Fox & Friends anchors spent two hours on their television show debating and over analyzing an answer Barack Obama gave while discussing his race speech on a Philadelphia radio station. The Fox & Friends coverage was so excessive that fellow Fox News host Chris Wallace, son of 60 minutes anchor Mike Wallace , said he couldn't take any more "Obama Bashing."
There's an interesting conversation going on this weekend between the Barack Obama campaign and FOX News -- or, to be more precise, between the Obama campaign and the American people about FOX News.
On Friday, FOX host Wallace took the network to task for overplaying and distorting a remark by the Democratic presidential contender that the FOX folks were trying to present as a suggestion that the "typical white person" is a racist.
Wallace's comments fell short of a condemnation of his employer.
He simply told the hosts of the network's morning program, FOX & Friends, what was obvious to everyone: That FOX's obsessive focus on Obama's comments regarding race issues was an attempt to divert attention from the candidate's serious statements about other issues.
"Hey listen, I love you guys but I want to take you to task if I may, respectfully, for a moment. I have been watching the show since 6:00 this morning when I got up, and it seems to me that two hours of Obama bashing on this typical white person remark is somewhat excessive and frankly I think you're somewhat distorting what Obama had to say," said Wallace, couching his words more carefully than a corporate CEO giving a deposition in a shareholder lawsuit. source
After Barack Obama's speech on race he gave a radio interview with morning show host Angelo Cataldi 610 WIP sports radio, Philadelphia, PA and spoke about his white grandmother. Obama's remarks were dissected in a soundbite that Barack Obama was saying his grandmother's reaction to black men was that of the "typical white person" in America. On the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War Barack Obama's "typical white person" comment received excessive coverage on FOX,MSNBC,NBC and other media outlets that made his statement the focus of their news reports. Read Barack Obama's comments about his white grandmother and listen to the radio interview below.
. .. The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person who, uh, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know there's a reaction that's been been bred into our experiences that don't go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way and that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it..." - Senator Barack Obama.
The controversy began when Senator Barack Obama made his speech on race. He addressed issues about society, history and the experiences of African-Americans who live in America. During his speech he also spoke about his Reverend Jeremiah Wright and said the following about his white grandmother.
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
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After the "typical white person" comment was taken out of context Barack Obama's campaign spokesperson explained the following.
"Barack Obama said specifically that he didn't believe his grandmother harbored any racial animosity, but that her fears were understandable and typical of those often shared by her generation," said Obama's PA spokesman Sean Smith, who added that Grandma is 86-years-old.
According to US News & World Report Hillary Clinton's strategists are happy that Barack Obama is talking about his views on race so they can gain votes for their presidential campaign.
Hillary Clinton's strategists are delighted at what they consider Barack Obama's latest stumble in the hypersensitive world of racial politics. Clinton insiders say Obama's remarks stereotyped whites in a negative way and will further alienate white working-class people around the country, including those in Pennsylvania, which holds a key primary April 22. Obama's remarks are being criticized on Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, and elsewhere in the media, keeping the controversy going. Clinton strategists say it's part of a broader problem—that Obama has not been sufficiently "vetted" and there are many areas of his life and background that have escaped scrutiny and might embarrass him later. source
Barack Obama's campaign wrote a blog post about the Chris Wallace Fox & Friends confrontation. They praised Chris Wallace for speaking up as a journalist. Chris Wallace also mentioned that there were other issues of importance that the press should be covering including Barack Obama's endorsement from former presidential candidate Bill Richardson. The New York Times reports on the significance of Bill Richardson to the Barack Obama campaign. Click here to watch Bill Richardson speak about his endorsement.
But potentially more troublesome for Mrs. Clinton was what Mr. Richardson said in announcing his decision. He criticized the tenor of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. He praised Mr. Obama for the speech he gave in response to the furor over racially incendiary remarks delivered by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
And he came close to doing what Mrs. Clinton’s advisers have increasingly feared some big-name Democrat would do as the battle for the nomination drags on: Urge Mrs. Clinton to step aside in the interest of party unity.
“I’m not going to advise any other candidate when to get in and out of the race,” Mr. Richardson said after appearing in Portland with Mr. Obama. “Senator Clinton has a right to stay in the race, but eventually we don’t want to go into the Democratic convention bloodied. This was another reason for my getting in and endorsing, the need to perhaps send a message that we need unity.”
The reaction of some of Mr. Clinton’s allies suggests that might have been a wise decision. “An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.
“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.
Chris Wallace also recommended that the scandal about State Department employees inappropriately accessing and breaching the passport files of Senator Barack Obama would be a better topic of discussion .
Think Progress reports...
On Fox and Friends this morning, hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Gretchen Carlson spent multiple segments sensationalizing a comment Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) made yesterday...
When the trio welcomed Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace onto the show, instead of previewing his show this weekend, Wallace announced that he was going to take his fellow Fox hosts “to task” for their “excessive” and “somewhat distorting” coverage of what Obama said...
We appreciate Chris Wallace for doing his job as a tough but fair journalist on a network that has been deeply irresponsible over the last week in its unrelenting and sensationalistic coverage of Senator Obama.
Senator Obama gave the speech he did on Tuesday because he believes that Americans are ready for a thoughtful, mature discussion about race, and are hungry to move past media-generated controversies that distract from the struggles they face in their everyday lives.
If Fox News wants to play clips of the same offensive sound bites every day from now until November, that's their right, but that type of coverage does a disservice to their viewers and to a nation that is facing serious challenges that merit thoughtful and honest reporting.
UPDATE: We've become aware of the fact that Brian Kilmeade was so offended by Fox and Friends this morning that he actually walked off the set. We appreciate the fact that he too was so offended by Fox's treatment of this serious issue that like Chris Wallace, he chose to speak out. source