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Thread: Barack Obama gets free ride from U.S. media compared to Hillary Clinton

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Barack Obama gets free ride from U.S. media compared to Hillary Clinton

    http://ago.mobile.globeandmail.com/
    generated/archive/RTGAM/html/20080229/wprimaryibbitson29.htmlAre Is the media giving Obama a free ride?
    John Ibbitson
    From Friday's Globe and Mail

    WASHINGTON — Next week, Tony Rezko, a Chicago developer and political fixer with close ties to Barack Obama, goes on trial for extortion, money-laundering and fraud. And yet only one newspaper in North America, the Chicago Sun-Times, carried a story yesterday mentioning the coming trial.
    Outside Chicago, the Obama-Rezko affair has received only sporadic coverage, despite acts that Mr. Obama admits were "boneheaded mistakes."


    No wonder Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer admits to being "just angry" at how the media are covering the Democratic presidential nomination.


    Ms. Clinton openly accuses the American media of bias in their coverage of her and of Mr. Obama's campaign. In essence, the Clinton camp believes that reporters go out of their way to criticize her, but are so enamoured of Mr. Obama that they ignore or minimize information that might cause voters to question his fitness for the presidency.


    "I think it is true, that every time the Obama campaign in this campaign has attacked Ms. Clinton in the worst kind of personal ways, attacked her veracity, attacked her credibility, said that she would say or do anything to get elected, the press has largely applauded him," Howard Wolfson, Ms. Clinton's press secretary, bitterly accused earlier this week.


    "When we have attempted to make contrasts with Senator Obama, we have been criticized for it. That is a fact of life that we labour under."
    Ms. Clinton noted in Tuesday's debate that: "In the last several debates I seem to get the first question all the time.


    "I don't mind. I'll be happy to field it," she went on. "I just find it curious, if anybody saw Saturday Night Live. Maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow."


    In the SNL sketch, aired last Saturday, the comedian playing Mr. Obama says reporters are "tired of being told 'you journalists have to stay neutral. You can't openly take sides in a political campaign.' They're saying: 'Yes We Can.' '' Thomas Edsall, a veteran reporter who teaches journalism at Columbia University, believes the Clinton campaign has a point.
    "The complaint is legitimate," he said yesterday. "The press is more favourable to Obama than to Clinton."


    There are several reasons for it. Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mr. Edsall believes, have hated the media since he became president in 1993. The accumulated insults, resentments, betrayals and controversies have so poisoned relations between journalists and the Clintons that objective, or even fair, reporting is virtually impossible.


    Beyond that, "the Obama campaign is a much more exciting campaign. And reporters have sometimes allowed themselves to get too much caught up in that excitement."


    Mr. Obama's multicultural background, the tremendous enthusiasm he generates at public appearances, his inspiring - if ill-defined - message of reconciliation appeals to well-educated, relatively affluent liberal voters, which is also a pretty good description of most reporters.


    That may be why, although the Chicago media have devoted a great deal of effort to investigating the links between Mr. Rezko and Mr. Obama, the national media have largely left the story alone.


    Mr. Rezko raised large sums of money for Mr. Obama throughout his years as an Illinois politician. Mr. Rezko's wife purchased a garden lot, and Mr. Obama a house next door, on the same day and from the same seller. Ms. Rezko subsequently sold part of her land to Mr. Obama, for what might not have been fair market value.


    Mr. Obama has said he regrets the real-estate transaction and has donated to charity money raised on his behalf by Mr. Rezko.
    Still, the media have given the story little shrift, compared with the obsessive attention paid to the Clinton family's business dealings, and to Senator John McCain's relations with lobbyists.


    The media have also demonstrated an affection for Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican nominee. Perhaps, if and when Mr. Obama secures the Democratic nomination and goes head-to-head against Mr. McCain, the scrutiny of Mr. Obama will increase.


    But it may never reach the level to which Ms. Clinton has been subjected, and certainly won't before Ohio and Texas have rendered their judgment next Tuesday.


    Who cares what the press says, once the votes have been counted?

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Actually, when the campaign started over a year ago she was ALL they covered. The media had her as the one who would win it all, they didn't even give a second look at the contenders. So, you can't have it both ways, you can't get all the attention, and with no adversities..then whine, bitch, moan, and complain about it when someone else is the right runner and is getting your attention.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Still, only ONE media outlet covering what would surely be endless, daily front-page news if any kind of scandal came this close to Hillary during the nomination process? Come on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific breeze View Post
    Still, only ONE media outlet covering what would surely be endless, daily front-page news if any kind of scandal came this close to Hillary during the nomination process? Come on!
    The Rezko thing have been questioned and answered time and time again. I don't know how folks missed that. CNN, ABC, CNBC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, have been talking about it all along. I think if it is new news to anyone, then they aren't paying that much attention to what's going on in this election with each candidate.
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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Hillary for PREZ!!!!!
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    It's funny how no one is bringing up how the Clintons rented out the Lincoln bedroom, whitewater, their own cronyism and elitism..

    John Edwards didn't mention a chief Democratic presidential rival by name, but it seemed clear whom the White House hopeful was targeting in a fiery speech Thursday in New Hampshire. Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards campaigns last weekend in Clinton, Iowa.





    The former U.S. senator from North Carolina, who finds himself lagging significantly behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in most national polls, told New Hampshire voters to reject "establishment elites" and "outdated answers ... rooted in nostalgia."
    "The trouble with nostalgia is that you tend to remember what you liked and forget what you didn't," Edwards said. "It's not just that the answers of the past aren't up to the job today, it's that the system that produced them was corrupt -- and still is."
    Clinton often touts the successes of her husband's administration on the campaign trail as does the former president. Watch Edwards slam the politics of the past »
    But Edwards said voters shouldn't replace "a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats." Seeming to take a page out of Republican talking points from the '90s, he added, "The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate."
    Following President Clinton's 1996 re-election, Republicans accused him of improperly allowing top campaign donors to spend a night in the White House, arguing the practice amounted to "renting" out the Lincoln Bedroom.
    Democrats have also charged President Bush of the same practice.
    Edwards also said, "We cannot triangulate our way to real change," a veiled reference to the ex-Democratic president's political strategy of attempting to fashion a "third way" on issues to appeal to members of both political parties.
    Edwards, who previously has attacked the former first lady for accepting campaign donations from lobbyists, continued his criticisms of the practice Thursday, decrying "the politicians who curry [lobbyists'] favor and carry their water."
    The senator from New York has defended accepting $400,000 in campaign donations from lobbyists, saying at a recent presidential forum, "A lot of these lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans. They actually do. They represent nurses, they represent social workers -- yes, they represent corporations that employ a lot of people," she said.
    The Clinton responded to Edwards' speech by saying "angry attacks on other Democrats won't improve Senator Edwards' campaign."

    ************************************************** ***
    By: Jerry Seper
    Nearly one in five "HillRaisers," the elite big-money fundraisers for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, have ties to the 1990s fundraising scandal that tarnished her husband's presidency by offering Democratic donors sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom and other perks inside the White House.
    Forty-nine of the Clintons' Lincoln Bedroom guests are among the 250 HillRaisers listed on Mrs. Clinton's campaign Web page, who have pledged to gather, or "bundle," at least $100,000 in donations. Some have promised to raise $1 million or more for the 2008 campaign, the most costly in U.S. history.
    Some of the HillRaisers are longtime friends who have given millions to the Clintons over the years, including Washington socialite Beth Dozoretz, who played a key role in the controversial, last-minute 2000 pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.
    A Lincoln Bedroom visitor, Mrs. Dozoretz, raised $2 million for Mr. Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign, $1 million for the Clinton presidential library and hosted a "rally-around-the-president party" that raised $1 million for Mr. Clinton's legal defense in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
    Mrs. Dozoretz dismissed concerns about the overnight visits — raised by Mrs. Clinton's Democratic primary rivals, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina — saying the Clintons had simply opened up the White House to friends.

