In reporting the speech by Gov. Sarah Palin in Ohio today, CNN’s Political Ticker tried to spin her question about Obama’s coal comment as old news when it clearly isn’t. Palin asked why we are just now finding out about the interview where Barack Obama said he had hoped to bankrupt the coal industry but CNN termed this interview and Obama’s startling admission as “months-old coal comments” in an attempt to soften the blow to Ohio and Pennsylvania voters. The Political Ticker said that since the San Francisco Chronicle had these comments on its website for nine months, the news of Obama’s quote was no big deal. But this is a misleading claim.
As we know from P.J. Gladnick’s NewsBusters report, Obama admitted that his intention for new coal plants was to slap so many fees, regulations and taxes on any new venture that it would “bankrupt” the company that tries it.
Palin, stumping Sunday in Ohio’s coal country, brought this interview up at a campaign appearance in Marietta, Ohio. “Why is the audio tape just now surfacing?,” she asked the shocked crowd.
CNN scoffed at Palin’s question and tried to spin the story away as “old news.”
Contrary to her attempts to portray a media cover-up, audio and video recordings of Obama’s January 17 sit-down with the Chronicle editorial board have been freely available online for more than nine months.
However, we know this to be misleading based on the fact that, while the audio was available, the paper did not report these quotes from Obama in its January story. NewsBuster Tom Blumer did a search and quickly discovered that Obama’s anti-coal comments were not reported by the paper that conducted the interview.
The problem with CNN’s spin here is that these are really not “months-old comments” in the strictest sense that we were all made familiar with Obama’s anti-coal comments back in January. Since January, the San Francisco Chronicle has steadfastly left these incendiary comments entirely out of its coverage.
CNN’s cynical spin is simply misleading and seems meant to give cover to the Obama campaign on this embarrassing revelation. After all, even if they are “months-old comments,” does that make the fact that Obama wants to bankrupt electric producing coal plants any less outrageous or important? Or, for that matter, any less relevant to this election? Whether Obama said it just yesterday or said it 9 months ago is immaterial to the debate here.