Friday, September 30, 2011

Huffington Post. Still the scum of the Journalistic Earth...

Finally, since I figured out how to use screen capture, you get to see what I mean.

So I saw this this evening:

Don't worry, the actual story is just as bad.

Oddly enough, I was familiar with Biden story before seeing this headline. Familiar enough to know that Huffington Post's take (or at least the headline's take) was 100% bullshit.

If you wanna know what the Vice President actually said, you might have to go to an actual newspaper like the Washington Post:

“Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant,” said the vice president. “What’s relevant is we’re in charge.”... 
Biden said it is “totally legitimate” for the 2012 presidential election to be “a referendum on Obama and Biden and the nature and state of the economy.” He said Americans will need to make a choice between what the Obama administration is offering to address the problem and what is being offered by the eventual Republican nominee.

Greg Sargent put it like this:

You can see why conservatives would jump on this — it gives them something to undercut the idea that Bush continues to deserve more of the blame for our current mess than Obama does. What Biden’s quotes really reflect, I think, is the tricky political spot the White House is in when it comes to the former President. White House advisers are aware that the public does still blame Bush more than Obama for our current predicament — this is confirmed in poll after poll, though that may be changing — but they also think voters probably don’t want to hear Obama telling them they should continue to blame Bush more than himself.

Conservatives constantly claim that Obama does try to fob off blame for the economy on to Bush, in order to dodge blame himself. But by and large, the real political argument Obama is making when he invokes the problems he inherited is one about the scale of the challenges we face, and how long they were in the making. It’s not finger pointing. It’s a plea for patience.

By the way, conservatives are right: Obama probably does “own” the economy in political terms right now. Indeed, it’s possible for the two following things to be simultaneously true: First, the public continues to blame Bush for originally tanking the economy; and second, this may be mostly irrelevant in 2012. The American people know Bush made an absolutely hideous mess of things. They hired Obama to clean up that hideous mess. They will judge Obama in 2012 on his progress towards completing that chore — whether the public will factor in GOP efforts to block Obama’s solutions remains to be seen — and will decide whether they think his GOP opponent would manage it any better. Obama will argue that his GOP foe plans to revive the ideas that tanked the economy under Bush in the first place. But that will ultimately be an argument over how to proceed in the future, not a relitigation of the past.

Bush broke it. Obama now owns it. Americans will judge his efforts to fix it — and will pick whichever candidate and party they think would best complete that job. Okay?

So Greg's right about Conservatives spinning the story this way... why is Huffington Post doing the same thing?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Well, now the White House is saying they didn't try to save Troy Davis...

From Politico, in the same spot where I found the previous story:

A White House official and a reporter who was in the room today denied a report from an African-American radio host who says Obama told a group of black journalists that he tried to save Troy Davis.

The report from Rob Redding Jr. at The Redding News Review, which we were unable to confirm, says the president said he'd looked into saving the death row inmate for "three days" and inquired with the local authorities.

But White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer flatly denied the report to me just now, as did American Urban Radio Networks' April Ryan, who was among the reporters at the off-the-record meeting from which the story purported to draw.

"That article was completely, 100 percent wrong," said Ryan, who said she'd pressed Obama on Davis at the gathering with African-American media figures including radio hosts Joe Madison, Tom Joyner, and Michel Martin, though not Redding. Obama, she said, was "unequivocal" that there was "nothing he could do" in the Davis case, though he did tell the group that in general, he had concerns about innocent death row inmates, and that he'd worked in Illinois to improve the criminal justice system.

UPDATE: Redding emails, "In your report, even April D. Ryan says that the death penalty was mentioned at the meeting. She is clearly not the source of our story. We stand by the story, as posted on our websites."

I'm not sure what to make of this since its possible both sides are speaking the truth. All the Redding News said was that the President looked into it, and determined there was nothing he could do, which is not far from the: "Obama, she said, was "unequivocal" that there was "nothing he could do" in the Davis case."

So we're really arguing over whether or not he looked into it before realizing there was nothing he could do.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The President tried to stop the Troy Davis execution...

From Politico, via the Redding News Review:

Obama's White House spent "three days" looking at how it could legally get involved in the case on a federal level, one source said. The Obama administration even called the state of Georgia about getting involved and were told "No".

"'We looked at every possible avenue legally,'" the source reported Obama said. "'There was not one there.'"

"'It was a state case and I could not intervene because it wasn't federal,'" another source reported Obama said.

If you really want to see the President get heckled by a Religious Zealot (VIDEO)

His reaction to these always makes me smile. Most politicians have a "how dare you interrupt me" look on their face as this is going on. The President meanwhile has you "Are you done yet? Can I get on with my speech as the Secret Service knocks you into next week?"

The President's LinkedIn Town Hall for Sept. 26, 2011 (VIDEO)