Top Time Editor Tosses Softballs at Obama for Cover Story

Richard Stengel is still a newbie as the top editor at Time, but he’s experienced enough that he ought to know how to mount a challenging interview with a presidential candidate. That’s not what he did in his new Barack Obama interview. (That’s the same one Brent Baker found CBS loved. Scroll down to end.) Here are the softball questions Time published:

You've been engaging with Senator Clinton in a more direct way. Is there a danger of damaging your brand of new politics? (Obama said "you'd be hard-pressed to say that at any point we've been gratuitous, nasty, personal.")

Her campaign just issued a statement saying you had less foreign policy experience than any President since World War II. (Obama: "It seems to get less traction as people hear me talk.")

How do you deal with the idea that some people might not vote for you because of your race? (Obama: "Racism is a function of our society. There are some people who aren't going to vote for me because I've got big ears.")

A few months ago, we ran a cover story called "The Case for National Service." (Obama: "One of the things I think I can bring to the presidency is to make government and public service cool again.")

Would you say Al Gore is really the catalyst for concern about climate change?
He has been working on this for decades. The country and the world caught up to him.

Would you offer him a job in an Obama Administration?
In a minute.

What about Bill Clinton?
In a second. There are few more talented people.

This is part of another Time cover package on Obama (the last one was on October 23, 2006). Hillary Clinton has also received a Time cover in both 2006 and 2007. The only Republican candidate to be awarded a cover is Mitt Romney.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis