On Sunday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd did his best to continue the media’s obsession surrounding former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioning President Obama’s love of America. Despite Todd’s insistence that he has “hated this story in so many ways,” he made sure to declare “[t]his week’s week's race to the bottom, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is proving why Americans are learning to hate politics and the media.”



Anyone who thinks the PBS NewsHour is a calm, rather nonpartisan forum on politics where no one does any trash-talking hasn’t seen Mark Shields on Fridays.

On Friday, Shields trashed Jeb Bush as a bumbler, and then just insulted governors Scott Walker and Chris Christie as “total novices” on foreign policy, like he’s a standup comedian. But eight years ago, Shields said only "serious candidates" were running.



Responding to a question on Facebook Tuesday about left-wing pundit Howard Dean attacking Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as "unknowledgeable" for not graduating college, Mike Rowe, host of CNN's Somebody's Gotta Do It, dismantled Dean's assertion and wondered if America had "confused qualifications with competency."



The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman argues that “anti-intellectualism has often been an effective way for Republicans to stir up class resentment while distracting from economic issues. It says to voters…[d]on't aim your disgruntlement at Wall Street, or corporations that don't pay taxes, or the people who want to keep wages low and make unions a memory. Point it in a different direction, at college professors and intellectuals (and Hollywood, while you're at it).”



The safest bet you can possibly make at the beginning of a presidential election cycle is that the “objective” national media will savage the Republican contenders with “investigative” journalism. Not just one Republican contender, but all the Republican contenders.

It’s a bit amazing to look back at 2012 and remember that every Republican candidate was punched in the kisser by “journalism” if and when he or she inched into the lead. Sarah Palin never declared, but she was slimed in 2011 by NBC star Savannah Guthrie, who casually tossed out author Joe McGinniss’s claims that she was a bad mother, that she and her husband used cocaine, and she had sex with an NBA star. Proof? Who needs it?



Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a reformist conservative and Republican presidential hopeful for 2016, has become a media target, from making a stink of Walker evading an evolution question to obsessing over his college years. Next up: Ripping Walker's proposed cuts to the state university system's operating budget. New York Times reporter Julie Bosman took advantage of Tuesday's front page to portray Walker's university cuts as tarnishing the very ideal of the university in "2016 Ambitions Seen in Bid for Wisconsin Cuts."



It took well over 24 hours, but the New York Times finally corrected (HT Instapundit) op-ed columnist Gail Collins's ignorant Saturday contention about how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker caused teacher layoff in 2010: "As well as the fact that those layoffs happened because Walker cut state aid to education." Collins was so sure of herself that she emphasized how Walker's 2010 state aid-caused layoffs were a "fact." Trouble is, Walker didn't become Badger State Governor until January 2011.

Instapundit's reaction: "So basically, it’s now an Emily Litella column. Never mind!" The Old Gray Lady's excision from Collins's cranky column hardly solves all of its problems.



In London, England earlier this week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered a speech about global trade at the Chatham House think tank. Given that the group's mission is "to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world," and that it encourages "open debate and confidential discussion on the most significant developments in international affairs," it seemed a reasonable expectation that those present would ask questions relevant to those matters.

Instead, Scott Walker was asked several brazenly off-topic questions, including if he believed in evolution. He refused to answer them. In the case of evolution, he said, "I’m going to punt on that one ... That’s a question that a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another," while reminding the audience that "I'm here to talk about trade and not pontificate on other issues."



T. Becket Adams at The Washington Examiner drew up a list of people shocked, shocked, that Scott Walker punted on a “gotcha” evolution question at a London Q&A.

Adams noted that these same liberal journalists don’t blink when liberal politicians punt on gotcha abortion questions. Conservatives are "climate deniers" or Darwin deniers, but when liberals are baby deniers? The media can only laugh along with them when that hardly tricky matter of science comes up.



What an ironic title New York Times op-ed columnist and former editorial page editor Gail Collins used — "Scott Walker Needs an Eraser" — in her February 13 opinion piece blasting Wisconsin's Republican governor.

In her nitpicky, selective mind, Walker must already have an eraser, one that's so powerful that it could reach back to the year before he became Badger State chief executive and eliminate teachers' jobs (bolds are mine throughout this post):



Buttering up his February 12 guest Boris Johnson, Hardball host Chris Matthews told the London mayor that he's eligible to run for president, given that he was born on U.S. soil. But Matthews apparently forgot the residency stipulation in the Constitution, one criterion that Johnson doesn't meet.



The Washington Post published a 2,223-word story on Thursday's front page on the college career of Scott Walker -- it ended abruptly without a graduation. One obvious question: when did the Post publish a long story on candidate Barack Obama’s undergraduate college years before he was elected in 2008? The answer: They didn’t.

Obama attended Occidental College in California for two years and earned his degree in the Ivy League at Columbia University in New York City. But that apparently wasn't considered newsworthy.

A Nexis search of Obama and “Occidental” found one mention in a Sunday Outlook piece in 2007 and one mention in 2008. On February 11, 2007, it came up in a Sunday Outlook section piece titled “A Rusty Toyota, a Mean Jump Shot, Good Ears.” Occidental’s basketball coach Mike Zinn was quoted as saying “Barry was the same in victory or defeat -- even-tempered. You could sense that the sport and competition were important, but once the season was over, it was time to focus again on academic issues.”

In 2008, it was a gushy story by Post reporter Kevin Merida on August 25, the first day of the Democratic convention. The headline was “A Place in Between; In a Nation Where Race Has Long Carried Polarizing Implications, the Mixed Parentage Of Barack Obama Opens a Bridge to Changes in Our Language -- and Thinking.”

But Merida – now the paper’s managing editor – didn’t do any reporting on Obama’s college years.  He merely quoted from Obama’s memoir.

In "Dreams From My Father," Obama poses the question that would hover over his post-adolescent life: "Where did I belong?" He was two years from graduation at Columbia University and felt "like a drunk coming out of a long, painful binge," he writes, with no idea what he was going to do with his future or even where he would live. He had put Hawaii in the rear-view mirror and could no longer imagine settling there. Africa? It was too late to claim his father's native land as his own.

"And if I had come to understand myself as a black American, and was understood as such, that understanding remained unanchored to place," Obama writes. "What I needed was a community, I realized, a community that cut deeper than the common despair that black friends and I shared when reading the latest crime statistics, or the high fives I might exchange on the a basketball court. A place where I could put down stakes and test my commitments."

In searching for a place to anchor, Obama transferred from Occidental College in Los Angeles to Columbia in New York, a period of his life that has not been well-examined. "I figured that if there weren't any more black students at Columbia than there were at Oxy, I'd at least be in the heart of a true city, with black neighborhoods in close proximity."

Obama writes that he was more like black students who had grown up in the suburbs, "kids whose parents had already paid the price of escape." Except he had not grown up in Compton or Watts, he points out, and had nothing to escape "except my own inner doubt."

The same thing happens when you search for Obama within 20 words of “Columbia University.”

On December 27, 2007, Merida glossed over it in a Jesse Jackson passage: “Obama was a recent graduate of Columbia University when Jackson launched his first campaign, and once told Jackson that he was inspired watching him on television debating Walter Mondale and Gary Hart. Now, Obama is trying to carve out a legacy of his own.”

There’s Merida in August of 2008, and then on October 17, 2008, there was a fleeting mention of Columbia, in an Eli Saslow story on Obama’s taste for solitude: “He had always guarded his space, once living in such seclusion as a student at Columbia University that when his mother visited his barren New York apartment, she chastised him for being ‘monklike.’”

 

 
AD FEEDBACK
 
 

 

After the election, there was more of the same on the editorial page on December 14, 2008 in a David Ignatius column:

Barack Obama wrote in "Dreams From My Father" of his days as a student at Occidental College, groping for his political identity: "We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Frantz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy."

Don’t you think the voters would have liked to know if young Obama was into terrorist-inspiring thinkers like Frantz Fanon and had a radical anti-Western problem with “Eurocentrism and patriarchy?” Ignatius thought exploring that passage is "silly." No one needs to know what Obama thought in 1981! (But the Post thinks you need to know Romney cut a kid's hair on the quad in 1965.)

