They are in the business of protecting corporate interests, not journalism. You can't expect them to acknowledge reality.

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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Exactly :-) n/t
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. MOJO is in Hillary's camp --
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. Actually, she gained in non-MI/FL PV, which is one consideration of the supers.
But you probably knew that.
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CyberPieHole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
7. K&R for honesty n/t
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. :-)
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Lucinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:08 AM
Response to Original message
8. Thanks!
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greyghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:18 AM
Response to Original message
9. Wow, many of the Obama supporters really don't see the forest for the trees
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 02:18 AM by greyghost
Keep up the great work, Hillary in a landslide!
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. many are in the Obamabubble. it is starting to lose its gas.
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greyghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. Indeed it is.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
11. REC
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #11
34. :-)
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LadyVT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:57 AM
Response to Original message
15. great post--thank you!
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 03:59 AM by LadyVT
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:03 AM
Response to Original message
16. I see the Wall Street Journal is afraid of Obama.
Good.

It is telling that the Hillary supporters rely on right-wing rags for their propaganda.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
18. Yup. Bill Clinton was at 70% approval with the MSM railing at him when he left
People in this country ( a bit over 18) have learn to tune out the MSM when it comes to the Clintons.
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libbygurl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
19. At last, someone has called out the media themselves for their bizarre adulation...
...of this candidate-who-can-do-no-wrong. It's hilarious and pathetic. Smells awfully like a repeat of the Bush II propaganda years, hey? It's about time they woke up from their hypnotic trance.

Thanks for posting this!
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libbygurl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
20. !
:kick: and rec!
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
21. What my fellow Obama supporters don't seem to realize is that the more they beat up on Hillary...
the more they summon support for her. I like Hillary -- I wish her, and her supporters (including two of the people I love most in the world), all the best.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Thank you
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Phillycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Truer words were never spoken.
I won't speak for large swaths of Hillary voters, but every time I hear another sexist comment, another insult, see another pundit or celebrity or freaking DUer calling for Hillary to take her rightful backseat and let the man move into the spotlight, my jaw gets more set.

You want to know a secret? Hillary was pretty much LAST on my list of candidates last year. But the woman keeps plugging away, and she stands tall and absorbs all that vitrol that gets shoved down her throat all day and she just smiles. God DAMN, she inspires me.
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greyghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Exactly, I am an Edwards supporter and when he dropped out...
I looked hard at Obama. I'd vote for him if he were the nominee.
But I like Hillary's economy and health care plans.

Some of Sen. Obama's supporters don't realize the damage they are doing to him by attacking Hillary relentlessly.
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susankh4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
25. Brava, K&R
Thanks!
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Raffi Ella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
27. This made Our March 4th win is all the sweeter.
The American people made fools of them all.The American people saw through the "drumbeat" for Obama and said no,we're not going along this time.WE will decide for ourselves.And they chose Hillary.

When the smoke cleared on March 4th,what should have happened,happened.I think ultimately,in the end,what should happen will indeed happen.

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GarbagemanLB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. So Obama winning TX and Vermont should have happened? I agree!
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krkaufman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. The "smoke" clearing wasn't what you think.
That smoke was billowing from the Democratic chances in November, being sabotaged by Hillary Clinton.
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Beacool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
30. The backlash was bound to happen.
Obama is a gifted orator, but I still can't get the adulation that he induces in some people. I see in him a good politician who has carefully crafted his entire career with one goal in mind: the presidency. To which effect he has avoided casting controversial votes in the state and US senates. It still irks me that he didn't vote on the Kyl-Lieberman resolution and then had the gumption to bash Hillary for her vote (up to that point he hadn't said much on the issue). I also saw the equivalent of a "present" vote when he abstained to vote on the MoveOn ad, while Hillary voted and Giuliani took out a full page ad on the NYT bashing her for it. For all her efforts, MoveOn thanked her for her support by endorsing the guy who wouldn't even vote on the issue. Isn't it precious?

The media, as usual, does not have the pulse on what makes regular folks tick. The more they fawned over Obama, the more I could hear the grumblings and aversion that it was causing among people that up to that point hadn't had strong feelings about Obama one way or the other. The more they fawned, the more these people were turned off by the whole "cultish" aspect of his campaign. Ergo, the poll in NJ that showed that if Obama is the nominee, 25% of Hillary's supporters would vote for McCain. Also, Hillary would trump McCain by 50% to 39% while it would be a toss up if it was between Obama & McCain. This is coming from a very blue state which the Democrats have to win in the GE.



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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. I see Obama as a "good politician", and a decent, smart man--that's about it.
I support him because I think he has shown he would make a good President, and a charsimatic new head of the Democratic party. The fawning and the focus on his rhetoric and the "cult" portrayal--the media did that to him. They weren't saying that last summer or fall--they had Hillary as the Inevitable One, 30 points ahead, and Obama was largely just doing his thing, with no particular media meme attached to him. That shit only started after Iowa, when he began to look viable. It's the build-up before the tear-down. He's the same person I supported a year ago, but the stuff that turns you off was not of his creation, and it's not in his control.
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krkaufman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
31. "deathless eloquence" -- wtf is that? n/t
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zabet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
35. Great post!!
:kick: and R!!!
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libbygurl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
36. You dare post an article filled with truth on this forum!
I applaud your courage, poster!
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
37. I wonder who Hilllary has promised a Presidential Pardon too? Billy pardoned Mark Rich.
oh well, wont find that out who hillary would have pardoned. unlike mark rich (what a name!) he or she will have to serve the term, while someone more deserving gets a break.
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theredpen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
38. The Glenn Greenwald challenge
Recently on Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald predicted that we would see a slew of articles noting a connection between Obama and Rezko. He predicted that not a single one of them would bother pointing out any wrongdoing on the part of Senator Obama — in fact, there is none.

That's the anatomy of a smear, friends.

Smear, smear, smear.
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