23
Jul
08

Is Barack Obama beyond criticism ?

Morning, afternoon, evening – Peter (Dobbie) here with news of today’s World Have Your Say, on air at the usual time 1700 GMT :o)

Is Barack Obama beyond criticism ?

I ask this because yesterday, as I was fronting our sister show “Newshour”, and this morning on BBC World News TV, over at BBC TV Centre, I’ve been having a lot of on-air conversations about Mr Obama – and more specifically about him clarifying his position on US troop withdrawals from Iraq. I spoke at length on Newshour to our Correspondent Jamie Coomarasamy who’s following Mr Obama — b.t.w if it’s Wednesday it must be Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Anyway, during our chat it occured to me that, even though the Presidential hopeful was saying he was clarifying his position, I couldn’t actually pick up on much, what you might call actual clarity. There were more than a few “ums” and “ers” in there, and he said (to paraphrase) “I’ll decide what to do in consultation with the Iraqi Prime Minister”. OK, so what’s new in there ? What’s new in there, that Mr Bush couldn’t lay claim to, as a White House policy ? On top of that – someone tell me this:

What’s his USP – his Unique Selling Point ? Apart from the message of “hope and change”, what are the facts ? Why don’t we know more about his policies ? Maybe you do where you are, but we dont.

And – here’s the punchline – does it now feel as if the voters, and for that matter the rest of the world, have all decided that he WILL be the next guy in the White House ? Why doesn’t anyone criticise this man ?

Also, this trip to the Middle East is (come on, admit it – you know we’re right) one long photo opportunity, with Mr Obama looking Presidential. And as a PR operation its working too. Course it is :o( This morning I was on BBC World News TV, and here I have to fess-up to something. The link that we were broadcasting at one point mentioned Mr Obama, in terms of the White House, in terms of the Middle East, but at no point did we say the crucial words “presidential hopeful”. By osmosis, am I, are we, as journalists guilty of pushing people to an assumption: he cannot be criticised, and he WILL be taking the oath come January ?

But WHY ?

Later, Peter :o)


191 Responses to “Is Barack Obama beyond criticism ?”


  1. 1 Shaun in Halifax
    July 23, 2008 at 14:21

    Mr. Obama is not beyond criticism, but at this point Americans can’t want another four years of Republican mismanagement and incompetence.

    The problem imo is the actual partisan system itself. When one party has screwed up as much as the ‘publicans, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the voters are going the other way. That being said, the mob IS fickle. One wrong word or misstep and Mr. Obama’s campaign is over. Just remember the fellow from last campaign who got a little too animated and flushed while giving the speech at the college. His chances were done the next day.

    Aside: Ann Coulter refuses to call Barrack Obama ‘Barrack Obama.’ She calls him “B. Hussein Obama” and says “Wow, president Hussein… scary…”
    She’s Crazy

  2. July 23, 2008 at 15:09

    If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers (Pynchon).

    I think the question here is that Politics has turned into some form of show business. Right down to the glamour, the wealth and the sleeze.

    Campaign budgets must be the envy of every Hollywood producer.

    Plutocracy is presented as democracy, and you can market democracy with an easy conscience. There was a time, not so long ago, when Plutocracy was marketed as Fascism. It went down rather well with a considerable number of people. Go a bit further back and you have the Roman Empire.

    The trouble is that the Plutocracy, almost by definition, are corrupt.
    In every case there has been a rise and fall.
    What we are witnessing now is the present Plutocracy, the bully in the playground, the USA, the “good guys” (remember?), in its dying days.
    Like the Romans, and the Nazi’s, over extended with a few at the top squandering the resource of those on the ground.
    The tricks become more transparent, the games more brutal and haphazard. The edifice tumbles.

    Nobody in their right mind can think that the dear G.W.Bush actually makes any decisions. And time was not wasted on capitalisng (literally) on his inability to string three words together in the right order.
    Clinton put on a good act, but he is a lawyer and a good one.
    Bush is a bit shabby in comparison.
    Next up, Barack Obama, well I guess they have gone through his underwear and he is the PC colour.

    It’s all too much show biz to be true.

    Goebbels was a past master; we owe 90% of our advertising strategy through him, and politics, for which the marketing system was developed for, has always led the way.

    But the rot at the top is beginning to show. The Internet has had quite a lot to do with it. It’s a great cafe. People gossip.
    And Bush was a bit of a mistake. A little too obvious a plant and too much an idiot to pull it off.

    And I am sorry to say I do believe the 9/11 scandal was very badly staged managed. It’s sort of all going pear shaped for the Plutocracy at the moment.

    At great risk of winning the OBN, radio stations do far more than the Internet when it comes to the dissemination of information, and the BBC World Service is a good example. You can hear between the lines.

    Barack Obama is very well trained and you can be for sure he will not put a foot wrong. And if he does, well that is that posse behind with the cleaning kit.

    Wanna sell an old used and useless car? Polish it.

    Malc

    Berlin/UK/Canada/South Africa

  3. 3 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 15:14

    It’s funny how Obama won’t talk about the surge in iraq, because he simply can’t. It’s working, but Obama was always right, that things will fall apart as it ends. But his entire thing is about leaving iraq, so basically iraq will fall apart because he wants to withdraw the troops. So he cannot say anything on the subject.

  4. July 23, 2008 at 15:18

    I can’t say he is beyond criticism, I get emails everyday that ultimately turn out to be stretches f the truth, out of context, or flat out lies about him, his family, and his positions. It is hard to accept criticism when so often when you hear it, it turns out to be false. Because of the parsing of his words, Obama has been forced to be very PC aware when he speaks. If not somebody takes his words and turns it into something completely misrepresentative. In order to be a critic, you must have validity.

    IT makes it harder when his critics turn around and do the very things they berated him for. In the news this week we have seen Bush beg Iran to negotiate, Talks have started between the US and North Korea, which was not the policy of the current administration or it supporters, people admitting that the peace in Iraq brought by the surge is thin and uneasy, the negotiations of troop pullout, shooting down of the “gas tax holiday” and in fact they are talking of increasing the tax so they can create more jobs. All of these Ideas he had to suffer “criticism over, and now it is his critics policies.

    Conversations with conservative friends only debate whether Obama’s win will be a “blow out” or a close call. But we have know since ’06 that the next president will be a democrat.

  5. July 23, 2008 at 15:25

    Why don’t we know more about his policies ? Maybe you do where you are, but we dont.

    Because the media mostly dumbs down the presidential race with little specifics and more points that will catch viewers eyes and give the ‘Ooohhh-Aaaahh’-factor. There is plenty out there on the candidates points and policies, but the media only picks up on what viewers want to hear about (Gas, Economy, Iraq) and for some reason seem to cover these as vaguely as possible, throwing in as many ‘experts’ to comment on this vague coverage as possible. Add all this up and theres more speculation and ‘what-if’s’ than facts in any of these discussions.
    Get into actual deep coverage of presidential hopeful’s policies and most of the viewer base for the nightly news will fall asleep straight away until their favorite reality TV show comes on.

    Is Obama beyond criticism?
    Oh certainly not, people criticize him all the time. They are mostly neo-cons or hold ideas leaning far right that get the coverage, which discredit their arguments in the eyes of many due to the failure of the right under the current Bush admin. People want change, and by change people want democrats, not republicans in the house. They’ll herd behind him to see it so. Besides most peopleseem to criticize only the candidates they don’t follow.
    I have seen very few commentators or criticism of Obama that was not some sort of radical doomsday scenario. The criticism comes hard and is normally a stretch, seemingly lending it little credibility. Then again I have seen the same for McCain. Doomsday scenerios sell more than informed and logical discussion.

    I do agree that Obama needs more criticism… And not the stupid pointless stuff like Rev. Wright or him being black. Criticize and pick apart his policies and ideas, not drama surrounding him… Even if it means fewer people will actually watch it. Oh how sad it is when people care more about race and drama surrounding a presidential candidate than things that will actually affect them in the future.

  6. 6 Mohammed Ali
    July 23, 2008 at 15:41

    Obama is not beyond criticism. But what much is there about Obama to criticize. For now his message of change for the best is going well with the majority. I bet if it were a democrat in the White House who screw up things like Bush did, bulk of the criticisms would have been directed towards Mr. Obama. Bush and McCain are no different in terms of their policy and electing McCain will mean that the economy of the US and by extension the rest of the world.

  7. 7 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 15:46

    The best part of elections is that it shows how stupid, so many people are. Falling for whatever the politician says, which they only say to get votes. They are the most dishonest people who have ever lived. But nothing makes me laugh harder, and realize how stupid people are, when they say “I’m voting for Obama because he’s cute”. People like that shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

  8. 8 mary
    July 23, 2008 at 15:47

    Obama is always talking about his policies , anyone who does not know where he stands is not listening.
    He is not above criticism and neither is his wife, again you have not been listening.
    He is not perfect but he is wwwwwaaaaayyyy better then mccain and the continuation of the same lame policies

  9. 9 umoh, amos
    July 23, 2008 at 15:52

    This topic strikes a chord.

    It looked more than a coincidence when an evening news reporter on CNN referred to Obama as ‘President Obama’. She quickly attempted to correct herself to ‘Presidential hopeful’ Obama. Listen up guys, it will take more than a miracle for McCain to win the November elections.

    The differences in public opinions seem overwhelming and most of them appears to naturally favour Barack Obama. I wish this wasn’t the case.

    McCain seem to have several things just working against him. Some of which include the very Republican party (that he has found himself which stirs up some resentment on the mind of an average American), Policies, Cash, Age, Appeal, etc.

    I just wish that it wasn’t McCain but someone else who was the Republican candidate and perhaps such a person would have given Obama a better and keener fight.

  10. 10 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 15:56

    @ Shaun

    At least Ann Coulter is calling him by his name. That’s all she’s doing. The far lefties call Mccain “Mcbush”, “Mcsame”. All she’s guilty of is calling him by his name. Seems like you are the one that has an issue with his name.

  11. 11 Anthony
    July 23, 2008 at 16:21

    There are no facts. Its just he’s a great speaker (unless improvised), and he’s now a symbol. Clinton should have won. If you were to take both and put them in blank similar bodies, Barak wouldn’t have been that impressive.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  12. 12 Mohammed Ali
    July 23, 2008 at 16:22

    mary July 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Obama is always talking about his policies , anyone who does not know where he stands is not listening.
    He is not above criticism and neither is his wife, again you have not been listening.
    He is not perfect but he is wwwwwaaaaayyyy better then mccain and the continuation of the same lame policies.

    This is quite right. The guy is basic selling his platform and not engaging unnecessary criticism of whoever.

  13. 13 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 23, 2008 at 16:26

    Barack is not beyond criticism. His criticism has just slowed down right now. As soon as the DNC takes place there will be a lot of criticism, especially concerning all of the entertainers. I can’t wait to her what they will say on Fox News after it takes place.

    @Steve

    Concerning his name, I am apalled at times to hear that some people believe he is a muslim extremist and as soon as he become president (or if), he will join sides with the terrorists. Some people really believe all of that stuff that the was on the cover of the New Yorker. It is pretty funny to me. It also shows how diverse this great nation is!

  14. 14 Julie Kampala
    July 23, 2008 at 16:29

    How can someone state that Obama is beyond criticism? That means that either he’s an angel or a dictator. Obama’s a new phenomenom to the US and the world watching the US.
    First of all, he’s not a WASP and has a name similar to a world terrorist.
    Secondly, he ran his campaign and image in such a unique way that has fascinated me. While I study his new ways, this does not mean that I will not criticise him. I have to find a reason

  15. July 23, 2008 at 16:42

    From his speeches and interviews Barack Obama looks more leaning towards resolving international problems through negotiations rather than war. His appeasing tone towards Iran may have drawn criticism towards him. Some want him to sound more threatening than appeasing.

    Concerning his attitudes in the Middle East, some see that he’s more inclined to be responsive to Israel’s concerns because of the strong Jewish lobby in Israel. Like his predecessors he won’t force Israel to show concessions to the Palestinians, especially the construction of new colonies.

    Obama still have to endeavour to convince the voters that he’s the right man for the presidential job, by being categorical on foreign and domestic issues. The slightest slip of tongue or the wrong gesture will be exploited by his opponents as it was the case during the primary contexts. Obama needs to be more careful, instead of resorting to apologies and clarifications as it happened when two women wearing a Muslim headscarf were barred from sitting next to him.

  16. 16 Shaun in Halifax
    July 23, 2008 at 16:42

    @ Steve

    Naah, I’m a big fan of Obama. He won me over with the grin and easy-going playing-along when he appeared on The Daily Show as a senator way back when.

    I just think it was really stupid of Ms. Coulter to attempt to associate Mr. Obama’s name “Hussein” with Iraq’s Hussein. Like having a guy named Hussein in the Whitehouse will automatically make him an iron-fisted dictator.

  17. 17 Asad Babyl
    July 23, 2008 at 16:47

    Barack Obama is definitely beyong criticism. He is absolutely perfect. There are not flaws to him, only concrete plans and years of wide-ranging policy experience.

    Besides, white people don’t have a right to criticize a black candidate. That’s called racism, and racism is BAD.

  18. 18 Shaun in Halifax
    July 23, 2008 at 16:49

    Although, there is something I think would be really cool: there’s a ton of talk about the “spirit of cooperation” in politics and breaking down partisan lines.

    As I’ve said before, actions speak louder than words, so I think it would be GOLD if Mr. Obama selected a Republican to be his running mate. Maybe Colin Powell (as was rumored last week).

  19. July 23, 2008 at 16:56

    @ Steve,

    Yes I find people and the party they are affiliated with who would vote in people solely on name recognition. You know the kind of party that would vote in an Actor as president, his vice president after the actor couldn’t run anymore. Then vote in the former VP’s son because he was “cute and honest faced”. Vote in a foreign born actor to be governor of the most populous state in the country. It is scary to see how the movie “Predator” shaped our countries politics. A leading contender going into this last race was another actor.

    Actors are people who get paid to convince people their lies and deceits are realistic thoughts. I guess that is why they fit so well in the republican party. At least the Democrats have shirked off the whole “name recognition” stigma. They did it in a big way. They nominated somebody who marketers said should never have a chance in the current political marketplace.

    Go Barack Hussein Obama. Will the people still hold the belief, “you should respect the president no matter what” when that it the name you have to place your allegiance in?

  20. July 23, 2008 at 16:59

    Obama’s full name is Barack Hussein Obama. This is enough for some to “accuse” him of being a Muslim.
    There was an incident in which an advertisement on CNN for a feature about the whereabouts of the al-Qaeda leader carried the caption “Where’s Obama?” over images of Bin Laden. This was due to a misspelling of “Osama” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6229649.stm . The CNN apologized for the mistake.

    There can be tangible criticism of Obama concerning his policies. But the exploitation of his race, colour and even his name is gratuitous. As a hopeful candidate, he should stand all criticism and be able to ward it off. What will make the presidential campaign thrilling is the aggressive strength of views that shouldn’t leave the voters undecided.

  21. 21 victork13
    July 23, 2008 at 17:12

    I’m not an Obama fan but this seems like a non-issue. He laid out his policies on Iraq and Afghanistan pretty clearly in a recent speech, and what’s more they both made a lot of sense. Much better than the decades long or even 50-100 year commitment that McCain, some neocons and at least one senior military figure have respectively favoured.

    He was ridiculed as a naive weakling for proposing to talk with Iran; the Bush administration is now attempting to talk to the Iranians.

    He’s not above criticism, at least from his political enemies. Criticism from the ‘higher media’ (the establishment broadcasters and newspapers, who conceal their own occasional preferences behind professions of service, public duty, etc), though, has been restrained in its scrutiny of Obama (e.g. not reporting the Rev. Wright business, which was long known, until the last minute). But that’s not much of a mystery. The journalists of the higher media are usually left-friendly. They were always going to favour Obama or Clinton over any Republican. And they won’t do anything that seriously damages the prospects of their candidate.

  22. 22 Julie P
    July 23, 2008 at 17:19

    Each presidential election year it seems that one candidate is favored over another, including the primaries. To me it was blatantly obivious George Jr. was the “chosen” candidate in 2000. I can think of one person who I felt was a more qualified candidate out of that field, but the majority of the media’s focus went to George Jr. Is Barack beyond critism? Not any more than George Jr. was in the 2000 primaries.

  23. 23 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 17:47

    @ Shaun

    It’s not Ann Coulter’s fault Obama’s name is what it is. All she did was say it.

  24. 24 Shaun in Halifax
    July 23, 2008 at 17:49

    @ Asad

    Saying white people don’t have the right to criticize a black person is, in my opinion, a bad argument. If I have a problem with Mr. Obama’s policies I should be able to question him and criticize him about them without fear of having the race card pulled (well not me, I’m Canadian so we just get ring-side seats).

    Pulling out the race card whenever a conflict arises is silly and counter-productive. It distracts from the issue at hand and opens the door for the REAL racists. If I have a legitimate problem with, say Mr. Obama’s foreign policy, and criticize him about that, that then becomes me challenging him to prove his policy, not his ‘whiteness’ or ‘brownness’. If I were to say “We can’t vote for Obama because he’s black and we all know blacks can’t run anything” that IS racism. Context counts.

  25. 25 nelsoni
    July 23, 2008 at 17:52

    Is this Obama-mania or Obama-phobia? The guy has laid his policies out for all to see. As long as you have a brain to reason objectively or otherwise, criticisms are welcome. What kind of criticisms? Constructive or Destructive. We get to see a lot of both these days.

  26. 26 Jens
    July 23, 2008 at 17:53

    Malc Dow,

    i fell sorry for you. how can you compare the usa to nazi germany. i would suggest you lay off the halucinogenic drugs for a while.

  27. 27 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 17:53

    @ Asad

    For being absolutely perfect (i didn’t realize smoking cigarettes makes someone “perfect”), Obama said there were 57 states.. Uh oh, I criticized a black guy, I must be racist. Which way the reeducation camps for my thought crimes?

  28. 28 victork13
    July 23, 2008 at 17:54

    Given that the delightful Ann Coulter’s name was mentioned, and since the subject is whether Obama is beyond criticism, I thought I’d link to a critical piece by her of the Democratic candidate.

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/AnnCoulter/2008/04/03/obamas_dimestore_mein_kampf?page=full&comments=true

    This side of Obama – his racial resentments, animosities, and obsessions – has certainly been played down by the establishment media who sympathise with him and have swallowed whole his portrayal of himself as a ‘post-racial’ healer of divisions, an American Mandela.

  29. 29 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:11

    I’m curious why the BBC got a guest from “The Onion” on a serious show about politics? It would be like getting MAD Magazine, or Cracked, or Monty Python on. It’s a joke, it’s not real news, though it can be rather funny.

  30. 30 Bob Be
    July 23, 2008 at 18:14

    Obama is new, learning the role, and shrewd. He is short on policy specifics. He is beginning to look like more traditional politicians in Washington, D.C. Rather than display courage to do things that are best for America and the world, he will pander and compromise to those who control power. Despite Obama’s shortcomings, McCain’s policies are intolerable so Obama is my choice.

  31. 31 Tom D Ford
    July 23, 2008 at 18:15

    “Is Barack Obama beyond criticism ?”

    Are you kidding? The American Conservative right wing keeps at him like a pit bull, falsely accusing him of “terrorist fist bumps”, repeating his middle name “Hussein” to try and associate him with Islamists, on and on. Why not examine his accusers, why are they beyond criticism?

  32. 32 Jane Popp
    July 23, 2008 at 18:15

    Hi!

    Kind of a side note to your conversation about Mr. Obama…people have been criticizing him about his lack of foreign policy experience, but I say that really is a non-issue. Look at our current President George W…he didn’t (and still doesn’t) know anything about foreign policy!! That’s why they have advisors and a cabinet to help the president shape policies!

  33. 33 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    July 23, 2008 at 18:16

    He is NOT beyond criticism. He does have his critics but not in the mainstream media. The media is not looking at his down side. It is most unfortunate that the media is SO blinded by him that they are not being balanced. I think the question is why is the media not performing its job correctly.

  34. 34 Mason from Park City, Utah
    July 23, 2008 at 18:17

    A majority of media and electorate in the US are hesitant to promote negative stories about Sen Obama because they are so thirsty for change and they do not want to be responsible for bringing in 4 more years of disastrous Republican policies….Sen Obama gets bashed everyday on many radio shows and on Fox news.  He will face his fair share of criticism.  

  35. 35 Eric from Portland OR
    July 23, 2008 at 18:19

    Oh wait, you folks in the rest of the world don’t suffer Fox news and the other vapid, rabid US press.

    The more deluded conservatives I know criticize him as a traditional liberal, and that’s just what this country needs.

    That or a bloody revolution against those religious fanatics living in the outback mountainous areas, only occasionally coming out from under their rocks to throw bombs (the religious right in the US, sorry if your minds wandered off to Asia…

  36. 36 Mike in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:20

    To even ask the question “Is Barack beyond criticism” is to adopt a cynical right wing frame.

    You think Barack is beyond criticism? He is being slandered and viciously attacked from the right, through inuendos conveyed by email and bloggers. He is being attacked by a corporate funded Republican campaign apparatus … and being defended by a Democratic coalition that consists disproportionately of small donors.

    Why does he “seem so good?” Because compared the vicious evil fascist Bush regime, he actually is pretty good. While McCain is talking about the “Iraq Pakistan” border and unable to tell the difference between Sunni and Shi’ite, and is declining rapidly at age 72, a Harvard trained lawyer of age 46 is rapidly ramping up his knowledge of the world. The comparison is almost embarrassing. That’s why he seems so good. HE IS.

    You can’t criiticism him not because you may not, but because there isn’t a lot to criticize. The stakes are high, and there isn’t a lot to laugh about these days. You want to fit Obama into your politics as usual, “all politics is a joke” frame? THAT is a right wing agenda designed to make people feel that their votes don’t really matter. If there are actual issues, policies and consequences at stake here, then Obama is nothing to laugh at, or about.

    We’ll make fun of him after the election. Right now human life and the human future is at stake…. and neither the US or the world can afford another 4 years of Bush administration policy under McCain.

  37. July 23, 2008 at 18:20

    “57 states” is the biggest criticism one could come up with? I’ll take that over “I don’t know much about the economy” any day.

    @ His radicalism is played down? Are you serious? We have heard about his wife, his preacher, his father, his mother, his name, his dress attire. Fake email after fake email touts one extreme or the other supposedly linked to him. The problem is every radical idea they try to pin on him, his record or simply logic doesn’t let the pin hold weight.

    What have we heard about John McCain? Nobody mentions that his wife went from special ed teacher to CEO of a “cheap beer” distribution company. (Talk about lack of experience.) How much damage has been done in poor intercity neighborhoods at the hands of cheap. Nobody sticks him with the fact that his wife was busted stealing pain medication from a children’s charity she was “working for”. If that had been Obama don’t you thing the right would be mentioning it every 5 minutes.

    Taking exerts from a book, especially one written on personal revelations, is deceitful and spinmeistering. I could take the bible and extract some pretty radical ideas out of it. Many actually do. Ann Coulter is about as delightful as a skunk at a petting zoo.

    The right is their own worst enemy. They keep on with the personal attacks, which give the media a legitimate reason to bring up Obama’s name.

  38. 38 jade
    July 23, 2008 at 18:20

    it’s not that he’s beyond criticism. he represents a hope for change from the old way of doing things. criticizing him is like criticizing an idea, a symbol. jokes on a symbolic figure is a reflection on self-respect, or lack of.

    this is not always a good thing for a great leader who is essentially a human being with human flaws, because when he makes a “mistake” or say the wrong thing at the wrong time, people who believes in the idea will get hurt. I just hope that people will choose a leader with their heads, not with their hearts. super heroes simply do not exist in the real world.

  39. 39 Everyman
    July 23, 2008 at 18:21

    First, Obama is not above criticisim. The media would be better doing it’s job of analyzing the policies of both candidates. This is a distraction from the central questions of our time.

    Second, this question of whether Obama is above criticism says more about Americans than it does about Obama. The question goes the heart of Americans feelings about race, class and intelligence. In this way, the question has merit.

  40. 40 bjay
    July 23, 2008 at 18:21

    Is Barack Obama beyond criticism ?

    YE!
    The ‘Obama-mama’ syndrome in the states.
    I hate to disabuse the good old Democrats,
    but He won’t be a World – shaker, that’s for sure.
    In the domestic front, He will be ‘long on style, however on the world stage sort on substance.
    PARTY POLYTICS will dominate foreign ‘POLICIES’, but of course the world acconamy . com.
    Now, He’s doing His ‘PR’.
    He will be a prentice in foreign affair.com (good to start early)
    YE!HE IS ONE OF THE KINDS!
    The man reminded Me of Clinton 1st time running for the governorship of Arkansas, – before He COMPROMISED HIS IDEALS.
    After all, the end of the day He will Be just a Man, No Black or White.

    YE, the good old deficit!
    I have seen the primes lend too – only my fate is too short . com.

    bjay connotation with accent. hu

    P.S. The States with the ‘deficit’ so high it will be nothing but an ‘old gas – gazzler hiding under a gaudy new paint job.
    You’ll sense it wont have a lot of miles left. HoPE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. 41 Justin Russell
    July 23, 2008 at 18:21

    Barack is in no way beyond critical commentary. Turn on cable news and you will see attacks on him on consistently. His foreign policy credentials, liberal votingh record and lack of experience are all negative aspects of the canidate that have been criticized by the media here in the us. Not to mention the lies and roumers that the extreem right has spread about his religion
    and his love for his country.

  42. 42 Everyman
    July 23, 2008 at 18:22

    Who is this woman perpetuating the distortions that have already been debunked?

  43. July 23, 2008 at 18:24

    Oh stop. Consider the recent primaries. Obama was under unprecidented daily criticism. Hillary Clinton was the candidate but her message was also carried by Bill Clinton and the President of the United States. Each day he was responding to this triangle of attacks. The Obama campaign is just better than the opponents. Maybe what we are seeing here, and finding difficult to understand, is a competent and skilled individual. George Bush moved the bar so low that people have forgotton what competence looks like.

    In the end, it is a great conservative tradition in America for conservatives to complain about the media when they have run out of ideas.

  44. 44 V. in Bkln
    July 23, 2008 at 18:25

    Obama wears a flag pin (who cares), and salutes the flag (hip-hip-hooray), contrary to your ignorant commenter. Get it straight, and let’s pay attention to the important things, shall we?

  45. 45 Lin Daly
    July 23, 2008 at 18:25

    Saying that Obama does not put his hand over his heart; not true also the pin issue he did refuse to wear the pin because he said that the pin was being used as a stand-in for real patriotism.

  46. 46 Ryan in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:25

    Please correct misinformation!

    Your one guest just mistakenly stated that Obama does not wear a flag lapel pin or put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Obama sometimes wears a flag lapel pin and sometimes he doesn’t. Just like John McCain. And the incident where he didn’t have his hand over his heart was during the National Anthem, NOT the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Many, if not most people do not put their hands over their hearts for the National Anthem but rather respectfully clasp their hands, or bow their heads.

  47. July 23, 2008 at 18:26

    The liberal media establishment is trying to elect a president for us. The change, dreams and hopes that Obama is promising to the people of this country is beyond ridiculous. I believe the people that are followers of Obama are disconnected with reality and they have elevated him to the Messiah status. The man can not do wrong.

    Not all changes are good. Adolf Hitler came to power promising changes. We all know the type of changes that Hitler brought not only to Germany, but to the world.

