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Thursday, July 24, 2008

The media's in love with Obama, alright:

Ask Obama a bunch of ridiculous questions, then give McCain a chance to get the final word with his sick talking points. Yet, McCain argues that the media's in the tank for his opponent? Huh? I guess he thinks the press consists wholly of one Keith Olbermann.

Jason Linkins agrees:
You rarely see an interview couch such hopeless inanity in the pretense of not getting an answer to the question, but, what can I say? Couric's a whiz at this. You see the problems coming a mile away when Couric frames the discussion as a response to people "scratching their heads," people "asking why," and people whose "eyebrows" are raised. Such people, of course, do not exist and cannot be named. Tis the beginning of a Straw Man argument, which has sadly become the first resort of many in the press. From there, the line of interrogation is rivetingly unconcerned with substantive analysis of Obama's Iraq War position - it's a silly little trap of false logic, in which Couric attempts to get Obama to admit to the obvious - that 100,000+ troops in Iraq have affected the conditions in the country, and hang a false admission of "Surge" efficicacy around his neck.

Linkins also thinks that Obama didn't help himself here:
Obama seems to understand the trap is being set, but he disappointingly fails to expose it for what it is. In his foreign policy speech, delivered before his trip, Obama did a fine job in differentiating the tactic of the "Surge" as but a thin sliver of tactic within a larger foreign policy strategy that has failed to deliver any of the outcomes that were promised. Even if we could cast the "Surge" as an unqualified success, the overall strategy has netted America four major failures. And within the larger context of a failure to find WMDs, a failure to improve America's security, a failure to thwart or even impede al Qaeda in the wake of 9/11, and a failure to prevent malign regional forces like Iran and Hezbollah from increasing their regional influence, the "Surge" is entirely without relevance - a fourth quarter field goal when you're down four touchdowns.

All of this should have been, and likely is, apparent to Obama, but with Couric, his decision to get Talmudic - to borrow an appropriate term - does him no good at all.

I disagree. I think he had to know two things: a) he'd promised not to critique McCain while abroad, as is custom, and felt that casting the "surge" in such stark terms would constitute a criticism of the guy who's acting like he thought it up; and b) he had to realize what an ass Couric was making of herself, and it really wouldn't have done him any good to embarrass her further. Some things take care of themselves.


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