    "It is an experience that can be extraordinary, and Bill and Hillary Clinton sought to share it with a great number of people," she told The Washington Times. "They believed the White House was the people's house, and they shared it with as many people and in as many ways as possible.
    "Having friends stay at the White House was in no way a quid pro quo for those who had contributed. No way," she said.
    So far in the 2008 campaign, Mrs. Dozoretz has given $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), $2,300 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $12,650 to other Democrats and $4,200 to Mrs. Clinton, according to Federal Election Commission records.
    Clinton spokesman Phil Singer did not answer questions e-mailed to the campaign this week about the overnight visits and the HillRaisers. Instead, he responded with an e-mail saying, "The only commitment Hillary Clinton has made is to be the best president she can be for the American people."
    Mrs. Clinton, who has raised more than $118 million so far for her 2008 race, has acknowledged that campaign donors were invited to spend the night in the second-floor Lincoln Bedroom but denied that the visits were in exchange for campaign donations.
    "There's certainly no basis for believing that they are anything other than what they are, which is friends and supporters," she told reporters in 1996. "There just really isn't any reason for anybody to raise any questions about it. The Lincoln Bedroom was never sold."
    Broken system
    According to a study by the Committee for Responsive Politics (CRP), a bipartisan watchdog group, 15 of the Lincoln Bedroom guests in 1996 who are now HillRaisers also contributed $130,000 to Mrs. Clinton's 2000 Senate race. Those same high rollers forked over $1.4 million to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and to other Democratic candidates.
    The donations flowed despite complaints that the Lincoln Bedroom mattress was lumpy.
    Collectively, according to the records, the Lincoln Bedroom guests, which totaled 938 including spouses and children, contributed $10.2 million to Democrats, including Mr. Clinton, an average of $10,847 each.
    Mary Boyle, spokeswoman at Common Cause, a Washington-based campaign-finance watchdog group, said the influence of wealthy special interests in the funding of campaigns has eroded public trust in the nation's political system and discouraged political participation.
    "Sure, we're always concerned about large donations in presidential races, whether for Hillary Clinton or anyone else," she said. "Bundlers are the power brokers of this presidential campaign.
    "The bottom line is our campaign-finance system is badly broken and must be fixed," she said. "We need to restore the presidential public-finance system so our presidential races are not so much about who can raise the most money but who has the best ideas, policies, most support among voters."
    'Caricature of itself'
    According to White House records and documents collected during separate Senate and House inquiries, the big donors in the 1996 re-election campaign not only were given overnight accommodations, but they were also ushered into the Oval Office for coffees, lunches and other meetings with Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, took rides on Air Force One, received invitations for golf with the president, got Cabinet members for fundraisers, and were put in touch with top policy-makers throughout the Clinton high command.
    Republicans first raised questions about the propriety of the coffees and sleepovers, but so did the Justice Department's campaign-finance task force.
    Its hand-picked chief, federal prosecutor Charles G. LaBella, recommended in July 1998 after a two-year investigation that Attorney General Janet Reno, a Clinton appointee, seek an independent counsel to probe accusations of White House fundraising abuses.
    In a 94-page report, Mr. LaBella said the "intentional conduct and the willful ignorance uncovered by our investigations ... resulted in a situation where abuse was rampant, and indeed the norm."
    He said White House officials, including the president and the first lady, had a "desperate need to raise enormous sums of money" to offset losses to Republicans in 1994 and relied on the "calculated use of access" to the Clintons "as leverage to extract contributions."
    "At some point, the campaign was so corrupted by bloated fundraising and questionable contributions that the system became a caricature of itself," Mr. LaBella said.
    A November 1997 memo by FBI Director Louis J. Freeh said a "core group" of White House and Democratic National Committee officials were involved in "an all-out effort" to raise campaign cash — which led, in part, to the White House coffees and the overnight stays. In the 22-page memo, he said it was "difficult to imagine a more compelling situation for appointing an independent counsel."
    Miss Reno rejected the recommendations.
    Mr. LaBella, now in private practice in San Diego, said this week that he could not comment on the Clinton presidential campaign but added that "the report speaks for itself."
    Big bundles