    Let’s judge a leader for his character and not for the color of his skin. In this case Obama has neither the character nor the honesty of a real leader.

    Only fools would follow a fool.

  48. 48 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:26

    @ V in Bkln

    Sorry, you are wrong. Here is photographic proof.

  49. 49 J Panto from USA
    July 23, 2008 at 18:26

    To assert that Mr OBama is beyond criticism is absolutely nonsensical !
    He is running for president of the free world, and he’s not immune to any criticism. He must be treated like any other political candidate !!

  50. 50 Emily
    July 23, 2008 at 18:28

    of course he is not above criticism. in fact, i’ll level some right now: just a few months after pledging along with senator dodd to filibuster any white house proposal that includes retroactive immunity for those involved in bush’s illegal spying campaign, he not only did not filibuster the proposal, but voted for it, and for it to be closed out, essentially the opposite of filibustering.

  51. July 23, 2008 at 18:28

    1- Obama is a politician. Not a saint. But there is a lot of expectations after the last eight years so everyone hopes he is the “good one”.
    2- About the “flag pin”: Americans are fixated on patriotism. The Bush administration is all about patriotism and see what they did in the name of it.
    3- Everyone talks about him being black. Is anyone talking about Mc Cain being white?
    In the end it feels like this country is not ready for this…

  52. 52 Irving Nelson Canfield
    July 23, 2008 at 18:29

    Dear World Have Your Say,
    He’s Not Above Criticism, He’s A Cookie: The Black Panthers had a word for it – “Oreo”. Black on the outside, white on the inside. He’s NEVER been above MY criticism. The joke: What do you call someone who follows Obama blindly? Stevie Wonder! Heil Obama! Bow down to The Cliche’ Personafide!

  53. 53 Tom D Ford
    July 23, 2008 at 18:29

    Here’s a criticism; I find his support of the Bush policy of government funding and support of religion to be really offensive and completely opposite to the views of the people who Founded our United States.

  54. 54 Ryan in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:31

    That photograph was taken while the National Anthem was playing:

    http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1662530_1446035,00.html

    Look at the caption.

  55. 55 Shaun in Halifax
    July 23, 2008 at 18:31

    Just another point, if Mr. Obama is not being criticized enough that is not the people’s fault.

    Last time I checked (and from my first day of journalism school) it is the media’s job to report, in a responsible and impartial manner, all sides of an issue. If there isn’t enough criticism, the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of those responsible for reporting it. They get paid to think critically and ask questions, and if those questions are not being asked then perhaps it is time to start questioning their motives.

  56. 56 Mike in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:31

    Steve,

    You said that Barack Obama claimed there were 57 states. Wrong. He referred to 57 primary contests… 50 states, plus the District of Columbia plus 6 U.S. territories:
    * American Samoa
    * Federated States of Micronesia
    * Guam
    * Midway Islands
    * Puerto Rico
    * U.S. Virgin Islands

    You are speaking from a position of ignorance.

  57. 57 Justin from Iowa
    July 23, 2008 at 18:32

    @Steve regarding the Onion guest:

    Actually, Steve, I think you’ve got things all from the wrong direction here. Often the people who have spent their lives poking satire at the inconsistencies of the system have good insights into what is going on. Would you rather have some political hak from FOX or CNN on spouting rhetoric?

    Look up Jon Stewart on Crossfire on youtube.. heck, here it is. This is what satirists offer in the discussion on politics. They try to point out the insanity in the system, and if you look past the satire you often pick up on the real message they are trying to get across. Theatre can still be educational.

  58. 58 Kyle in Portland OR
    July 23, 2008 at 18:32

    The subject that “Obama is beyond criticism” is absured, as is your “comedian” guest (I thought the term “comedian” implied that you were funny, guess not). How about the criticism he has received over his pastor, his speach on religion, his vote on FISA, and his trip to the middle east. Republicans are very good at crying wolf about the “liberal media”. How about the pass John McCain gets. How about the pounding people take when they question whether or not being a prisoner of war makes you qualified to be President of the United States. Let’s be honest, Barack Obama has been scrutinized as much if not more than John McCain.

  59. 59 Hillary
    July 23, 2008 at 18:33

    I am in shock that you are allowing this conservative commenter to repeat debunked right-wing lies about Barack Obama without anyone there to challenge her. For example, Obama refuses to be required to always wear a flag pin, but he does wear one sometimes, and I’ve seen photos of him with his hand over his heart saying the U.S. pledge of allegiance. For god’s sake, ask yourself: why would anyone run for president if they didn’t love their country? And in one of the world’s great powers, how on earth would any candidate who is not mainstream and patriotic get anywhere close to being a major party candidate for president? Your guest is a right-wing hysteric and rumormonger with a whiff of racial prejudice about her. I can’t believe that she is being allowed to repeat lie after lie on your show. This is very irresponsible journalism on your part, and I hope you take steps to correct the record in a future show.

  60. 60 Matt
    July 23, 2008 at 18:33

    The comedienne needs to be corrected. The hand over heart has been debunked repeatedly. She also needs to learn some funny jokes.

    Obama can be criticized. I’ll admit that I feel reluctant to feed conservative attacks by announcing why, as a former Hillary supporter, I am still rather unhappy with his policies. I think that the problem is that we want to attack him, his wife, his background. That background doesn’t lend itself to criticism very well. However, his policy shortcomings, namely FISA,

    Unfortunately, and I think that the comedic contributors will agree to this, policy is hard to make fun of.

  61. 61 Rachel
    July 23, 2008 at 18:33

    I think that Mr. Obama’s detractors have made so many wildly untrue accusations about him that his supporters are automatically somewhat dismissive of negative claims. Never have I seen so many blatantly untrue claims invented about a presidential candidate.

  62. 62 marc in portland, oregon
    July 23, 2008 at 18:33

    is it just me or are the people who are the most vocal about ‘why doesn’t everyone tear down obama already?!’ seem to be the ones that are the most uninformed about obama himself. there was a previous caller (or was it julia?) who said he hated jews and had communistic policies both of which have been debunked a million times over along with many other items (flag pin, hand over heart during pledge etc etc) so maybe people are just tied of these swift-boat style attacks and are now tuning out anyone who attacks the superficial aspects of obama?

  63. 63 Nick in Ohio
    July 23, 2008 at 18:34

    I think it is harder to criticize Barack Obama on the issues because he has not been in national politics as long as other candidates have. His policies are able to be more fluid because he doesn’t have a voting record of twenty years. He has not had to face every major issue during his time in the Senate.

  64. 64 Steve from Oregon, USA
    July 23, 2008 at 18:34

    The people of the US are looking for a great leader especially after 8 years of the Bush administration. For many many people Senator Obama is that leader. He is smart, contemplative and approaches problem solving from both a logical and humanistic way. Remember that the US is a huge country and our national politics is in many ways more important to the citizens than foreign policy.

  65. 65 marc in portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:34

    hey julia why do you find it necessary to keep repeating lies about obama? you mention jew hating, communistic policies, hand over his heart, flag pin all of which have been debunked time and time again.

    see http://www.fightthesmears.com

    comedy based on outright lies and swiftboat type attacks just isn’t funny. what is funny is your obvious frustration that no one laughs when you perform such comedy. in fact when i hear you (or anyone else) repeat these same lies i really find myself disengaging from that person because i have made the judgment you must be ignorant or a liar – neither of which is flattering.

  66. 66 Not funny
    July 23, 2008 at 18:35

    Is not that Barack Obama is not beyond criticism. The comedian that you chose to feature on this program is not funny. Why doesn’t she tell a joke about Barack Obama’s policies or lack thereof rather than his race? Clearly, the most funny aspect to her is that she cannot transcned her clear racial limitations.

    She honestly should pursue another career. Let’s get to a serious discussion and even a satrirical discussion about the issues facing America, rather than this commentator’s tunnel vision about Barack’s skin color or Stevie Wonder’s skin color.

  67. 67 Hillary in Oakland, CA
    July 23, 2008 at 18:35

    I am in shock that you are allowing this conservative commenter to repeat debunked right-wing lies about Barack Obama without anyone there to challenge her. For example, Obama refuses to be required to always wear a flag pin, but he does wear one sometimes, and I’ve seen photos of him with his hand over his heart saying the U.S. pledge of allegiance. For god’s sake, ask yourself: why would anyone run for president if they didn’t love their country? And in one of the world’s great powers, how on earth would any candidate who is not mainstream and patriotic get anywhere close to being a major party candidate for president? Your guest is a right-wing hysteric and rumormonger with a whiff of racial prejudice about her. I can’t believe that she is being allowed to repeat lie after lie on your show. This is very irresponsible journalism on your part, and I hope you take steps to correct the record in a future show.

    BTW, I should add that I’m not a mindless fan of Barack Obama, but I’m scared to death of a President McCain.

  68. 68 Ugochi
    July 23, 2008 at 18:36

    I feel one of the things is the race issue. When people talk of Obama, his race seems to be a primary feature. First black president, mostly black church, has the black vote. So on and so forth. And I feel that one problem may be that when people try and make fun of him, they focus on his race because that is what most news networks seem to focus on.

    But once you go past it, you could probably find a lot to work with without causing a stir.

  69. 69 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:36

    @ Mike

    Sorry, try again. Don’t accuse me of not knowing what I’m talking about. Obama also said a “bomb” was dropped on Pearl Harbor, and not bombs.

    Sorry to refute you claim with facts. Hate to confuse you.

  70. 70 Linda
    July 23, 2008 at 18:37

    Saying that Obama does not where a flag pin; he did not where a pin because he said that it, the pin was being used as a substitute for patriotism.

    Putting the hand over the heart is flat wrong. He did not put his hand over his heart for the singing of the anthem. For the pledge Of Allegiance he does put his hand over his heart.

    wrong information like this is what makes it difficult to tease him; too many people with bad info.

  71. 71 Shireen in Ohio
    July 23, 2008 at 18:37

    Hello, I’m from Ohio. The lady comedian you currently have on your show must be a right-wing republican because she is spewing misinformation and lies about Barack Obama.

    He does not wear a flag pin because it does not equate American loyalty or pride.

    He has NEVER refused to put his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance. She is referencing a photo that showed some of the presidential candidates, including Obama, standing during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and he did not have his hand on his heart and the other candidates did. He came forward and said he had always been taught to stand at attention, in school and by his ex-military grandfather, but did not known that he should put his hand on his heart. Again, IT WAS NOT THE PLEDGE!!!

    I wish you had someone from the US on your show who knew what they were talking about and didn’t spread this right-wing speak to the rest of the world.

  72. 72 Vijay Srao
    July 23, 2008 at 18:38

    Unless he has a few Billion dollars lying around he will have to get in line and maintain the status quo,as dictated by the lobbyists and big donors.
    The gloves have not come off as yet ,after the democratic convention(once the democrats can not change their candidate) the republicans will get stuck in.
    There is white guilt about slavery and subsequent discrimination against people of colour,so criticism won’t be vocal,once the redneck crackers are in the voting booth they can safely vote republican.
    Just as British people could not vote for labour and neil kinnock in 1992 US citizens won’t be able to vote for Obama.

    .

  73. 73 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:39

    @ Shireen

    Nice try. I provided the picture, and he’s NOT standing at attention. Can you imagine an soldier standing at “attention” with his hands folded like that?

  74. 74 Solomon-Utah, USA
    July 23, 2008 at 18:39

    The liberal media establishment is trying to elect a president for us. The change, dreams and hopes that Obama is promising to the people of this country is beyond ridiculous. I believe the people that are followers of Obama are disconnected with reality and they have elevated him to the Messiah status. The man can not do wrong.

    Not all changes are good. Adolf Hitler came to power promising changes. We all know the type of changes that Hitler brought not only to Germany, but to the world.

    Let’s judge a leader for his character and not for the color of his skin. In this case Obama has neither the character nor the honesty of a real leader.

    Only fools would follow a fool.

  75. 75 Ryan in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:39

    yeah, steve…I guess that blog you linked to that had no caption is more accurate than the actual TIME article it was taken from containing the caption.

  76. 76 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:41

    @ Rachel

    At least nobody is going to vote for Mccain because he’s “cute”. Yet also nobody seems to have a problem discriminating on him due to his age. Wow, all I have to do is say the word “change” and useful idiots will vote for me! I will keep this in mind if I ever have political aspirations in the future.

  77. 77 Leah in Portland, Oregon
    July 23, 2008 at 18:41

    Hello,

    Thank you for starting this dialogue. However, I think that the assertion that Obama is without criticism is wholly inaccurate. I remember watching early debates and seeing the media panel and the public grilling him over not wearing a flag lapel pin. I found the questioning ridiculous. And let’s not forget the criticism he faced over his pastor and the recent criticism from Jesse Jackson.

    Any candidate, Democrat or Republican, should be questioned and challenged. It’s what campaigning is all about. And I firmly believe that Obama has faced his fair share of criticism.

    The difference between Obama and other candidates? He faces it with integrity, in a pragmatic and balanced manner. Maybe that’s why “criticism doesn’t stick to this man.”

    Unlike Bush, he doesn’t see things in black and white, but rather, sees the full spectrum of issues and is not willing to placate an audience with simple and quick policies and answers. That’s why I’m voting for him.

    Thank you for your time, enjoy the show!

  78. 78 marc in portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:42

    @ steve

    do you really think obama believes a single bomb was dropped on pearl harbor? if english grammar is a major requirement for president you must think bush is the worst president in history. same goes with the ‘pledge’ picture you linked to without the caption that it was published with it’s just another transparent swiftboat attack/lie.

  79. 79 Everyman
    July 23, 2008 at 18:42

    Obama appeals to the better angels of our nature. That is why people are so enthusiastic about an Obama presidency.

