From Glenn Thrush's July 31 Politico post:
A whopping 58 percent of Republicans either think Barack Obama wasn't born in the US (28 percent) or aren't sure (30 percent). A mere 42 percent think he was.
That means a majority of Republicans polled either don't know about -- or don't believe the seemingly incontrovertible evidence Obama's camp has presented over and over and over that he was born in Hawaii in '61.
It also explains why Republicans, including Roy Blunt, are playing footsie with the Birther fringe.
Surprise, surprise: Birther sentiment was strongest in the South and among the 60-plus crowd - presumably because seniors can't log on to the Internet and rely on rumor, word of mouth and right-wing talk radio.
When do we start a serious dialog about the Birther movement being a proxy for racism that is unacceptable to articulate in more direct terms?
Let me get this straight: After years of the media acting as though the most important decision in casting your vote is determining which candidate you'd rather have a drink with, and after the media decided that the president having a beer with a cop and a professor was so awesome it required on-screen graphics and a countdown clock, the New York Post thinks it's an outrage that the Governor of New York had a cocktail at a birthday party?
And does anyone think the New York Post would have run this article if the Governor's name was "George Pataki," and the birthday party was at Sully's Irish Pub, and the drink was a bottle of Bud?
Seems unlikely to me.
But Governor David Paterson, at a birthday party for a BET executive (and longtime friend), drinking an Elderflower cocktail? Scandal!
In his obligatory beer dispatch, he begins [emphasis added]:
Four men sat at a table drinking beer--the most photographed beer in the world. That is pretty much all there is to say, which is just how President Barack Obama wants it.
But alas, Scherer then goes on for 1,100 more words even though he doesn't have much to say. (i.e. "Consider that the beer they drank had been chosen for its symbolic value.")
P.S. If anyone reads anything even remotely insightful printed anywhere in the mainstream media today about the beer event, please post a link in comments. To date, I certainly have seen anything that even comes close. But I have read and heard plenty of blah, blah, blah.
From The Fox Nation, accessed on July 31:
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz caps off another week of "Media Notes" columns without mentioning CNN president Jonathan Klein's dishonest defense of Lou Dobbs' Birther conspiracy theories. Kurtz's online columns totaled 12,299 words this week -- not one of them about Klein, or Dobbs. (Kurtz did mention CNN once -- when he used his Washington Post column to plug his CNN television show.)
It's enough to make you wonder whether the money CNN pays Kurtz is a salary -- or hush money?
Either way, it's a spectacular conflict of interest.
Three Times reporters live blogged the event (i.e the photo op), which is just too dumb for words. Everybody in D.C. knew there would be no actual news from the White House visit from Prof. Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley. That was a given. But of course, that didn't stop the press from over-covering the non-event. In fact, I think the promise of news-free event only encouraged more coverage because it took the pressure off reporters to do any reporting.
Anyway, this was the Times headline online for its pointless coverage:
What a White House Beer Says About Race and Politics
What's so significant about the headline? It was a rather lame attempt by Times editors prop up the shallow coverage as being deeply important (i.e. "Race and Politics"!). Trust me, the live-blogging the Times posted online had zero to do with the state or race in America and zero to do with our politics. Instead, the coverage was just insipid. It was three Times reporters basically sitting around the watching paint dry and pretending it was something much different and more important.
They're Here | 5:42 p.m.
Helene Cooper: A White House official says both Professor Gates and Sgt. James Crowley and their respective families have arrived and are in the building.
Everyone is getting along so far, the official said.
A more accurate and honest headline above the train wreck coverage would have read:
What a White House Beer Says About The Beltway Media
P.S. Nice touch by Times reporters to include as part of their coverage a link to a far-right National Review hit piece on Obama and race.
From a July 30 New York Observer article:
To wit: According to The Observer's analysis of Nielsen data, in recent weeks, as criticism of Mr. Dobbs has continued to go up, his ratings at CNN have continued to go down.
Mr. Dobbs' first began reporting on Obama birth certificate conspiracy theories on the night of Wednesday, July 15. In the roughly two weeks since then, from July 15 through July 28, Mr. Dobbs' 7 p.m. show on CNN has averaged 653,000 total viewers and 157,000 in the 25-54 demo.
By contrast, during the first two weeks of the month (July 1 to July 14) Mr. Dobbs averaged 771,000 total viewers and 218,000 in the 25-54 demo. In other words, Mr. Dobbs' audience has decreased 15 percent in total viewers and 27 percent in the demo since the start of the controversy.
Arguably, interest in cable news has slumped across the board since early July when attention over Michael Jackson's death was still at a fever pitch.
But, that said, Mr. Dobbs' ratings over the past two weeks, during the height of the "birthers" controversy, are also down significantly compared to his overall numbers during the second quarter of 2009 when he averaged 769,000 total viewers and 222,000 in the 25-54 demo.
In summary, if Mr. Dobbs' affinity for "birthers" is a ratings ploy, it's a pretty ineffective one.
Earlier today, MSNBC showed video footage of Henry Louis Gates walking to a car, on his way to the airport.
Now they have a countdown graphic showing -- to the second -- how much time remains before the "BEER SUMMIT." Like it's a space shuttle launch. But with a sketch of three frosty mugs of beer.
Overachiever-in-Chief: Is There an Issue the President Won't Weigh in On? Obama Juggles Policy With Sports Lobbying
And believe it or not, the article is actually worse than the headline. The entire he's-doing-too-much! premise is built around the fact that Obama is trying to help bring the 2018 or 2022 World Cup soccer championship to the United States, and Obama is also trying to help bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. In other words, he's been involved in utterly routine bouts of outreach by a POTUS, but ABC frets that it's just too much for Obama to "juggle."
Specifically, Obama recently hosted Joseph Blatter, the head of FIFA, soccer's international governing body. at the White House for a brief meeting. And in the spring Obama sent a letter to FIFA.
And oh yeah, FIFA's Blatter also sits on International Olympic Committee, so ABC assumes that Obama pitched Blatter about having the Olympics in Chicago.
That's it. That's all ABC News points to as proof of an overextended Obama. Yet from those mundane details, ABC gets all the-sky-is-falling [emphasis added]:
From soccer to the Olympics to even the college football championship system, Obama certainly has been outspoken on sports issues. But is the president risking overexposure by weighing in on so much outside the political arena?
UPDATED: Love this CF reader comment:
We have one cable news outlet that's now showing a Beer Summit Countdown Clock on the screen.
And the news media have the nerve to complain it's Obama's fault that he might be overexposed???????