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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 22, 2008 / 17 Nissan 5768

The Media's Man: Journalists flay ABC for failing to coddle Obama

By John H. Fund


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson of ABC News weren't just criticized for their tough questioning of Barack Obama during last week's Democratic debate. They were flayed.

Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker called their approach "something akin to a federal crime." Tom Shales, the Washington Post's TV critic, said the ABC duo turned in "shoddy and despicable performances." Walter Shapiro of Salon magazine said the debate had "all the substance of a Beavis and Butt-head marathon."

Most of the media mauling consisted of anger that the ABC moderators brought up a series of issues that had surrounded Mr. Obama since the last Democratic debate, a long seven weeks ago. They included his remarks that "bitter" Pennsylvania voters "cling" to religion, guns and "antipathy toward people who aren't them" and his relationships with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, an unrepentant former member of the bomb-planting Weather Underground group. Mrs. Clinton also came under some fire over her made-up story of coming under sniper fire in Bosnia.

According to liberal journalists, all these topics are irrelevant. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo said they were "frivolous items . . . that presumed the correctness of Republican agenda items." Mr. Obama agreed, dismissing the items brought up by ABC as "manufactured issues."


But voters decide whom to support not just on issue positions, but on their judgment of the candidates' character and values. In this year's Democratic contest, the two remaining candidates broadly agree on almost every issue of substance.

Given that reality, debate organizers had a choice. They could simply provide the candidates a platform to deliver competing sound bites from their issue papers. Or they could focus on the very few areas of issue disagreement between them, such as why Mrs. Clinton supports an individual mandate for health insurance and Mr. Obama doesn't. Or they could discuss the personality, character and relative electability of the candidates — much as the two competing campaigns have been doing for weeks, both publicly and in private conversations with superdelegates. ABC decided to try to strike a balance.

As for the debate focusing on issues Republicans are likely to bring up this fall, I don't recall any major media vitriol directed at the moderators of several GOP primary debates that featured questions skewed towards left-wing presumptions. Whether or not candidates believe in the theory of evolution hasn't been a campaign issue this year, but candidates were asked in one MSNBC debate to raise their hands if they supported it. Similarly, in the infamous Des Moines Register debate of last December, moderator Carolyn Washburn asked the candidates to raise their hands if they thought global warming was caused by humans.

When Fred Thompson refused to comply with her demand for a show of hands, asking instead for a minute to explain his position, he was turned down. Later, he suggested that the GOP candidates get together for a substantive round-table discussion in which they — and not journalists — would set the agenda. He was roundly criticized in the media for such effrontery. At least Messrs. Gibson and Stephanopoulos didn't treat the Democratic candidates like schoolchildren.

Given that Mrs. Clinton has been subjected to far tougher treatment than Mr. Obama in many debates, the sudden fury directed at ABC is best explained as anger that a prosecutorial tone was suddenly directed at a media darling.

John Harris and Jim VandeHei of Politico.com conclude that the heat directed at ABC News over its debate "is the clearest evidence yet that the Clintonites are fundamentally correct in their complaint that [their candidate] has been flying throughout this campaign into a headwind of media favoritism for Obama."

Indeed, the ABC debate was more substantive than many recent debates, featuring almost as many policy questions as political ones, although ABC made a tactical mistake in cramming all of the sharp questions directed at Mr. Obama into the debate's first half. Messrs. Harris and VandeHei note that many of the questions on "proven wedge issues" were "overdue for a front-runner" and that "in the wake of the debate, it is time for Obama's cheerleaders in the media to ask some questions of themselves."

Those questions should include some tough ones about how the media will now cover two likely presidential nominees who have been clear favorites of Washington's journalism community. While John McCain is popular with reporters, they have clearly chafed as they see him adopt more-conservative positions on taxes and immigration in the past year. His coverage is much less favorable than it used to be.

But Mr. Obama, who sports the most liberal voting record of any senator according to the nonpartisan National Journal, has avoided much criticism of that record by implying that any conventional critique of his issue positions represent the tired politics of the past. If he had his way, questions about character and questions about issues would be off-limits.


Then there is the matter of race. Every American should be pleased that this year a black candidate has eschewed the demagogic appeals of a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton and knitted together a diverse group of enthusiastic supporters. But Mr. Obama shouldn't get gentler treatment than other candidates because of his race. So far he has, as too many commentators tiptoe around him as if they were walking on eggshells. Just look at the late-night comedy shows, where jokes about Hillary Clinton's fibbing and John McCain's age have been frequent and memorable. But until perhaps very recently can anyone recall any comparable jape about Barack Obama's foibles?

Mr. Obama has said he wants to be judged and treated as any other candidate would be. The hostile establishment-media reaction to ABC's debate shows that he has not been. The presidency is too important to allow that kind of blinkered mentality to govern the rest of this year's election coverage. Bravo to ABC for finally asking a lot of questions many Americans have been talking about.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor John H. Fund is author, most recently, of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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