August 9, 2008

Media Mostly MIA on Obama’s ‘America No Longer What It Once Was’ Downer Delivered to 7 Year-Old

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:20 am

This doesn’t qualify as any kind of surprise, but it should be noted nonetheless.

Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave a stunningly downbeat assessment of the nation’s overall situation in a response to a seven year-old girl who asked him why he is running for president. Obama’s media water-carriers have virtually ignored his very telling response, one that is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s gloomiest, malaise-based assessments of America during his awful presidency.

Here is a rundown of what happened from Ed Morrissey of Hot Air:

When presidential candidates answer questions from children about why they want the job, most will give an answer that uplifts the child and the candidate. Not Barack Obama. At a campaign stop in Elkhart, Indiana, a seven-year-old girl asked the Democrat why he wants to be President — and he told her that America has gone downhill (direct YouTube link is here):

“America is …, uh, is no longer, uh … what it could be, what it once was. And I say to myself, I don’t want that future for my children.”

An August 7-9 Google News search I did at 10 a.m. on [Obama "it once was"] (typed exactly as indicated within brackets) returned 30 results “with all duplicates included” (when I did the search, the results header indicated that there were “about 85,” but there were in fact only 30). Of those, 26 relate directly to Obama’s statement.

Of those 26 results, only four could arguably be construed as coming from major media original reporting:

  • One is an ABC Political Punch blog item from Jake Tapper that linked over to the YouTube after a brief description.
  • The second is a Fox News transcript from its Thursday evening “Hannity and Colmes” (H&C) program, where Mike Huckabee commented on what Obama said (“We saw a candidate who’s off the prompter. ….. This was a very, very serious tactical error, because it’s that kind of comment that does come back to haunt a candidate.”).
  • The third is at August 8′s US News’s Political Bulletin, where its final item of six refers to the H&C program.
  • The fourth, at Real Clear Politics, also references H&C.

Of the remainder:

  • Seven are from a group of California-based publications. An identical post by “Rational_Thinker” entitled “Barrack Obama Whiffs a pitch from a 7 year old girl” appears at each one.
  • Seven are from center-right blogs and online publications: The Hot Air entry above, Powerline, Townhall’s Hugh Hewitt, two at WorldNetDaily (here and here), Wizbang, Stop the ACLU.
  • Six are from Rush Limbaugh’s site (one of them is here; it will go behind Rush’s subscription wall on Thursday evening).
  • One is at a center-left blog, the The Carpetbagger Report, where proprietor Steve Benen describes the situation as a “manufactured controversy.”

That’s a total of 25. The one remaining item is from an Old Media source, but not from original reporting. It is an Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Thinking Right” blog post by Jim Wooten, who effectively tells Benen why he’s wrong:

Obama simply cannot stay on the “I love America” script, a threshold requirement. With him, it’s conditions and qualifiers, lawyered-up codicils to define precisely the America he embraces, lest his adoring acolytes on the Left think he includes all that Big Oil, God, guns and bigotry stuff, too. Middle America hears him and it jars. We don’t know what America he’s talking about, whether we and our values are in or out.

None of the above would include sites that are “only” blogs, meaning that they have not cleared Google News’s definition of a news source or have not applied to be considered as a Google News source. The NewsBusters version of this post will most likely appear in Google News shortly after it goes up.

My take: At least Jimmy Carter was “smart” enough to fool the voters with his toothy grin and pleasant countenance during most of the long 1976 campaign season. Obama, and for that matter his wife Michelle (“for the first time in my adult life, I’m proud to be an American”), have clearly not done so. They have turned “America has problems, and we can fix them,” which is of course a common theme and perfectly defensible, into “America as a nation has declined,” which is much harder to defend, and certainly harder for a fundamentally optimistic nation to swallow, especially when that message is delivered to a 7 year-old girl.

This explains why Old Media is giving Obama’s statement the near-silent treatment.

Cross-posted at


UPDATE, Aug. 10: The NewsBusters post is visible at Goole News if you change the scope of the [Obama "it once was"] search to August 7-10 from August 7-9, even though this post clearly went up on August 9. I can’t explain why Google News doesn’t pick up the post as created on August 9 for search purposes, because it clearly was, no matter what US Time Zone is involved.

Positivity: Amputee Marine returns to combat duty

From Afghanistan (HT Hugh Hewitt via Hot Air Headlines):

August 6, 2008

A year after Cpl. Garrett Jones lost his left leg to a bomb in Iraq, he has rejoined his unit in Afghanistan. Improved medical care and prostheses — and his determination — made it possible.

Just over a year ago, Cpl. Garrett Jones was one of thousands of Marines slogging through a tour of duty in Iraq. Today, he is deployed with the same unit in Afghanistan, but he serves now with an unusual distinction.

On July 23, 2007, Jones was on foot patrol near the Iraqi city of Fallouja when he was injured by a roadside bomb. After the attack, his left leg was amputated above the knee. He developed infections and fevers. His weight dropped from 175 pounds to 125. At 21, Jones faced months of painful rehabilitation and a likely end to his service in the Marine Corps.

One year later, Jones is walking smoothly on a prosthetic leg. He not only continues to serve on active duty, but he has worked his way back to a war zone, serving with his Marine battle buddies in Afghanistan.

In previous wars, Jones would have received a medical discharge and returned to civilian life. But in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, the Pentagon has made it possible for some amputees to return to duty — and for a few to deploy overseas again. Advances in medical care and high-tech prostheses have enabled amputees to function far better.

Jones said he couldn’t bear the thought of not deploying with close friends in his unit after he learned last fall that they would be sent to Afghanistan. He also wanted to pave a path for other amputees and show them what’s possible, he said.

“I want to be someone an injured Marine can talk to,” Jones said. “And I can tell them: ‘Times will be rough and not always easy as an amputee, but you can still make great things out of an unfortunate situation.’ That’s what I want to do.”

Sgt. Matthew Leonard, who served with Jones in Iraq and now works beside him at this desert base in southern Afghanistan, said Jones has earned a special status among Marines because he demanded to be sent back to combat.

“He didn’t just choose to come — he fought to come,” Leonard said. “We bled and sweated with this guy in Iraq, and he wants to be with us more than anything. That’s awesome.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.