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Sunday, July 27, 2008
Will MRC Tell The Full Story Behind Obama, Troop Visit?
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center outlets are full of high dudgeon over Barack Obama's cancellation of a visit to U.S. troops at the Landstuhl military hospital in Germany-- but silent about the full story behind it.

  • A July 24 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard asserted that Obama "has cancelled plans to visit two U.S. military bases while in Germany, this despite having all kinds of time to speak to gushing Berliners as well as getting in a workout at the Ritz Carlton."
  • A July 25 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein noted that "Barack Obama's cancellation of plans to visit injured military members at bases in Germany has drawn considerable attention and criticism" while bashing MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell for reporting that "the Pentagon, perhaps the military with cooperation from some Republican operatives and, that's the sort of scuttlebutt, that there have been some foreign policy advisers of John McCain with connections in the Pentagon who had something to do with this." Finkelstein wrote: "Is this that journalistic standard of NBC/MSNBC? To propagate highly-inflammatory rumors, damaging to one candidate in a presidential race?"
  • ran a July 24 Associated Press article highlighting the McCain campaign's criticism of Obama's cancellation of the visit: "Barack Obama is wrong. It is never inappropriate to visit our men and women in the military." 

But Sheppard, Finkelstein and CNS has all failed to report further details about the cancellation: that the Germany leg of Obama's European trip was paid for by his campaign, and the Pentagon has confirmed that Obama couldn't visit the hospital with his campaign staff, which would be a violation of Pentagon regulations. Further, McCain has similarly declined to visit certain military installations as a candidate.

Having made initial reports on this story, aren't Sheppard, Finkelstein and CNS obligated to report all the relevant facts regarding it? We think so. Will they admit that had Obama actually visited Landstuhl, they would be criticizing Obama for politicizing the troops? Probably not.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT

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