    Mrs. Clinton's HillRaisers are part of a political landscape used by many politicians to bypass federal laws that cap, or limit, contributions. By bundling donations, a single fundraiser can gather contributions from employees, clients, acquaintances and special-interest groups to effectively circumvent federal limits and restrictions.
    While the HillRaisers are committed to raising $100,000 each, many have been encouraged by the Clinton campaign to gather as much as $1 million apiece.
    Several of them represent large corporations, many of whom do business with the government. Others have been identified as U.S. lobbyists working for foreign governments, including Matthew Bernstein, who represents Dubai and Turkey; John Merrigan, Dubai, Turkey and Ethiopia; Thomas Siebert, the Kurdistan Regional Government; Timothy Chorba, China; Gordon Giffin, Canada; and former Sen. Robert Torricelli, Taiwan.
    Mr. Torricelli of New Jersey served a single term in the Senate after 14 years in the House but decided not to seek re-election after being implicated in a bribery and campaign finance scandal involving David Chang, a Korean businessman who was imprisoned.
    Other HillRaisers and Lincoln Bedroom guests were William Brandt Jr., a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer and Democratic fundraiser who was investigated and later cleared in a $10,000 per-couple fundraiser he held for Mr. Clinton's 1996 re-election; and Michael Turpen, former attorney general in Oklahoma investigated but not charged in 1998 in his solicitation from an Indian tribe of a $100,000 donation to the DNC in exchange for coffee with Mr. Clinton at the White House.
    At least 16 HillRaisers have given $120,000 to Mrs. Clinton's political action committee, HILLPAC.
    The sleepovers began as part of a re-election strategy by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, who sought to raise $100 million using coffees, overnight stays and other White House perks. The plan was personally approved by Mr. Clinton, who said in a January 1995 handwritten note: "Ready to start overnights right away."
    The White House coffees became so frequent during the Clinton administration that in a Jan. 19, 1996, memo, Evelyn Lieberman, White House deputy chief of staff, notified staff members who routinely briefed the president that they should be "flexible during this period and accept that their briefings may be considerably truncated or eliminated."
    Mrs. Lieberman now serves as chief operating officer of Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign.
    In his report, Mr. LaBella did not accuse the president, first lady or Mr. Ickes — who served as Mrs. Clinton's top campaign adviser in her 2000 New York senatorial race — of any criminal acts, but cited a "pattern of conduct worthy of investigation" by an independent counsel.
    The report was not made public by the Clinton White House for more than two years, but was released in June 2000 by the House Government Reform Committee.
    Former HillRaiser Norman Hsu was sentenced in January to three years in prison in a $60 million fraud. He had raised $850,000 for Mrs. Clinton's 2008 campaign, which has since been returned. Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said at the time that the campaign returned the money "out of an abundance of caution."
    WHITE HOUSE SLEEPOVERS
    Nearly one in five big-money contributors to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, known as "HillRaisers," are the same donors who surfaced in a 1996 White House scandal involving sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom and other perks to help re-elect President Clinton. The following are the names of donors who got to spend a night in the Lincoln Bedroom.
    Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley
    Leonard Barrack
    William Brandt
    Ron Burkle
    John Catsimatidis
    Ellen Chesler
    Betsy Cohn
    Barbaralee Diamonstein
    Beth Dozoretz
    Mike Driver
    Voda "Betsy" Ebeling
    Debra Farar
    Sim Farar
    Geraldine Ferraro
    Michael Goldberg
    Stephen L. Green
    Brian Greenspun
    Steven Grossman
    Fred P. Hochberg
    Kaki Hockersmith
    Jill Iscol
    John "Duke" Kinney
    Christopher Korge
    Cynthia Leesfield
    Ira Leesfield
    Thomas Leonard
    Philip Levine
    Matthew Mallow
    Gary Mauro
    Kevin O'Keefe
    Alan J. Patricof
    Lisa Perry
    Richard Perry
    Steven Rattner
    Gov. Edward G. Rendell
    Cheryl Saban
    Haim Saban
    Elaine Schuster
    Gerry Schuster
    Stanley S. Shuman
    Roy Spence
    Steven Spielberg
    Ambassador Carl Spielvogel
    Michael Turpen
    Susan Turpen
    Mark Weiner
    Carol Shields Westbrook
    Hugh Westbrook
    Maureen White
    SOURCE: Washington Times
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Obama's not really getting a free ride from the media. If he were then stupid questions about his patriotism wouldn't even be reported on. Bottom line, Hillary has more political baggage than Obama, so the media tends to focus on that more. And, true, that may create some bias toward her, but not enough to derail her campaign. Especially since the media was hailing her at the beginning of the race.

