Hard to believe this ran in WaPo. Lasky sent it and opined, "think some journalists support Barack Obama even if it means throwing journalistic principles udner the bus? How else are they covering him?".
The media is sooooooooooo racist, they cannot see beyond color. Me, I don't give a fig if he was Barney the dinosaur, his resume if frightening. But the media? They'd just as soon see Idi Amin (as long as he's not on the right) in the White House, he's black so he has to be good, right?
Pretzel Logic Howard Kurtz
Barack Obama is under hostile fire for changing his position on the D.C. gun ban.
Oh, I'm sorry. He didn't change his position, apparently. He reworded a clumsy statement.
That, at least, is what his campaign is saying. The same campaign that tried to spin his flip-flop in rejecting public financing as embracing the spirit of reform, if not the actual position he had once promised to embrace.
Is this becoming a pattern? Wouldn't it be better for Obama to say he had thought more about such-and-such an issue and simply changed his mind? Is that verboten in American politics? Is it better to engage in linguistic pretzel-twisting in an effort to prove that you didn't change your mind?
Regardless of what you think of the merits of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling overturning the capital's handgun law, it seems to me we're entitled to a clear position by the presumed Democratic nominee. And I'm a bit confused about how the confusion came about.
Here's how the Illinois senator handled the issue with the Chicago Tribune just last November:
"The campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he ' . . . believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.' "
Kind of a flat statement.
And here's what ABC reported yesterday: " 'That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator's consistent position,' Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News."
But even though the earlier Obama quote and the "inartful" comment have been bouncing around the Net for 24 hours, I'm not seeing any reference to them in the morning papers. Most do what the New York Times did: "Mr. Obama, who like Mr. McCain has been on record as supporting the individual-rights view, said the ruling would 'provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.' "
Supporting the individual-rights view? Not in November.
Even the Tribune--the very paper that the Obama camp told he supported the gun ban--makes no reference to the November interview. Instead: "Democrat Barack Obama offered a guarded response Thursday to the Supreme Court ruling striking down the District of Columbia's prohibition on handguns and sidestepped providing a view on the 32-year-old local gun ban. Republican rival John McCain's campaign accused him of an 'incredible flip-flop' on gun control."
So McCain accuses Obama of a flip-flop, and the Trib can't check the clips to tell readers whether there's some basis in fact for the charge?
USA Today takes the same tack:
"In a conference call put together by McCain's campaign, Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas said . . . that Obama has been changing his position on the gun issue and said the Democratic senator has done some 'incredible flip-flopping' on key issue."
And? And? That's all we get? He said/he said journalism?
Even if you wanted to maintain that it wasn't really a flip-flop, what about giving the readers the facts?
The Washington Post did include this half-sentence deep in a story: "Obama, who has advocated strict gun-control laws and who spoke favorably about the District's handgun ban before yesterday's ruling . . ."
I can't run it all, so read it all.