Can't Control Exhilaration Over 'World Stage' for 'Messiah' Obama --7/25/2008
2. Chris Matthews: Obama's Berlin Speech Had 'Thrill Factor'
3. Amanpour 'Surprised' by Lack of 'Euphoria' After Obama Speech
4. ABC's Tapper: Obama Thinks He's President; Denies Media Access
5. ABC's Cynthia McFadden: McCain Like Obama's Younger Brother
6. Media's Campaign Donations Tilt 100-to-1 in Favor of Democrats
7. Fox Poll: Two-Thirds Recognize Journalists Want Obama to Win
Barack Obama's Magical Media Tour hit its high point Thursday night as the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all led with Barack Obama's speech in Berlin, with NBC's Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell the most giddy, though ABC featured a German man who hailed Obama as "my new messiah." ABC and NBC saw Obama on a "world stage." Charles Gibson teased ABC's newscast: "In a city steeped in history, before a massive crowd, the candidate calls on the world to tear down this generation's walls." NBC anchor Brian Williams, in Berlin, trumpeted how "the first ever African-American running as presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party brought throngs of people into the center of Berlin, streaming into this city, surging to get close to him, to hear his message. And when it was all over, he talked to us." Viewers next heard a sycophantic Williams ooze to Obama:
Talking with Andrea Mitchell, an impressed Williams marveled over how "I heard one American reporter tonight say it's hard to come up with a list of others who could draw such a crowd, but then again it's hard to know what we witnessed here today." An equally awed Mitchell gushed: "It's hard to figure out what the comparison is, what do you compare this with?" She soon asserted that in his speech Obama "acknowledged America's flaws."
CBS's Katie Couric teased: "Barack Obama extends the hand of friendship to Europe." Reporter Mark Phillips began: "They've been calling this the 'Obama Show' in Berlin. His appeal here: Part exotic politician, part rock star. And a rock festival-sized crowd of more than 200,000 gathered to see him."
Phillips concluded: "Barack Obama isn't running for office here, but if he were, opinion surveys show he would out-poll John McCain by as much as four to one."
ABC's Gibson was the only anchor to note in his introduction any detractors: "To his admirers, it was a soaring speech with a new vision. To his detractors, it was presumptuous that a candidate for President would deliver a speech as if he were President."
Jake Tapper highlighted: "As for the people who came here today, many of them gushed about his speech." After one man declared "I think he's the new President of America," Tapper segued: "And as if that weren't glowing enough." Viewers then heard from a second man: "I thought it was brilliant. My new messiah."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Following Tapper's story, Gibson pointed out, over a matching graphic, how Obama drew many more people in Berlin than either President Kennedy or President Reagan:
# NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Good evening from Berlin. As one local journalist put it, if the election were held today, Barack Obama could sail to victory by a margin of 70 percent or more as President of Germany. Perhaps even all of Europe. The only problem is Senator Obama is running for President of the United States. Still, here in Berlin today, not far from where the wall once stood, the man from Chicago, Illinois, the first ever African-American running as presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, brought throngs of people into the center of Berlin, streaming into this city, surging to get close to him, to hear his message. And when it was all over, he talked to us.
COURIC: Good evening, everyone. It was a highly unusual scene for a candidate, smack in the middle of an American presidential campaign. It was Barack Obama in Berlin today. He was there, he said, as a citizen, not a President. But clearly the goal was to look like one for voters back home. Mark Phillips is in Berlin.
MARK PHILLIPS: They've been calling this the "Obama Show" in Berlin. His appeal here, part exotic politician, part rock star. And a rock festival-sized crowd of more than 200,000 gathered to see him.
CHARLES GIBSON, IN OPENING TEASER: Welcome to World News. Tonight, Barack Obama in Berlin: In a city steeped in history, before a massive crowd, the candidate calls on the world to tear down this generation's walls.
GIBSON: Good evening. Barack Obama stepped to the center of the world stage today. Speaking in Berlin before a sea of humanity, he called for the U.S. and Europe to tear down the walls between continents. "This is the moment," was his constant refrain. To his admirers, it was a soaring speech with a new vision. To his detractors, it was presumptuous that a candidate for President would deliver a speech as if he were President. Jake Tapper starts our coverage tonight from Berlin. Jake, good evening.
JAKE TAPPER: Good evening, Charlie. Well, it was, on its face, quite unusual. A Democratic presidential candidate coming to Germany to describe his vision of the world. Barack Obama spoke before his largest crowd ever, more than 200,000 people, almost none of whom could vote for him.
Barack Obama is still giving Chris Matthews thrills. On Thursday night's Hardball, before throwing to an Obama clip, Matthews gave the following rave review, on his July 24 show, to the Illinois Senator's speech in Germany: "What, what do you make of this? Let's take another bite here because it was quite a speech. You have to judge for yourself but the speech had its thrill factor, certainly once again. Here he was."
[This item, by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
However Matthews wasn't in such a jovial mood near the end of the program. Looking over new battleground polls, showing Obama with a lead, Matthews joined guest Bob Herbert in fearing the "polls aren't as accurate as we'd like to think they are."
BOB HERBERT, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Obama should be 15 or 20 or a Democrat should be 15 or 20 percent ahead in the poll, at this stage of the race. And the second thing is I don't trust these polls. I think Obama's numbers are a little bit lower than the polls show and I think McCain's numbers are a little bit higher.
To read more about Obama thrilling Matthews, see: www.mrc.org
CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, reporting on Barack Obama's speech in Berlin on Thursday's The Situation Room, expressed her shock that the European crowd didn't seem to have the same mania for the Democrat that the media have: "I did ask some people as they were leaving what they thought. Everybody said good, good. But I was surprised that there wasn't this sort of euphoria afterwards, given how many people had come to listen and how much it had been anticipated." She later stated in the segment that one unnamed political analyst talked about how "people [in Europe] want a political redeemer -- I mean, that's very specific language, and he said it's not really based on facts, the -- what they think about Obama, because they don't really know. It's based on expectations."
During the segment, which began just after the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, host Wolf Blitzer asked Amanpour, "why do they apparently like him so much, not only in Germany, but throughout Western Europe?" She gave the standard media talking point about Obama in general: "They like him, some people say, because he is something new, he is a new generation, he's promising change, and people here are desperate for change." Amanpour then reported on how Europeans apparently like Obama because "he is not President Bush, and they're slightly traumatized still from the last seven years of this 'go-it-alone' policy, which has seen so much war and has created so much division."
[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Thursday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
They're traumatized by a non-existent reality? Of course, the U.S. did not "go it alone" against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and despite the opposition from Western European counties like Germany and France, it did not "go it alone" into Iraq.
Earlier in the day, Amanpour appeared on American Morning at the beginning of the 6 am Eastern hour and used the same "go-it alone" term: "Would he return America to multilateral diplomacy, for instance, rather than the go-it-alone approach of the eight years of the President Bush administration?" She also compared the expected large turnout to a popular German festivity: "[Y]ou've heard of Oktoberfest in Germany. Well, this you might call 'Obamafest.' There's a great deal of excitement."
The full transcript of Amanpour's report from the Thursday, July 24 The Situation Room:
WOLF BLITZER: And let's go to Berlin right now. Our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour has been watching all of this unfold all day today. Christiane, why do they apparently like him so much, not only in Germany, but throughout Western Europe?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Well, they like him to the tune of some 200,000 people who came out here, according to police estimates now, which is a massive crowd. They like him, some people say, because he is something new, he is a new generation, he's promising change, and people here are desperate for change. They like him because he is not President Bush, and they're slightly traumatized still from the last seven years of this 'go-it-alone' policy, which has seen so much war and has created so much division. So, for all those reasons, they find him wildly attractive, but they also want to know about his policies, Wolf.
Not every reporter covering Barack Obama's world tour is entranced by the words and imagery of the Democratic candidate. On Thursday's Good Morning America, political correspondent Jake Tapper jabbed at Obama's overconfidence, describing the senator's July 24 speech in Berlin as "one the Obama campaign is billing at almost presidential. Even though he is not the President."
Reporting from inside the Obama plane, Tapper complained in a snarky tone: "Inside, the plane has been redesigned to separate the senator and his staff from us lowly reporters." He added that Obama officials told journalists that they could brief reporters as anonymous officials. Tapper grumbled: "One of them said that's what we did at the White House during the Clinton years. We pointed out they don't work at the White House." Regarding the Obama plane, the ABC journalist also pointed out: "The American flag on the tail wing has been replaced by an enormous Obama O."
