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Time: Obama a 'Prince' Like Jesus Born of 'Imagination and Hope' --11/11/2008


1. Time: Obama a 'Prince' Like Jesus Born of 'Imagination and Hope'
Warning its readers to "be prepared to gag," the "Scrapbook" page of this week's Weekly Standard magazine recited "some of the worst over-the-top reactions to The One's ascendance," starting with Time's Nancy Gibbs who opened this week's cover story by comparing Obama with Jesus: "Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope..." In the November 17 issue, she heralded (citing his full name) the greater meaning of Obama's victory: "Barack Hussein Obama did not win because of the color of his skin. Nor did he win in spite of it. He won because at a very dangerous moment in the life of a still young country, more people than have ever spoken before came together to try to save it. And that was a victory all its own."

2. NBC News Sells Commemorative Obama 'Yes We Can!' DVD
Right before the 9:35am segment on Monday's Today show, a commercial from NBC News aired announcing a special DVD on Barack Obama's life story for sale on its Web site. What is particularly odd is that a news organization would actually use Obama's own campaign slogan to title the DVD, and if memory serves there was no special DVD offered for George W. Bush's inauguration. How much time will the DVD devote to such gaffes as Barack's "bitter" quote or Michelle's "For the first time...I'm proud to be an American," quote as well as any Jeremiah Wright/Bill Ayers mentions compared to any time given to NBC's own Chris Matthews and Lee Cowan "thrill" moments?

3. Stephanopoulos: 'Impossible' Not to Be Excited by Obama Win
Former top Democratic aide-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos appeared on Friday's edition of the Oprah Winfrey Show and agreed with the host that it was "impossible" not to feel exuberant when Barack Obama was declared the winner on election night. Stephanopoulos also repeatedly admitted that he fervently believed all along the Democratic candidate would defeat Senator John McCain. Stephanopoulos' wife, actress Ali Wentworth, also appeared as part of the show's weekly "Oprah Fridays Live" series and asserted that in the spring she asked her reporter husband: "Is Obama going to win? Is Obama going to win? He said, 'Yes. He's going to win.'"


Time: Obama a 'Prince' Like Jesus Born
of 'Imagination and Hope'

Warning its readers to "be prepared to gag," the "Scrapbook" page of this week's Weekly Standard magazine recited "some of the worst over-the-top reactions to The One's ascendance," starting with Time's Nancy Gibbs who opened this week's cover story by comparing Obama with Jesus: "Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope..." In the November 17 issue, she heralded (citing his full name) the greater meaning of Obama's victory: "Barack Hussein Obama did not win because of the color of his skin. Nor did he win in spite of it. He won because at a very dangerous moment in the life of a still young country, more people than have ever spoken before came together to try to save it. And that was a victory all its own."

She gushed over how "an election in one of the world's oldest democracies looked like the kind they hold in brand-new ones, when citizens finally come out and dance, a purple-thumb day, a velvet revolution."

Gibbs also trumpeted: "He let loose a deep blue wave that washed well past the coasts and the college towns, into the South through Virginia and Florida, the Mountain West with Colorado and New Mexico, into the Ohio Valley and the Midwestern battlegrounds: you could almost walk from Maine to Minnesota without getting your feet wet in a red state. After months of mapmaking all the roads to 270, Obama tore right past with ease. The victory poured down the ballot, bringing along a larger Democratic majority in both houses..."

Online, the story is headlined "How Obama Rewrote the Book." The actual November 17 edition of the magazine doesn't have that headline and instead just has an Obama quote by a big smiling photo of him from election night: "This Is Our Time." The Gibbs story: www.time.com

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Her entire lead paragraph: "Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope. Barack Obama never talks about how people see him: I'm not the one making history, he said every chance he got. You are. Yet as he looked out Tuesday night through the bulletproof glass, in a park named for a Civil War general, he had to see the truth on people's faces. We are the ones we've been waiting for, he liked to say, but people were waiting for him, waiting for someone to finish what a King began."

Back in 2003, Gibbs asked Hillary Clinton: "Is the 'vast, right-wing conspiracy' bigger than you thought?" The June 9, 2003 CyberAlert recounted:

An actual question from Time magazine's Nancy Gibbs to Hillary Clinton in an interview for this week's issue which accompanies the magazine's cover story excerpt of her new book: "Is the 'vast, right-wing conspiracy' bigger than you thought when you brought that term into our vocabulary?"

So much for any notion that maybe the VRWC doesn't exist or that Hillary might owe an apology to those she smeared with the charge when the Lewinsky story turned out to be true.

But that wasn't the only question from Gibbs which presumed conservatives were in the wrong. Gibbs wondered: "In the book you have a lot to say about forgiveness. Have you forgiven Ken Starr?"

And before asking about letting a President run for a third term and if she plans to make a presidential run, Gibbs queried: "Would you call Bush a radical?"

