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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Try as they might, ABC News reporters can't dilute power of Palin's use of Biden's words to critique Obama's unfitness

Early Friday morning, my guest-post at HughHewitt.com contrasted the power of Sarah Palin's quoted words to the misleading misdirection of the ABC News reporters trying to cover her.


[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]

(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)

On the campaign trail, Sarah Palin just nailed it on Thursday (link in original):

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin challenged Sen. Barack Obama's comments yesterday dismissing as "rhetorical flourishes" his running mate Sen. Joe Biden’s warning of an international crisis in their first six months in office, while charging that Obama is untested and not prepared to handle such crises if they do arise.

"And yesterday, we got a sample of how Barack Obama handles trouble when he hastily assembled the press to remind them after Biden’s quote, he said, ‘now Joe sometimes engages in some rhetorical flourishes,’" Palin told a crowd of thousands packed into an indoor area in Troy, Ohio today. "We’ll all concede that Barack Obama knows a thing or two about rhetorical flourishes. But I question dismissing Joe Biden's moment of truth-telling as nothing more than a social embarrassment."

Palin then charged that Biden’s comments at a Seattle fundraiser on Sunday predicting an international crisis during the first six months of an Obama administration were a warning that Obama would "invite dangerous international crisis because he is untested" and that he would not be "ready to deal with" such a crisis if it did occur.

"And here his own running mate has just warned America — and it’s not the first time — he warned us throughout the primaries that Barack was not ready to be president. He reminded them that the election of Barack Obama will invite dangerous international crisis because he is untested," Palin said. "Senator Obama's own running mate, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has informed us that a serious international crisis is certain if Obama is elected, and that he is not ready to deal with it."

"I want a president who is ready on day one," Palin continued. "I want a president with the experience and the judgment and the wisdom and the truthfulness to meet the next international crisis, or better yet, to avoid it."

The press being the press, ABC News reporters Imtiyaz Delawala and Lisa Chinn can't possibly report a powerful quote by Sarah Palin without quibbling over something, so we get this:

Biden had said at the Seattle fundraiser that Obama would be tested by a "generated crisis" but he did not say in his remarks that he thought Obama would not be ready for that test.

And that's technically correct. But Delawala and Chinn pointedly leave out both (a) that Palin was correct that Biden (and Hillary Clinton) had expressed doubts throughout the Democratic Primaries of Obama's "readiness," and (b) that last weekend, as part of this same accidental truth-telling episode, Biden warned Obama supporters that Obama's response to the test will leave an Obama-Biden administration in desperate need of their support because it's going to at least look to the world like Obama has screwed the pooch. From the same ABC News report from three days ago which they linked:

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said, including the Middle East and Russia as possibilities, "and he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

If Delawala and Chin were minimally ethical, they'd at least have noted that even after Biden had signed on to the second spot on the Democratic ticket behind Obama, Biden had continued to warn that it will at least appear that Obama has flunked the first test. That's not quite a repeat of his condemnation of Obama's readiness from the days of the Democratic primaries, but neither is it a ringing current endorsement of Obama's readiness, which is the (false) impression Delawala and Chin are trying to give.

By way of even a further attempt to dilute the power of Gov. Palin's critique, Delawala and Chin then discuss various other early-term challenges faced by Bush-43, Clinton, and Bush-41. Incredibly, however, they make no explanation for or reference to Biden's precise comparison of Obama not to those presidents, but to John F. Kennedy — who, in June 1961, precisely six months into his first term, flunked his major international test at the Vienna Summit with Kruschev (directly leading to the building of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 and the Soviet adventurism in placing nuclear missiles in Cuba in October 1962).

Got that? Biden specifically compares Obama to the president who brought us closer than any other to the brink of mass thermonuclear war, but the press ignores that, and instead wants to talk about different presidents who survived their initial tests without much serious risk or consequence.  Oh, no, says ABC News: Biden did not accidentally reveal the droids you were looking for. Move on.

Palin is just so sharp, so brutally and effectively on point, that even the pro-Obama misdirection and dishonesty of the mainstream media isn't very effective so long as they'll accurately quote her words. But that still doesn't excuse, or conceal, the fact that they're still unprincipled hacks — completely and obviously and unapologetically in the tank for Obama.

— Beldar

Posted by Beldar at 07:20 PM in 2008 Election, Obama, Palin, Politics (2008) | Permalink


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