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MANIPULATING THE MEDIA FOR OBAMA

 

 

By Cliff Kincaid

July 11, 2008
NewsWithViews.com

Thanks to Matt Drudge, Jesse Jackson’s disparaging comments about Barack Obama have become national news. Who benefits? Obama. It makes Obama look like a moderate, compared to the disgraced, discredited and venomous Jackson. But this doesn’t mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that Jackson, a failed black presidential candidate, will cease to be a national black “leader” and spokesman. Remember this is a “Reverend” who has survived the embarrassment of fathering a child out of wedlock.

Now why would Fox News, which recorded and provided Jackson’s private comments, want to make Jackson look bad and Obama look good? Why did it take several days before the comments were aired by Bill O’Reilly of Fox News? And who outside of the news organization was made aware of the controversial remarks before they were put on the air? Was the Obama campaign notified in advance and consulted about what to do?

We do know that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch is already on the Obama bandwagon, having declared the candidate a “rock star” and a winner with a good university record. Murdoch’s New York Post endorsed Obama in the Democratic primaries, after Murdoch, who had been supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, figured she was a loser.

We also know that Bill O’Reilly, in the middle of this controversy, has recently been campaigning on the air for Obama to come on his show. He is even conducting a poll of viewers to see how many think Obama will appear on the air with him. Such pandering means that O’Reilly will steer clear of anything really embarrassing to the candidate. After all, he wants the interview!

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post reported that Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report had an item about Jackson’s comments before they actually aired on the O’Reilly program. How did that happen? Even stranger, Bill O’Reilly was quoted as saying about Jackson, “We are not out to embarrass him and we are not out to make him look bad. If we were, we would have used what we had, which is more damaging than what you have heard.”

In addition to the troubling matter of why Fox News is withholding these additional Jackson remarks, the delay in airing some of them is also of concern. The Los Angeles Times reported, “Fox News held the footage of Jackson’s remarks for three days before showcasing it as an exclusive on its top-rated program. A network executive said the delay was related to the holiday weekend as well as a desire to be cautious about the controversial material.”

Could the deliberations have had something to do with the political impact? The Obama campaign must have seen the remarks as a Godsend, enabling the candidate to rise above Jesse Jackson-style politics. Did Fox News see them the same way?

Into the mix comes another discredited and disgraced black politician, Al Sharpton, who has been all over Fox News commenting on the “controversy.” Sharpton was on Fox News this morning and on Hannity & Colmes last night. He might as well sleep in the “green room” where guests get ready to go on the air. He was also on Bill O’Reilly’s show last week talking about something else. That’s three times in about a week and a half. Remember that Sharpton is the “Reverend” who hyped black woman Tawana Brawley’s hoax about being raped by white men. Why is he even on the air?

Sharpton is useful to Fox News because he offers protection from left-wingers anxious to brand the channel as too conservative and racist. That’s why O’Reilly honored Sharpton at a national conference after getting into trouble by cracking a joke about black kids stealing hubcaps.

So Drudge and Fox News highlight the Jackson remarks, enabling Obama to put distance between himself and Jackson. Sharpton, of course, must see the controversy as a way for him to upstage Jackson. It is a clever gambit for all concerned.


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For Obama, it is another chapter in his “extreme makeover,” following his patriotic speech and TV ad.

In the same vein, the Washington Post has a Thursday front-page “analysis” story headlined, “Obama’s Ideology Proving Difficult to Pinpoint.” For reporter Dan Balz, supposedly a veteran political analyst, Obama’s flip-flops do not prove political expediency and a desire to fool voters, but raise “unanswered important questions about his core principles and his presidential priorities.”

This is laughable. Obama is the most far-left major party candidate ever to run for the presidency. Yet Balz insists that serious questions remain “about who Obama is ideologically.”

The Post is one among many liberal (and conservative) papers which will never utter the words “Frank Marshall Davis” when discussing Obama. Davis was Obama’s Communist father-figure and mentor when Obama was being raised in Hawaii. On the American Thinker website, Andrew Walden has filled in some of the other blanks about Obama’s mysterious past. His article is titled, “What Barack Obama Learned From the Communist Party.” Don’t look for any pick-up on the Drudge Report, Fox News, or the Post because this kind of information makes Obama look bad.

This does not mean that all of Obama’s views are communist or socialist, or that all communists and socialists support him. Veteran Communist and Democratic Party activist Alan Maki tells me that, despite announcing a Frank Marshall Davis discussion group on an official Obama community blog website, he wants it known far and wide that he doesn’t support the candidate and wouldn’t walk across the street to vote for him. Maki, an organizer of casino workers in Minnesota, thinks Obama and McCain are too close to Big Business, including the casino industry.

Has Obama changed his ideology, which was developed and based on a pattern of associations ranging from Frank Marshall Davis to Marxists in college and the Communist terrorists and socialists that launched his career in Chicago? That is a question we should all want asked and answered. But in order to even get close to asking and answering it, the media will have to ask Obama about Davis. Davis was so extreme that he denounced another black author, Richard Wright, for “treason” for breaking with and exposing the Communist Party USA. Those “news” outlets which continue to ignore the story will expose themselves as being in Obama’s back pocket.

Balz further demonstrates his ignorance of the facts when he claims that “no signature policy proposal is universally regarded as distinctive in defining his politics or philosophy.” This is what the Obama campaign wants you to believe. He ignores Obama’s Global Poverty Act, the $845 billion foreign aid boondoggle that is possibly coming up for a full Senate vote. Our media have been careful not to mention Obama’s sponsorship of the bill for the very reason that it does in fact shed light on his ideological approach. Obama has deliberately ignored it as well, even in a TV ad touting his alleged legislative accomplishments. In effect, Obama is covering up his own record. And the media go along with it.

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But you can bet that if it passes the Senate, the media will suddenly discover the legislation and hail Obama for trying to eradicate global poverty. This is how pro-Obama media bias works. Then the pressure will be intense on President Bush to sign the bill.

Right now, Obama is playing a clever game, using various media properties on the right and left for the purpose of making himself look more moderate and acceptable.

Let’s not be under any illusions about what is happening here.

© 2008 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights Reserved

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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues.

Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.

Web Site: www.AIM.org

E-Mail: cliff.kincaid@aim.org


 

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Now why would Fox News, which recorded and provided Jackson’s private comments, want to make Jackson look bad and Obama look good? Why did it take several days before the comments were aired by Bill O’Reilly of Fox News?