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Barack Obama damned if he does, damned if he doesn't

Reported by Chrish - July 17, 2008 -

Some familiar talking points showed up on FOX and Friends this morning 7/17/07, particularly about the good publicity Barack Obama is getting from the "mainstream media" (FOX always excludes itself yet trumpets they're number one - number one in a class by yourself? Not very impressive...but I digress.) Not content to criticize Obama for documented flip-flops (FISA), the Friends are pre-emptively criticizing him for changing his views on the Iraq escalation - or not. Whatever he does post-trip, he will be criticized, they telegraphed today.
With video

The regular cast of couch critics was back today, with Doocy, Carlson and Kilmeade discussing Obama's upcoming trip and his media entourage. Appropriate to their news value, let's call them Fluffy.

The three networks are sending their top news stars - Katie Couric of CBS, Brian Williams of NBC and Charles Gibson of ABC - to meet up with and interview Obama on successive nights at stops on his trip. I have to tell you, I got this information from the Internet because I came away from the Fluffy segment with the impression that the three were travelling with Obama, which seemed ridiculous. Maybe I got that impression from Doocy, who said "...the big three of TV network news, and guess what - they're going to be tagging along with Barack Obama as he makes - finally! at long last, that trip over to the Middle East." Maybe it was the chyron that read "Media stars accompany Obama overseas."

Note the "finally" frame recurring through the segment.

Carlson noted that part of the media interest is because of who is travelling with Obama, particularly Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), "who could be his VP pick," as she loves to say.

Fluffy discussed Obama's NYTimes op-ed on Iraq, not any substance of it but whether he will have to "flip-flop" on his proposals once he tours the area. Of all the flip-flops, this potential one, that of Obama saying we should stay in Iraq indefinitely, would be the biggest one. "Even though it may be right," since his campaign was built on getting us out of Iraq, he'd lose a lot of core support - "he'd be annihilated." (I have to agree.)

Carlson reminded viewers that "some say" Obama is taking this trip at the behest of McCain, and they grumbled that McCain has never had this amount of coverage. The Kilmeade head read that since June, 114 minutes of network news has been devoted to Obama while only 48 has been given to McCain.

On the one hand FOX heads complain about the amount of coverage that Obama gets, yet on the other they complain that he is unknown and mysterious. How are we supposed to get to know him unless the media covers him? Can't have it both ways.