Author, political analyst, and humorist Andrew Ferguson really lacerated the campaign memoir Game Change in the February 1 Weekly Standard. He pointed out the inside-the-Beltway media chumminess greeting authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann: "The authors are highly regarded political reporters—highly regarded, that is, by other political reporters whom the authors likewise hold in high regard (that’s how admiration works here)." But that doesn’t excuse a bad book. He began by isolating page 279:

"F— you! F—, F—, f—, f—, f—, f—, f—, f—, f—, f—!!!"

McCain let out the stream of sharp epithets, both middle fingers raised and extended, barking in his wife’s face. He was angry.

Amazingly, these authors don’t offer the reader any explanation of this abusive scene that they might expect from reporters -- the when, where, and why:



On Monday, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz assessed the new book Game Change by liberal elite journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann and questioned its anonymous sourcing. He also noticed that the staffers of election winners never seem to have any gripes about their leading man. Halperin and Heilemann sounded like they’re still offering valentines to Obama on the campaign trail:



Provoked by charges made in Game Change that Sarah Palin had to be tutored in basic foreign policy facts, Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's Hardball, took shot after shot at the former vice presidential candidate's intelligence as he wondered, "Is it possible that her head was really that empty?...Has she ever taken an SAT afternoon exam?" and mocked "Don't put her on Jeopardy!"

Matthews invited on Game Change co-authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin to chat about various nuggets from the book but it was their stories about Palin that got the MSNBC host revved up, as he painted an absurd picture of neo-cons taking a "cruise" to Alaska where they found Palin "standing at the docks with an empty head saying, 'I'm willing to say what you want me to say.'" [audio available here]



John Heilemann, New York Magazine; Mark Halperin, Time Magazine; & Anderson Cooper, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.org On Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN’s Anderson Cooper extensively questioned authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann about their new book “Game Change” on subjects other than Sarah Palin, unlike his earlier interview of the writers on 60 Minutes. Most of the two segments from the interview dealt with Bill and Hillary Clinton’s role in the 2008 presidential election and in the Obama transition.

During the first segment, which began 20 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, Cooper only briefly touched on Senator Harry Reid’s “Negro dialect” comment about President Obama, asking one question on the topic. For the remaining five minutes of the segment, and for the additional five minutes of the second segment, the CNN anchor questioned Halperin and Heilemann about several episodes involving the Clintons during the Democratic presidential primary race, and about Obama choosing Hillary Clinton to be secretary of state. These ten minutes on his CNN program is practically the same amount of time Cooper devoted to the subject of Sarah Palin during his 60 Minutes interview of the authors.

Cooper revisited the race issue when he raised the subject of Bill Clinton’s “coffee remark” to Ted Kennedy about then Senator Obama during the second segment minutes later:


Anderson Cooper, CBS While a story on Sunday’s 60 Minutes about the new book, ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, focused heavily on attacks against Sarah Palin by McCain staffers, it ignored numerous revelations of controversial statements by prominent Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid describing Barack Obama as “light skinned” and lacking a “negro dialect.”

Acting as a guest correspondent, CNN’s Anderson Cooper cited the book’s liberal authors, New York magazine’s John Heilemann and Time’s Mark Halperin, who claimed that Palin was picked by the McCain campaign out of “desperation” after manager Rick Davis found her name on Google. At one point, Halperin went so far as to declare that: “They said, ‘there’s one Sarah who you see in public’– upbeat. But the other Sarah was the one that frightened them. It was someone whose eyes were kind of glazed over, who was literally not responding to questions, who was keeping her head down.”

Cooper made sure to highlight CBS’s role in Palin’s supposed downfall with the Evening News Katie Couric interview: “In her book, Palin accuses CBS News of editing the interview to make her look bad. But [McCain campaign advisor] Steve Schmidt told us Palin did poorly because she didn’t do her homework.” Schmidt slammed Palin, claiming she was “focused that morning on answering ten written questions from a small newspaper in Alaska called the ‘Matsu Valley Frontiersman.’” After Cooper mentioned Palin’s criticism of Couric’s “gotcha questions,” Schmidt proclaimed: “I don’t think that Katie Couric asked a single unfair question in that interview.”


Back in 2008, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) referred to then presidential candidate Barack Obama as a light-skinned African American with no Negro dialect.

Such is in Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's soon to be released book "Game Change" and was reported by the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder Friday.