  80. 80 everett
    July 23, 2008 at 18:43

    The reason Obama faces less criticism is because there is little to criticize him about. He has clearly stated his policy positions, so if they are not criticized then he must be on point. The sillies on the right have attacked him for the most trivial and false issues, and people very possibly have tired from these tirades from the same people that have continued to support Bush and his administration.

  81. 81 portlandmike
    July 23, 2008 at 18:44

    @Ryan in Portland

    Surely you notice that your “Time” photo is a photoshop gag… like the whole “Time” mag link? The whole link is a spoof!

  82. 82 Mike in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:44

    Steve,

    Oh, that’s devastating… he referred to 6 territories and 1 federal district as “states” instead of saying “50 states, 6 territories, and 1 federal district.”

    I think you’ve demonstrated the trivial and nitpicking nature of your criticism very nicely.

    Thanks!

  83. 83 Shireen in Ohio
    July 23, 2008 at 18:44

    @ Steve

    At attention, solemn. I did not say saluting. I know you provided the picture. You also provided the misinformation.

    They also all have their back to the largest flag, which technically isn’t allowed either.

  84. 84 Lawrence
    July 23, 2008 at 18:45

    The Obama phenomenon in the US is an embarrassment. It is a “perfect storm” of the following:

    1) Reverse racism – you don’t criticize a black man in America
    2) Reaction against 8 years of Bush
    3) A simplistic, slogan mongering candidate, who appeals to a simplistic
    electorate (the dumb and dumber generation) and a media which is
    really about entertainment: and Obama makes a good story
    4) A candiadte who pedals feel good ideas like “hope” and “change”-
    which meaqn nothing, or, worse, can mean anything.

    The people I know – which is across a huge spectrum including working class, professional, artistic, and professional – have little or no use of Obama and his cynical tactics. You would be surprised, I think, about the bitterness which is
    felt for this adulation for a man who has contributed next to nothing in his 48 years, but claims for himself an extraordinary level of, well, heroism. But thes feelings do not receive public voice. As a matter of fact, if they are voiced , one is treated in a loud, rude manner. t is frankly disgusting, what this has brought us to: an election in which the majority of voters will not be voting for a candidate they like, but against a candidate they dislike the most. .

    Thank you for this program – it is sorely needed.

    Lawrence
    Cleveland, OH

  85. 85 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:46

    @ Mike

    It’s my fault he used the word states, and said 57 of them? Sorry to point out the flaws made by your perfect messiah. Why don’ tyou just listen to the stupid comment he made about 57 states, and say it was a stupid comment, rather than attack me for pointing it out.

  86. July 23, 2008 at 18:46

    People who offer actual policy ideas to the main stream media are quickly berated, cast out, and made to look like a kook. (see Ron Paul, Ross Perrot, Denis Kucinich) You can’t give the other side too much of a peak at your hand.

  87. 87 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:47

    I can’t imagine all whe whining and complaining and accusations of racism there will be when Obama loses. He’s a liberal. A liberal will NEVER get the southern states regardless of his skin color. It’s why Gore lost in 2000. It’s why Kerry lost in 2004. And why Obama will lose in 2008. The whining of the far left will be so funny.

  88. 88 guy in PDX
    July 23, 2008 at 18:48

    Dear Steve,
    G.W Bush wears a flag pin, puts his hands on the spot where he should have a heart and says “god bless you” at the end of each sentence. Yet, he ruined the country and sent hundreds of thousands of people to the grave around the world.
    So, if you want to criticize Obama, and I believe he should be criticize, please get over the whole patriotic thing and look at something more substantial and meaningful. And if you can’t do that, well…

  89. 89 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 23, 2008 at 18:48

    Barack Obama is not beyond criticism. He has been criticized for everything from an unfortunate name to lacking a lapel pin to an unpleasant preacher.

    Obama’s positions on all sorts of issues are posted on his website. You may learn them by reading them. Or you may profess to be uninformed, and imply that this is somehow his fault, but it’s not credible.

    He is considered a front-runner because opinion polls disclose a majority of voters intend to vote for him. That’s not especially mysterious.

    You don’t know his position on troop withdrawal from Iraq? Really? He intends to withdraw within 18 months. He has been clear and consistent and announced it often. He couldn’t be any clearer. Why doesn’t President Bush announce that? Because that is not Bush’s position.

    Of course the press takes photos of him. If that means that his Middle East trip is a “photo opportunity,” so be it. That’s not informed criticism though. It’s not even useful commentary. It’s a statement of the obvious.

  90. 90 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:49

    @ Shireen

    What misinformation? All I did was provide a picture.

    You said he learned to stand at attention from his military grandfather. Perhaps the same american Soldier that Barack claimed help liberate Auschwitz, despite the soviets having liberated Auschwitz? You said he learned to stand at attention (which isn’t the same as saluting) and we has NOT standing at attention in that picture.

  91. 91 Ugochi
    July 23, 2008 at 18:50

    In argument of the lady who just said that racism is acting in his favor. While I agree that the fact that he is part black, helps gather support for him, I do feel that there are people who will not vote for him, or tear him down because he is black. Racism is very much alive in America and to say that it is only on Obama’s side is WAY over generalizing. The people who generally support the Republicans are conservative, traditionalist people. Traditionally, the president has always been a white male, usually Protestant in religion, and the only difference has been Kennedy, who had a large uproar over his religion while he was campaigning. I honestly feel that if you think there isn’t a level of fear having a black person in office, who differs widely from the norm, in those people who generally support the Republicans, you are fooling yourself. Now the question here is whether you can all this racism?

    Comments please

  92. 92 margot in oregon
    July 23, 2008 at 18:50

    I think there are various reasons people are not willing to pick apart Obama. For me and many others, we are so frustrated disillusioned etc etc with what we’ve had for the past 7 years, Obama’s positive attitude and ideas give us hope of making our country what we think it has been and should be.

  93. 93 Lou in California
    July 23, 2008 at 18:50

    Ok…first of all, I wanted to mention that your comic really needs to work on her material. Maybe one of the reasons that Obama appears to be ‘comic’ proof is that the humor is underdeveloped by the ease by which BushCheney have provided material. I mean…Stevie Wonder should be ‘color blind’…gonna have to do better than that.

    Anyway, one reason, I think, that Obama has been a bit more impervious to cheap humor is that he truly is one the most intellectually competent and skilled national level politicians, and certainly the most competent Presidential candidate we have had in a long time…or longer, even. He is not ‘teflon’ in a way that things roll off of him but, perhaps, has been able to respond and deflect more traditional political mud slinging based on his direct and clearly stated responses.

    He took major hits from his so called Pastor and others but has not backed off and has, instead, presented several speeches whose only competition for clarity, organization, and thought, I think, is from Abraham Lincoln and Cooper Union. Thus far, I haven’t heard any of your speakers reference his impressive response to these events. Less than being black, perhaps one reason he has been harder to corner, has been related to the feedback he has been able to formulate.

    Now, for the record, I was a late comer to Obama’s candidacy and did not originally support his move in that direction. But he has me convinced in the same way, I’d expect, he has been able to generate support from a number of Americans. To say that racisim hasn’t been present also appears naive. Listen to talk radio, for instance, and you will hear some of the most vile vitriole you can stomach. Obama has become a phenomenon, white or black, in the same way as JFK. I am not comparing JFK and Obama as politicians but only am saying that he really has pulled on imaginations of folks in the U.S.

    I also agree with the one speaker who noted that one problem here is that the media simply has not actually covered either candidate, Obama or McCain, in a issue oriented and competent manner. With this, it might appear that McCain is actually more teflon as he makes substantial gaff after gaff (e.g., from Hagee to the the “Iraqi-Afghanistan border” comment) and simply is never held accountable or, even, presented in the same way as Obama has been (e.g., from the stuff over the flag pin to Pastor Wright).

    I’d go on…but have probably said more than enough for this short blog!

  94. 94 Kathleen
    July 23, 2008 at 18:50

    The reason people are having such a hard time criticizing Obama is because their critiques are so ludicrous. The Israeli “comedian”
    called the United Church of Christ anti-white. As a life long member of a UCC I know it is not. I would like the Onion publisher to try to criticize Israel–anyone doing that is immediately considered anti- Jew.

  95. 95 Lin Daly
    July 23, 2008 at 18:51

    you have a guy that is a graduate 5th from bottom of his class; wanting to continue the road of bush or you can go with Obama.

    Many in America will not vote for Obama because he is black. His policy is very much the same as HRC but even many of her supporters are not interested.

    Again the women comedian miss the point Michell Obama she said iot is the first time that she is REALLY proud to be an Ameerican.

    Shame that she is going unchallenged; but then if she were on US MSM it would be the same.

  96. 96 Justin from Iowa
    July 23, 2008 at 18:51

    *sighs* If saying “57 states” is the worst thing Obama does, then he will be the greatest president in 50 years.

    Why don’t you talk about something of consequence, like his tax policy, rather than his lapel pin or style of standing.

  97. 97 Shaun in Halifax
    July 23, 2008 at 18:51

    @ Vijay Srao

    Unless he has a few Billion dollars lying around he will have to get in line and maintain the status quo,as dictated by the lobbyists and big donors.

    Unless I’m completely mistaken, Mr. Obama’s campaign has not been financed by big lobby groups or few people with lots of money. Instead, it has been financed by small donations from many supporters. If this is true, it should mean that if Mr. Obama gets elected he will not be beholden to any of those lobbys/rich people and instead will have to answer to those who supported him: the millions of Americans who donated to him. Hopefully (and I could be dreaming) it will mitigate the influence large power-brokers have in the Whitehouse.

    @ The Lapel Pins

    I’m going to quote from the late, great George Carlin:

    “American flags and yellow ribbons are SYMBOLS. And I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.”

    Another aside: if you haven’t seen this video yet, you should.

  98. 98 Mike in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:52

    “An aspiring Marxist”?

    Your guest is so far to the right that I find it unbelievable that you have selected her. McCain “isn’t sure” if Obama is a socialist… obscene in itself… but to have a guest who calls him a Marxist is just so far outside of mainstream thought, that it constitutes irresponsible journalism.

    Aspiring Marxist !!! Unbelievable.

  99. 99 Ryan in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:52

    @ Steve (who says “what misinformation? All I did was provide a picture.”)

    Yeah, without the information contained in the caption that proved your “information” false.

  100. 100 Lori from the US
    July 23, 2008 at 18:52

    I don’t know who Julia is that you have on your program right now, but I am waiting for her to say something substantive rather than merely partisan about Barack Obama. She made a statement a few minutes ago that Barack Obama does not put his hand over his heart when he recites the Pledge of Allegiance. I have a challenge for her and all those who spread falsehoods about Obama from the comfort of their anonymous Internet connection–prove it. Prove that Obama is a Muslim, doesn’t put his hand on his heart when he says the Pledge, is a radical, racist Christian. Prove it once and for all–or just shut up. Your lies speak of your fears and simply sully the political process. Have the honesty and integrity to admit you’re scared of him and are still too racist yourselves to allow our country to progress.

    I am sickened by the continous lies.

  101. 101 Leah Hazard
    July 23, 2008 at 18:52

    I must say, I’m tired of listening to Julia speak. I think she’s obnoxious and just plain wrong. Her joke wasn’t funny– and not because I’m afraid of being labeled a racist, but because it just wasn’t funny. First of all, what she said about not wearing a flag pin, not putting his hand over his heart and being a racist is not only plain wrong, but parroting what the extreme right says in their attempt to fear monger. Did anyone think that people cringe at making funny jokes about his race in bad taste– and that’s ok given our nation’s disgusting history (and present situation) with racism?! And if people make funny about other aspects of his life, we’ll laugh. For example, practicing his staring off into the future pose– that’s funny. The joke about Stevie Wonder, NOT so much.

    Also, I definitely agree with the commentator from Israel. Americans are so tired of George Bush that we want change– we demand change. Citizens my age have only known Bush and we are so frustrated. In America, Obama does get negative press– across the world you just may not be as confronted with it. Sadly, people like Julia are quite prevalent.

  102. 102 anne
    July 23, 2008 at 18:52

    Your right wing guest today is beneath the normal standards of this show. Of course Obama is not above criticism. He gets plenty. The woman you have on is scary and a good example of why we need Obama. Marxist? What is her education level? She is crazy.

  103. 103 Shireen in Ohio,US
    July 23, 2008 at 18:54

    Hello, I’m from Ohio. The lady comedian you currently have on your show must be a right-wing republican because she is spewing misinformation and lies about Barack Obama.

    He does not wear a flag pin because it does not equate American loyalty or pride.

    He has NEVER refused to put his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance. She is referencing a photo that showed some of the presidential candidates, including Obama, standing during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and he did not have his hand on his heart and the other candidates did. He came forward and said he had always been taught to stand at attention, in school and by his ex-military grandfather, but did not known that he should put his hand on his heart. Again, IT WAS NOT THE PLEDGE!!!

    I wish you had someone from the US on your show who knew what they were talking about and didn’t spread this right-wing speak to the rest of the world.

    I actually think Obama gets a lot of negative press so I’m a little bit confused by today’s show.

    Thank you!

  104. 104 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 18:54

    Like Typical lefties, you don’t like Julia’s message, becuase you don’t agree with her, so you want her silenced. Stalin would do that as well.

  105. 105 Mason, Utah
    July 23, 2008 at 18:55

    The conservative “Comedian” is ridiculous.  Obama’s choice of church shows the true nature of this country,  minorities in this country are angry, and they have every right to be angry, the white majority in this country, dazzled by large tvs and big, dirty, fuel eating SUV’s have been ignoring the real issues of race that do exist in this country.  They look at the “improvement” in race, but 90% of all minority management jobs in this country are with government or the military.  Racism in this country IS a problem, and the fact that it is such a sensitive issue is proof of this, and if this PC attitude helps prevent criticism of Sen Obama, and helps him get into the White House than it is a product of the race situation in the US and will help bring real race/class issues to the fore in this country and help fix the issues.

