March 1, 2008


On the press bus, some soul-searching over accusations of favoritism (Jacques Steinberg, March 1, 2008, NY Times)

In a New York Times/CBS News telephone poll conducted Feb. 20-24 and released Tuesday, nearly half of those respondents who described themselves as voters in Democratic primaries or caucuses said the news media had been "harder" on Clinton than other candidates. (Only about 1 in 10 suggested the news media had been harder on Obama.)

Meanwhile, relations between the candidates and their chroniclers have shown signs of wear, as the Democratic contest has moved into its second year.

On Tuesday, Carrie Budoff Brown, a correspondent for the Web site Politico who has been covering the Obama campaign, posted an article in which she complained about the candidate's setting aside little time for questions from the national press and about the metal barriers that now prevented reporters from mingling with spectators at rallies. (David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Obama, said the barriers were at the behest of the Secret Service.)

In an interview on the Obama campaign's flight from Cleveland to Columbus, Ohio, Lynn Sweet, the Washington bureau chief of The Chicago Sun-Times, voiced a more basic lament: that the candidate's aides omitted seemingly newsworthy gatherings from his publicly released schedule. As an example, she cited the lack of previous notice about a meeting he had with about 100 Jewish leaders in a Cleveland suburb last Sunday.

"The main issue is not whether he comes back here and shmoozes," Sweet said of Obama, her hand tracing the middle and rear of the cabin. "First, tell me what you're doing. Then we can argue if I can have access."

Pretty revealing too that he can't afford to have them cover his attempts to heal the breach with Jews.

Obama walks a difficult path as he courts Jewish voters (Neela Banerjee, March 1, 2008, IHT)

Winning the trust of Jewish Democratic voters is all the more difficult for Obama because of the tenuous relations between blacks and Jews. He addressed that very issue at the Cleveland debate when he used the answer to the Farrakhan question to call for a renewal of the ties between blacks and Jews.

But other issues he faces arise from his newness to national politics. While his positions hew to mainstream Democratic views, some critics have expressed concerns that they are not heartfelt.

"His record is relatively sparse, so I want to look at the totality of influences that might bear on Senator Obama," said Ed Lasky, news editor of the online magazine, American Thinker, whose criticisms of Obama for aligning himself with allegedly anti-Israel advocates have been widely circulated among Jewish voters. [...]

Some Jewish leaders said the anxiety over Obama might reveal more about Jews than about the candidate. By their analysis, those who heed the e-mail are generally older and have closer ties to Israel. The break is between "those who are motivated by traditional Jewish liberalism and those motivated by traditional Jewish anxiety over Israel," said J. J. Goldberg, editorial director for The Forward, a Jewish newspaper.

He's good with anti-Zionist non-Jewish-Jews.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2008 8:08 AM

I love that the news media were shamed by a skit on Saturday Night Live. How can the MSM not realize they are the butt of the joke all the time?

Posted by: Stormy70 at March 1, 2008 11:56 AM