June 14, 2011

Obama Florida Fundraiser Over Half-Empty; Only the Politico and ABC Blogs Notice

Many people, including yours truly, believe that one of the primary reasons for the Politico’s existence is to carry negative stories about Democrats and leftists which the rest of the establishment press then mostly chooses to ignore (“Why should we cover that? It’s at the Politico already”).

President Obama’s more than half-empty campaign fundraising stop in Miami Monday is a case in point. As far as I can tell, only the Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown (“Empty seats: Obama fundraiser underwhelms”) and Mary Bruce at ABC’s Political Punch blog, whose item was also referenced at ABC’s The Note, covered the politically embarrassing situation.

At the Associated Press, a 10 a.m. ET search on “Obama Florida” (not in quotes) returned no stories devoted exclusively to the President’s Sunshine State appearances. In an early Tuesday report, the AP’s Jim Kuhnhenn buries a short mention of Obama’s appearances in a much longer piece about his voter turnout-driven visit to Puerto Rico:

The visit, the first official trip to the island by a president in 50 years, caps a two-day trip that took Obama to two crucial political battlegrounds – North Carolina and Florida – as he solidified his political outreach while defending his economic record against sweeping attacks from potential Republican foes.

Budoff Brown’s Politico report has an AP-credited photo of the event at the top, so it’s not like the wire service can pretend it wasn’t there. Nice coverup, Jimbo.

If a campaign stop in Puerto Rico seems odd because islanders can’t vote, Kuhnhenn helpfully reminds readers that “about 841,000″ Puerto Ricans live in Florida, and would supposedly be influenced by the natives’ lobbying.

A search on “Obama Florida” (also not in quotes) at the New York Times returned Kuhnhenn’s item and another by the paper’s Helene Cooper, whose only Florida reference reads as follows:

After North Carolina, Mr. Obama headed to Florida, another crucial state for his re-election hopes; he has scheduled several fund-raisers as part of his effort to raise a record $1 billion during this campaign.

This omission of what actually happened at Obama’s Monday Florida appearances is odd. Cooper’s item appeared in today’s print edition, meaning that she should have had plenty of time to relay what transpired (the Politico’s original time stamp is 8:06 p.m. Monday). She apparently chose not to.

The award for the worst coverage of the fundraising appearance goes to the Miami Herald’s Mark Caputo (“Obama fires up supporters at Arsht Center rally”), who wrote:

Obama repeated a similar line later at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, where an estimated 980 people paid anywhere from $44 to $2,500 to hear the president. The crowd enthusiastically greeted Obama’s warm-up acts, former Miami Heat star Alonso Mourning and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, which co-hosted the fundraisers with the president’s re-election campaign.

Zheesh. At its web site, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County indicates that the capacity of the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House is 2,400. The place was 41% full.

It virtually goes without saying that a similar underwhelming appearance by an incumbent Republican or conservative president would have received much wider notice. The lack of coverage beyond the Politico and ABC’s blogs is very telling. Apparently, there are some stories deemed not to deserve wide distribution; the president’s half-empty fundraiser would appear to be one of them. It’s likely because, as Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker noted, “There is no way to recapture the magic of his first campaign for the presidency precisely because it was built on a manufactured image of hope entirely lacking in substance.”

As far as the establishment press is concerned, the nation’s relatively disengaged news consumers can’t be allowed to reach that conclusion.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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  1. [...] wanted to give a shout-out to BizzyBlog, who had more news on the President: Obama Florida Fundraiser Over Half-Empty; Only the Politico and ABC Blogs Notice. I caught this report last night — aisles and aisles were completely empty, and the tickets [...]

    Pingback by Bibi Wants USA to go back to 1958 Borders… « Temple of Mut — June 14, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

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