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Obama’s So Presumptuous to Be Acting Like He’s President, When I’m the Real President Here!

August 14th, 2008
After complaining that Obama was “presumptuous” (read: “uppity”) simply to be giving a speech in Berlin, saying that Obama was acting like he was already president, McCain is now acting as if he's president in terms of his claims and actions in the Georgia crisis, saying that he talks daily with Georgia's leader, and sending his top surrogates over there to act like McCain White House officials handling the situation. But he's not being presumptuous! No sirree. He's just being massively hypocritical, that's all. Or maybe he's just trying as hard as he can to divert attention away from the fact that a top McCain campaign (his chief foreign policy advisor) official is a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government. Tell me, is there any McCain campaign official who is not still currently a paid lobbyist for some party of interest in currently relevant affairs? And when exactly will the media start reporting on this? How many crises have to come up where McCain's campaign officials are knee-deep in monied conflicts of interest before the press thinks it's worthwhile reporting that John “Campaign Finance Reform” McCain is neck-deep in lobbyists? Or, for that matter, that McCain is channelling neocon foreign policy? Sorry, for a second there I was under the impression that the U.S. media had some chance of covering the election with even a pretense of objectivity. My mistake.

  1. stevetv
    August 15th, 2008 at 04:01 | #1

    There are two ways to look at this, you know. No, they’re not giving McCain the scrutiny he deserves. But they’re not pimping him either. He’s barely getting any coverage at all. Obama has received much more media coverage than McCain, whether the coverage is positive or negative. When Obama went to Europe, all three network news anchors followed him around and broadcast their shows from wherever he happened to be at the time. And the coverage was very positive. But McCain gets short shrift.

    Summing up, I don’t think the media is willing to turn a blind eye to McCain. It’s because McCain is very dull to spend precious broadcast minutes on! And if McCain can’t bring in a substantial viewership, maybe that will prove to be analogous to next November’s election results.

  2. Luis
    August 16th, 2008 at 00:46 | #2

    Steve:

    Actually, what the media is doing *is* a huge benefit for him. He has been hip-deep in scandal, mismanagement, gaffes, and befuddlement. When your past image is of a bipartisan maverick strong on foreign policy and campaign finance, and 90% of what you do currently is capable of erasing that image, then the press laying off of you is a *big* favor, whatever hay John McCain may be trying to make by complaining about it. And remember, studies have shown that McCain is getting a lot more *positive* press, while Obama’s press has been more negative, by a fairly significant margin.

    More to the point, as you saw with the story that McCain’s site is mostly about Obama, that’s another reason why Obama has gotten so much attention–because McCain has been casting it on him. In a way, the media *has* been paying equal attention to McCain, by paying attention to all the slurs he’s been hurling at Obama. If McCain keeps railing about how bad Obama is, and the media follows his leads and reports on Obama and the charges made against him, McCain is getting *exactly* the attention he wants–and gets to whine about it not being about him, even though *he* was the one deciding who gets the attention.

    As for Obama’s ME trip, there are two ways to look at it. First, it was one week, not several months; Obama may have gotten good coverage then, but it was not something that has been sustained. For at least a few weeks of the past several months, McCain has gotten a lot more coverage in the media than he gets now; that doesn’t mean he’s ahead overall. Second, Obama got coverage because he was doing something worth covering–he created an event. Were McCain to generate a real event and get tons of coverage for it, I would not begrudge him that. Indeed, he will do exactly that when the party meets for their convention. Obama is simply better at attracting huge crowds and doing events that stand out. This does not signal press favoritism, they are simply reporting where the story is generated. I mean really, a tiny, impromptu press shag at the “Fudge Haus” should get equal coverage to a 200,000-strong crowd in Berlin and a stirring speech? If McCain can’t make news, he doesn’t deserve it.

    Not to mention that McCain *has* been making news. He’s been doing stuff like completely screwing up the Iraq timeline in a way that should have been a huge story; not getting attention on that was a godsend. In fact, it was a twofer: McCain got away with a gaffe that should have hit him hard *and* got to complain that the press isn’t paying attention to him.

    But the main point here is that there is this expectation that Obama’s and McCain’s coverage must be *equal* when that is not the case–it must only be *objective and fair.* If Obama wins a Nobel Peace Prize and McCain opens a supermarket in Plains, GA, they do not merit equal coverage. It’s the same fallacy that says both sides must get equally positive and negative news, or that both sides of an argument are worthy of equal consideration. If Obama fumbles all week and McCain as the grace of angels, then the news should reflect that; if Obama says that 2+2=4 and McCain says that 2+2=8, both “views” do not deserve equal respect.

    So far, McCain has gotten by far the better shake, in a number of ways.

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