Thursday, November 29, 2007

Washington Post: 'Obama: Threat or Menace?'

From Paul McLeary of the Columbia Journalism Review:
In The Washington Post this morning, reporter Perry Bacon Jr. wrote what may be the single worst campaign ‘08 piece to appear in any American newspaper so far this election cycle.

In the front-page piece, Bacon muses over how the chances of Barack Obama getting elected president might be affected by the fact that he’s not Muslim. Seriously. To build his case, Bacon stumbles artlessly through all manner of rumor, innuendo, and xenophobic smear -- never bothering to refute any of it, even though there is plenty of well-documented evidence to knock down much of this stuff.
Lois Romano, national political reporter for the WP, defends her paper thusly: "But we do chronicle [Obama's] denials."

Hey, now! That's good journalism!

1 comment:

Rich S said...

Quoting the article:

"A CBS News poll in August showed that a huge number of voters said they did not know Obama's faith, but among those who said they did, 7 percent thought he was a Muslim, while only 6 percent thought he was a Protestant Christian ."

That incredible level of ignorance is partly the fault of --I am increasingly convinced, at the risk of being called an America-hating elitist-- the most intellectually lazy electorate on the face of the earth at present; but partly the fault of corporate media who don't bother straightforwardly telling their readers and viewers, "This is false, these are the facts," even when the falsehood and fact are clear and verifiable--on the order of the roundness of the earth, as one of Lois Romano's questioners analogized. It's all treated as "he-said-she-said," which puts both the lie and the refutation on equal footing; and that translates into a huge advantage for the right wing, which lies with abandon and with impunity.

But is this really "the single worst campaign ‘08 piece to appear in any American newspaper so far this election cycle"? Don't know. If it is, one thing we can count on is that it won't be for long.

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