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Monday, October 27, 2008
Aaron Klein's False and Misleading Anti-Obama Screed
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein lets loose an anti-Obama screed in an Oct. 27 column, likening Barack obama to "Middle East dictators":

All freedom-loving Americans and independent-minded journalists must be concerned about the authoritarian actions practiced in recent days by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, which cut off future interviews to a local news network after its anchor dared to ask legitimate but pressing questions to Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden.

The boycott move is a direct threat to what little is left of America's free press, highlighting to reporters the ramifications of questioning the Obama campaign on issues it doesn't want to talk about.

As a Mideast reporter, I've seen this kind of action before. It's routinely practiced by Middle East dictators and has resulted in an intimidated press corps which toes the jihadist line, in part out of fear of having their contacts cut off.

First: It wasn't a "local news network"; it was a TV station in Florida. 

Second: John McCain's campaign has done the exact same thing. Will Klein liken McCain to "Middle East dictators" for banning Time magazine's Joe Klein from the campaign plane? Isn't McCain also issuing "a direct threat to what little is left of America's free press"?

Third: Is "fear of having his contacts cut off" the same reason Klein -- who eagerly reported an endorsement of Obama by Hamas -- refuses to report that McCain was endorsed by Al Qaeda?

Klein then asserts that Biden's claim that "We haven't paid Acorn a single penny to register one single voter" is "false and misleading":

Obama's campaign indeed paid more than $800,000 in services to Citizen Services Inc., [sic] or CSI, a nonprofit organization that is an affiliate of ACORN and works from the organization's offices. The payments, listed for "stage, lighting or sound," stood out in FEC filings since CSI does not offer services for stage, lighting or sound. The Obama campaign amended the FEC reports in August and September to claim the payments to CSI were for get-out-the-vote efforts, which means the Obama campaign absolutely paid an affiliate of ACORN to help register voters.

In fact, "get-out-the-vote efforts" are not the same thing as registering voters. As CNN detailed, Citizens Services Inc. was paid by the Obama campaign for 'vote canvassing, such as knocking on doors and urging people to vote. ... Obama campaign advisers stressed in an Oct. 14 teleconference that the campaign paid Citizens' Services Inc. for canvassing, but not voter registration."

Klein also writes:

Biden's attendant claim there is "no relationship" between Obama and ACORN is also untrue. In 1992, Obama was director of Project Vote in Chicago, which helped register 150,000 voters on the city's South Side and whose parent company is registered at the same New Orleans address in which ACORN and multiple ACORN affiliates are housed. Obama's campaign claims ACORN was "not part of" Project Vote, but Obama himself previously stated ACORN was "in the middle" of Project Vote.

But again, as we pointed out the last time he asserted this, the fact that Project Vote shares a corporate home with ACORN now is irrelevent to the relationship between the two groups in 1992. As ACORN itself has pointed out: "At that time, Project Vote had no more connection to ACORN than it did with dozens of other national and local organizations with which it partnered on local registration drives." Klein has offered no evidence whatsoever to contradict this.

But Klein wasn't done smearing Obama over cutting off a TV station in Florida:

But the Obama-Orlando boycott could have far-reaching, long-term consequences should Obama take the White House. Reporters have taken note and will likely think twice in the future before bringing up legitimate issues that call into question Obama's leadership and its reifications for the U.S.

Talk radio must immediately be placed on high alert in response to the [Barbara] West incident and amid reports Democrat [sic] senators are itching to revive some version of the Fairness Doctrine, which aims to silence non-liberal viewpoints.

The type of media oppression evidenced by the Obama camp is regularly practiced in the Middle East, where (excluding Israel) independent journalism is virtually nonexistent.


The outlook for the already grim future state of reporting during an Obama administration just faded to black.

The funny thing is, that's what real journalists said about West's interview of Biden. As one observer noted, "It may be the worst interview of a major political figure by a "professional" broadcast journalist I've ever witnessed. It was like something out of the old Soviet Union where propaganda masqueraded as news. Every question West asked revealed a bias against Sen. Barack Obama that reached the point of outright hostility."

The interviewer's hometown paper stated:

This is the most embarrassing interview I've ever seen on local television. This has nothing to do with whether you are for Obama or McCain. It's about being professional. Quoting Karl Marx?

Even Sean Hannity wouldn't be so ham-handed. Making matters worse, it looks like Barbara is just dumbly reading questions someone just handed her, then staring blankly at the screen.

What this is really all about is that Klein wants to smear and lie about Obama with impunity, just likethe rest of his buddies at WorldNetDaily. That's not journalism -- that's propaganda.

The only thing missing from Klein's column was the tag, "I'm John McCain, and I approved this message," since that's the goal of his little screed.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT

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