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Karl Rove: Michelle Obama Deserves FOX News’ Attacks On Her

Reported by Ellen - August 12, 2008 -

With all that’s going on in the world, Hannity & Colmes again last night (8/11/08) chose as its top story another mention of FOX News by Barack Obama, this time with regard to FNC’s characterization of his wife, Michelle. The only guest for this segment was Republican operative and informal McCain advisor, Karl Rove, once again introduced merely as “FOX News contributor.” Instead of a balanced look at Obama's complaint, Rove told Sean Hannity that Michelle Obama made “inappropriate comments” and that if Barack Obama doesn’t like the reporting, he should have his wife stop making them. Rove also defended John McCain’s use of a lobbyist for Georgia as his advisor in the Russia/Georgia conflict with the dubious argument that he worked in a bi-partisan fashion for NATO expansion. With video.

In an interview in Marie Claire, Obama responded to a question asking if his wife is misunderstood.

BO: Not by people who've been paying attention. I think that if you've been watching Fox News then probably she's misunderstood, because I do think there's been a fairly systematic attempt by the conservative press to paint her in a completely false way. They latched onto the one gaffe or statement she made about being proud of her country for the first time, which, as Laura Bush acknowledged, was not something that Michelle had meant — that she had not been proud of her country before. And her very legitimate criticisms of how families are being treated and the difficulty for so many women of balancing family and work was painted as her being this caricature of an angry person. Anybody who knows her well knows she's got the best sense of humor of anyone you'd ever want to meet. She's the most quintessentially American person I know.

FOX News left out the part in which Obama explained just how he thought his wife had been falsely portrayed. With the choice of Rove as the lone guest for the segment, it was a pretty safe bet that what Obama had claimed was a false portrayal would be reiterated to the "fair and balanced" network's audience rather than balanced with a rebuttal.

That’s exactly what happened. Rove told Sean Hannity, “I hope (Obama) realizes FOX News was reporting on inappropriate comments by his wife and the best way to deal with this is to not have her make more of them.”

For good measure, Rove also went on to praise Mark Penn’s recently-revealed strategy to attack Obama’s “lack of American roots.”

When it was Alan Colmes’ turn, he changed the subject to the Russia/Georgia conflict. Colmes pointed out that McCain’s top foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, is a lobbyist for Georgia. “Is that a conflict of interest?” Colmes asked.

Not surprisingly, Rove didn’t think so. As part of his defense of Scheunemann, Rove said “(Scheunemann) has been over the course of the 90’s working in a bipartisan effort for NATO expansion. During the Clinton years, he was part of a group that led an effort, by Republican and Democrat together, for NATO expansion.”

Colmes said that McCain, “back when he was a maverick,” talked about not taking lobbyist money and now he’s got “all these lobbyists working for him.”

“Let’s not get into who’s got the most lobbyists working for ‘em,” Rove snapped. Then he cited one “influence peddler” working on Obama’s VP selection team. That’s quite a difference from a lobbyist working for a client directly related to the subject he’s advising on.

Not mentioned in the interview is that Scheunemann has been closely associated with Ahmed Chalabi and Stephen Payne.