Sunday, August 24, 2008

Michelle Obama, FOX and Her Candor

Lauren Collins, in the New Yorker last March, wrote about The Other Obama. Some of what was written was a negative for Michelle and her husband. But FOX this morning dusted it off this excerpt, which appears on the third page of the 10-page report:

Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we’re a divided country, we’re a country that is “just downright mean,” we are “guided by fear,” we’re a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. “We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day,” she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. “Folks are just jammed up, and it’s gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I’m young. Forty-four!”

From these bleak generalities, Obama moves into specific complaints. Used to be, she will say, that you could count on a decent education in the neighborhood. But now there are all these charter schools and magnet schools that you have to “finagle” to get into. (Obama herself attended a magnet school, but never mind.) Health care is out of reach (“Let me tell you, don’t get sick in America”), pensions are disappearing, college is too expensive, and even if you can figure out a way to go to college you won’t be able to recoup the cost of the degree in many of the professions for which you needed it in the first place. “You’re looking at a young couple that’s just a few years out of debt,” Obama said. “See, because, we went to those good schools, and we didn’t have trust funds. I’m still waiting for Barack’s trust fund. Especially after I heard that Dick Cheney was s’posed to be a relative or something. Give us something here!”

This is a low blow by FOX. It's five months old, and there is nothing new in FOX's reporting today to imply that the story was advanced. But stuff like this is not new for FOX. Back in June, FOX used the phrase "Obama's Baby Mamma" under a picture of Michelle Obama during a report.

It's reports such as this that give FOX the reputation it has as a partisan network. I would imagine this is not the message the Obama campaign wanted out on the eve of the convention. But it also sends a message that FOX is advancing an agenda and not reporting facts in a "fair and balanced" manner.


No comments: