There’s all manner of primary season ugliness in the media and the blogosphere once again today, as JoAnne pointed out below. The Hillary Haters are out enforce — it’s a virtual feeding frenzy, as Kevin Drum notes:
…the current attempts to tar Hillary as a racist have gone way, way over the top. They’re revolting. Back before the South Carolina primary, the Clinton campaign and its surrogates really did seem to be making a few too many racially charged comments for it to be just a coincidence (though even then some of the accusations were bogus), but after South Carolina it pretty much stopped. I can’t say whether it stopped for reasons of politics or reasons of principle, but it stopped.
But the accusations of racism haven’t. They’ve just gotten more ridiculous.
If you want to get a clear picture of what the media (and by virtue of reporting on the media, the blogosphere) does to Hillary Clinton, the must read of the day is Eric Boehlert’s “Hillary Clinton, 60 Minutes, and the Muslim question.” You won’t find any Obama supporters quoting it.
Eric Boehlert dissects the media frenzy in the wake of “Steve Kroft’s question on 60 Minutes about whether she thought Sen. Barack Obama was a Muslim.” He says:
After parsing Clinton’s answer and then conveniently setting aside key sections of it, journalists at NBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Time, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, among others, declared her response had been wholly deficient. Worse, Clinton’s answer simply confirmed that she was running a “slimy,” “nasty” contest. It was a “galling” comment; “the sleaziest moment of the campaign.”
The only thing sleazy about the episode was the type of journalism being used to concoct a Clinton slur.
When people suggest that the press employs a separate standard for covering Clinton, this is the kind of episode they’re talking about. There simply is no other candidate, from either party, who has had their comments, their fragments, dissected so dishonestly the way Clinton’s have been.
The fact is, if you look at Clinton’s exchange with Kroft in its entirety, which lasted less than one minute, I count eight separate times in which she either plainly denied the false claim that Obama was Muslim, labeled that suggestion to be a smear, or expressed sympathy for Obama having to deal with the Muslim innuendo. Eight times:
CLINTON: Of course not. I mean, that’s–you know, there is not basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn’t any reason to doubt that.
KROFT: And you said you’d take Senator Obama at his word that he’s not a Muslim.
CLINTON: Right. Right.
KROFT: You don’t believe that he’s a Muslim or implying? Right.
CLINTON: No. No. Why would I? No, there is nothing to base that on, as far as I know.
KROFT: It’s just scurrilous —
CLINTON: Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time. [Emphasis added]
[…] The 60 Minutes controversy — specifically the intense media spin it sparked — highlights a disturbing rise in a new form of campaign journalism, which might be best described as post-parsing. […]
Other must reads of the day include:
- D. Cupples on Buck Naked Politics: Clinton Smearers Played Dirty re: Muslim Comment.
- Lambert on Corrente: Jumping the racism shark with Obama.
- Big Tent Democrat on Talk Left: Obama Camp’s False Description Of Hillary’s 60 Minutes Statement.
- Taylor Marsh: Orlando Patterson Should Check the Ad.
- Jerame Davis on The Bilerico Project: Living in Obamaland and hoping for a reality check.
- James Walcott: 3 O’Clock Rock.
- Bob Somersby on The Daily Howler: This Is Your Professor on YouTube!
- Jeff Jarvis on Buzz Machine: Playing the race ace.
See Memeorandum for all the buzz.