By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Obama’s media moment

In my latest for the Guardian, I argue that the media, looking for a reason to make up for their brutal coverage of Hillary Clinton, are about to turn on Barack Obama. Although maybe not. Obama’s somewhat-better-than-expected margin in Wisconsin, combined with Clinton’s graceless “concession” speech, may forestall his inevitable turn in the interrogation room.

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  1. DJS

    While I wouldn’t call it ‘turning on Obama,’ Mike McIntire’s recent piece in the NYT about Obama’s efforts to weaken a bill which would have required nuclear plant operators to disclose readioactive leaks was responsible, well-written reporting.McIntire notes that the chairman of Exelon, an Illinois company that did not inform the public that one of its reactors was leaking, is a donor to the Obama campaign, and that Obama’s strategist is a former Exelon consultant.McIntire goes on to report that Obama told voters in Iowa that the bill had been passed, when it had not, and that Obama rewrote the bill to meet industry demands that state and local agencies have no regulatory oversight of nuclear plants. The rewritten bill does not require nuclear plant operators or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to notify the public in the event of a leak.I strongly suspect that if Senator Clinton were the subject of this report, it would have caused a much greater media stir.Doug

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Doug: I wouldn’t call that “turning on Obama,” either, and it was a very good story.

  3. Michael Pahre

    Senator Clinton did not mention the campaign contests in her speeches on the evenings of the February 9th primaries/caucuses or the February 12th primaries.That she did not do so again last night in her “concession speech” probably annoyed the Obama campaign such that they didn’t mind cutting off her free air time. (He mentioned the primaries/caucus for probably no more than 30 seconds, if that.)I think the bigger issue has become: at what point in an extended presidential primary season does the media stop giving all remaining candidates 10-30 minutes of free air time once a week? When does it stop being news and start being a campaign contribution by the cable networks?

  4. Steve

    I notice Keller excoriated Michelle Obama’s “proud of this country for the first time” remark.He contrasted it with McCain’s “always been proud of this country” quote, uncritically.I bet if Hillary had said what McCain said, Jon would have been more critical. Something along the lines of “Always? Were you proud of this country when it was revealed we tortured detainees? Were you proud of Abu Grahib? Really, senator?”Keller can manufacture snark for every occasion, but he has his darlings like everyone else.In general, the broadcast TV and news media, as well as many print outlets LOVE McCain and HATE Hillary. I agree with you that Obama’s moment may be coming. But it’ll never come for McCain, at least with journalists like Keller.

  5. R

    Why is it de rigueur for candidates to make a congratulatory phone call after each primary loss? I can understand the first one or two, but why bother after that?

  6. Anonymous

    Obama has successfully made hay during this month’s primaries, just like all the pros said he would. Pretty much everyone said that February would be a brutal month for Clinton. What has also happened was the increasing margins that he won by, the overwhelmingly positive coverage of him and negative coverage of her, and the effect it has had on races downstream. The last remaining question is can she win the big primaries and go into the convention in a competitive position, not can she overtake his delegate count? Can he win enough delegates outright, to claim the nomination, exclusive of contested delegates such as FL, MI, or the supers? This is a race for our nomination, not a coronation, an not a nomination by default.

  7. Don, American

    It’s predestined. Mrs. Bill Clinton will have her coronation, after the Clinton Machine and their superdelegates are finished. There is no hope for Obama; he’ll be cannon fodder.

  8. Anonymous

    Nice judge of character John McCain is, his 2nd wife-Cindy is a drug addict. Charming.

  9. Peter Porcupine

    Amazing all you Nancy Drews couldn’t ‘remember’ this stuff during the media gang bang that McCain enjoyed throughout the primary.This old stuff, on the public record. It’s even more stale than the YouTubes against Mitt!

  10. Rick in Duxbury

    I don’t know Anon 6:06, she probably uses at least her first name at 12 Step Meetings, unlike another person of “character” I can think of….

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