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Is The Times playing double standard journalism?

by The3rdColumn Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 10:56:44 PM EST

Mansion 'mistake' piles the pressure on Barack Obama

This news is actually 'buried' somewhere in The Times on line news.

What surprised me was how this once prestigious British newspaper has been going hammer and tongs at Hillary Clinton while something as 'newsy' as, which if you think about it, is something Anglo-American media usually love to dwell on, gets 'buried' and that unless you click away like crazy on your keyboard in search of all available news stuff on line you don't get to read (Sen Obama's picture lifted from The Times.)

The issue I'm raising here is not whether a wrongdoing was committed by Sen Barack Obama when he got involved in a land deal with the wife of his "bagman" Antoine "Tony" Rezko who, by the way, has been linked to Nadhmi Auchi, one of Britain's wealthiest men who was convicted in France for corruption, but whether The Times, owned by Rupert Murdoch, Australian-American media tycoon, has not in fact been playing footsie with its journalism 'privileges' by preferring to downplay a story that might place Mr Obama in a bad light.

What I've been observing these last few weeks is that The Times has clearly joined the Obama bandwagon. I noticed this started when Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary but chose to downplay the former first lady's victory in favour of an all out campaign cover for Barack Obama. From then on, The Times has been doing a non-stop Obama rah-rah-rah while being openly critical of every word and move of his rival, Hillary Clinton.

I'm frankly suspicious and wonder if Mr Murdoch is not behind all this double standard journalism practice in the hope of becoming a kingmaker. After all, he's already tried to do it in the UK -- he once lent his support to Conservative Party's Margaret Thatcher but switched to Labour and supported Tony Blair. The Times and The Sunday Times, which used to enjoy considerable influence in Britain, then rallied support for Blair almost throughout the latter's tenure as UK's PM.

According to Wikipedia,

"The closeness of his relationship with Blair and their secret meetings to discuss national policies was to become a political issue in Britain."

Mind you, Murdoch, who became a US citizen in 1985, has been known to be a strong supporter of some Republican Party stalwarts that began in earnest with Pres Ronald Reagan, but it is not far fetched to think that just like what he did in Britain, i.e., switched from Tory to Labour, he might be doing the same in the US. It is said that Mr Murdoch owns 175 newspapers, is known to be politically conservative and has never sought to hide the fact that he's always been in favour of the US invasion of and war on Iraq.

In the absolute, one may say there's nothing wrong with switching party allegiance, witness the great switch, i.e., Winston Churchill from Liberal to Tory. It's not unusual for a businessmen, particularly at the level of Murdoch, to switch support either, i.e., from one political party to another -- it has happened before and will happen again but what can be worrisome is if Murdoch is tempted to use (an understatement) his media empire to flex his muscles on an untried, un-tested but potentially future tenant of the White House and under some journalism cover, "fix intelligence around" an unsuspecting US president.

Of course, the thoughts expressed here are mere speculations that can only be confirmed if and when Fox News, which Mr Murdoch owns, starts playing up to the Illinois senator who's now fast becoming the Democrat party's favourite contender for the US presidential election in November.

Following last night's Ohio debate when Hillary complains that media have been pro-Obama, I found a criticism of Obama in media -- but not not even of Barack -- by The First Post, an on line news medium:

Michelle is Barack's weak link

There is not much love for Michelle Obama. America might have gone gooey for Barack, but there is something about the missus that raises the national hackles.

Now that she might be on her way to the White House, which is no mean privilege, she declares that "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country."

That sounds a lot like an exaggerated sense of entitlement. The 44-year-old lawyer, who grew up in Chicago, married Obama in 1992 and is mother to his two daughters, hastily 'clarified'.

What she really meant to say was that she was proud of America for finally rising above its history of racial divide by backing a black candidate.

Maybe. But the remark still stinks in a nation in thrall to a jingoistic sense of patriotism. Just because she is black, does she not feel proud of WWII, men on the moon, truth, justice and the American way?

Michelle comes across as a bit prickly. She doesn't have Barack's charm or politician's polish. Early on, she revealed that she made him quit smoking as a condition for being allowed to run for the presidency, and would kick him out of bed in the morning for being 'stinky'. Full story ...

by The3rdColumn on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 11:47:09 AM EST
Sounds like the media are trying the well practiced  scheme that they've already used against the wives of both Blair and Clinton.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 11:54:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like it too!

Come to think of it, why do media find it easier to knock the living daylights out of these ladies than out of their husbands?

by The3rdColumn on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:10:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because generally the women are not in a position to fight back? it's media Bullying.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:29:06 PM EST
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Ah, the eternal belief that women should be 'dainty' and should leave the fighting to men... and if they fight back, they're no longer 'ladies'?

by The3rdColumn on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:39:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminded me of my ex-boss' (who served in French cavalry, er tank division) who told big boss that all the unemployment problems in France circa early 90s) would be solved if only women stayed at home and tended to kids, kept house, etc. saying, besides women didn't have the acumen to do men's job, etc.

Well, I fought it out on the work front, got him fired for serious incompetence and replaced him.

by The3rdColumn on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:44:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha, the traditionalism of the French Army.

One of France's potential problems is that the French military is very separated from the French society, especially the officer corps, but the soldiers too with the end of conscription. The French military is quite out there on the far right, for example. In the early '60's it was a problem, and we didn't have national crisis since ; I wonder how the French army would react to such an occasion.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2008 at 04:30:35 AM EST
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With a splash of "mess with us and we can attack your family" to their husband

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:46:00 PM EST
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Problem is that most women journalists join the hungry pack when media go on attack mode, and don't spare their fellow "ladies" -- media become complete 'asexual' in that sense; you'd think some women journalists would come to the defence of the ladies (Cherie, Hillary or Michelle) but heck no, matter of fact they out-clobber, out-claw, out-rant, etc their male colleagues to become the perfect 'bullies'.
by The3rdColumn on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:57:33 PM EST
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