Jul
01
2008

Obama the Snob?

Hanging the ‘elitist’ label on another Democratic candidate

It’s safe to assume that Barack Obama knew he could expect certain lines of attack when he decided to run for president: whispers about his religious beliefs, for example, or questions regarding his patriotism. And sure enough, those issues came up almost as soon as the campaign started. But it’s difficult to imagine that Obama—whose one grandfather was a high-school dropout and the other a colonial servant—expected to fend off the accusation that he is “elitist.” Corporate media coverage of political campaigns often rests on certain storylines, though, that don’t necessarily bear any relationship to reality—Al Gore the exaggerator vs. […]

Jul
01
2008

Pope Gets Pass on Church Abuse History

Media overlook Benedict’s record of downplaying the issue

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/MATEUS_27: 24&25

When Pope Benedict XVI visited the U.S. in April, Fox News anchor and managing editor Brit Hume spoke of the Catholic leader in language that was more worshipful than journalistic (Fox News Sunday, 4/20/08): And he turns out to have about him sort of a beatific sweetness that I think is enormously important for a religious leader, that you’re drawn to him. You feel a need to be around him. . . . There was a tremendous sense of his kindness and of the message always, which permeates the Christian faith, of forgiveness. Hume’s adoration was extreme, but not a […]

Jul
01
2008

Sidebar: An 'Elitist' by Any Other Name

[Note: This is a sidebar to "Obama the Snob?: Hanging the 'elitist' label on another Democratic candidate"] It’s “not always easy to say exactly who, or what, constitutes the elite,” pointed out New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller (5/25/08). But it’s not that hard to see what message is being sent by those who level the charge against certain politicians. As the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi put it (4/18/08), “Other than being called a criminal, a philanderer or a terrorist sympathizer, is there an accusation in American politics worse than being branded an ‘elitist’? The word supposes something fundamentally effete […]