PS: The Post had a little more interest in the “Harvard Law School” part of his resume, mostly as a sign of Obama’s belonging in the elite. Post political reporter Chris Cillizza explained an ad on June 26, 2007:

The longer ad is more strictly biographical, detailing Obama's work as a community organizer, his standout years at Harvard Law School and his eventual return to community organizing. Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor, says in the ad that Obama's decision to bypass wealth on Wall Street for a job organizing at the community level was "absolutely inspiring."

A Post reader could have found an account of Obama’s election as president of the Harvard Law Review in The Washington Post Magazine on August 12, 2007. Liza Mundy wrote about 1,000 words on this narrowly-focused event to explain how “it was at Harvard Law School that Obama's political skills -- and aspirations -- would emerge rather dramatically.” That's the only attempt at a view of Obama at law school.

More commonly, it's thrown around like currency. On December 14, 2007, there is Obama booster Kevin Merida, quoting from the memoir, as usual:

But it is also true that Obama, after his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, wrote a 442-page memoir, published in 1995, that deeply explores his father's absence. It is rich with dialogue, precise recollections and emotion-laden self-analysis. It concludes with several chapters about his visit to Kenya, where he meets siblings, aunts, uncles, his grandmother and his father's ex-wives, and he finally understands the turmoil that consumed his father's life. At the end of the book, Obama is sitting between the graves of his father and paternal grandfather, weeping.

Or Obama’s credential was used as a club. See Post columnist Steven Pearlstein on February 22, 2008:

We're talking here about a former president of the Harvard Law Review. Have you ever met the people who get into Harvard Law School? You might not choose them as friends or lovers or godparents to your children, but -- trust me on this -- there aren't many lightweights there. And Obama was chosen by all the other overachievers as top dog. Compared with the current leader of the free world, this guy is Albert Einstein.

Or Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby on May 5, 2008:

After Harvard Law School, Obama could have pursued a career that involved contact only with hypereducated brainiacs like him. But by working as a community organizer and in state politics, he chose a life that put him among ordinary folk. The elitist label is ridiculous.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2015/02/12/his-election-washpost-never-probed-candidate-obamas-college-years-scott#sthash.VYrNKOu8.dpuf

The Washington Post published a 2,223-word story on Thursday's front page on the college career of Scott Walker -- it ended abruptly without a graduation. One obvious question: when did the Post publish a long story on candidate Barack Obama’s undergraduate college years before he was elected in 2008? The answer: They didn’t.

Obama attended Occidental College in California for two years and earned his degree in the Ivy League at Columbia University in New York City. But that apparently wasn't considered newsworthy.

A Nexis search of Obama and “Occidental” found one mention in a Sunday Outlook piece in 2007 and one mention in 2008. On February 11, 2007, it came up in a Sunday Outlook section piece titled “A Rusty Toyota, a Mean Jump Shot, Good Ears.” Occidental’s basketball coach Mike Zinn was quoted as saying “Barry was the same in victory or defeat -- even-tempered. You could sense that the sport and competition were important, but once the season was over, it was time to focus again on academic issues.”

In 2008, it was a gushy story by Post reporter Kevin Merida on August 25, the first day of the Democratic convention. The headline was “A Place in Between; In a Nation Where Race Has Long Carried Polarizing Implications, the Mixed Parentage Of Barack Obama Opens a Bridge to Changes in Our Language -- and Thinking.”

But Merida – now the paper’s managing editor – didn’t do any reporting on Obama’s college years.  He merely quoted from Obama’s memoir.

In "Dreams From My Father," Obama poses the question that would hover over his post-adolescent life: "Where did I belong?" He was two years from graduation at Columbia University and felt "like a drunk coming out of a long, painful binge," he writes, with no idea what he was going to do with his future or even where he would live. He had put Hawaii in the rear-view mirror and could no longer imagine settling there. Africa? It was too late to claim his father's native land as his own.

"And if I had come to understand myself as a black American, and was understood as such, that understanding remained unanchored to place," Obama writes. "What I needed was a community, I realized, a community that cut deeper than the common despair that black friends and I shared when reading the latest crime statistics, or the high fives I might exchange on the a basketball court. A place where I could put down stakes and test my commitments."

In searching for a place to anchor, Obama transferred from Occidental College in Los Angeles to Columbia in New York, a period of his life that has not been well-examined. "I figured that if there weren't any more black students at Columbia than there were at Oxy, I'd at least be in the heart of a true city, with black neighborhoods in close proximity."

Obama writes that he was more like black students who had grown up in the suburbs, "kids whose parents had already paid the price of escape." Except he had not grown up in Compton or Watts, he points out, and had nothing to escape "except my own inner doubt."

The same thing happens when you search for Obama within 20 words of “Columbia University.”

On December 27, 2007, Merida glossed over it in a Jesse Jackson passage: “Obama was a recent graduate of Columbia University when Jackson launched his first campaign, and once told Jackson that he was inspired watching him on television debating Walter Mondale and Gary Hart. Now, Obama is trying to carve out a legacy of his own.”

There’s Merida in August of 2008, and then on October 17, 2008, there was a fleeting mention of Columbia, in an Eli Saslow story on Obama’s taste for solitude: “He had always guarded his space, once living in such seclusion as a student at Columbia University that when his mother visited his barren New York apartment, she chastised him for being ‘monklike.’”

 

 
AD FEEDBACK
 
 

 

After the election, there was more of the same on the editorial page on December 14, 2008 in a David Ignatius column:

Barack Obama wrote in "Dreams From My Father" of his days as a student at Occidental College, groping for his political identity: "We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Frantz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy."

Don’t you think the voters would have liked to know if young Obama was into terrorist-inspiring thinkers like Frantz Fanon and had a radical anti-Western problem with “Eurocentrism and patriarchy?” Ignatius thought exploring that passage is "silly." No one needs to know what Obama thought in 1981! (But the Post thinks you need to know Romney cut a kid's hair on the quad in 1965.)

PS: The Post had a little more interest in the “Harvard Law School” part of his resume, mostly as a sign of Obama’s belonging in the elite. Post political reporter Chris Cillizza explained an ad on June 26, 2007:

The longer ad is more strictly biographical, detailing Obama's work as a community organizer, his standout years at Harvard Law School and his eventual return to community organizing. Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor, says in the ad that Obama's decision to bypass wealth on Wall Street for a job organizing at the community level was "absolutely inspiring."

A Post reader could have found an account of Obama’s election as president of the Harvard Law Review in The Washington Post Magazine on August 12, 2007. Liza Mundy wrote about 1,000 words on this narrowly-focused event to explain how “it was at Harvard Law School that Obama's political skills -- and aspirations -- would emerge rather dramatically.” That's the only attempt at a view of Obama at law school.

More commonly, it's thrown around like currency. On December 14, 2007, there is Obama booster Kevin Merida, quoting from the memoir, as usual:

But it is also true that Obama, after his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, wrote a 442-page memoir, published in 1995, that deeply explores his father's absence. It is rich with dialogue, precise recollections and emotion-laden self-analysis. It concludes with several chapters about his visit to Kenya, where he meets siblings, aunts, uncles, his grandmother and his father's ex-wives, and he finally understands the turmoil that consumed his father's life. At the end of the book, Obama is sitting between the graves of his father and paternal grandfather, weeping.

Or Obama’s credential was used as a club. See Post columnist Steven Pearlstein on February 22, 2008:

We're talking here about a former president of the Harvard Law Review. Have you ever met the people who get into Harvard Law School? You might not choose them as friends or lovers or godparents to your children, but -- trust me on this -- there aren't many lightweights there. And Obama was chosen by all the other overachievers as top dog. Compared with the current leader of the free world, this guy is Albert Einstein.

Or Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby on May 5, 2008:

After Harvard Law School, Obama could have pursued a career that involved contact only with hypereducated brainiacs like him. But by working as a community organizer and in state politics, he chose a life that put him among ordinary folk. The elitist label is ridiculous.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2015/02/12/his-election-washpost-never-probed-candidate-obamas-college-years-scott#sthash.VYrNKOu8.dpuf

The Washington Post published a 2,223-word story on Thursday's front page on the college career of Scott Walker -- it ended abruptly without a graduation. One obvious question: when did the Post publish a long story on candidate Barack Obama’s undergraduate college years before he was elected in 2008? The answer: They didn’t.

Obama attended Occidental College in California for two years and earned his degree in the Ivy League at Columbia University in New York City. But that apparently wasn't considered newsworthy.