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Monday, May 5, 2008
Yes, They Are Questioning Obama's Patriotism
Topic: NewsBusters

In attacking a CBS News story that "suggest[ed] Democrats are well-justified in fearing Republicans will succeed in portraying Obama as 'out of the mainstream,' which Reynolds described as 'code for "unpatriotic"'" over things like not wearing a flag pin, Brent Baker used a May 4 NewsBusters post to claim that this "demonstrat[es] how the mainstream media will view criticism of Barack Obama through the prism of past attacks on Democrats they consider illegitimate," then asked: "Which legitimate, significant political figure on the right has accused Barack Obama of being unpatriotic?"

Baker might want to check down the hall at MRC headquarters. From the April 22 column by Baker's boss, Brent Bozell:

ABC disgusted the Obama-ogling bloggers by dwelling on Obama’s developing vulnerabilities. Gibson questioned Obama’s remarks about the bitterness of poorer voters to cling to their guns and their religion and their antipathy to immigrants (instead of voting for liberals). They asked several questions about Obama’s long-time minister, the inflammatory Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And they asked if it wasn’t a “major vulnerability” that he won’t wear a flag pin.

 (This last issue is a bit comical, coming from ABC News, whose president, David Westin, banned all ABC News employees from wearing a flag pin on the air, so they could remain “independent and objective.” Westin also resembled Obama’s mysterious sense of patriotism in suggesting he didn’t think it was his role to decide whether the Pentagon was a legitimate target for terrorists. The candidate could have proclaimed that he has demonstrated all the patriotism of your average ABC News reporter.)

While Bozell doesn't explicitly say it, the implication is undeniably there. 

We don't know if Baker considers his fellow NewsBusters bloggers as "legitimate, significant political figures on the right," but there's plenty of fodder to be found there. For instance, Mark Finkelstein wrote regarding the flag pin stuff and his catching Obama failing to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem once (which, by the way, isn't a requirement), "Meanwhile, does Obama have some third act or omission planned to demonstrate that he's not falling for those corny, old-fashioned displays of patriotism?"

And Warner Todd Huston explicitly states that "Barack Obama isn't patriotic enough to wear an American flag lapel pin!" 

As for "legitimate, significant political figures on the right," there's Roger Stone ("Many Americans will find the three things [including the flag pin] offensive. Barack Obama is out of the McGovern wing of the party, and he is part of the blame America first crowd") and Mark Williams ("He felt it OK to come out of the closet as the domestic insurgent he is"). (OK, Baker may not consider Williams "legitimate.")

And a Washington Post article reports:

Karl Rove, President Bush's former chief strategist, recently chided Obama for his flag-pin decision, accusing him of declaring that if you do wear one, "you're not a true patriot." Republican pollster Whit Ayres called Obama "George McGovern without the military experience." Setting up a contrast, a recent McCain ad declared the Republican candidate "the American president America has been waiting for." 

So Baker's question has been amply answered. We have a question in return: Will Baker throw his inoperative question into tomorrow's CyberAlert with the rest of his post? 


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 5, 2008 1:54 PM EDT

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