  106. 106 Matt
    July 23, 2008 at 18:55

    VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE

    Lets not argue reasons as to why he doesn’t wear a flag lapel pin or why he doesn’t put his hand over his heart.

    He does both of those things. This is what Joe meant when he said media-driven, because we give air time to people that perpetuate lies. Look it up!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/13/obama-wears-flag-lapel-pi_n_101604.html?page=4

    Sometimes, just like John McCain.

    http://www.politicalbase.com/profile/Mark%20Nickolas/blog/&blogId=2135

    This is an awful thing to argue about. I’ve turned off my radio.

  107. 107 mich
    July 23, 2008 at 18:56

    He’s def. not getting enough critism. I think there’s a big media-love affair with him. I’m listening to your guests and its true, he never really answers anything. I’ve calculated out my “tax” refund…I make 30,000 a year. I don’t get much in his praised tax reducts, and I’m an average amercican. I’m perfectly stuck in middle class…if I’m not getting any, that means that I’m considered “rich” in his tax methods. In the current tax branch, those getting lower salaries than I am already get their tax dollars back.

    Also, he’s a bit of a coward when it comes to votes and standing for something. He says he’s “pro veteran”…yet has dismissed every single bill that the Senate vetern affairs comm. led by Sen. Akaka has tried to push through the floor

    Then…can anyone PLEASE tell me why the hell no one has picked up on his Aushwitz comments? To remind some people here’s what happened. He said (I believe it was a while ago) that his uncle fought during WWII and freed Aushwitz…his mother is an only child. His father’s brothers wouldn’t have participated anyway (very hard for a black african man to fight in WWII). When someone called him out on that, he said “oh my great uncle” who would have been too old to fight in WWII anyway. Then, has anyone pointed out that Aushwitz is not in germany? It’s in POLAND! Second…even if someone in his family DID get into WWII…they would have had to have been RUSSIAN to free Aushwitz.

    Then, there’s his wife. You know the saying, you are who you hang with? You’re going to tell me that his wife has not influenced him in anyway? He was her intern before they got married (thank you GQ for that piece of information). How can she be so “I hate america” when her educationw as given to her through the american public.

    The rev. etc. I won’t get into anymore, but seriosly..no one has noticed these things?

  108. 108 Mike in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:56

    Lori,
    The way slander and inuendo works is that you NEVER have to prove it… all you have to do is get the BBC to invite you on a show and ASSERT it… and the damage is done… the idea is out there.

    So thanks to the BBC for inviting a far right wing nut case to spew slander under its auspices. Disgusting.

    Mike

  109. 109 Dan from Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:56

    A friend of mine told me “I’m not prejudiced, I voted for Obama”. I am not voting for Obama because he is a socialist. Oh no my friend was right all along. I am prejudiced. I hate reds.

  110. 110 Rory Phillips
    July 23, 2008 at 18:57

    The comedienne who was chosen to represent the right on this issue has shown herself to be nothing more than a mouth piece for right wing disinformation. I am stunned that the BBC would give a forum to such a person without properly vetting them. Not only is she not funny and given to flat out misstatements or misrepresentations of the truth but many of her comments are inappropriate and offensive.

  111. July 23, 2008 at 18:57

    Yes, Obama is beyond critiscism for very good socialogical reasons.

    1)The story of Obama, his life and dreams and aspirations would make a better movie than any candidate in recent history. Criticisms interupt the story arc of his life and reporters, and media decision makers are naturally trained to seek out and highlight the most interesting story. A reporter is is trained to avoid or ignore elements of a story line that do not contribute to the overal story arc. So if they are interviewing an astronaut they would not focus undully on his current personal indigestion problems. Alternative in the movie harold and Kumar body function humor seems pretty funny and is included in the story. So by this analogy the astronaught is also beyond criticism because his flatulence is glossed over or only mentioned in passing.

    2) so this is an explanation for the specific cause of why obama seems to be treated as beyond criticism by people and the media. It’s an effect of our national narative expectations that have evolved over time through a dialogue between our news and entertainment media and audeince as groups. Maybe an interesting question would be to explore the other reasons for obama success in other areas such as policy and congressional networking, or social change, etc. Also consider that if the above is true does, it does not necessarily invalidate the beyond criticism effect as a useful aspect of the american democratic process. perhaps the national narative expectations for a political stories development are a postitively correlated method to ensure a candidate meets with historical approval in media and public opinion.

    3) Not a conspiracy. more of a system. Obama is an organizational fit for the american narative at this time. so the system is designed to select for and encourage good organizational fits and discourage a poor oganizational fit. This is a common effect observed in business organizations of most kinds. No single person or group of people are organizing this effect, it’s more like a reinforced system response to a particular narative structure and expectations that have gained momentum over the last 30 years. A similar effect of being beyond criticism would be expected with any underdog archetype portraying the abilities of native skill and intelligence, the outsider who agrees with us, the boy who says the king is wearing no clothes. I think Jung might say something more useful in this direction. Any experts out there?

  112. 112 Sophie
    July 23, 2008 at 18:58

    The discussion does seemed biased.

    Too much air time for (bitter?) cynical critics…

  113. 113 Rebecca, Georgia, USA
    July 23, 2008 at 18:58

    I find it fascinating that the media is now blitzing on the media’s own infatuation of Obama. Both FOX and CBS news, at the least, have exhibited media bias against Obama – a bias I have not seen against John McCain. There may be a “walking on eggshells” because people are scared that criticisms (i.e., Obama’s former tendency not to wear a flag pin – something John McCain often does not do, either) will encourage the Republican machine to continue to claim complete possession of religious and patriotic values and national security, and therefore scare voters into another four years of the Bush/Rove regime. If the media were to reveal the strong points and the hypocrisies of BOTH candidates, I think the criticisms would be better-received.

  114. 114 marc in portland
    July 23, 2008 at 18:58

    please someone ask julia for a SINGLE instance of how obama is “marxist” – the answer must require a specific example not a platitude.

    http://fightthesmears.com – provides more than enough examples of how deep julia has her head in the sand.

  115. 115 CJ McAuley
    July 23, 2008 at 18:59

    I just turned in, and from what I have heard over the last 15 minutes, it is now officially the “silly-season” in politics and political commentary. What is said now means nothing, as the real campaign only starts after American Labour Day!

  116. 116 Charles in Portland, Oregon
    July 23, 2008 at 18:59

    I am utterly amazed at how shallow so many people are in the U.S.A.. They focus on symbols such as lapel pins and holding one’s hand over his heart. For heavens sake and for the sake of the U.S.A. and the world,listen to the man’s ideas and what he has to say. We have not heard from a presidential candidate such openness, honesty, clarity and decency since Jimmy Carter.

  117. 117 Nathan
    July 23, 2008 at 18:59

    Perhaps Obama will become funny when conservative comedians actually harness humor. She was the most abysmal comedian I’ve ever heard. I always sort of wondered why comedians tend to be liberal and i suppose the answer is they’re the only funny comedians.

  118. 118 Solomon in Utah, USA
    July 23, 2008 at 19:00

    The Germans are not electing the president of the USA. The citizens of the US will have the task of electing their future president. To the Germans I say, you guys elected Hitler even though you didn’t know anything about him. We would not make the same mistake.

  119. 119 Jon Kiparsky, Oregon
    July 23, 2008 at 19:00

    Mike in California has a point – the basic question is quite cleverly loaded. If we debate the assertion that “the media will not criticize Obama”, an Obama supporter has to either accept the assertion, or in order to combat it, he must criticize his candidate. As a matter of fact, Obama has been criticized quite aggressively in the American press, much more so than McCain, and the question is based on a faulty premise, so this has been a wasted hour. Sorry guys, better luck next time.

  120. 120 Robin Burke
    July 23, 2008 at 19:00

    With regards to the show.

    You missed the point the German journalist was making about the Turks in Germany.
    They make up 3% of the population, 2.3 million to be exact. His point was that they do not represented 2.3% of politicians in local or national politics.

    The Germans don’t think he’s Turkish, man, that sounded so silly. Simple mistake but it should be highlighted.

  121. 121 anne
    July 23, 2008 at 19:01

    Hello, right wingers, guess what, we don’t care what you say.
    Its kind of sad that your arguments are clearly defensive, you don’t have the smarts to keep up so you make fun and use physical strength to fight logic.

  122. 122 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 19:01

    @ Charles

    “We have not heard from a presidential candidate such openness, honesty, clarity and decency since Jimmy Carter.”

    Omg, I almost choked reading that. First, advice.. If you’re going to be picking a president to be a role model for Obama to follow from, you don’t pick the worst president in modern history.

    Second, no politician is open, honest, clear, or decent. They are politicians, narcissts by nature, and are dishonest, and will say anything to get the power they feel they are entitled to. So Obama is just a more convincing liar to you, whereas Mccain isn’t as good at lying.

  123. 123 Jeff in Portland
    July 23, 2008 at 19:01

    Firstly, Obama has survived loads of criticism. What about the long extended fight with Hillary? What about his formative years in Chicago (one of the roughest political areas in the US)? The guy is definitely a fighter and a survivor. On top of that, he’s got a muslim name (that makes many americans nervous) and he’s african-american (you know that history). How can anyone say – no one is criticizing him? Seems to me he’s had to survive criticism, discrimination and suspicion his entire life. That’s a huge part of what makes him so appealing. This guy has survived the fire and still come out on top.

    Secondly, all Americans – red & blue – are tired of Bush. Everyone knows that we have shifted to far to the right, and now we must shift back to the left. Who the candidates are really doesn’t matter. So in that respect, you’re right – we don’t care who the democratic candidate is.

    Third, I thought I heard someone on WHYS ask why Obama has so much money – as if it’s something to be suspicious of. He has lots of money – because millions of frontline americans, just like me, have contributed 20, 50, 100 dollars. Check out his website. There has never been anything like it in U.S. history before. He has been lifted up as our champion solely by grassroots contributions & efforts. He is untouched by all the corporate lobbyists that have steered our country for the last 50 years.

  124. 124 Robyn
    July 23, 2008 at 19:01

    From a youth perspective, Obama is farther from criticism than John McCain because he is much more relatable. What do I have in common with John McCain besides the fact that we’re both United States citizens? Not much. Obama, on the other hand, understands the issues the youth are struggling with (student loans, finding jobs), as well as seeming to be more in tune with youth culture (eg: playing basketball, claiming to like certain pop music, dressing much more in-style). For once the youth of America have a politician they can look up to, and that fact makes Obama much much harder to criticize and find fault.

  125. 125 Shaun in Halifax
    July 23, 2008 at 19:01

    This whole discussion is a microcosm of the American political system. Any time we try to discuss a legitimate issue, it degenerates into a he-said/she-said, left vs. right, ‘I know you are but what am I?’ discussion.

    We can’t get to the issue at hand because nobody is willing to meet anybody else halfway, and everybody is convinced that their view of the issue is “the right one.”

    And the internet isn’t helping. What the internet should do is expose people to other viewpoints contrary to their own. When is the last time an American has listened to al-jazeera? How many Americans believe Al-Jazeera is “Radio Free Al-Quaeda?” What has happened is that the internet has opened people up to find resources that reinforce their own beliefs while further polarizing them to one side or another.

    Have we witnessed the end of sane, rational dialoge in favor of out-of-context sound-bytes in the pursuit of ratings?

  126. 126 Shannon -Portland Oregon
    July 23, 2008 at 19:03

    I will tell you why, against our current backdrop and the choices in this election Obama is a Saint this current administration has been an embarrassment around the globe. Obama is articulate, he listens and he does have very clear policies people around the world are hopeful for change for everyone we need to pay attention and get involved in the process if you want to know about Barack Obama.

    Julia as far as the flag pin and putting his hand over his heart that is not true I have seen him do both, he has never said he will not do that, we tend to take one event on media blitz and believe it, people need to start paying attention and look at all sides and read and view more than one media outlet.

    Is Obama due criticisms probably but in my estimation he has created a since of hope and change for our country and for the world.

  127. 127 Michael Zonta, San Fransisco
    July 23, 2008 at 19:03

    Your comedienne is really nasty. Is she really trying to say that Obama is anti-American?

    She has a cute giggle, but she’s really wack (and not in a good way).

  128. 128 Justin from Iowa
    July 23, 2008 at 19:03

    *sighs as a few more brain cells die* Thank you for bringing down the collective intelligence of us all with your continued points of idiocy, Steve. There is plenty to criticise obama on, dropping points to inflame and obscure the reality of his policies and character make up just harms us all. Hold yourself to at least a minimum journalistic standard if you plan on contributing to WHYS.

    And I would also like to say, my opinion of the Journalistic Integrity of the WHYS was seriously shaken by their inviting of a racist, extremist guest like Julia today.

  129. 129 Harry S. Pariser
    July 23, 2008 at 19:05

    Of all the guests you’ve had on, this female “comedian” is the most over the top. Under what rock do you find these people? She doesn’t even have a funny joke!

    There’s nothing particularly enlightened about Barack Obama. He supports the American presence in Afghanistan, wants to expand the military (which already has 60% of the budget), believes in the death penalty, unconditional support of Israel and so forth.

    He’s hardly a “liberal.”

    To say that he’s not being criticized in the media is nonsense. When will you have the presidential candidates of substance (Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney and their running mates) on your program?

  130. 130 Colleen
    July 23, 2008 at 19:06

    Politics has become just another american industry… it’s more about marketing and publicity at this point than anything else. I do hope that Obama wins, but do i think it will solve america’s problems? unfortunately no, hopefully it will be a start though…

    regarding race, in the US, people need to be less scared of being politically correct and start admitting that these problems still exist… today racism may be more institutional and covert than in the past, but it’s still here and having a black man as our president will be a major step forward regardless of his/her ancestry… all of those facts quoted on the show about Obama’s non-black ancestors are irrelevant. Who were McCain’s great-great grandparents??! No one cares!

