Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Fox News and the National Review and columnists of every ilk"

SENATOR OBAMA: "It's infuriating, but it's not surprising, because let's face it: What happened was that the conservative press—Fox News and the National Review and columnists of every ilk—went fairly deliberately at her in a pretty systematic way...and treated her as the candidate in a way that you just rarely see the Democrats try to do against Republicans. And I've said this before: I would never have my campaign engage in a concerted effort to make Cindy McCain an issue, and I would not expect the Democratic National Committee or people who were allied with me to do it. Because essentially, spouses are civilians. They didn't sign up for this. They're supporting their spouse. So it took a toll. If you start being subjected to rants by Sean Hannity and the like, day in day out, that'll drive up your negatives."

Victor Davis Hanson on the National Review blog resonds:

"...this is disingenuous. First, Ms. Obama is the recipient of almost continuously positive attention and press coverage in the network news. In CNN's comparative profiles of the candidates, it dwelt on her accomplishments, while focusing on Ms. McCain's problems with prescription drugs, her privileged status, the circumstances of her meeting John McCain, etc.

Second, Ms. Obama, not on the prompt of the National Review, chose to play a highly partisan role, and, furthermore, publicly to indict American culture and life on the basis of her newfound prominence and exposure as a wife of a candidate, all in a way none of the other spouses of candidates in either party did with the exception of Bill Clinton — who not surprisingly was equally cross-examined.

Most observers, after all, will take offense when told by a potential First Lady that their country heretofore is not the sort of place to inspire pride, or is downright mean, or its people usually "uninvolved and uninformed". Most of us either did not know of Michelle Obama, or, to the extent we did, had a favorable opinion of her as a successful wife, mother, and highly educated and experienced career professional—until in a series of "raise the bar" sermons, she let loose a barrage of indictments against American culture. Once again the pattern proves the same: the Obamas spontaneously offer biting fundamental critiques on the unsoundness of American life and culture, from the important to the silly—whether our national temperament, or our supposed inability to speak a foreign language, or our diet, etc—and then the Senator recoils in anguish and hurt when any of the targets suggests that they are both wrong in their indictments and not especially the sort who can make the case America has been mean or unfair to its citizens.

It is the duty of all journalists to call Obama on his double-standard on every occasion he draws upon it, since we are seeing a dangerous messianic quality in which anything short of the accustomed adoration becomes "infuriating" and a sort of exemption from cross-examination on an always expanding array of topics is demanded."

(Click on title above for link to National Reviews blog)