Dover Bitch

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great moments in CNN election coverage

Earlier today, CNN's Don Lemon cut to live coverage of Barack Obama giving a campaign speech. Why? Because he was talking about Reverend Wright (emphasis mine).

LEMON: Back now to Greensboro, North Carolina. Barack Obama taking questions now, talking about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. (JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... to our daily lives. And people's struggles with illness and families and finances and all of things that people normally talk about.

My pastor did say -- my former pastor said some very objectionable things when I wasn't in church on those particular days. And I have condemned those outright.

I do have to remind people though that this is somebody who was preaching three sermons at least a week for 30 years and got boiled down in the -- they found five or six of his most offensive statements, boiled that down into a half an hour sound clip -- or a half-minute sound clip, and just played it over and over and over again, partly because it spoke to the racial divisions that we have in this country and had tapped into some of those divisions. I hope people don't get distracted by that.


Because, as I said in my speech -- as I said in my speech last week on Tuesday, we can't afford to be distracted.

You and I, we are both Christians. We come from different backgrounds. We come from different faiths. And there are misunderstandings on both sides. But we are both Christians, and even if you are not a Christian, we are both Americans. And we cannot solve the problems of America if every time somebody somewhere says something stupid, that everybody gets up in arms and we forget about the war in Iraq or we forget about the economy.


Or we forget about the things that are going to make a difference in our children's lives. I don't want that kind of politics. I want a politics that gets stuff done.

All right? OK.

Next, Obama took another question, this one about health care for America's seniors. Let's see how CNN covered that:

The young lady right here who was angry with me that I didn't call on her.

Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good afternoon, and welcome to Greensboro. Certainly hope you had a great vacation.

OBAMA: Thank you. Well, can I say this? Two and a half days is not a vacation. Two and a half days is a long weekend.


OBAMA: Which is what I had. And it was wonderful. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. I'm B.J. Heathington (ph), and my question is, you have and all of the various candidates have continued to speak on health care, but one of the issues that we fail to forget is that the elderly care and persons with disabilities needs a special connection in this country that we are continuing forget.

Do you at this present time have a plan where you look to focus for the government to change some of these issues so that these persons can be recognized with dignity, as good servants to the community, and as taxpayers?

OBAMA: Well, let me talk about seniors. You know, the issue of elder care and seniors generally.

It starts with making sure that Social Security is here. That it was here yesterday, that it's here today, and it's here tomorrow. So, making sure that Social Security is stable is absolutely critical. There was a report recently that came out showing that Medicare will run out of money effectively...

Barack Obama in Greensboro, North Carolina, right now talking about Medicare and healthcare in the United States. But he has mentioned something that has dogged him for the last couple of weeks, and that is what he referred to -- and he made sure he referred to him as his "former pastor" -- the Reverend Jeremiah Wright of Trinity Church in Chicago, saying that he did three sermons a week for 30 years, and essentially what the media did was take five or six, or the most offensive statements, and boil them down to like a half- minute, 30-second clips. And he said, "I hope you don't get distracted by that," talking to the people there.

And also, someone asking him, "I hope you enjoyed your vacation." He was in the Virgin Islands, of course. CNN got exclusive pictures of Barack Obama on his vacation.

Do we have that? In the Virgin Islands, and so he referred to that. And he said two or three days is not a vacation.

So there you go, Barack Obama speaking there. But also, the reason we wanted to get you that is because he is talking about that controversy, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

"'I hope you don't get distracted by that,' talking to the people there."

Obviously not to CNN. They openly admit that they only care about this flap and they have zero interest in covering issues like health care.

Helps explain this:

Two thirds of Americans - 67% - believe traditional journalism is out of touch with what Americans want from their news.

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