According to LexisNexis and Google news searches, this revelation, posted by Ambinder at his Politics blog, received very little attention from America's Obama-loving media: 



On the Sunday, December 20, syndicated Chris Matthews Show – during which the panel weighed in on who should be granted various dishonors for the year – Matthews seemed to lump conservatives like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh in with what Matthews saw as "white tribalism" as he also fretted over the "birthers" who promote the fringe conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in America. Matthews had notably expressed frustration about "white tribalism" being stirred up by "idiots" in America at the end of last week’s show.

Matthews seemed to compare Glenn Beck and  Limbaugh to swine flu as he introduced the award titled "A Plague on Both Our Houses." Matthews played a clip of Beck going over the top in calling President Obama a "racist" on FNC’s Fox and Friends, but he did not specify any particular quote from Limbaugh. A bit later, after the BBC’s Katty Kay tied Palin to the "birthers," prompting Matthews to interject that "I think it’s white tribalism," Matthews brought up the new book of panel member John Heilemann of New York magazine, and set up Heilemann to blame Palin for "activating" racism against Obama during the 2008 campaign.

Matthews: "Was this something that was simmering, this sort of tribalistic resentment of Barack Obama being what he is?"

Heilemann responded:



If you needed any more evidence that the media meme regarding Sarah Palin not being qualified for vice president is nothing but liberal propaganda from America's Obama-loving press you got it on Sunday's "The Chris Matthews Show."

After the panel of New York magazine's John Heilemann, the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page unanimously concluded that Palin was a horrible choice as John McCain's runningmate due to her lack of qualifications, they all agreed that she will be a serious candidate for president in 2012 if Obama wins this November.

Interesting hypocrisy, wouldn't you agree?

Readers are strongly encouraged to strap themselves in before proceeding to the following partial transcript of this astonishingly revealing segment (video embedded upper-right):



In what could turn out to be a classic "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment, New York magazine's most recent edition crowned Barack Obama nine days before Election Day:

The sub-headline for this forward-looking cover-story reads:



Conservatives are more racist than the population at large, and John McCain plans to "viciously" stir up racism to beat Barack Obama.  That is John Heilemann's belief, as propounded in his New York magazine article, The Color-Coded Campaign, and spelled out in a CNN appearance today.  The author even broke out the trite "Wonder Bread America" epithet to describe that portion of the country not lucky enough to be NYC.

Interviewed by Kiran Chetry on "American Morning" today at 6:32 AM EDT, Heilemann's jumping-off point was the question of why Obama's lead over McCain is smaller than the 10-15 points by which Dems are generically leading Republicans nationwide.  Heilemann gave short shrift to the possibility that Obama is a weak candidate, given his lack of experience and most-liberal-in-the-Senate record that puts him at odds with the electorate.  He focused instead on what he claims is an under-reported factor—Obama's race.  It was there that he equated conservatism with racism.

JOHN HEILEMANN: During the Democratic primaries during the exit polls we would ask people whether race was an important factor for them. And somewhere, in places like New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, 10 or 12 percent of the vote said race that was an important factor and voted for Hillary Clinton. And that's for many people a reasonable proxy to tell you about what the numbers were like for people who voted for Hillary because she was white, didn't vote for Barack because he's black.  And that number will be larger in the general election because general election is a more conservative electorate than the Democratic primary electorate was.

View video here.



Not that she is, but if Michelle Obama were in fact a Black Panther, what's the big deal?  So seems to think Michelle Bernard.

Anyone who imagines that Bernard brings conservative balance to the MSNBC panels on which she regularly appears should think again.  Yes, Bernard is head of the Independent Women's Forum, an organization with strong conservative roots.  And true, Bernard served on the 2000 Bush-Cheney Presidential Inaugural Committee.  But as the Daily Howler has documented [see 1/3 down page], her pronouncements on Hardball have often been supportive of Barack Obama.  

More evidence of that was on display tonight when Bernard condemned the New Yorker cover in harsh terms and then, incredibly, seemed to say that there would be nothing wrong if the cover's caricature of Michelle Obama as a Black Panther were grounded in reality!

View video here.



Slip of the tongue, or was the man who gets a thrill up his leg from Barack Obama's rhetoric voicing his innermost apprehension at the prospect of Hillary Clinton regaining the upper hand?

On this afternoon's Hardball, host Chris Matthews was discussing the March 4th Texas primary with Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News, John Heilemann of New York magazine, and Norah O'Donnell. The MSNBCer made the point that under the arcane Texas rules in which the race is a hybrid of caucus and primary, it's possible for one candidate to win the popular vote and the other to walk off with more delegates.

That seemed to trigger Chris's anxiety reflex at the prospect of Hillary getting good publicity . . .