This is quite amazing, as ABC, like lots of media outlets, continues to jack up the racial angle to the Blago-Burris story.
From ABC's David Wright:
"Not since Mr. Smith came to Washington, in that old Frank Capra film, has an idealistic senator appointed by a corrupt party boss been so unwelcome at the Capitol. But at least Mr. Smith got his seat," David Wright reported on ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday. "But it's also distinctly possible the scene will look more like 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' The senators may seem out of touch, if this overwhelmingly white group refuses to admit the one and only black man seeking to join their exclusive club."
Wright went on to stress that Burris' "only sin" was that he was appointed by a "tainted politician," which may represent new heights in the art of the understatement.
Former Laura Bush flack and LA Times blogger Andrew Malcolm posted a weekend round-up regarding Blago-related developments. Or the "molten stew that is the scandal," as Malcolm panted.
Malcolm stressed this point:
According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Reid attempted to influence the governor's nominee choice by expressing serious reservations over the 2010 electability of three potential Blagojevich picks -- Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Danny Davis and state Senate President Emil Jones. All three men happen to be black, as is Burris.
Nasty stuff, right? The U.S. Senate Majority Leader dictating who and who could not be selected to fill Obama's senate seat? And worse, Reid announced no blacks were allowed. Yikes, no wonder the Blago story has morphed into a "molten stew."
You know what's great about blogging, though? The ability to update stories when new information surfaces. But for some reason Malcolm had no interest in doing that at the LA Time blog after Reid, while appearing on Sunday's MTP, categorically denied ever making those claims to Blago about Jackson, David or Jones. According to Reid, the claim that he opposed black candidates is completely false.
Nonetheless, 24 hours later Malcolm still hadn't updated his blog post. Maybe that's because with that additional information the Blago story would become less molten stew-ish.
BTW, we loved how an LA Times blogger reader demolished another part of Malcolm's Blago account, where he wrote:
By naming the 71-year-old Burris, who's never lost an election to a Republican, Blagojevich places Reid in the uncomfortable political position of blocking an experienced black political vote-getter from replacing a black and becoming the Senate's only black member.
The point here isn't about Burris' qualifications, it's about how Malcolm spins vs. reports. Here's what "Phil" wrote:
It is very misleading to describe Burris as having "never lost an election to a Republican." It is equally misleading to describe him as "an experienced...political vote-getter." In 1984, Burris ran for the U.S. Senate and lost in the primaries to Paul Simon. Then, in 1994, he ran for Governor of Illinois and lost in the primaries. In 1995, the following year, he ran for Mayor of Chicago and lost to another Democratc, Richard Daley. In 1998, he ran for Governor of Illinois and lost in the primaries. He ran for Governor again in 2002 and lost in the primaries to Blagojevich. Sure, he's never lost to a Republican. Most of the time he is unable to make it that far!
Malcolm.....stop with the talking points!!!
What Phil said.
On Morning Joe, shortly after Mika Brzezinski remarked that the weather was "so cold" that "[i]t'll freeze your car door shut," Joe Scarborough recounted, "I tried to turn the key, and it was ... locked." Then, in response to Brzezinski's comment, "Oh, American car. That's the problem," Scarborough declared: "The American car -- you know what? It's probably some Japanese engineer that made the key hold -- just sabotaged us. Kinda like blowing up things at Pearl Harbor."
Radio host Bill Cunningham compared the Cincinnati Zoo to Eugene "Bull" Connor, the Birmingham Public Safety commissioner infamous for using dogs and fire hoses against civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s. Cunningham made the remark while criticizing the zoo's decision to pull out of a promotional partnership with the Creation Museum, which seeks to "affirm the truth of the biblical record of the real origin and history of the world and mankind" and reportedly contains a display featuring "a triceratops with a saddle on its back."
Following Obama's unveiling of new administration players today:
Chris Matthews: "Clearly [the team] has the picture we're looking for. The many faces of Benetton or whatever you want to call it. But clearly representative of America more than previous administrations..."