  131. 131 Brooke Belisle
    July 23, 2008 at 19:07

    I’ve never contacted a radio station before but want to express my disappointment with Julia as a guest on your show. Her McCarthy-era ideas focus on the most superficial dimension of the issues at hand and seem to me to express the clichés and racism that limit real conversation. Her credential as ‘comedian’ does not seem to be enough to allow her to contribute, as she seems to want to tell the ‘horrible truth’ about Obama rather than to comment on the perspective of a comedian. And, ironically, she seems to have less of a sense of humor than your other guests!

  132. 132 Lin Daly
    July 23, 2008 at 19:10

    In fairness the last comment by the comedian it is true and there is humor to mine there. Obama’s African relations that he hardly knows is very frequently shown on the telly but never his American side; not even his sister.

    The goal seems to make sure that all know that he is black as if one cannot see that.

    I’d do wish that she’d look into most of her misstatements and balance, no one has said that McCain’s ancestors had slaves – so why is it ok to say it for Obama?

    John Daly show has improved at spearing Obama; the deal here is balance.

    As long as American media is altering/editing interviews, failing to report gaffes or misinformation and otherwise give McCain a pass; they will not have the moral platform to challenge Obama much.

    Fact is that Many Americans see that the racial attack shines back at them too; Latino, Asian and

  133. 133 Robel
    July 23, 2008 at 19:12

    it looks he is beyond crticism becase of his apperance and his policies are centerd. His apperance , he looks intellegent , his ability to listen and elequence. and the other thing, his positions on pressing issues are centerd for example the israel-palestine issue, he stands with israel what so ever at the same time he the supports the legitmate Abbas government. Apperance also matters, he looks more presdential when he is not and intellegence matters. i belive he is one of the most intellegent presidensts to ever serve the US. we can compare him with both John Mccain and the Bush’s, it looks they don’t know what they are talikng about.

  134. 134 Lori from US
    July 23, 2008 at 19:13

    I am still listening to this program, and I must confess that I can’t imagine where you get your suggested guest list! Who is this Julia? She is a comedian? Never heard of her, she isn’t the least bit amusing, and she is spewing lies while your hosts sit there unquestioningly swallowing it. Just because someone claims that others aren’t criticizing Obama enough, does that make it true? She’s criticizing the lack of criticism? Isn’t that ironic?

    Please do a better job of booking guests–she is an embarrassment to reasonable Americans.

  135. 135 Bob- California, USA
    July 23, 2008 at 19:14

    Dear World Have Your Say:

    It may very well be true that anyone who attacks Barak Obama is in turn criticized as being “biased” but this is a page taken straight out of the right-wing program. For years the conservatives have complained about a “liberal-bias” in the media. It’s getting to a point where people are just tuning into the networks that support their own world views instead of actually seeking out some sort of balance and truth from the various different news sources.

  136. 136 Rita Fuler
    July 23, 2008 at 19:14

    Also, one might note, Black Men got the franchise to vote before women of any color. in this country. That might indicate the type of last minute gut level racism showing itself on election day that is the white elephant in the room.

  137. 137 Julie P
    July 23, 2008 at 19:14

    @Harry S. Pariser,

    The comedian may not have a funny joke, but your comment is! Thanks for the laugh. Really.

    Candidates of substance…every four years when Nader goes off his meds he runs for office and as for Cynthia McKinney…I am someone from her former Congressional district, slugging a cop, shouting down Republican candidates at their political rallies (denying them their free speech) and her hyperbolic conspiracy theories make her unfit for to hold office as the local dog catcher.

  138. 138 John LaGrua/New York
    July 23, 2008 at 19:14

    There is a world of difference between malicious sniping and genuine informed criticism.Obama has yet to fully layout his plans and for both candidates : “The Devil is in the details” Obama is a novel politician thus a feast for the American media which is a shallow travesty.Hopefully after the nominations each candidate will be forced to get to the heart of the matter and run risk with less pandering .the recent New Yorker cover was SHABBY as it was seriously malicious.The article within was a clear effort to discredit Obama as a ordinary political operator and opportunist.If the New Yorker were impartial they should do a similiar cover and story on McCain joined at the hip with Lieberman both with nukes in hand aimed at Iran. and an article tracing McCain’s descent from renegade reformer to pandering Bush lite.Ultimately , the people see through sham and deceit and those who believe in democracy understand it’s short comings .Lincoln said it best”You can’t fool all of the people all of the time” It is time for truth : “The truth shall make you free”

  139. 139 Andy -San Francisso, USA
    July 23, 2008 at 19:15

    I have criticisms of Obama.

    I cringe as I see him moving to the center as he supports things such as the domestic spying bill.

    Obama is not any type of Marxist as your awkwardly not funny “comedian” suggested.

    I think it is “funny” how Obama is forced to portray himself as non-intimidating, speaking in commercials of how he was raised by his (white) mother and grandmother with good old-fashioned “Kansas Values”.

    What I love most is how some people, mostly in the previous generation, just can’t stand the attention Obama is getting. As someone who has been less than inspired recently by Democratic candidates for president, I finally believe that the national party “gets it”. The demographics of the U.S. DEMAND that if the democrats want to win they should run a charismatic candidate who can inspire excitement among the people, and finally this is what’s happening. There are more Democratic voters than Republicans and Obama should win this November simply by staying “on message” with one simple word: Change.

  140. July 23, 2008 at 19:15

    @ Steve,

    You want to talk about silencing the dissenters. See Free Speech Zone

    Here is an example of Stalinism. That and silencing people who offer dissent by outing thei undercover wife, claiming to be part of the executive branch when it suites their needs for holding back tax paid public info, torture, firing un-agreeable judges, wire tapping its own citizens without court approval, and the list can go on and on.

  141. 141 Bob Be
    July 23, 2008 at 19:15

    I didn’t answer the question. Obama is not criticized enough. So far criticism of Obama has been superficial and mean spirited. Who cares whether Obama wears a flag pin? We should be concerned with Obama’s domestic and foreign policy. We have bigger problems in the world than to focus too much on a satirical magazine cover tweaking Obama and Michelle. What direction will Obama and his administration take America if he is elected president? Frankly, I’d rather criticize Americans who don’t get that Bush, McCain and Obama have not, and will not, guide American improvement effectively. American leaders appear too compromised by the controlling interests of those truly in power. He or she with the most gold really run things.

  142. 142 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 19:18

    @ Lori

    Most of the guests were embarassments, don’t single her out because you disagree with her and wanted her silenced. I don’t know why they had a comedian, or some bloggers, and some from the Onion on a serious issue about the media, whether the media is giving Obama a pass or not.

  143. 143 Rita Fuler
    July 23, 2008 at 19:19

    Political correctness has run a muck in America. No one can criticize a black man running for president , because the Political Correctnocrats will cry racism

  144. 144 John in Salem
    July 23, 2008 at 19:20

    Now it’s getting fun…
    The topic has gone from “What we don’t like about Obama” to “Why doesn’t our opinion of Obama matter to anyone?”
    And it’s only July! Woo-hoo!!

  145. 145 Jon Kiparsky from Portland, Oregon
    July 23, 2008 at 19:23

    The idea that “The Media” as a monolithic body is unwilling to criticize Obama is simpy ludicrous, and simply shows that the Ann Coulter right has nothing to actually criticize the man for.

    (and by the way, if that’s Julia’s best Obama joke, I’d advise her to keep her day job)

  146. 146 Jacques KO From Boston
    July 23, 2008 at 19:24

    East Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine.

    Jacques KO From Boston

  147. 147 Shaun in Halifax
    July 23, 2008 at 19:27

    @ Jon Kiparsky from Portland, Oregon

    I think you can talk about American media as a monolithic body. If you notice in the past few years a trend called media centralization. More and more newspapers, tv stations and radio are being bought by fewer and fewer people. Case in point: will the Wall Street Journal EVER run a story criticizing Rupert Murdock’s finances or management practices?

  148. 148 steve
    July 23, 2008 at 19:27

    @ Rita

    I wouldn’t worry. Obama is even more unelectable than Kerry was. He’s THE most liberal senator. He had NO chance of winning the red states, which you need to do. It has nothing to do with his race, it has to do with his politics. YOu cannot get elected president of the US as a far left liberal. And when your base is swooning idiots, who vote for you because “he’s cute”, those types don’t actually tend to go out and actually vote. They say they’ll vote, but they don’t actually go out and do it, and that’s why republicans get elected to the presidency so often. I cannot wait for the whining, complaining and allegations of racism after Obama loses. The republicans could put up a Beagle for President and would beat Obama because the beagle isn’t a far left liberal.

  149. 149 Alison
    July 23, 2008 at 19:28

    Obama should not be above criticism. All politicians should be criticized as they are all basically the same…. spokespeople for their financial backers. They are bought and paid for like so many before them. It won’t matter who we elect to the White House. We will still be overtaxed and under-represented. I’m just looking forward to a president who can put a complete sentence together.

  150. July 23, 2008 at 19:28

    Peter Dobbie must have more time to run. Lets say two years. How can a presenter from the BBC come up with a subject /Obama/ and so clueless about it, or hes daily critcism by FOXnews. Can her read or just talk ? Is there any requirement at BBC that presenters must have basic ideas abut the presented idia and be generarly knowledable…. Is there any way that you can make sure that Dobbie does not receive a nice cash deposit from Dick Cheyenne in a swiss bankaccount? I guess there is no way. Let me remind you that it seems to me this was a NIger yellowcake…… Barack is Critsized for what he is wearing and what not, what is his hand gestures and what not. Does he speak nigro or not. Is he muslim or chritian or not. Dobbie admit all of these in the last 30 seconds. So what was this program all about. I tell you… It was an attempt to destroy/harm a person who did not harm your associate. I am a white limodriver so I used to lisend to your program almost 24/7 untyl today.

  151. 151 Roberto
    July 23, 2008 at 19:30

    Anyway, during our chat it occured to me that, even though the Presidential hopeful was saying he was clarifying his position, I couldn’t actually pick up on much, what you might call actual clarity.
    ——————————————————————————————————

    —– Be much easier to nail Jello to a wall than pin down Obama.

    These guys are politicians used to speaking out of both sides of their mouth and saying little to pin themselves down with to lose votes.

    US politics have evolved from long winded 4 hr speeches from the 19th century to endless 15 sec soundbites carefully crafted from endless polling studies.

    Obama projects a young, fresh, pliable man for all seasons image along with a cachet of being both of foreign African and American heritage.

    Don’t worry, it’s early in the season still with conventions not even over with. Come mid October, the swiftboating of Obama and McCain begins and land lines and email servers are swamped with trash.

    Give me a kick in the noggin and ceaseless religious proselytization any day.

  152. 152 Monica Herbert
    July 23, 2008 at 19:33

    I didn’t get the opportunity to email the show while it was on the air, but was listening in and have to say that I am very disappointed. While everyone has a right to their opinions, I can’t understand why you would have the woman who joined you (I didn’t get her full name, but I believe her first name was Julia) as a featured guest. Her comment about why would Stevie Wonder would want a black president when he couldn’t see him and her flip accusation that Obama’s black side of the family abandoned him were flip and tasteless, and didn’t deserve the cachet that comes with being invited to speak on the show. She was practically ranting.

    In fact, the whole topic of the show was disappointing . . . all politicians use and manipulate the press, this is not new news. But to put the spotlight on Obama as if he were all pomp and circumstance is unfair.

  153. 153 James kenya
    July 23, 2008 at 19:33

    Listen BBC Obama is not being criticized because people are lost in his charm,good looks and the ability to give good creative speeches.In short the big O is like a creative theatre director who scripts his routine to sympathy and infatuation for people to be fascinated by him.

  154. 154 Mathew, USA
    July 23, 2008 at 19:35

    It is the media makes him so. Media is giving him undue coverage, which McCain does not get from the liberal biased media. The media did the same with John Kerry as well, while discrediting Bush during the past two elections.

  155. 155 Donna
    July 23, 2008 at 19:36

    I will have my doubts about whether your show is indeed objective unless in the very near future you air a show about whether John Sidney McCain, III is above criticism because of his age and status as a former POW.

    I hear Barack Obama criticized much more often than John McCain in the mainstream media. Obama is carefully scrutinized while McCain gets a pass. Why don’t the mainstream media do stories on McCain’s involvement in the Keating 5 savings & loan scandal and track his flip-flops on countless issues? Why does the mainstream media cover up for McCain’s gaffes (e.g., his recent interview with Katie Couric on CBS)?

  156. July 23, 2008 at 19:40

    Contrary to the host most blogers are well read.

  157. 157 Laurie
    July 23, 2008 at 19:43

    Where did you get that woman? All she cares about is that he’s black; even more than that stupid pin “situation”. I have to say, as an American woman who doesn’t have the best memory, I’m still doing well enough that I don’t have to have a pin to remember what country I’m from. Does she have a picture of a light bulb over the light switch? If Mr. Obama did run for a pin in fear of her, I’d have less respect for him. I was sad to have seen him wear a pin at all in the past, actually, so she should be happy that evidently he does sometimes.

    Did she also say he’s Muslim? Not bad if it were fact, except it’s wrong. What’s with that moderator? He didn’t even seem to be listening, as far as calling people on falsehoods. Today’s whole show was about the word critical with this meaning: 2 a: inclined to criticize severely and unfavorably, rather than 2 c: exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation . I have no trouble with hearing actual ideas about any politician, whether positive or negative. However, thought was evidently not on the menu today.

  158. 158 John in Salem
    July 23, 2008 at 19:55

    Steve~

    “Obama is even more unelectable than Kerry was.”

    You won’t mind if some of us quote you on that come November 5th, would you?

  159. 159 bernadette- Kenya
    July 23, 2008 at 19:55

    Dear peter dobie
    if I heard correctly Barack Obama said he would take troops out of Iraq and put them into Afghanistan. This was when I realised that Mr Obama was just another politician.

