In another Blogcritics article and its associated comments, it has been suggested that there have been lots of false accusations concerning Senator Obama. One comment notes,
A) He's an Arab
B) He is related to Osama bin Laden
C) He's going to be sworn in on the Qu'ran
D) He has "ties" to Al Qaeda
E) "Just look at his name. How can anyone vote for someone with a name like that. Besides John McCain is a war hero. Makes me want to run screaming.
The author of the article, in a subsequent comment, observed
That McCain and Palin and the RNC are whipping up such innuendo and misinformation that people are extrapolating all kinds of things, and yes, just such claims have been circulating about Obama all OVER the web and all OVER Fox News and Rush and so forth. In fact, at a Palin rally the guy who introduced her made it a point to use Obama's middle name and emphasize it and there are bumper stickers all over with Obama/Osama on them.
I don't doubt for a moment that such accusations make many people "want to run screaming." Unsupported allegations have a similar effect on me.
Perhaps I might offer an hypothesis as to why the stuff cited in the article and in the comments has some currency. It just could be that there has been so much media bias and distortion that denials are not credited, simply because it is very difficult to accept what the MSM (and to some extent, perhaps Senator Obama) says.
According to a February 2008 Harris Poll, television news has a sixteen percent approval rating, only double that of the Congress, at eight percent, and merely one point above that of the White House, at fifteen percent.
An ABC News op-ed piece (labeled as such, which is refreshing), the author, Michael Malone, notes that there has been very substantial media favoritism during the campaign and, indeed, previously. The article does bear the caveat that This is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
At a luncheon in Hollywood sponsored by the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors on 27 October, hardly a rabidly conservative group,
no one seemed inclined to defend MSNBC . . . for what some were calling its lopsidedly liberal coverage of the presidential election.
The cable news channel is "completely out of control," said writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat.
Criticism of the coverage of Governor Palin was voiced by several attendees, including Ms. Bloodworth-Thompson, who stated
"We should stop the demonizing," she said, adding that Democrats have been worse than Republicans as far as personal attacks on candidates are concerned. "It diminishes us," she said of her fellow Democrats."
In an article published in National Review Online (NRO), author Andrew C. McCarthy questions the failure of the MSM to report substantively on Senator Obama's alleged connections with a rather well known pro-Palestine, anti-Israel colleague, Rashid Khalidi — particularly since the LA times apparently has a video tape of
the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat. . . . The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency.
There might also be just a smidgen of confusion because Senator Obama has had a tendency, since his days at Harvard Law School, to avoid voicing his actual positions. According to the linked 28 January 2007 NY Times article, people tended to hear "what they wanted in Mr. Obama’s words" and "students on each side of the debate thought he was endorsing their side." His speeches, said to have been "delivered in the oratorical manner of a Baptist minister, were more memorable for style than substance," chock full of inspiration but lacking in specific content. As to race and merit, "everyone could point to Mr. Obama and find justification for their views."
He had acknowledged benefiting from affirmative action in the past, so those who supported it saw him as the happy product of their beliefs.
But those who opposed it saw his presidency as the triumph of meritocracy. . .
In dozens of interviews, his friends said they could not remember his specific views from that era, beyond a general emphasis on diversity and social and economic justice.
Many of the former classmates wondered whether his style of leadership would work in a context unlike that of the Law Review. One, Ron Klain, who preceded Mr. Obama at the Law Review and was in later years Vice President Al Gore's chief of staff, commented that Senator Obama's style of leadership was of a nature "more effective running a law review than running a country."
I can't comment personally on Senator Obama's performance as Editor in Chief of the Harvard Law Review, because I wasn't there. I was Notes Editor of another law review, and we had very few political or philosophical discussions; we were generally very busy writing and editing articles while carrying fairly heavy class loads. Typically, an editor could be expected to devote roughly forty hours per week to his Law Review work. Law Review was, at least for my colleagues and for me, a place for hard work and very little else. It was neither a social nor a debate society. There was a collegial atmosphere, but the focus was on getting the Law Review published and doing it professionally. Things may be different now, and were probably different when Senator Obama was in law school (1988 – 1991). My experience harks back to the "good old days," (1963 – 1966) when computers were uncommon and the editing process involved use of a typewriter, scissors and scotch tape, followed by review of galley proofs and further editing before the Law Review was put to bed.
Senator Obama seems to have a knack for being all things to all people. And that, I suggest, has something to do with the unsupported accusations discussed in the linked BC article and in the comments associated with it. Combine his "all things to all people" persona with the quite reasonable distrust of the MSM, and there is very fertile ground for the germination of unfounded accusations.Powered by Sidelines