Once More, NYTimes Dubiously Defends Obama's 'You Didn't Build That' as 'Taken Out of Context'
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes filed from Charlotte on Saturday after the Democratic National Convention had passed, "Democrats Face a Juggling Act Over Jobs."
Surprisingly, Obama loyalist Calmes discerned political problems in the president's anti-business rhetoric. More predictably, she defended Obama's anti-entrepreneurship remark "you didn't build that," accusing the GOP of taking it out of context, even though the context does not save Obama from the charge of showing hostility to enterprise and individual initiative.
The challenge for the campaign was to counter Republican attacks at their Tampa, Fla., convention depicting Mr. Obama as the enemy of job creators when unemployment persists, while energizing his liberal base in the convention hall and beyond. The delicate juggling was most evident on Wednesday, during the brief daily window of network television coverage.
To the chagrin of moderate Democrats, a prime-time speaker was Elizabeth Warren, the liberal scourge of Wall Street who is running in Massachusetts to unseat Senator Scott P. Brown, a Republican. Her scheduling slot reflected Democrats’ zeal to capture that seat and protect their slim Senate majority.
But as the schedulers arranged, she followed James D. Sinegal, the well-known co-founder of Costco. He was among several speakers from the business world chosen to affirm Mr. Obama’s philosophy that the private sector needs the hand of government to educate a work force, build roads, finance research and more. That sought to counter a Republican convention theme, based on an Obama quote taken out of context, that the president recently said of businesses, “you didn’t build that.”
Sigh. As Times Watch has stated before (whenever someone on the paper's roster of objective reporters feels duty bound to defend Obama from Republican attacks) the precious "context" they seek doesn't help Obama dodge the charge of being anti-business. Here's the full quote, context in all, of what Obama said during a speech in Roanoke, Va.:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
Also on Saturday, political reporter Michael Barbaro led off a story on Clint Eastwood's speech introducing Mitt Romney with an overheated description:
Clint Eastwood said the idea for the most controversial convention speech in a generation came to him in the green room off stage, just after he greeted Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, the country’s most influential Roman Catholic bishop.