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Big Story says Obama "testy" - will he crack under pressure?

Reported by Chrish - February 15, 2007 -

There was no news today 2/14/07 from Camp Obama but the Big Story did a segment on him anyway, analyzing older non-stories and speculating whether he can keep his cool under all this media scrutiny (harrassment).

Host John Gibson said of the Senator "It seems like presidential candidate Barck Obama is feeling the heat. He's slightly irritable as he's trying to quit smoking, he looks a little distracted, and he's making (note the present tense, although it is a thing of the past) slips about US soldiers in Iraq. Worse, he's taking shots at reporters, and he's getting a little huffy about this infamous swimsuit photo. (Shown, of course.) Well, Senator, welcome to the pressure cooker."

The chyron below the "infamous" photo read Testy Obama; Will Barack Obama crack under pressure?"

"Now, he's getting 'bashed' by his own. The liberal New York Times' columnist Maureen Dowd wrote "Barack Obama looks like he needed a smoke, and he needed it bad!" Will he crack, or just hit the cigs to get through this campaign?

To further drill the point, a graphic was put up with a picture of Obama and a pack of cigarettes and Testy Obama on the trail; Can he take the pressure?

Jim Vandehei of Politico.com was the sole guest for the segment, and he kept up the theme. He called Obama a "rookie as far as presidential contenders go" (as are the majority of candidates - Clinton and Edwards have been part of presidential campaigns but not the candidate themselves). He called the "wasted lives" comment a big gaff that he had to backtrack from, and said Obama was peevish with reporters. He said that he didn't think Obama was melting under the spotlight right yet, but he'd better get used to the scrutiny because that's presidential politics, that's how the media works.

Comment: this gets under my skin, this shrugging "that's the way it is" attitude. They are doing a disservice and it's become such a given that people don't even get outraged about the inanities and nonsense that passes for "informing" any more. To whit:

Gibson says "let's get back to that picture (of him) in the surf." He claims Obama is upset about it and doesn't like the picture - why? Vandehei replies that it's pretty good that Obama can keep that good physique while smoking, and he's upset because it's all anyone talks about anymore. He says that Obama should quit posing for every magazine cover (and cittes Maureen Dowd again as back-up); people can be superficial at times, but Obama has to guard against being so peevish that he gets annoyed every time someone raises a tough question.

Gibson agreed that the superficial things - the picture, the smoking - are one thing, but Obama "isn't really helping out by offering a whole lot of heavy duty specifics in what he has to say, is he? (Graphic again, this time with "To smoke or not to smoke?") Dead on, said Vandehei: his opponents are saying there's not a lot of meat on the bone, specifics about his policy plans, and until he details his healthcare and energy policy plans, he'll be picked apart. He's got to be more than a pretty face, more than someone who can give a heckuva good speech - he's got to have specifics, and that's the weak spot his opponents are going to pick apart.

Comment: Presented as the Big Political story of the day, this was just a (negative) opinion piece with no countering view. Imagine if they had spent the time actually informing their viewers on what Obama's policy plans are?