Previous CyberAlert in full: www.mediaresearch.org

The second entry in the November 17 Weekly Standard's "The Courtier Chronicles" came from former New York Times reporter E.J. Dionne Jr. in his Washington Post column the day after the election:

Yes, it is time to hope again.

Time to hope that the era of racial backlash and wedge politics is over. Time to imagine that the patriotism of dissenters will no longer be questioned and that the world will no longer be divided between 'values voters' and those with no moral compass. Time to expect that an ideological label will no longer be enough to disqualify a politician.

Above all, it is time to celebrate the country's wholehearted embrace of democracy, reflected in the intense engagement of Americans in this campaign and the outpouring to the polls all over the nation. For years, we have spoken of bringing free elections to the rest of the world even as we cynically mocked our own ways of conducting politics. Yesterday, we chose to practice what we have been preaching....

Registered Weekly Standard users can see the "Scrapbook" section: www.weeklystandard.com

NBC News Sells Commemorative Obama 'Yes
We Can!' DVD

Right before the 9:35am segment on Monday's Today show, a commercial from NBC News aired announcing a special DVD on Barack Obama's life story for sale on its Web site. What is particularly odd is that a news organization would actually use Obama's own campaign slogan to title the DVD, and if memory serves there was no special DVD offered for George W. Bush's inauguration. How much time will the DVD devote to such gaffes as Barack's "bitter" quote or Michelle's "For the first time...I'm proud to be an American," quote as well as any Jeremiah Wright/Bill Ayers mentions compared to any time given to NBC's own Chris Matthews and Lee Cowan "thrill" moments?

[This item, by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The following ad aired during the November 10 Today show: "NBC News Presents, 'Yes We Can! The Barack Obama Story!' A DVD of his life and road to the White House. Pre-order now at NBCSTORE.COM."

The description of the video on the NBC Store Web site:

NBC News presents "Yes We Can!" the story of Barack Obama. This commemorative DVD takes you through the story of Barack Obama's life -- his campaign to win his party's nomination, his campaign for the presidency, and finally his victorious history-making win. DVD extras include footage of the full inspiring speeches which were the most pivotal and memorable ones of his 2-year campaign.

Run Time: approx. 4 Hours

To see how the video is being sold on the NBC Web site, visit: www.nbcuniversalstore.com

Stephanopoulos: 'Impossible' Not to Be
Excited by Obama Win

Former top Democratic aide-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos appeared on Friday's edition of the Oprah Winfrey Show and agreed with the host that it was "impossible" not to feel exuberant when Barack Obama was declared the winner on election night. Stephanopoulos also repeatedly admitted that he fervently believed all along the Democratic candidate would defeat Senator John McCain. Stephanopoulos' wife, actress Ali Wentworth, also appeared as part of the show's weekly "Oprah Fridays Live" series and asserted that in the spring she asked her reporter husband: "Is Obama going to win? Is Obama going to win? He said, 'Yes. He's going to win.'"

Wentworth elaborated: "And I was texting him during the election. Like, 'Really? Absolutely?' He would say, 'Easily. It's done. Yes.' Which was so- [Stops herself.]" Fellow panelist Mark Consuelos (an actor and husband of Kelly Ripa) also recounted the supposedly neutral journalist assuring him that Obama would be victorious. He explained: "We had dinner together over the summer and I sat next to you....I said, I'm a supporter but I just don't, I, feel nervous that America is not ready to elect, you know, Obama." Consuelos repeated the confident reply: "And he [Stephanopoulos] said, 'November 4, Obama will be elected president. Please pass the rigatoni,' is exactly what he said."

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

This is the same George Stephanopoulos who repeatedly fawned over the Democrat's campaign performance. In coverage of the debates, Stephanopoulos declared Obama and his vice presidential running mate Joe Biden the winner each and every time. See an October 16 CyberAlert item: www.mrc.org

So, Oprah viewers might have been forgiven for laughing when Winfrey, herself a strong supporter of Obama, seriously declared: "I think even all the journalists and you have handled yourself, you know, with such, you know, measured restraint through all this, even if you knew last spring that Barack Obama was going to win. But didn't you even on Tuesday night feel a sense of exuberance, George?"

With no hesitation, Stephanopoulos concurred: "It was impossible not to." He then went on to cite the historic nature of Obama being the first African American president. Certainly, it was historic. But, exuberance? Few conservatives felt exuberant over the tax increases that they expect to come or the liberal Supreme Court judges that they believe will be nominated.

Speaking of the apparent lack of any hesitation for Americans to vote for an African American candidate, Stephanopoulos hinted, "The economy for so many people is in such tough shape. You saw these numbers this morning. Another 240,000 jobs lost. That they were able to look beyond so many other issues that might have held them back in the past." He was citing a column by New York Times writer Tom Friedman at this point. But it still sounds like saying that Americans could look past racism because of a poor economy.

