How your media deceived you this week...

by Dan Curry

This week's list of most blatant media distortions, bias, or cheerleading for Democrats:

  1. Networks mostly ignore blockbuster story about Clinton Foundation taking money from foreign governments.

  2. After the flap over Obama loving America, a new poll says most of America thinks he does not love his country.

  3. NYT does a hit piece on a respected climate scientist who was getting too close to the truth for the Grey Lady's liking.

  4. The national media continues to beclown itself in pursuit of Scott Walker.

  5. WaPo does class warfare hit piece on Jeb Bush's wife's legal jewelry purchases many years ago.

  6. Al Roker tells Larry King that snowstorms are part of climate change.

  7. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper calls 2014 the most lethal year for global terrorism on same day Secretary of State John Kerry says we are safer than ever.

  8. Despite efforts by MSM to pump up attacks on Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, the Mother Jones-inspired hit job falls flat as Fox ratings soar.

  9. Associated Press' gets in one last gasp of media bias in the Trayvon Martin case as DOJ announces no charges will be filed against his shooter.

  10. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin outrageously compares opposition to AG nominee Loretta Lynch to Selma as MSM ignores.

Rubio answer good but not perfect

by Dan Curry

Conservative pundits are saying Marco Rubio's answer to the Rudy Giuliani manufactured outrage of the week is "perfect." It was very good but not perfect.

In case you missed it this week, Democrats and their allies in the national media are doing what they always do — trying to punish Republicans for controversial statements of other Republicans.

I could see the journalistic justification if the same reporters required Democrats to respond to controversial statements by other Democrats. But journalists don't. Therefore the entire exercise is a partisan attack and should be treated as such by Republicans unless they want to be the news media's prey.

In cases like this, I advise conservative political figures to:

1) Deliver a sharp attack on Democrats in your answer. Make them pay a price for their partisanship.

2) Deliver a sharp attack on the media. Expose the question as a proxy for Democrats.

3) Don't answer the question directly. If you do #1 and #2, the news media is still going to cover the answer to their slanted question. Don't provide it.

Here's what Rubio said today in response:

I don’t feel like I’m in a position to have to answer for every person in my party that makes a claim. Democrats aren’t asked to answer every time Joe Biden says something embarrassing, so I don’t know why I should answer every time a Republican does. I’ll suffice it to say that I believe the President loves America; I think his ideas are bad.

Rubio followed #1 and #2 but not #3. His last sentence should have been something like: "I don't know what is in Barack Obama's heart, but I do know his ideas and policies are bad."

By tweaking his answer a little bit he would prevent liberal reporters from saying: "Rubio disagrees with Rudy's claim that Obama doesn't love America."

Certainly, from a tactical point of view, Rubio's answer was better than most others but it wasn't perfect.

How your media deceived you this week...

by Dan Curry

This week's list of most blatant media distortions, bias, or cheerleading for Democrats:

  1. NYT columnist Gail Collins attacked Scott Walker for teacher layoffs before he became Governor. The conservative blogosphere noted the huge mistake and a few days later a weasley correction appeared.

  2. One of the most remarkable screw-ups by law enforcement, the news media and Northwestern University led to a $40 million lawsuit filed by an innocent man framed by all of the obove. Here is my summary of the case.

  3. One reason never to trust the government and media without skepticism — they were wrong about cholesterol for 40 years.

  4. The Obama administration spent the week making weird statements trying to minimize the danger of radical Islamic terrorism. The national press barely noticed....

  5. ....But Obama's Praetorian Guard in the Mainstream Media came immediately to his defense when Rudy Giuliani took a hard shot at their Precious about his patriotism...

  6. ...Meanwhile, Obama said GOP rhetoric could help ISIS and the Mainstream Media didn't find that assertion offensive.

  7. AP's climate change propaganda commissar Seth Borenstein says super droughts are coming even though all current climate models have proven wrong.

  8. Looks like there were WMDs in Iraq after all. NYT says 400 warheads filled with nerve gas were found and shipped out.

  9. Did you hear that in our hasty retreat from Yemen, we left exposed sensitive national security information? Of course, only Fox covered it.

  10. National media gushes over Obama's selfie offensive while the public mocked it. Local columnist Lynn Sweet even described Obama's video as "hilarious."

How Hillary’s 2008 campaign committed one of the all-time blunders that gave us Barack Obama

by Dan Curry

Beltway pundits described Hillary Clinton’s campaign entering the 2008 race as a “dream team” consisting of veterans of Clinton presidential and Senate victories. It turns out what many consider the nightmare of a Barack Obama presidency only occurred because of that dream team’s epic incompetence.

We are speaking in particular about a monumental and preventable opposition research failure that has been ignored so far by the mainstream media and the books written by reporters and Democrats about the 2008 campaign.