    And back when Bill & Hillary were the new kids on the block in the early 90's they didn't have a lot of political baggage for the media to focus on either, other than Bill's sex scandals.

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    Hillary Giving Back $850,000 Given by Hsu - How much is 1 night in the Lincoln Bedroom these days?

    Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign dramatically severed all ties to disgraced fundraiser Norman Hsu, announcing Monday night it will return more than $850,000 he raised from some 260 donors. (Including those folks that live in a small bungalow in San Francisco; see post below.)
    Clinton’s campaign, one of several Democratic committees that Hsu raised money for or donated to, also has decided to increase its screening of major fund-raisers, requiring them to submit to the extraordinary additional step of a criminal background check, campaign aides said.
    The dramatic return of all Hsu-raised donations was aimed at ending a controversy that awakened comparisons to Bill Clinton’s 1990s fund-raising scandal and renewed scrutiny of others major fund-raisers and donors inside Sen. Clinton’s presidential campaign. The fact that a foreign national can buy so much access to the former first lady and presidential contender should be alarming, although this does seem to be only the tip of the iceberg.
    Sen. Clinton “simply didn’t want to have to keep answering questions about a bundler whose background is now clearly in question,” a senior adviser said, speaking only on condition of anonymity. Note that the response is not that she thought anything was wrong, just that she didn’t want to have to keep answering questions.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    So far no one here has addressed the issue of the topic about why something shady in Barack's campaign has been ignored in the mainstream media. I'm not talking about the odd right-wing blog that questions his patriotism, but major media where most people get their news. I've checked, and the Sun-Times is the only paper that mentioned this recent development in the Rezko case.

    I'm not disputing that ALL politicians of every stripe have questionable campaign practices -- clearly the laws around that need to be changed, and fast -- but why should one candidate be scrutinized, and the other not?

    All of this reminds me of how anybody who questioned invading Iraq was labelled a "traitor" and the media didn't do its homeworkk on the issues. Fair is fair -- if Clinton is to be raked over the coals by every media outlet in the country daily, shouldn't the same scrutiny be applied to Barack NO MATTER HOW LONG he's been around? The man could become president after all!

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Actually, they aren't the only people reporting on it. I've seen it on ABC and some other places, too. The media is starting to ask questions about Obama and Rezko. Now, if something comes up that directly ties Obama to Rezko's money-laundering, fraud & extortion, then watch all hell break loose.

    And maybe the reason why Hillary keeps getting raked over the coals is because she keeps running around making herself an easy target with the stunts she keeps pulling.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Rest assured, the bad part is coming right up for all of the candidates.
    Trust me-it will not be long.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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