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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Wed. 01/14/09 08:37:03 PM
   
         
         
   

Re: A Glimpse Behind the Curtain

Best of the Web Today revisits today a story from yesterday.

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Rewriting the History of 'Rewriting the History of Rewriting'

In an item yesterday, we faulted Obama aide David Axelrod for perpetuating the myth that the president-elect had written his much-hyped 2008 "race" speech himself, when in fact it was drafted by speechwriter Jon Favreau. Reader Leland Hutchinson tells us Axelrod got a bum rap:

I was at the David Axelrod speech on Jan. 12, which was at a fund-raising breakfast for the Misericordia Home as described in the Sun-Times. I am a McCain voter.
Unfortunately, in describing the creation of Obama's speech on race, the Sun-Times reporter left out a step which Axelrod faithfully reported. I can't quite remember the sequence, but Axelrod clearly said that Obama dictated an outline over the phone and then started working on the draft produced — a process that tracks with earlier reports of how the speech was written.
I am sure that we all will have plenty to criticize about both Obama and Axelrod from the git-go, but in this case, there is no "there" there. The story that David Axelrod told the audience was essentially the same story that Jon Favreau told from a different point of view. The Sun-Times reporter didn't quite get the details right.
For what it is worth, David Axelrod appears to be the very loving father of a special-needs daughter who lives in a faith-based community that is a blessing to all.

Apparently, then, it was the reporter who got the story wrong, in Obama's favor, and not the man who actually works for Obama. This would seem to bolster Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin's opinion that when it comes to the president-elect, journalists are "deferential, eager to please, prepared to keep a careful distance":

The Obama news conferences tell that story, making one yearn for the return of the always-irritating Sam Donaldson to awaken the slumbering press to the notion that decorum isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The press corps, most of us, don't even bother raising our hands any more to ask questions because Obama always has before him a list of correspondents who've been advised they will be called upon that day.

Can you imagine the howls of outrage if President Bush had done that?

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Carol Marin's column deserves a longer quotation:

.... As ferociously as we march like villagers with torches against Blagojevich, we have been, in the true spirit of the Bizarro universe, the polar opposite with the president-elect. Deferential, eager to please, prepared to keep a careful distance.
The Obama news conferences tell that story, making one yearn for the return of the always-irritating Sam Donaldson to awaken the slumbering press to the notion that decorum isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The press corps, most of us, don't even bother raising our hands any more to ask questions because Obama always has before him a list of correspondents who've been advised they will be called upon that day.
We reporters have earned our own membership in the Bizarro universe.
Who are we, after all? The ones rapid-firing at Rod Blagojevich with tough questions until we drive him from the room? Or the Miss Manners crowd, silent until called upon, quietly accepting that only a handful of questions will be taken at a time?
The Obama honeymoon might not be exactly the polar opposite of Blagojevich's hell.
But, for the moment, it will do.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 01/14/09 08:37:03 PM
Categorized as Media.

   
         
         

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