    Nobody has won a war in Afghanistan so far so putting troops into Afghanistan is tantamount to arrogance, as it in my opinion is going to be fighting another loosing battle there which is already the case

    Thank you

  160. 160 Siraji from Mombasa
    July 23, 2008 at 19:56

    Obama is the only person to bring peace in the world. Siraji from Mombasa

  161. 161 Malik -- RE Obama: where's the "change"!?
    July 23, 2008 at 19:57

    I don’t even politically like Obama (the ‘good cop’ imperialist and zionist to McCain’s ‘bad cop’ imperialism and zionism), but today’s WHYS was the worst, most intellectually and FACTUALLY MUDDLED WHYS that I’ve ever heard. I only continued listening out of morbid amazement: you know, like looking at a terrible multiple car traffic accident. If WHYS continues to be this bad, I’m going to lobby my local radio station to quit carrying it and paying for it with our listener-supported financial contributions.

    First of all, this week’s Time or Newsweek magazine had an entire article criticizing Obama for his turn to the political right. Secondly, Obama has been constantly criticized in the U.S. — but usually for the wrong reasons, since our media guides every issue towards political trivialities (like flag lapel pins) and away from meaningful, substantive examinations and criticisms.

    And the so-called female “comedian’s” criticism on WHYS against Obama was ridiculous!: Obama “a socialist”? I wish he were, but the truth is that he’s just another ‘good cop’ (Bill) Clintonesque “I feel your pain” imperialist ‘free trade’, bail-out-the-corporate-rich, capitalist who looks relatively young and suave and can (unlike Bush) speak the English language with a glib silver tongue — and upon which liberals, progressives and even many leftists can project upon him whatever they want to believe when a candidate’s motto is some vague word like “change”. European liberals always like Democrat American presidential candidates or presidents with this persona — presidential candidates that they actually know little about factually, except for his manufactured image, and that such Europeans project whatever liberal values they want to on that persona.

    And as with Clinton Obama (like Hillary did) has already indirectly threatened to nuke Iran for Israel (a country with some 200 nuclear weapons of its own, thanks to the U.S., and the linchpin of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East). Obama will be finding all the foreign political boogeymen against the U.S. that Bush did in order to keep the American citizens coughing up more tax money for more military spending than most other advanced industrial countries combined. And Obama wants to INCREASE the size of the U.S. military.

    Obama’s campaing gimmick — uh, motto — is “Change”, but in his abrupt turn to the right, I ask WHERE’S THE CHANGE!?

    He’s been acting just like most other American presidential candidates: they either talk more liberal or more conservative for the respective party primaries; then, after the primaries, the Democrat who wins then talks more right wing (like Obama now hedging on abortion rights, and his supporting warrantless dragnet electronic evesdropping, and recently even socially singling out and scolding Black men) to appeal more to the brainless, nationalist and/or religious white conservative voters — and sometimes maybe the Republican talks more centrist (and even starts talking like the “peace” candidate) — after their respective party primaries; when the Democrat gets into office, he starts passing Republican programs like NAFTA, or giving more money to conservative Christian religious programs, or cutting social welfare programs.

    You see, Bush has screwed things up so much with the war and occupation and with foreign relations and with the economy that a major faction of the American ruling class realizes that they need a new face on American foreign policy — and the only thing changing is the color of the face that would be presented to the world.

  162. July 23, 2008 at 20:04

    Today on the BBC I heard that some people in Germany are in favor of Obama for president.

    The people in Germany are not electing the president of the USA. The citizens of the US will have the task of electing their future president. To the Germans believers I say: you guys elected Hitler even though you didn’t know anything about him. We would not make the same mistake. Changes could be very dangerous not only to your health, but to you life.
    Have a nice day.

    Solomon Urriola

    kingsolomon13@msn.com

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    USA

  163. 163 Mark in Ohio
    July 23, 2008 at 20:24

    “My work took me to some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. I joined with pastors and lay-people to deal with communities that had been ravaged by plant closings. I saw that the problems people faced weren’t simply local in nature – that the decision to close a steel mill was made by distant executives; that the lack of textbooks and computers in schools could be traced to the skewed priorities of politicians a thousand miles away; and that when a child turns to violence, there’s a hole in his heart no government alone can fill.”

    “For that is our unyielding faith – that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.

    That’s what Abraham Lincoln understood. He had his doubts. He had his defeats. He had his setbacks. But through his will and his words, he moved a nation and helped free a people. It is because of the millions who rallied to his cause that we are no longer divided, North and South, slave and free. It is because men and women of every race, from every walk of life, continued to march for freedom long after Lincoln was laid to rest, that today we have the chance to face the challenges of this millennium together, as one people – as Americans.”

    “For the last six years we’ve been told that our mounting debts don’t matter, we’ve been told that the anxiety Americans feel about rising health care costs and stagnant wages are an illusion, we’ve been told that climate change is a hoax, and that tough talk and an ill-conceived war can replace diplomacy, and strategy, and foresight. And when all else fails, when Katrina happens, or the death toll in Iraq mounts, we’ve been told that our crises are somebody else’s fault. We’re distracted from our real failures, and told to blame the other party, or gay people, or immigrants.

    And as people have looked away in disillusionment and frustration, we know what’s filled the void. The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we’re here today to take it back. The time for that politics is over. It’s time to turn the page.”

    The quotes above were from Obama’s speech announcing his candidacy for president.

    http://www.barackobama.com/2007/02/10/remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_11.php

    No politician is above criticism. However, criticism should be about truth vs. lies; progress vs. stagnation; ideas vs. status quo; openness vs. secrecy; and expressed ideas about how to take us from where we are today to where we, as a nation, should be tomorrow.

    We have fallen so far behind in so many ways, in so many areas both within and without our nation.

    Its time the United States has a leader who can communicate, who can negotiate, who can work with the high and mighty while never forgetting the poor, who will surround himself with leaders that work for ALL Americans, who has the future of our country and the well being of the world in mind.

    Once I would have voted for McCain. He is a good American. Maybe a great American. But he is not what this nation needs today, right now.

    We have an economy to resurrect, international wounds to heal, an environment in crisis, a “war” to end with a positive outcome, and much much more to consider. We need a vibrant communicator who can and will make sure that we as a people can, once again, be a respected leader in this world.

    If we are to criticize, lets criticize things that matter. Flag pins? Hands on hearts? These are issues so small in comparison to the others above I’m embarressed to include them. And if these are the things that will lead you to vote for one person over another you should check your priorities. I don’t own a flag pin but I’m an American and I love my country. How about you? Do you own a flag pin?

    If you plan to vote you owe it to yourself and your community to read what the candidates say independent of what Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, etc. report. Learn about both men. Read their speeches. Research their records and their accomplishments not only in politics but also outside of politics.

    Then you will have a right to make sensible criticism.

  164. July 23, 2008 at 20:25

    Solomon in Utah, USA , Not all germans are the same all the time. Germans also try to kill Hitler twice. Unfortunatelly not one american tried to kill Bush even once. But you killed Kennedy. By the way all mormons make love each others mother ? I mean ih you have lots of young aged wife, but somtimes you want someone in your age she can be the mother of your nex door friend who actually planning to marry your daughter. I already refered to a German namely Gobbels. But I did it because I read history occasonally so i can recognise and remember important names. In return I do not have to think about a nation that is 1/3 of US as pool of people who all look alike. Not only that most german speak English, all have passport compare to only 20 % of Us population. So, maybe the germans have a beter understanding of the american politics and politicians than You think. Newr mind that the same support exist for MR OBAMA oll over in Europe. Even incountries where English not a common 2nd language. Why…. because the face is the mirror of one’s soul. And lats mak it clear Goerge and Dick was not a dream for any phtographer. Same with MC who is not comming back. It was an effective slogen do you remember ? No ? No that is your problem…… You don’t remeber that Mc had his easy time, and don forget fis face was tarnished by W. But you don’t remember this either.
    Solomon if you ever run for president avoid Hungarians, we have so many jockes that is good and rhyming with your name that you will cry like a baby.
    So how the sand taste like in Utah…no beer obviously for you, next doors mother ?

  165. 165 Robert
    July 23, 2008 at 21:04

    I haven not heard the show from today yet, but my memories of the 1997 election in the UK have some parallels with what I’ve seen in the US at the moment.

    During that election there was such a black cloud surrounding the Tories that Labour were pretty certain of winning the election. There was little or no criticism of Labour. The members of old Labour kept quiet as they knew Blair etc were the ticket into power. The Lib Dems focused on destroying the Tories as that was their best chance of winning seat. Every time the Tories tried to argue a point they were slammed down with arguments about how bad a job they had made of it (perhaps a fair point ?). New Labour was all about change, fairness and new hope. Some of it had substance and some of it was spin.

    The lack of criticism is perhaps now like it was then. The current establishment is tired and can’t find the fire to fight another term. Voters are wanting something different: They don’t know what but they want something. An environment soon develops in which a contender can get by without criticism so that the change does happen.

  166. 166 Malik -- To hypocritical German basher
    July 23, 2008 at 21:21

    Solomon Urriola, July 23, 2008 at 8:04 pm, Salt Lake City, USA: “To the Germans believers I say: you guys elected Hitler even though you didn’t know anything about him.”

    TO HYPOCRITICAL AMERICAN GERMAN BASHER:

    HITLER WAS NOT ORIGINALLY ELECTED: HE WAS (LIKE BUSH) ORIGINALLY *APPOINTED* HEAD OF STATE.

    The 2nd time, like Bush, Hitler was so-called “elected” — but the election was *fixed* (sound familiar?), and in Hitler’s case then, it was not a free election (Hitler had become a dictator, like Bush obviously would have liked to become by wanting to exercise unilateral, unquestioned power — thank goodness it’s in all probability too late for that, now that his term has just about ended) and most other political parties could not participate.

    Finally, Hitler ‘learned’ from and took his cue from the U.S. about how to genocide unwanted people: remember the MILLIONS MORE NATIVE AMERICANS (many more than European Jews genocided by the Nazis), that were genocided by the U.S.? (This, aside from the U.S. having slavey for 250 years and then legal apartheid for another 100 years against its Black citizens.) Hitler even took his eugenics cue from American eugenics practices against America’s despised minorities (the relatively few remaining Native Americans, Blacks, Asians, and Latinos). And what about all the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE that the U.S. has killed, directly or indirectly, all around the 3rd World (especially in the Philippine-American war and in Vietnam, besides other places)? And today the U.S. practices TORTURE in Guantanamo and God only knows where else in the world against people who have not even been investigated, charged with any specific crime, or even had a legal hearing!

    SO BEFORE YOU BASH MOST GERMANS LIVING TODAY WHO HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HITLER, WHY DON’T YOU LOOK INTO YOUR OWN *AMERICAN* HISTORY.

  167. 167 Virginia Davis
    July 23, 2008 at 21:47

    Good afternoon from a cool and overcast Portland, OR:

    My gracious, what a collection of comments! What a broadcast it must have been!

    As for criticisms of Obama, it is clear most, if not all, are relying on media. Why not get into his extensive collection of specific plans on his website? And form your own conclusions. Why not get involved, as many are, in discussions with your neighbors about what the country needs and the changes you want implemented? It’s happening right around you and because of the Internet.

    Don’t rely on old platitudes and exchanges of “You’ll see when McCain wins! – “No, you’ll see when Obama wins!”

    Even that ancient and word-wise cynical poet, Bob Dylan, has groused out that
    “The times they are a changin” again! And is impressed with Obama.

    My own conundrum today was to be told my insurance had cut off funds for my insulin by my (very nice and independent) pharmacist only to find in a follow-up call to my secondary insurer, that it was an automatic reject because of the high cost of Lantus and a resubmission would garner an OK. Tempest in a teapot.

    Virginia in Oregon

  168. 168 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 23, 2008 at 21:49

    Flimsiest. Premise. Ever.

    We’re presented with a personal ramble by “Peter (Dobbie)” at BBC, who asks for help in understanding the following about Barack Obama:

    1) He does not know Obama’s position on troop withdrawal from Iraq, and cannot recognize it as “new” or distinguish it from President Bush’s position,
    2) He does not know Obama’s policies or positions on anything else either, and cannot synthesize from them something he calls a “USP,”
    3) Voters seem already to have decided that Obama will be the next president,
    4) Nobody is criticizing Obama,
    5) Obama’s trip to the Middle East is a “long photo opportunity.”

    In the order of Peter’s questions: Obama intends to withdraw troops from Iraq within 18 months, as he has announced clearly, loudly, consistently, and frequently. His position is “new” in differing from that of President Bush and Senator McCain, which is why it is not White House policy. Obama’s positions on other issues are available on his eponymous website. If mass media have chosen not to cover them, I wouldn’t know why. Working for BBC, Peter might be situated to change that situation. Obama enjoys front-runner status because a majority of Americans indicate their intention to elect him in response to polls that ask them. Obama has been abundantly criticized: for having a name that conjures unpleasant associations, for not wearing a lapel-pin flag every day, for attending a church with a wacky, repellent, pastor, and other silly trivia, as well as plain lies, such as false claims that he is a Muslim. If Peter means to complain about a dearth of informed, intelligent, substantive criticism, again he might improve that circumstance. Finally, the travels of any Presidential candidate are inevitably photographed.

    I believe that dispatches every point except for Peter’s forgetting to identify Obama as a “presidential hopeful,” surely the least significant of his failures although I expect a violation of BBC style.

    Middle East policy, exclusive of the Iraq/Afghanistan affair, was an odd choice for so much attention today. The consensus among most Americans on the essential points produces virtually identical positions by presidential candidates. This has been so for many years.

    The phenomenon of Barack Obama is a fascinating story. We could talk about political strategy, charisma, race, generation, the upset by an underdog of an “establishment” figure, or the historical pendulum pattern common to democratic countries by which we regularly reverse course and change governments. There is the potential for many compelling WHYS discussions. I’m not sure today’s qualified as one.

