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Media Hype

The Media's Obama Love Affair

By Andy Selepak Accuracy in Media

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It seems that many in our media want to elect Senator Barack Hussein Obama as president. In fact, the October 23, 2006 issue of Time magazine ran a cover story with Obama's picture and the headline, "Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President." In another edition, Time magazine named Obama one of "the world's most influential people," and included him on a list of 20 "Leaders and Revolutionaries." What's behind the media hype?

The first thing that must be said is that, true to form, reporters are acting like Democrats, which they probably are. After Obama won the Democratic nomination for Senator in 2004, one of Obama's opponents in the primary, Illinois' Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, called him "The Tiger Woods of the Democratic Party." The love affair for Obama even extends to the senior Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, who started an online petition urging Obama to run for President. It is posted on Durbin's campaign website. Like a schoolgirl with a crush, Durbin starts his "Run, Barack, Run!" message with, "As many of you may know, I'm a huge Barack Obama fan." But having Durbin in his camp may not be the best thing going. After all, Durbin was forced to apologize for smearing U.S. personnel as murderers and torturers. Perhaps his judgment on Obama is similarly flawed.

Together, the Democrats and their media allies have created a kind of hysteria. A recent Associated Press story awarded Obama "rock star-like status" after his meeting with former Pepsi spokesman and rapper/actor Ludacris. The two actually have a lot in common as both have won Grammy Awards. Obama won the Grammy in 2006 for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio book version of his autobiography Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.

But even with the media's and Democratic Party's infatuation with Obama, shouldn't the future leader of the free world and president of the most powerful nation on Earth have a little more experience than being a freshman Senator from Illinois and a Grammy winner? The U.S. has elected very few people directly from the Senate to the White House; most recently John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was a decorated World War II veteran, a three-term U.S. Congressman, and was serving in his second term in the Senate when he was elected in 1960. By the 2008 election, Obama would not even have finished his first term as a US Senator.

There is a lot we still don't know about Obama, other than the media's anointing of him as the savior for the Democratic Party and the country.

Here's what is in the public record: Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, Obama served seven years in the Illinois state Senate, made an unsuccessful campaign for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in 2000 (losing the Democratic primary to a former Black Panther), and wrote an autobiography, a book about his political positions, and a children's book.

Some say that Obama is a charismatic speaker; others disagree, saying he comes across as flat. He did receive praise for his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic national convention even before becoming a U.S. Senator. But that praise came mostly from Democrats.

So what we know is that the junior Senator from Illinois has received accolades from the media and has many star-studded supporters, including actor George Clooney, who appears on the Senator's website while Obama speaks "about the crisis in Darfur."

If we are to believe Clooney, Obama wants to save the poor people in Darfur from a tyrannical Islamic regime in the Sudan. But does the Senator want to save the people of Iraq from a similar fate? We'll take a look at Obama's confusing position on this important matter in a future broadcast.

Andy Selepak, a writer at Accuracy in Media, is the author of the study, New Evidence of Liberal Media Bias, published as an AIM Report. He can be reached at andrew.selepak@aim.org

















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