It comes down to this: If Hillary’s campaign had unearthed and leaked the incendiary Rev. Jeremiah Wright sermon videos that rocked the political world in March 2008 just a few months earlier, it is highly unlikely that Obama would have won the primary. And those DVDs were easily obtainable, sitting in Wright’s church’s gift store.

When the videos of Wright’s sermons did emerge, Obama’s staffers and the political world realized they potentially could derail Obama’s candidacy. It is important, however, to understand the time context. Obama already had essentially won the nomination after more than 40 states had voted or caucused. Obama had a significant delegate lead over Hillary Clinton at that time, 1,893 to 1,617, according to the Washington Post, and only needed an additional 225 delegates to clinch the nomination. After the videos hit, Obama narrowly limped home to the nomination as Hillary outperformed him badly, 302-171 in delegates in the final three months.

The effect on Obama’s candidacy prior to the first contest, Jan. 3, 2008, in Iowa, or soon thereafter, would undoubtedly have been devastating and fatal to a largely undefined Barack Obama. It was clear at the time and in retrospect that Obama’s strategists were heavily banking on a win in Iowa to springboard their candidacy and in effect were placing an all-or-nothing bet on the table. Had Hillary won that contest with Obama a distant third, the pressure within the Democratic Party to coalesce around the “inevitable” Clinton would have rippled through the other early states and likely ensured her nomination.

Ask any Obama strategist today if they could have won the nomination without winning Iowa.

So, could Hillary’s campaign have found the videos and could it have injected them into the public arena? The answer to both questions is yes.

The controversy over Rev. Wright’s sermons was not a secret. It had emerged a year earlier in early 2007 when Rolling Stone went online with a story titled, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama” just days before Obama’s candidacy launch announcement Feb. 10 in Springfield, IL. The story so rattled the Obama team that they pulled Wright from the speaking roster less than 24 hours before Obama’s Springfield event.

As Bernie Goldberg noted in his book, “A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media,” the Rolling Stone story should have triggered a flurry of mainstream media stories on Wright and Obama. Instead, the follow-up coverage was largely non-existent and apologetic.   However, in the opposition research world, the story should have prompted a full exploration of the available evidence of Obama-Wright ties and the top end of any research team’s goals are videos that most dramatically explain the political problem.

Obama’s top strategist David Axelrod admitted in his just released book, “Believer”, the Wright matter was important and said the campaign in early 2007 had assigned a researcher to dig up Obama-Wright material. Newsweek said the same thing in its staff-written 2009 book, “A Long Time Coming…” When the tapes finally did emerge, Axelrod said he went back to the researcher who said the assignment slipped through the cracks.

Fox News cable host Sean Hannity had been highlighting the Rev. Wright-Obama issue in 2007 but did not have the video and was basing his coverage off of an on-camera interview he had done with Wright that questioned the church’s black separatist’s philosophy. The real bombshell hit on March 13, 2008, when ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross unveiled inflammatory excerpts from Wright’s sermons on Good Morning America. Fox News immediately began heavily highlighting the video on its shows for the next several days and the matter exploded into the news arena as the nation’s top political story. Axelrod, in his book, explained:

Two days after the Mississippi primary, however, the story went mainstream when Brian Ross, an investigative reporter for ABC News, ran the now infamous tape on Good Morning America. I was convinced it had been leaked to Ross by an opposing campaign. Later, Ross disclosed that, having been denied an interview with Reverend Wright, he was informed by the church that the DVDs of all Wright sermons were available for purchase. It was a good investment for ABC. The condensed reel Ross put together from the videos sent the political world into an immediate uproar.

Axelrod said had the campaign’s research team done its job, they would have removed the videos from public view like they did with many other records from Obama’s past.

If we had known about these jeremiads, we certainly would have encouraged the church to remove the tapes from their gift shop. We might even have encouraged the Obamas to remove themselves from the church. At the very least we would have been prepared for the onslaught we now faced.

So, Obama’s team failed by not finding the videos, but what about the Hillary dream team? Why didn’t it walk into the church, buy the videos, and drop them through a third party to Fox News to put the dagger to Obama’s candidacy? There is no answer to this question publicly that I have found. The answer must be that Hillary’s dream team was asleep at the switch and consequence is that she lost the nomination.

I wondered about this question since 2008, when I was told by a direct source that ABC had simply walked into Rev. Wright’s church to buy the sermons. As someone who has done opposition research in presidential and many other races, I was surprised. The best information usually isn’t that easy to find.

I wondered why authors of the supposed definitive 2008 campaign history, “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, hadn’t noted this colossal screw-up that fit the title of their book perfectly.

Again, we are reading the smart analysts commenting on how formidable the Clinton campaign will be in 2016 — another dream team in the making. I wonder this time whether it will invest in an opposition research team that is resourceful enough to walk into a gift store of the bomb-throwing preacher of their opponent?