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Obama Makes A Mistake And Fox Makes A Smear

Reported by Priscilla - May 30, 2008 -

Several months ago, John McCain got a little confused about Shias and Sunnis; but on Fox News, that was no big deal. In fact, Brit Hume had a chuckle over McCain having a “senior moment.” Barack Obama, however, gets no such slack when he misspeaks, as evidenced by the right wing’s smirks about Obama’s recent comments regarding an uncle liberating a concentration camp in World War II. Fox News, always ready to jump on the right wing outrage du jour, used Obama’s comment as the basis for a smear couched in “speculation” about Obama’s credibility.

Recently, at a campaign appearance, Barack Obama, in the context of speaking about the need for better health care for veterans, said "I had a uncle who was one of the, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps, And the story in my family is that when he came home, he just went into the attic, and he didn't leave the house for six months. Alright? Now, obviously something had affected him deeply, but at the time, there just weren't the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain." The mistake is that Obama’s uncle could not have helped to liberate Auschwitz because that was done by Soviet troops. Obama clarified the remark, the next day, by explaining that his uncle assisted in the liberation of Buchenwald. So no harm, no foul? Wrong. Special Report devoted a segment of the panel discussion to this “outrage.”

Brit Hume, who (despite having been of draft age) did not serve, previewed the segment with this “tease:” “When we come back, we will talk about Barack Obama's statement concerning his great uncle's, or he said at the time, his uncle's military service. Is there a pattern here? Should voters overlook it?” (Comment: Fox sure is willing to “overlook” McCain’s gaffes and flip flops.) After the break, Brit explained the mistake and asked the panel if this was just a slip “during the course of a long campaign.” Juan Williams said that he was “troubled” in questioning if Obama was trying to “exploit” the Holocaust. Nina Easton said that it was a “gotcha” moment similar to when Romney was criticized for his remark about having seen his father walking with MLK. (Comment: Romney’s father did not march with King. Obama’s uncle did liberate a concentration camp.) Charles Krauthammer began with a joke (?):"I had a good inkling that he used the words uncle and great-uncle simultaneously because his mother was a single child and there was no reports of a large number of Kenyan units in the Soviet Army in the Second World War.” He then went on question how Obama could be commander in chief without knowledge of history. (Comment: Doesn’t Krauthammer have a problem with current resident of the White House, whose gaffes and lack of knowledge are famous?) Krauthammer was angry that Obama “made a cheap political point” about his concern regarding mental health issues of veterans. Krauthammer accused Obama of “pandering and maneuvering” (Comment: did Krauthammer say the same thing about McCain’s embrace of the religious right? I doubt it.)

Comment: Nowhere in the discussion was the quote actually read. Apart from Krauthammer’s passing reference, there was no discussion about the issues that Obama was highlighting – the problem of PTSD and the recent revelation of the record number of suicides involving Iraq soldiers in Iraq. Nope, in Foxworld, the war is being won and there are no problems worth talking about. Rather, the priority is smearing Barack Obama – by any means necessary. And meanwhile, McCain’s gaffes are pearls of wisdom….