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Tapper's complaints about lack of access and campaign hubris sound like the type of typical gripes you would expect and hope to hear from journalists about all candidates. The fact that Tapper's statements are so rare shows just how deep the media love is for Obama.
A transcript of the July 24 segment, which aired at 7:08am:
DIANE SAWYER: We want to turn now to the race for '08. The new poll out showing Barack Obama leading 47 to 41 percent over John McCain and it comes as the candidates engage in two very different campaign schedules. Our correspondents are opening their notebooks this morning to take you behind the scenes and we'll get to ABC's David Wright for a look at John McCain in just a minute. But beginning with senior political correspondent Jake Tapper in Berlin with Barack Obama this morning. Jake?
JAKE TAPPER: Guten Tag, Diane. Well, we just arrived in Berlin a few hours ago. Everything about this trip has been choreographed to make Senator Obama appear like President Obama and that's certainly the case with the speech he's going to deliver later today here at the Victory Column in central Berlin. Senator Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met this morning, just a few hours after Obama's pre-dawn visit to Jerusalem's western wall, his last stop in Israel. For the first stop of his European swing, Obama's campaign has been pulling out all the stops, distributing these flyers in German to round up a huge crowd for his speech tonight, one the Obama campaign is billing at almost presidential. Even though he is not the president. From the scenic vistas in Jordan where local reporters clambered for his attention-
On Wednesday, Nightline co-host Cynthia McFadden and correspondent David Wright condescendingly reported on the disparity in the media's coverage of Barack Obama and John McCain. McFadden began a segment on the Arizona Senator by snidely asserting: "Now, if you have a younger sibling, you can probably relate to what Senator John McCain has been going through this week. Whatever he does, everybody seems to be talking about the new kid in town."
Expanding on a report he filed for the July 23 World News, Wright, in an almost embarrassed tone, remarked: "Pity the poor Straight Talk Express. While, Barack Obama is off globe-trotting, grabbing all that high profile, high octane attention, we're here on the tarmac in Allentown, Pennsylvania." He also described the media's obsession with Obama in a passive tone, asking McCain: "Do you kind of feel like you're going to be stuck playing defense from now until November?" and stating, "...It seems like the narrative of this campaign is being driven by whatever Senator Obama does and you're left to kind of react to that." Wright confidently predicted that in the next few days, "What can you almost guarantee he [McCain] will be talking about? Obama." Something, one assumes, people like David Wright will make happen.
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
In a companion piece for Thursday's Good Morning America, Wright complained: "Columbus, Ohio doesn't have quite the same flair as a European jaunt. You might call it a meat and potatoes campaign stop." He also pointed out that McCain had planned on touring an oil well, but had to cancel due to Hurricane Dolly. Wright opined: "Worse than that, an oil spill closed 29 miles of the Mississippi River, not exactly the best visual for McCain to make the case that America needs to drill more oil wells."
Wright has developed a long history of pro-Obama bias. On February 19, 2008, he suggested Obama rallies are like "Springsteen concerts, but the tickets are free." On April 30, 2008, reporting on the senator's break with his incendiary pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, David Wright (no relation) empathized: "For Obama, whose own father abandoned him as a child, this must have been another painful break." For more on Wright's Springsteen remark, see a February 21, 2008 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
For more on his comments about Jeremiah Wright, see a May 1, 2008 CyberAlert item: www.mrc.org
A transcript of the July 23 Nightline segment:
CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: Now, if you have a younger sibling, you can probably relate to what Senator John McCain has been going through this week. Whatever he does, everybody seems to be talking about the new kid in town. With Barack Obama popping up in four international hot spots in as many days, with the press, including us at ABC News close behind, little wonder that the senator from Arizona has expressed a tad of frustration, as ABC's David Wright reports in tonight's "trail mix".
DAVID WRIGHT: Pity the poor Straight Talk Express. While, Barack Obama is off globe-trotting, grabbing all that high profile, high octane attention, we're here on the tarmac in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on our way to Columbus, Ohio, tonight. Well, the McCain campaign has printed out the new press credentials in English and French. They say, the "JV press squad." The varsity? Well, they are off on their grand tour. For Obama, it's a week of million dollar photo-ops. Meeting foreign dignitaries. Hobnobbing with generals. Shooting hoops with the grunts. It's easy to appear presidential when your chauffeur is a bona fide king. And McCain, well, he's touring the capitals of the rust belt.
