This wire service article, with the headline "Obama: Recession could delay rescinding tax cuts," is a mess. Here's the opening:
"Democrat Barack Obama says he would delay rescinding President Bush's tax cuts on wealthy Americans if he becomes the next president and the economy is in a recession, suggesting such an increase would further hurt the economy.
According to the AP, Obama's having second thoughts about GOP tax cuts for the rich. In the article, the AP points to an exchange Obama had Sunday on ABC where he was asked about middle class tax cuts:
""Even if we're still in a recession, I'm going to go through with my tax cuts," Obama said. "That's my priority.""
Hmm, Obama clearly stated he won't delay middle class tax cuts, which runs counter to the headline. What about tax cuts for the rich, is Obama re-thinking those? The AP again quotes Obama from ABC, but the premise there is, "What about increasing taxes on the wealthy?" [Emphasis added.]
Obama's response: "I think we've got to take a look and see where the economy is. I mean, the economy is weak right now."
The problem is that the headline tells readers Obama might have changed his mind about rescinding tax cuts. But in the article Obama specifically states he won't delay tax cuts for the middle class, and then says he's only thinking about delaying raising taxes on the wealthy.
Or has the AP adopted the spin that rescinding a tax cut is the same as raising taxes?
Attaturk at FDL expresses doubts.
So does Todd Gitlin, who raises the interesting point: Why is the Gibon/Palin interview spread out over two days? As Gitlin notes:
"Political interviews are never done like this. Because it makes the questioning entirely at the discretion of the person being interviewed and their handlers. The interviewer has to be on their best behavior, at least until the last of the 'multiple interviews' because otherwise the subsequent sittings just won't happen. For a political journalist to agree to such terms amounts to a form of self-gelding. The only interviews that are done this way are lifestyle and celebrity interviews."
So of course the Times has decided to join Drudge's media dance card by hyping his manufactured story about Oprah Winfrey not interviewing Palin. (See context here.) Look at the opening to the Times' piece:
"Oprah Winfrey has said she will not interview Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the hottest political star in the firmament, and the decision is drawing negative reviews from many fans of the doyenne of daytime television.
A group of Republican women in Florida has announced a boycott of Ms. Winfrey's television show and called for cancellations of subscriptions to her magazine, "O: The Oprah Magazine." [Emphasis added.]
See the problem there? Partisans pick up Drudge's phony story and then the Times strolls in and claims the partisans represent "many fans." Ugh.
And by the way, the idea that Winfrey's staff was "sharply divided" by the Palin dispute, as Drudge's "sources" first claimed? Keep this mind, via Newsday's TV Zone:
"There's no such thing as a "divided" staff out there in Chicago. She is the Queen. They are her subjects. There are no disputes with the Queen, and that is that."
Via Crooks and Liars.
David Gregory will anchor on the nights of debates and election returns, according to NYTimes.
The money graph:
"In interviews, 10 current and former staff members said that long-simmering tensions between MSNBC and NBC reached a boiling point during the conventions. MSNBC is behaving like a heroin addict," one senior staff member observed. "They're living from fix to fix and swearing they'll go into rehab the next week."
Writing in the Week in Review section on Sunday, the Times' Mark Leibovich looks at the Republican media bashing that went on at the GOP convention at St. Paul and examines the history of that trend among conservatives. "We have played this video game before," write Leibovich in a breezy style, which matched his ho-hum attitude throughout the piece.
Leibovich's point is that conservative attacks on the press are entirely predictable and that frankly, folks within the press corps have seen it so many times before they don't really take it seriously. It's an act.
"There was an almost homey familiarity to the ritual," writes Leibovich. "And despite the hot words from the podium, it was hard to find a journalist last week who felt any unusual sense of siege or discomfort."
He gets it half right. It is an act; a ploy the GOP uses like clock work and have been using for nearly 40 years. The point Leibovich completely misses however, is that it's a ploy that works. Leibovich would have readers believe that the GOP assaults on the "liberal media," have no effect, that journalists stoically brush off the critiques and courageously march ahead undeterred by the right-wing cat calls.
If only it were so. Truth is, there have been entire books written about how successful the GOP media attacks have been in bullying the press into changing its political coverage. In fact, the lopsided coverage that presidents Reagan (friendly), Clinton (nasty) and Bush (friendly) received remains the obvious proof.
WaPo fashion writer Robin Givhan insists the disproportionate attention she pays to the outfits of political women isn't sexist. Matthew Yglesias isn't so sure.
Again. With imaginary duologue. We'd love to see NYT editors' reaction when she mails in these doozies.