Obama Wins the Media
“[Barack] Obama really won over his base, he won over the American media. They loved that speech.”
— The Politico’s Roger Simon on CBS’s Face the Nation on March 23, talking about Obama’s speech on race.
Speech: “Daring” Act of “Honor”
“Welcome to World News. Tonight, Barack Obama delivers a major speech confronting the race issue head on....It may turn out to be the seminal speech of his presidential campaign....Obama challenged Americans to confront the country’s racial divide. An extraordinary speech.”
— Charles Gibson opening ABC’s World News, March 18.
“He gave a great speech. I think it was a brave speech.”
— ABC’s Claire Shipman on This Week, March 23.
“As a speech, it was sophisticated, eloquent. Barack Obama is as fine a writer as you’ll find in a politician. The question is....how voters will respond, not only to the honesty that Barack Obama showed yesterday, not only the sophistication he showed in the speech, but also the honor that he showed. He did not renounce someone that he was under a great pressure to renounce, even though he disagreed with his comments. And I think a lot of voters, even if they’re uncomfortable with Reverend Wright, will respect Barack Obama for that act.”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, March 19.
“It was daring. Instead of simply distancing himself today from his former pastor’s offensive remarks, Senator Obama took the opportunity and the risk of doing much more. Quietly, but clearly with great passion, he walked the listener through a remarkable exploration of race from both sides of the color divide, from both sides of himself.”
— CNN’s Campbell Brown, filling in as the anchor of Anderson Cooper 360, March 18.
“Defining Moment” for America
“It’s being called a defining cultural moment in America. Barack Obama speaks about America’s racial stalemate, a moving moment....It was without question a defining moment in American political history. But for an African-American presidential candidate who’d played down race in his campaign, this was a huge gamble politically.”
— Co-host Maggie Rodriguez, CBS’s Early Show, Mar. 19.
Finally, a Tough Interview
NBC’s Ann Curry: “Coffee or tea?”
Senator Barack Obama: “Tea.”
Curry: “Beatles or Rolling Stones?”
Obama: “Rolling Stones.”
Curry: “Which President do you most want to be like?
Obama: “He never lost sight of the humanity of even those who opposed him.”
— Interview shown on NBC’s Today, April 1.
Feared He’d Let Barack Down
“When NBC News first assigned me to the Barack Obama campaign, I must confess my knees quaked a bit....I wondered if I was up to the job. I wondered if I could do the campaign justice.”
— NBC reporter Lee Cowan in an article for “The Peacock,” an NBC advertising supplement included in the March 23-29 edition of the American Profile magazine newspaper insert.
Distressed by Democrats’ Disarray
“Do you think it’s crossed the line? Has it gone too far, what’s going on between the two campaigns where now it’s just tearing at the Democratic Party in general?”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo to Democratic strategist Donna Brazile on the March 26 Good Morning America.
“Many Democrats have been worried that the protracted fight, between Senators Clinton and Obama, might start alienating voters and hurt the party’s chances against John McCain in the fall. Well, now there is evidence that may, indeed, be the case.”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson on World News, March 26. ABC’s on-screen graphic read: “Hurting the Party?”
“No matter who emerges as the nominee for this, is the eventual nominee hurt by the extension of this contest?”
— ABC anchor Charles Gibson interviewing Senator Barack Obama on the March 27 World News.
Harry Smith: “If you’re the presumptive candidate here, isn’t it time that you say, with some severity, that we can’t go on like this?”
Senator Barack Obama: “Well, no.”
Smith: “At the cost of losing the general election?”
— Exchange shown on the CBS Evening News, March 27.
No Men Need Apply
“I’m concerned about the good of the country. Our country is in terrible shape. And I believe Hillary Clinton is best qualified to move ahead and move us forward, than Barack Obama. He’s young. He has time. He could be a Vice President. But in terms of the person that I think is best qualified to lead this country right now, is a woman, somebody different.”
— Former ABC World News Tonight/Sunday anchor Carole Simpson on CNN’s Larry King Live, March 28.
Land of the Poor and Destitute
Anchor Katie Couric: “The economic slowdown has left a lot of Americans struggling to pay their bills. A congressional report projects a record 28 million will receive food stamps in the coming year....”
Reporter Bill Whitaker: “Even with two jobs and food stamps, Shreel Jackson is still stretching beans and her budget to feed her four boys and granddaughter....With Congress fighting over funding, millions like Jackson won’t find much more in the pot.”
— CBS Evening News, March 31.
No (D) for Scandalous Democrats
“We are covering America tonight, beginning in Detroit, where Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick — that’s his police booking photo — was indicted on perjury and other charges in the wake of a sex scandal there.”
— NBC’s Brian Williams on the March 24 Nightly News.
“In Detroit, a sex scandal led to criminal charges today against the Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, a married father of three.”
— CBS’s Harry Smith, March 24 Evening News.
“Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was charged today with felonies that could cost him his job and 15 years in prison.”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson on World News, March 24. None of the evening newscasts labeled Kilpatrick a Democrat.
“Hater” Hannity vs. Great Barack
“Along with Rush, uses race-baiting to score ratings. Now that’s hating America.”
.— Newsweek’s “Conventional Wisdom” giving a down arrow to radio host Sean Hannity, March 31
“Will the greatest speech in recent history get him sidelined as a ‘black candidate’?”
— Assigning a sideways arrow to Senator Barack Obama, same issue.
Ode to the Passionate Prophet
“Since he lost the election, Al Gore has become a certified celebrity, a popular prophet of global warming....When Al Gore ran for President in 2000, he was often ridiculed as inauthentic and wooden. Today, he is passionate and animated, a man transformed....What about the idea of the honest broker who goes to the two candidates [Obama and Clinton] and helps push one or the other of them off to the side....He’s not ruling it out, but he says he already has a job — as he puts it, ‘PR agent for the planet.’”
— CBS’s Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes, March 30.
Harry Boasts He’s “Al Gore, Jr.”
Weatherman Dave Price: “I want to show you some video. A lot of people saying global warming, or at least higher temperatures, being blamed for this massive collapse of an ice shelf in Antarctica....In the event that land-based glaciers begin to really melt, you could be talking about a rise in water levels which could be catastrophic, so this is really — look at this video.”
Co-host Harry Smith: “Right, right. And they also talk about — because as this disappears, this reflects light, alright? That’s another huge issue because that ice reflects the light. It turns to water, which absorbs the light. That could be another exacerbating factor in global warming.”
Price: “Right. And so we continue to watch that situation.”
Smith, pointing to himself: “Al Gore, Jr.”
Price: “You are.”
Co-host Maggie Rodriguez: “Yeah, you are.”
— CBS’s The Early Show, March 26.
SUVs Will Lead to Cannibalism...
“Not doing it [fighting global warming] will be catastrophic. We’ll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years, and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down.”
— CNN founder Ted Turner on PBS’s Charlie Rose, April 1.
...And Iraq Insurgents = “Patriots”
“Even with our $500 billion military budget, we can’t win in Iraq. We’re being beaten by insurgents who don’t even have any tanks, they don’t have a headquarters, they don’t have a Pentagon....I think that they’re patriots, and that they don’t like us because we’ve invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we’d be doing the same thing: we’d be bombing them, too. Nobody wants to be invaded.”
— Turner later on the same show.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan and Kyle Drennen
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
INTERN: Lyndsi Thomas