It's not just the thrills racing up and down Chris Matthews' leg. Writing in Thursday's Investor's Business Daily, author William Tate documented that donations from employees of big media companies are tilting 100-to-1 in favor of the Democrats so far this election cycle. That's right, 100-to-1.
[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Thursday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Tate's op-ed: www.ibdeditorials.com
It's perhaps not a surprise that those working for NBC Universal are the most eager givers to the Democrats, racking up $104,184 in contributions this cycle, compared to just $3,150 to Republican candidates. Maybe more surprising is that those at Fox broadcasting and the Fox News Channel combined to give $41,853 to the Democrats, with no listed donations going to the Republicans. (Only $1,280 was listed as coming from Fox News employees.)
Here's an excerpt from Tate's analysis, which also appeared at the American Thinker:
The New York Times' refusal to publish John McCain's rebuttal to Barack Obama's Iraq op-ed may be the most glaring example of liberal media bias this journalist has ever seen. But true proof of widespread media bias requires one to follow an old journalism maxim: Follow the money....
An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans.
Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans -- a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain.
Searches for other newsroom categories (reporters, correspondents, news editors, anchors, newspaper editors and publishers) produces 311 donors to Democrats to 30 donors to Republicans, a ratio of just over 10-to-1. In terms of money, $279,266 went to Dems, $20,709 to Republicans, a 14-to-1 ratio.
END of Excerpt
As posted on the American Thinker: www.americanthinker.com
Because most news organizations ban contributions to political candidates, Tate warns, the numbers he presents are perhaps just the tip of the iceberg. But it's just another indication of how the media elite are at odds with mainstream America.
Just days after a Rasmussen Reports survey was released showing more than three times as many likely voters "believe most reporters will try to help Obama with their coverage" than help John McCain, a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll taken July 22-23 of 900 registered voters discovered six times as many think "most member of the media" want Obama to win than wish for a McCain victory. On Thursday's Special Report, FNC's Brit Hume relayed: "67 percent of the respondents think most media members want Obama to win. Just 11 percent think most in the media are for McCain."
A FoxNews.com article added this damning finding: "Only about 1 in 10 (11 percent) volunteers the belief that the media is neutral on the race to become the 44th President of the United States." Those polled recognize the tilt in action: "When asked to rate the objectivity of media coverage of the campaigns, Americans feel Obama gets more of a positive spin by a better than 7-to-1 margin (46 percent more positive toward Obama; 6 percent more positive toward McCain)." The online article: www.foxnews.com
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted late Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Hume announced Thursday night, July 24, after a story which cited other findings from the poll:
Even the overwhelming majority of Democrats assume journalists are pulling for Obama. A PDF of the full poll results shows that in response to the question, "Which presidential candidate -- Barack Obama or John McCain -- do you think most members of the media want to win the election?", 61 percent of Democrats said Obama, compared to 77 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of independents. A mere 14 percent of Democrats believe members of the media want McCain to win.
Back in September of 2004, 46 percent thought journalists wanted John Kerry to win compared to 26 percent who believed reporters preferred George Bush. The PDF: www.foxnews.com
The July 22 CyberAlert item, "Half See Pro-Obama Bias and Say Media Make Economy Seem Worse," recounted:
More than three times as many Americans see a media tilt in favor of Democrat Barack Obama than toward Republican John McCain. A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey released Monday, of 1,000 likely voters, "found that 49 percent of voters believe most reporters will try to help Obama with their coverage, up from 44 percent a month ago," compared to a piddling 14 percent who "believe most reporters will try to help John McCain win" while "just one voter in four (24%) believes that most reporters will try to offer unbiased coverage."
Exactly half, 50 percent, "believe the media makes economic conditions appear worse than they really are," a separate Rasmussen Reports telephone survey posted on Monday determined. That poll discovered "a plurality of Americans (41%) similarly believe that the media has tried to make the war in Iraq appear worse that it really is, while 26 percent say reporters have made it look better than reality and 25 percent think they've portrayed it accurately."
For the full rundown: www.mrc.org
The "How the Public Views the Media" section of the MRC's "Media Bias Basics" lists many more surveys of how the public perceive journalists and the news media: www.mediaresearch.org
-- Brent Baker