Joe Scarborough: "We were talking on the set here and we decided they had to split up the white guys up there to make it look more like America."
On his radio show, Michael Savage said, "I am telling you that there's gonna be a wholesale firing of competent white men in the United States government up and down the line, in police departments, in fire departments. Everywhere in America, you're going to see an exchange that you've never seen in history, and it's not gonna be necessarily for the betterment of this country."
In a Newsweek article headlined "Is Obama the Antichrist?" senior editor Lisa Miller treated as newsworthy purported debate among some "conservative Christians" over whether President-elect Barack Obama is "the Antichrist." In doing so, she gave credibility to the views of RaptureReady.com editor and founder Todd Strandberg, who has, among other things, smeared gays and lesbians, Islam, progressives, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While discussing potential Republican outreach efforts toward African-Americans, Jason Lewis stated on The Rush Limbaugh Show: "[T]his whole notion of taxing -- taxing America's labor -- you know, I don't know how else you describe what this sordid experience of slavery was when you take away somebody's ability to engage in the marketplace with the fruits of their labor." Lewis later added: "We need to go into the African-American community there on cultural issues. And they should be there on taxes, because they know what it's like to have to work for free."
On The War Room, Jim Quinn addressed his prior comments comparing "slave[s] in the old South" to welfare recipients today. Quinn said: "Now, naturally, the point that I was making was that there are two forms of servitude: There's the servitude that you can be forced into, and there's the servitude you can be coerced into, I mean, the horrors of slavery notwithstanding -- naturally, that was my point." He later added: "[W]hen you think about it, the slave had more personal nobility than the welfare recipient, because he or she had no say in their station in life. The welfare recipient actually volunteers for it. It is the liberal plantation."
Experts confirm, post-election, that the voting phenomena doesn't exist in America, just as the experts insisted pre-election. But that didn't stop the press for producing an absolute avalanche of of non-stop stories about the Bradley effect, in what seemed to be a rather transparent attempt to inject some drama into the drama-less election during the home stretch. (Obama might lose!)
Also, please also note that the press, when now confirming the Bradley effect didn't show itself on Election Day, insists it was voters and academics who hyped the non-story in recent weeks, not the press.
Underscoring the point we made earlier this week when we ridiculed the emerging conservative meme that Obama was showered with good press because news orgs have been on a PC/diversity hiring spree, and those minority journalists swooned for Obama, Michael Calderone has a piece at Politico looking at just how few Africa-American journalists there are within the Beltway press corps covering big time American politics:
When then-President Bill Clinton attended an intimate dinner with a group of African-American White House correspondents in July 1999, about nine reporters joined him at the table. "I don't think we could have that dinner today," said attendee Wendell Goler, veteran White House man for Fox News. April Ryan, who covers the White House for American Urban Radio Networks and who also attended, agreed that there's been a decline in the number of black White House reporters during the Bush years, with just four or five regularly in the briefing room.
On The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Jim Quinn said: "You know, if you were a slave in the old South, what did you get as a slave? You got free room and board, you got free money, and you got rewarded for having children because that was just, you know, tomorrow's slave. ... Can I ask a question? How's that different from welfare? You get a free house, you get free food, and you get rewarded for having children. Oh, wait a minute, hold on a second. There is a difference: The slave had to work for it."
John Harwood, for the second time in eight days, is just amazed that a black man might be president. Or more specifically this week, he's amazed that lots of whites are going to vote for Obama:
Remarkably, Mr. Obama, the first black major party presidential nominee, trails among whites by less than Democratic nominees normally do.
Seems to us the press has spent an inordinate amount of time covering the issue of race in this campaign, even though the candidates themselves rarely discuss it. (Surrogates, especially on the right, are another story, of course.) And when covering the campaign and race, the press has habitually couched the issues with a sense of total astonishment; that it was "remarkable," as Harwood put it, that Barack Obama would win huge support from white voters.
That, despite the fact that polls have shown for at least a year that Obama stood a very good chance of winning the general election. Why still the sense of wonder on Election Day?