by D. Cupples | MSNBC's Keith Olbermann did a "Special Commentary" on Hillary Clinton's Campaign. It was hyped as the "first time" Olbermann would single out a campaign -- though, he and others at MSNBC have regularly singled out Obama and Hillary, lavishing praise (and drool) on the former and lobbing dirt at the latter.
I'd expected a double-barrel blasting of Hillary. Instead, Olbermann focused largely on Geraldine Ferraro, who said that Barack Obama's success in the primaries hinged largely on Obama's race. (Dumb move if she's trying to help Hillary).
Olbermann began by saying that he has not endorsed Barack Obama. Then, he campaigned for Obama for about 9 minutes and 48 seconds.
Main thesis: Olbermann tried to paint Hillary as a racist based on what Ferraro had said.
Olbermann didn't mention Obama advisers' recent gaffes. Ex-foreign-policy adviser Samantha Power, for example, told British press that Obama's campaign statement about withdrawing troops from Iraq in 16 months isn't what Obama would necessarily do if he becomes president. Ms. Power also personally insulted Sen. Clinton (as opposed to attacking based on issues, which is acceptable).
Economic adviser Austan Goolsbee reportedly told Canadian officials that Obama's actual stance on NAFTA isn't as negative as his campaign rhetoric.
Do advisers' mis-steps make Obama a liar or dirty campaigner?
What Olbermann didn't mention is that Austan Goolsbee is still an Obama adviser. As far as I know, Obama's intelligence adviser John Brennan -- who supports Telecom Amnesty in the FISA bill (an anathema to Olbermann and many Dems) -- is still Obama's adviser.
Olbermann didn't paint Obama with Brennan's pro-Telecom-Amnesty brush and didn't criticize Obama for keeping Brennan around.
That said, Olbermann thought Hillary's response to Ferraro's statements was "tepid."
Perhaps he'd expected Hillary to order Secret Service guys to hold Ferrarro down in front of cameras while Hillary tattooed a red "R" on Ferraro's forehead -- which would constitute the crime of battery, maybe aggravated battery if tattoo guns qualify as weapons.
Perhaps I've exaggerated a tad. Olbermann didn't focus solely on Ferraro. He also brought up the now-debunked notion that Hillary had implied on 60 Minutes that Obama might be a Muslim.
FACT: when the interviewer asked Hillary if she thought Obama is a Muslim, the first words out of her mouth were "Of Course not."
When the interviewer asked her again (seconds later, which was bizarre), she used the word "No" three times in her answer. Hillary even had an incredulous look on her face, which seemed to say "Why are you even asking this?" Check the video clip below.
At one point, Olbermann even said that Hillary is campaigning as though Obama is the Democrat and she is the Republican. Hillary's campaign has criticized Obama -- and Obama's campaign has criticized her. Welcome to big-league politics.
Olbermann's objections wouldn't bother me, if he were critiquing both campaigns a bit more even handedly (even 60-40 Obama's favor would be a vast improvement).
Just yesterday, I posted about an email from the Obama campaign, whose main purposes were:
1) to argue that Hillary is attacking Obama's supporters,
2) to get a $25 donation.
From 2001-05, Karl Rove (with help from Fox and Limbaugh) convinced millions of people that anyone who criticized President Bush was simultaneously attacking Bush's (and Rush's and Fox's) fans. It was as ugly as it was irrational.
I'd like to see Olbermann's commentary on that particular Obama fund-raising email.
Note: I'm a big fan of Olbermann's commentaries on substantive issues (e.g., FISA, Scooter Libby, Iraq-War lead up...).
But since he started campaigning for Obama, I feel uncomfortable supporting MSNBC. For that reason, I've linked to the Huffington Post's embedded version of Olbermann's commentary.
My co-blogger Damozel put it well at I Don't Like you Either:
"We used to be BIG Olbermann fans at Buck Naked Politics, and now we've all pretty much unanimously decided to pull the plug. It's saddest for D Cupples, for whom Olbermann topped the list of famous people she'd like to have lunch with.
"I just remain amazed that these journalists---or at least, their corporate masters--- don't see the long-term consequences of their blatant lack of objectivity or even-handedness....
"I guess MSNBC thinks they have no Hillary supporters in their target audience. And by now, they're probably right. "
No offense to Sen. Obama or his supporters, I just object to any media personalities' using their platforms to campaign for candidates.
We already have a Fox "News": do we need another?
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