Could Edwards Become First Woman President?
Fox News Falsely Claims That Weatherman Bill Ayers Was Obama's "Mentor"
The Horse's Mouth
February 28, 2008
Here [..] is a "report" on Fox News, by radio host John Batchelor, on Obama's alleged ties to Bill Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground who has been unrepentant about the bombs set by the group. The germ of the story -- that Obama has some sort of relationship with him -- is true. But look at how creatively Batchelor embellishes the whole tale...
You see, in Fox's telling, now Ayers is Obama's "mentor" and he and fellow Weather Underground member Bernadine Dohrn were "principals" on his first campaign for state senate. [..]
Now, far be it from me to question Batchelor's reporting abilities. But none of this additional info is sourced in any way. And it hasn't been reported anywhere, either. This has been looked into pretty exhaustively, and what's been reported thus far is that Obama met with Ayers and Dohrn in 1995; Obama served with Ayers on the board of an anti-poverty group; Ayers donated $200 to Obama's 2001 state senate campaign; and the two men are "friendly."
If Ayers were really Obama's "mentor" someone would have attested to this by now. And if Ayers and Dohrn had been "principals" on his campaign you'd think there would be a record of it somewhere. This is fiction, pure and simple. But it's the kind of fiction that has the potential to get folks saying, hey, didja hear Obama's tight with some America-hating dude who blew up a bunch of stuff? The guy was Obama's mentor, or something...
At any rate, get ready for eight months of this sort of garbage. It's going to get a lot uglier than this.
Annals of Fox News reporting, Rahmbo edition
Many [..] among you, I suspect, will have heard of the telling incident this week in which Fox News aired a news item on the stimulus bill which repeated, word for word, the points in a press release from the Senate Republicans. Without ever mentioning that the analysis they were presenting came straight from Republican officials, of course. “It was so blatant,” Steve Benen notes, “Fox News’ on-screen graphic included the identical typo made in the original GOP document, making it obvious that the network used a party press release as a news script”.
But bias isn’t usually as jaw-droppingly stupid or outrageous. Subtle still isn’t quite the right word, but try this on: Some Critics Blame Emanuel for Obama’s Cabinet Troubles. I clicked the headline because, well, I don’t like Emanuel, so I’m in principle well-disposed to believing the diagnosis, even if it does come from Fox. [..]
Alas. The Fox headline referred to “some critics”. The opening sentence read, “President Obama’s latest Cabinet setback [..] has put the White House on the defensive, particularly Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, whom some critics blame for cracks in the vetting process.” So what inside sources had Fox News found dishing the dirt on Rahmbo? Who was blaming Emanuel, and what did they have to share about his role in these vetting mess-ups?
Um, well … “some critics” turns out to refer to exactly one person. And that person turns out to be “Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.” That’s it. The only person they got to blame Rahm was the spokesperson to a lowly Republican Congressman, who himself is a bit of a crackpot.
The whole story, in fact, quotes just two sources. One is, unsurprisingly, Democratic consultant Doug Schoen, the kind of Democrat Republicans love; but even he refused to play ball, saying that “it’s hard to defend or attack Emanuel without knowing how involved he’s been in the vetting process,” and that it “doesn’t strike me as fair or appropriate [..] to put it all on Rahm”. The other’s Bardella.
He gets no less than six paras, though.