On his radio show, Bill Cunningham asked Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, "[I]f Obama was white as chalk, do you think that [Colin] Powell would be endorsing the Democrat? He didn't endorse Gore, he didn't endorse Kerry. I think color trumps everything in his mind." Peterson responded: "That's right, because if it was about what Barack Obama stood for, then he would have endorsed Gore and all those guys, but he did not. You know, it's so sad, my friend, that most black people today are racist. Not all, not all -- but most of them are racist."
On his radio show, Michael Savage said, "Do you think Colin Powell came out for BO [Sen. Barack Obama] because of his race? Duh." He later added: "[F]orgive me for being so blunt -- but it seems to Michael Savage that the only people who don't seem to vote based on race are white people of European origin."
Quinn & Rose co-host Rose Tennent asserted that former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Sen. Barack Obama "because he doesn't want to be known as an Uncle Tom anymore. He wants to be black again." Co-host Jim Quinn later said of Powell, "He's tired of being called an Oreo."
We earlier noted that the press is spending an awful lot of time hyping the so-called Bradley effect and leaning heavily on the idea that Obama's big lead could still evaporate.
We noted the oddity of so many Bradley effect reports sprouting up despite the lack of evidence that it's been seen in America in decades. To us, the press attention seems more like an easy way to inject some drama into the increasingly drama-less campaign.
The latest to tackle to topic is Time and we're not sure whether to praise or mock its effort. We'd mock Time because it manages to join the media caravan detailing the somewhat soggy story:
Politicos are abuzz over the last hurdle Obama must clear in his path to the presidency: a phenomenon known as the "Bradley effect."
But we'd praise Time because it concludes:
The Bradley effect may be this fall's paper tiger: an old theory re-heated by the media because there's not much left to talk about.
For the record, Time thinks the Bradley effect is just a way for the press to juice up the campaign storyline. So Time then spends time addressing the Bradley effect.
To us, the stories have the same ring as the McCain "comeback" narrative, and that the press seems more interested in injecting some missing drama into the campaign (Obama could still lose!), than advancing real news stories.
The problem, as illustrated by the ABC story, is that despite the breathless headlines, there's very little that's news to substantiate the Bradley effect narrative, which is named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American, who he ran for California governor in 1982 and lost, despite pre-Election Day polls showing him with a comfortable lead. The theory was that voters mislead pollsters about whether they would vote for a minority candidate.
The issue is a legitimate one for debate and discussion. It's just that in terms of the press presenting it as a burning news issue right now, there were few if any examples of The Bradley effect during the very long primary season. Polling pro's say there hasn't been a clear example of the Bradley effect in decades. And the Obama campaign claims the notion is absurd:
"I think this is a completely overblown story," said Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, saying concerns about hidden racism skewing polling data are "ridiculous."
Despite the lack of empirical evidence, the Bradley effect lives on, fueling anxiety and nervousness among many Democrats that Obama's lead will disappear on Election Day.
Radio host Bill Cunningham stated: "I think there will be 100 cities burning if Barack loses. Yeah, that's what the black intelligentsia says." Cunningham also asserted that "Flavor Flav, 50 Cent, and Diddy" are "really in charge of the [Obama] Inaugural [Ball]."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity again claimed that "[n]obody in the Republican Party" is bringing up race in the context of the presidential campaign. In fact, several Republican officials and supporters have brought up the issue of Obama's race, made racial innuendos, or used his middle name.
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After Paul Begala quoted an AP article suggesting Sarah Palin has leveled racially-tinged attacks on Barack Obama, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper turned and asked Alex Castellanos if he thinks there is a racial element to the GOP campaign.
I mean, sure: he's an expert on racially-tinged campaigns. But what makes CNN think they'll get an honest answer out of him?
On his KSFO radio show, Lee Rodgers claimed O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder because of a "racial vote" by the jury and said of polls that show "98 percent of black voters voting for" Sen. Barack Obama: "[A]re we to assume they all agree with him on all his principles? Or could there be a hint of racial brotherhood in that vote? Come on, we know the answer to that." Rodgers also declared, "If any white person, for whatever reason -- because they think he consorts with terrorists or communists, or believes in all the things that black racist preacher said for 20 years votes against him for that reason -- no, no, no, no. If you're a white person voting against Obama, you are a racist."
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On his radio show, Michael Savage said, "I grew up with parents who went through the Depression. And I went through a sort of depression in my own life as a result of liberal social activism. They imposed affirmative action on me and stole my very birthright simply because I was white."
On MSNBC, Chris Matthews asserted that "we don't know who won this debate 'til we know how, to put it bluntly, the white working class guy, the regular working stiff out there, responds." He later asked Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson: "[D]id it surprise you that he [Obama] was so un-ethnic tonight?"
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In a blog post on National Review Online, Mark Krikorian asked if diversity policies touted by Washington Mutual, which was seized by federal regulators and sold to another bank on September 25, were the "[c]ause" of the bank's collapse.
Radio host Chris Baker repeatedly referred to Sen. Barack Obama as "Nicolae Carpathia," the Antichrist character in the Left Behind book series, including one instance in which he stated: "I'm getting really sick of being told that if I disagree with Barack Obammy, the Nicolae Carpathia candidate, that I'm a racist."