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John Gibson insinuates Clinton camp planted trashy story about Obama

Reported by Chrish - March 1, 2007 -

Video added

Kirsten Powers ripped the credibility of the Daily Mail's article on Barack Obama's father, which John Gibson was citing as a source on the Big Story today 2/28/07. Wow, I thought, where did this come from? But later in Gibson's My Word segment I was yanked back to reality and reminded by him that "(t)here are no coincidences in the news, especially political news." The story now in question was perhaps the work of an opponent of Obama, maybeeeee, Hillary Clinton!

Gibson introduced the segment by highlighting the rivalry: not only is Obama "stealing" her Hollywood dollars but also "the black vote" (like it's a singular). He cited a new poll (ABC/Washington Post) that gave Obama 44% and Clinton 33% and said that it was somewhat expected that Obama would get "the black vote", there was a stutter step, and now it appears blacks are lining up behind him.

Kirsten Powers disagreed, saying the black vote doesn't necessarily go with the black person, pointing to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson as examples. Black people go with the best candidate, just like everybody else. This just says that he's becoming known and people are liking what they see.

Having done with the good news for Obama (1.5 min.) the rest of the segment deals with an article in the British paper, the Daily Mail. In it Obama is accused of telling a tall tale about his father, who the paper says that far from being an inspirational figure, was an "alcoholic bigamist and a wife-beater." Powers says that given the choice between the Daily Mail ("a tabloid" that titled the piece "A drunk and a bigot: what the US presidential hopeful hasn't said about his father") and Obama himself, she'll take Obama's word. "This article is garbage," she said.

Gibson was protesting, "they interviewed people in Kenya, they interviewed people in Britain," but Powers went on to say that "it is so biased, it's not even an article. This isn't written as a column, it's written as reporting...it's absolutely, just, from beginning to end, total trash. It's unbelievable, actually." Well woo-frickin-hoo!

Then Gibson asked/stated "You're certifying it isn't true." Powers continued "Even if it was true, we don't live in Europe. We don't choose our candidates based on what their parents did or didn't do."

Gibson was smiling through this, and then leaned over and tapped the paper on the desk between them, asking "Who dropped this on the Daily Mail?" still smiling. Ah, now you can smell the set-up for My Word. Powers of course said she didn't know, and Gibson, still smiling, asked/stated "his political opponents, maybe?"

Powers replied that there are plenty of people who have shopped around stories about him that weren't true, like that he went to a madrassah, for example. That was pinned on HRC, and that wasn't true either. She suggested we should wait on this story, but even if it's true, his father isn't running for president! But, said Gibson, if it is true, Obama is telling a different story. What? replied Powers, that his father was inspirational to him? There's nothing here that says his father wasn't inspirational to him. You're saying that his father shouldn't have been inspirational to him.

Gibson didn't answer that, other than to ask "How's he doing with his smoking?" Her reply was spot on: "Who cares?" The segment ended, but the issue didn't.

Gibson revisited it in My Word ("Welcome to the Big Leagues, Mr. Obama"), and hinted that someone (Hillary Clinton, for the really obtuse) was behind planting the story.

Gibson admitted that he is a tabloid journalist last week on his radio show, so it's no surprise he would use a source that he admits right up front is suspect:

"Now the Daily Mail story looks well researched and it certainly did send reporters to interview principals, like the senior Obama's ex-wives, and they did dig up eyewitnesses to the senior Obama's personal faults. But you never know. There are people in the world of politics who want to do harm to Senator Obama, and tripping him up on the truth certainly would not do him any good.

He shifted smears, er, gears, to Hillary Clinton:

"So who would that be?

Now I have no proof that it would be any of his political opponents, the most prominent of which is Senator Clinton. I have just been trained by the hard realities of this business to follow this rule: There are no coincidences in the news, especially political news.

In other words, I find it hard to believe it is coinkydink that at the same time Senator Clinton would like to knock Senator Obama down a peg or two, a story that does just that would come along from another source that isn't her. That would be coincidence of the most highly unlikely kind.

Now there is a fair chance this is the work of political operatives whose job it is to dig into the background of opponents like Senator Obama. If he says x, go check to see if it is actually y. He says his dad was a great man, let's go see if he really was."

I got the impression that Powers was being genuine, but she may have been played. Maybe it wasn't a political opponent but a larger machinery that would like to derail Obama's campaign. Now I have no proof that it would be any one right-wing media outlet, the most prominent of which is FOX News. I have just been trained by the hard realities of this business to follow this rule: There are no coincidences in the news, especially political news. In other words, I find it hard to believe it is coinkydink that at the same time FOX News would like to knock Senator Obama down a peg or two, a story that does just that would come along from another source that isn't them. That would be coincidence of the most highly unlikely kind.