  169. 169 Will Rhodes
    July 23, 2008 at 22:02

    If you want to see criticism of Barack Obama come to my blog and search his name!

    http://willrhodes1961.wordpress.com/

    You will see the amount there – quite a number of posts and some that even I cringed at!

  170. 170 steve
    July 24, 2008 at 01:23

    @ John

    Remember, Kerry was so unelectable he lost do GEORGE BUSH, arguably the worst president of the 20-21st century. You cannot win the presidency by running a bleeding heart leftie. Obama is even worse. There are more people that hate bleeding hearts that actually vote than that who think “Obama is cute!” who actually go out and vote.

  171. 171 Syed Hasan Turan
    July 24, 2008 at 01:27

    With a slogan of CHANGE Oboma might get majority votes to win, but in the presance of prevailing political structure & culture he might be like Birtish Monorch for only five years.
    He is young intellegant person & sound like will endup on “A BAD CAT DESERVE A BAD ART”, not because of his capabilities & efforts, only because of life time politician’s are sitting in Congress & Senate with negative attitute & personal intrest along with personal agenda.

  172. July 24, 2008 at 02:11

    There are benchmarks to look at when coming to terms about who the next president will be. I mean you have the onset of the democratic slaughter in 2006. People who were not particularly overly republican even lost because they had the “R” in front of their name. Then there are all these little skirmishes that republicans keep loosing. GOP Loses House Seat in Mississippi

    In the early primaries when things were still hot, people were showing up to vote for the democratic primaries 3 to 1 over the republican. Democratic precincts were running out of ballots. TIME Poll: Registered Republicans Less Enthusiastic About Voting Than Democrats

    Then you have people who are conservative and don’t want to have to support McCain in 4 years. They would rather have another option. You get statements like that in which the “comedian” was making today. All that fighting and criticism of Obama and she says, “well I am not voting this time anyway”

    That is what the republicans are up against. they know it, and they are running a chump to prove it.

  173. 173 Vijay Srao
    July 24, 2008 at 04:00

    @Shaun in Halifax
    Of course he meets lobbyists and large donors.Even his fundraiser in Chicago has been inditated for corruption.
    No one really examined Tony Blairs(former uk head of government) background or credentials too hard ,because most of the UK wanted the Tories(Conservative party) out.

  174. 174 RT
    July 24, 2008 at 04:53

    The only reason Obama is where he is, is because he is young, good-looking, articulate, black and Democrat. Take away any of those features and he is NOBODY! Obama is the crowning achievement of Affirmative Action.

    For those who think McCain is Bush III, why did the Democrats want McCain for John Kerry’s running mate just four short years ago?

  175. 175 parth guragain
    July 24, 2008 at 07:19

    Very intresting topic to talk about.i am a nepali but can’t help discussing about talking about obama.firstly Obama shouldn’t be beyond criticism.i have been regularly following news about obama in recent times.i fell that american are fed up with recent republician governance so they don’t want to hear anything about barack’s criticism and gone are those days when media used to go against views and say something which is fact.what i think that american media is obcessed about Obama .i have gone through many of his speeches and haven’t fopud his clarity on matters regarding foreign policy.he have been talking about change but he doesn’t have any plans in these issues.his popularity overseas is due to the fact that many people all around world have american dreams and they can relate it to themselves when a non white become president of united states.regarding his not being critisized in united states is that what american have created for themselves is a dark glassesd aroud them and anything that is talked against Obama can be termed racist.What media have done is created a larger than life image of obama and no one wants to hear any criticism of obama.due to much of media coverage what i think is he is must popular American person at present in the world.this American election is likely to become most intresting election of all the time becoz world is watching it.

  176. July 24, 2008 at 07:31

    @ RT

    Wow RT you sound in love. What? We have a constituency that bases its opinions on shallow superficial criteria? Really? You don’t say. I do find it humorous that the very things that are often pointed out as flaws, (with the exception of good looking. I guess if you say so.) are the things that you have pointed to as his strengths. Young = inexperienced. Articulate = sounding egotistical. Black = well that is a reason that he shouldn’t be where he is at because he is black he was considered not to have a snowballs chance even in the democratic party. Democrat = 8 years of republican rule in the executive branch. 6 of it in the legislation with the numbers to shut down any democratic opposition to core republican policies. Why should a democrat have a chance now?

    First of all many of the people voting for Barack are not the ones from 4 years ago. There are many independents and formerly unconcerned reporting to the poles these days. (See the link I posted above). I voted for John McCain in the 2000 primary. Back then he was pro- social programs, anti-war, anti globalization, and had no chance of getting an intern to “join” him in the Oval Office. The reason he didn’t end up on the Kerry ticket is that there was only a small but vocal sect in the democratic party that wanted to see a combo ticket. Knowing that the republicans had a stronghold on the fears about “national security” and military obedience, the idea of bringing in a perceived “war hero” into the fold was considered as an advantage.

    It would be like saying John McCain is only where he is at because he is old, got shot down in Vietnam, liberal conservative, and a Republican. Or saying GW was where he was because he was young, connected, Texas cowboy, and dumb enough to seem simple and sincere. After the Lewinski scandal when people were looking for “honest politicians” he seemed to play the part. All superficial stuff that has nothing to do with his ability to lead and make sound decisions. Obviously.

  177. 177 Jeff In Phoenix
    July 24, 2008 at 09:47

    I’m beginning to think someone might need to explain the difference between criticism and standard political attack to some of the people posting here.

    First, the question in the article seemed to be directed toward the media in an introspective way. But such a question brings out the “whine” in the fanatics. I am amused at the knee-jerk reaction from the Obama church choir, more of the same, that only proves that Obama’s hard shell supporters will brook no criticism of their man. Even asking if he IS above criticism drew accusations of right wingery and neo-conism. So there really is no mystery to where the question came from.

    Obama offers something different, something that has been missing from this stage, at this level, for a long time. I’m not sure if it should be defined as “hope” or simply a fresh perspective. But it is something different. However, different does not mean he is qualified to be the leader of the United States. He needs to earn that distinction and prove to centrists like myself that he is more than just slick packaging with a killer marketing department taking advantage if the GOP’s slide into the muddled mess it has become.

    A mess mind you, that is exactly like the one the Democrats were mired in that spawned advent of Dubya and his merry pillagers. A mess that the current Democratic members in congress seem incapable of dealing with.

    There is NOTHING above reproach about this candidate. And to say so is not an attack, its a simple fact.

  178. 178 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 24, 2008 at 12:49

    @Jeff

    I completely agree with you concerning Obama. He is very charismatic and the media and Hollywood love him. However, I am not sure how most Americans will vote. I look at McCain as another four years of Bush and Obama is a new face. I am not sure which is worse but I can’t stand what has happened to this country while Bush has been the president. All of the problems were not his fault but his actions will cost Americans trillions of dollars. Obama is at least smarter than Obama and he was never tested. McCain is the status quo. Although, people get tired of hearing Obama’s chant, there are some people who desperately want a change. Perhaps Obama will win! Perhaps McCain! All I know is hopefully some higher power will be with whoever it is because it is going to take a lot of hard work to fix or undo the last eight years of W.

  179. 179 Gideon
    July 24, 2008 at 14:58

    With all due respect, I should say Obama opposition to U.S attack of Iraq without international support endeared him to both friends and foes for his good judgement. Saddam was just a petty dictator who would have been contained and thrown in the dustbin of history without necessarily attacking Iraq. France and Germany, some of the most reliable European powers, desisted from the invasion.

    Today America is committing too much of her wealth to war that should no have been waged. Today, America is more alienated than any other time in history. Today, America has lost the respect it commanded. At the same time, China, India, Russia, and even Brazil are rising to be world powers thanks to poor judgement by the current regime that Mccain want to extend. Soon, everyone will hear of simple countries like Iran offering major threats to U.S.

    In this case, Obama plays out to be the guy who can have moral authority to return U.S back to where it was hence less critizism. His attacks are always fake and media don’t always play on that.

  180. 180 Asad Babyl
    July 24, 2008 at 15:11

    @Shaun in Halifax

    Sarcasm my friend, is a powerfull tool. I understand though, you DID say you are Canadian.

  181. 181 Nick in USA
    July 24, 2008 at 16:48

    @ Steve

    Perhaps Obama did say 57 states when he meant 57 contests, but who really cares? Does that make him a stupid person? It was a slip up, big deal. I don’t think Obama is perfect either, but this issue is just rhetoric. Also, perhaps Obama’s middle name is Hussein. Who cares? This is not pertinent information to the election. A middle name given to him before he was born has no bearing on his ability to be the president of the country. It’s true, she was only saying his real name, but her motivation for doing so seems kind of ridiculous to me. If anyone is dumb enough to listen to her and not vote for Obama because of his middle name, then they shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

  182. 182 Shakhoor Rehman
    July 24, 2008 at 22:33

    When someone as politically fluffy as Obama does not get criticised then that is the time to worry.

  183. July 25, 2008 at 02:37

    Barack Obama is also lack leadership like George Bush. The special peace plans he will make not only between Israel and West Bank but also include the Gaza. If he could bring the leader of Israel, West Bank and Gaza to agree for all peace of that Regions then he will look like good future leader but he lack these knowledges or afraid of their wicked washington idea of creating murders in the areas. If the Israel, West bank and Gaza signs peace then whole world see which leader will carry bombardment against each leader. That leader who carry the war against other leader will be punish by international power. Some nations are need justices but washington is creating violence around the world both indirect and direct.

  184. 184 Syed Hasan Turab
    July 25, 2008 at 03:49

    Oboma is coming back from Middle East with a good size of Jewish Counsil Support just because of one speech of support to Isriel, now he has better chances of US Media support & lot of funds from Jewish corporates.
    No doubt conflict is still there with Alquida support.
    On the other hand being a fellow citizen of the world he want to remove the barriers.
    Any way these all are political tools without jewish money & Jewish controll US media he may not suceed what ever he is dreeming, his supporter’s in USA may not like his Middle Eastern Tradetional political statement.

  185. 185 Kathleen
    July 25, 2008 at 12:51

    Hell No Barack Obama is not beyond criticism. I am still criticizing for his inability to draw a line with the right wing radical warmongers who after lying the U.S. into an unnecessary and immoral war in Iraq immediately started repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran. When Obama just happened to be out of town last fall on the day of the Kyl Lieberman amendment (warmongering) Obama failed to draw a line with these radicals and take a stand against them by voting No no no on the Kyl Lieberman amendment ( which by the way Hillary Clinton voted for sinking her chances for the Presidency even more, Senator’s Dodd and Biden voted against it).

    Plenty of room to criticize Obama.

    It’s just too bad the Germans can not vote in the U.S. election. If we can talk Karl Rove into supporting Obama maybe he could arrange that.

  186. July 25, 2008 at 16:37

    Mr. Barack Obama is not clear regarding Iraq or Afghanistan for he is incapable of offering particulars without a working set of principles or ideology, therefore the generalities and trite slogans. In a word, politics as usual. Mr. John McCain, on the other hand, is more particular in his proposition where militarism is the only solution in his political arsenal, therefore a continuance and perhaps expansion of the same. So this (very) concerned American will exercise the “write in” option this November in favor of Dr. Ron Paul.

  187. 187 Syed Hasan Turab
    July 25, 2008 at 19:18

    By way of appearing on International stage he is answering the quiry of “UNFAMILIRATY & INEXPERIENCE TO DEAL INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS” as this quiry been raised by ” SENIOR”S ” of USA, those who watch T,V, day & night. No doubt they are solid voters of there old timer school of thought compateable with Republican’s, they have Catholic influence too.
    To approach to Old school of USA he lost his sincear Muslim supporter in USA, damage the immage of Democrates & open a new account with Alquida & there allies as physical controll of” Yourosulam” is the heart of the conflict.
    Infact he did not talk any thing new, as with religious diversity these people have no bariero’s & are living togather from thousands & thousand years, the real problem in the region is imported Jewish with imported culture & there terrorist behaviour with native’s of the area without religious discremination.
    His loose statement on this sensative issue may not support him & USA at all. To begin with self created hurdels will endup on crises & doubt of Us Senior’s community with finding’s “UNFAMNILITARY & INEXPERIANCE TO DEAL INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS” may be understand correct.

  188. July 27, 2008 at 10:59

    Of course, he is human like others. But he conveys the clear impression of a rational thinking person, an excellent communicator and for saying what most people like to hear. Bush Jnr and the ongoing wars, especially in Iraq, have made him what he has become, a sort of idol to pull America(?) and the rest of the world out of a virtual abyss. Even after his trip to Iraq he says he is committed to gradual pull out of combat troops in 16 months and this seems to be echoing in references to “pull out” in official US statements. He likes to be liked but real politik is likely to be tempered in the process as demonstrated by “flutters” from his original thinking on Jerusalem, for example. It is likely to be a better world if he gets to the White House. His thoughts on (green) energy and environment are what are needed for the future not only for the US but for the rest of the world. Not once has he mentioned the word PEACE! That is baffling just 60 years after WWII! His policies for the present economic woes seem far less clear.

  189. 189 Syed Hasan Turab
    July 28, 2008 at 01:29

    No doubt Obama did biggest political blender to address the sensative political issue with out knowing the root cause & understanding the ground realities, this is what his political opponent never did,
    Uptill now he never say single word about entitlement / voting right in African American community as more then half are disqualified because of double standard of Justice in USA, on the other hand he was breaking the barriers out side USA.
    May I know the openion of “Department of Home Land Security” USA in regard to his speech in Isriel?
    This is what may be understand immeturity in political field.

  190. July 29, 2008 at 11:07

    if Obama were beyond criticism,then he would be beyond the messiah.Jesus too was criticised and still the world has got foolish people who do even criticise the blind,deaf and dumb.


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