Stephanopoulos has a bit of a history in this area. On the May 13, 2007 edition of This Week, he predicted racists don't vote for Democrats anyway: "I guess I think that anyone who's not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black isn't going to vote for a Democrat anyway." See a May 14, 2007 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

A partial transcript of Stephanopoulos' appearance over three segments on Friday's Oprah Winfrey Show:

ALI WENTWORTH (Actress, wife of Stephanopoulos): So, honey, we were not together. You were covering the election when Barack Obama won. I was with our children, feeding them nutritiously. But you called it so long ago. I think last spring. I kept saying to him, what do you think? Is Obama going to win? Is Obama going to win? He said, yes. He's going to win. And I was- Last spring. And I was texting him during the election. Like, Really? Absolutely? He would say, "Easily. It's done. Yes." Which was so- [Stops herself.]
GAYLE KING: How did you know? How did you know, George? How did you know that?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: It was more- the condition of the country. It's just very, very hard for the incumbent party to hold the White House when the president is so unpopular, when the economy is in such bad shape, and when you're trying for essentially a third term for the same party. So, I thought once Barack got the nomination, I thought unless he really made a huge mistake, over the course of the summer, the fall, he would almost certainly win. And basically from June on he didn't make any mistakes.
MARK CONSUELOS (Actor): Hey, George. We had dinner together over the summer and I sat next to you and I said, okay, forgive me for asking you this question. I was nervous. I said, I'm a supporter but I just don't- I - feel nervous that America is not ready to elect, you know, Obama. He said, November 4-
KING: Elect Obama or elect a black man?
CONSUELOS: Both. And he said, "November 4, Obama will be elected president. Please pass the rigatoni" is exactly what he said.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the rigatoni was terrific by the way.
CONSUELOS: The rigatoni was great.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you get at something- One of the most surprising things to me in this entire election was how little of it was about race. I mean, it's really shocking when you think about it. The first African American who is a serious candidate, who has a real serious chance of being president and most people looked way beyond race. Like, we asked about this in our polls, 80 percent of the country said it didn't matter at all in their vote. Only about 20 percent did. And they kind of split.
OPRAH: WINFREY: You know, I thought it was interesting too, because when the press started talking about the Bradley Effect, what had happened in California many years ago, I thought, well, I think we are so far beyond that in this country that bringing up the Bradley Effect now makes people, you know, gives it an energy and power it might not have had.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that's right. It turned out the Bradley effect might not even have been the Bradley effect. But, the best line I heard about that in this election is the New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. Thomas Friedman who said in this election the Bradley Effect may have been overwhelmed by the Buffet Effect. And what he was talking about is Warren Buffet. And what he means is the economy. The economy for so many people is in such tough shape. You saw these numbers this morning. Another 240,000 jobs lost. That they were able to look beyond so many other issues that might have held them back in the past.

...

WINFREY: Everybody talked about that they're praying for him. Do you know for the past 30 days in the makeup room every morning, makeup artists, hair stylists, Louise, all of us we would stop at 8:00 in the morning and pray for Barack Obama? A lot of people are doing that.

...

WENTWORTH: But, we felt early on that when the McCain- when they announced Sarah Palin as the VP, it felt, I think, as a very desperate thing even back then.
CONSUELOS: It felt gimmicky.
WINFREY: Okay. Let George answer.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think so much of this is actually just personal because you're right. What everything you have to say makes sense. It doesn't make any sense for them to make themselves look like liars, now all of a sudden saying she really wasn't ready to be president. But I think what happened here is that over the course of the couple of months, the people from the McCain camp who worked very closely with Governor Palin, a lot of them, at least, got kind of fed up. They felt that she wasn't always doing her homework, some of them. They also felt that one of the McCain staffers was getting blamed for this clothing purchase which they said, look, it wasn't true. She had nothing to do with it. So, they were fighting back. And I think their feelings were rubbed so raw and they were so emotional about it they didn't care how about it would look later.

...

WINFREY: But even as a journalist, I mean, I think even all the journalists and you have handled yourself, you know, with such, you know, measured restraint through all this, even if you knew last spring that Barack Obama was going to win. But didn't you even on Tuesday night feel a sense of exuberance, George?
STEPHANOPOULOS: It- It was impossible not to. The moment, again, whenever your politics, Democrat, Republican, independent, this was a major moment, signature moment in American history. This was a country that, you know, we had slaves not too long ago. Only 45 years ago, the Civil Rights act was signed into law. And at the very moment when the election was officially called at 11:00, I was there with Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer and I. And Charlie announced it and we all just went silent and let the moment happen.
WINFREY: It was a very sobering moment.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that was the best way to honor the moment.

-- Brent Baker