WND's Lame Attack on Obama's Economic Record Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily attack on President Obama's economic record carries no byline, which suggests that someone thought better of taking credit for it after it was determined that it would be presented as "news" and not opinion.
That rare show of apparent shame from a WND writer is entirely justified -- it's based on a dishonest premise.
The anonymous WND writer opines:
Twenty years ago, when Democrats tried to oust an incumbent Republican president from office, they questioned his economic stewardship. Vice presidential candidate Al Gore famously bellowed: “Everything that ought to be down is up, and everything that should be up is down!”
The argument seems more relevant today than it was in late 1992.
Applying Gore’s test to Obama’s economic record produces far worse results.
The anonymous writer then compares current economic numbers with those of January 2009.
Why is this dishonest? Because the economy was still in free fall in early 2009, and no Obama economic policy would take effect for months, making it disingenuous to blame Obama for the state of the early 2009 economy.
Had WND compared the current situation to the depth of the recession, Obama's numbers would look much better. But making Obama look good is not Obama's job. For instance, comparing the January 2009 unemployment rate of 7.8% to the current rate of 8.1% -- which WND's anonymous writer portrays as an example of "everything that ought to be down is up," ignores the fact that unemployment peaked at 10.0% in October 2009.
The anonymous writer also makes a big deal out of how "the National Bureau of Economic Research says it actually ended in June 2009 – just five months into Obama’s term." But WND's own Jerome Corsi, in a January 2010 column responding to criticism of his isolationist book "America For Sale" by the Cato Institute's Daniel Griswold, denounced NBER's declaration of how the start of the recession was described as starting in December 2007:
He insists the National Bureau of Economic Research, “the accepted authority on the U.S. business cycle,” puts the start of the recession at December 2007.
The National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit research organization that is not part of the federal government and has never been appointed by the federal government to make official declarations of when recessions begin or end.
Pushing the start of the current recession back to December 2007 is a subjective determination that serves political purposes, allowing organizations like CNN to push blame for the economic downturn into the Bush administration, suggesting President Bush was responsible for the housing bubble that caused the recession.
I chose instead to use the more conventional and objective standard defined by economic statistician Julius Shiskin in the 1970s and commonly used by economists since then that a recession officially begins after two consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP; this definition would set the start of the recession to December 2008.
So if, by Corsi's defintion, the recession started a year later than WND's anonymous writer claims, doesn't it mean it ended a year later as well? Or is WND simply engaging in the same "subjective determination that serves political purposes" that Corsi accused NBER of doing?
We're going with the latter -- this is WND, after all.
This shoddy, cherry-picked article can even be true to WND's own internal logic. No wonder the author doesn't want his name associated with it.
MRC Won't Fact-Check Romney, But Will Fact-Check A Kanye West Song Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center is too lazy and/or biased to fact-check anything Mitt Romney says. It has found time, however, to fact-check -- and grammar-check -- a Kanye West song.
Paul Wilson whines in a Sept. 14 MRC Culture & Media Institute post:
Celebrities have certainly been doing their part to get their beloved President Obama elected – including parroting wild speculations from Democratic politicians about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s taxes.
Hip-hop artist Kanye West took a shot at Mitt Romney in “To the World,” a song on his new album Cruel Summer. West referenced a speculation by some on the left that Romney is a tax dodger saying: “I’m just trying to protect my stacks / Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax.”
West’s line echoed the wild speculations of Democrats such as Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who infamously claimed that a Bain Capital investor told him Romney paid no taxes. Reid’s claim was completely “unsubstantiated,” even according to media outlets like ABC. But that didn’t stop the Obama campaign from running with it.
Aside from being grammatically flawed (the double negative suggests Romney does pay tax), West’s claim is factually untrue. He has released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, both of which show him paying taxes to the federal government. Romney’s returns revealed that he paid effective tax rates of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.3 percent in 2011 respectively.
West is also hardly a model for fiscal transparency. Forbes recently estimated that West, who walked through an Occupy encampment wearing gold chains, made an annual income of $35 million. And according to Fox News, in 2010, West’s own charity [the Kanye West Foundation] spent more than a half-million dollars while donating no money to actual charitable grants and contributions. Perhaps West should be concerned with his own tax returns, instead of rapping false rumors about Romney.
Perhaps Wilson should be more concerned about the veracity of a presidential candidate than nit-picking the lyrics of a song he doesn't like.
Jerome Corsi's New Gay Friend Topic: WorldNetDaily
For someone who appears to hate gays as much as Jerome Corsi does, he sure has found himself a new gay friend.
There is a mitigating factor, of course -- Corsi's new gay friend hates President Obama as much as he does.
As we've previouslynoted, Corsi has hooked up with gay Obama-hating blogger Kevin DuJan (not physically, we can only hope; sorry about the visual) to peddle unsubstantiated rumors the Barack Obama is secretly gay and that slain U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was, you guessed it, secretly gay (you can't libel the dead, after all).
Now, DuJan is the source for another piece of desperate Obama-bashing for Corsi: A Sept. 19 WorldNetDaily article repeating unverified rumors that "Obama insiders" are "secretly making retirement plans for the Obamas with the expectation the president will lose his bid for re-election in November" via Obama supporter Penny Pritzker. Given that DuJan himself has peddled the same unverified rumors -- which Corsi credits in his article -- the "confidential source within Pritzker’s Chicago organization" that Corsi cites as his main source was almost certainly procured by DuJan, and for all we know may actually be a figment of DuJan's imagination.
As is par for the course with his work, Corsi provides no reason why anyone should trust his reporting or the veracity of his anonymous source.
MRC's Baker Bashes Fact-Checkers Who Do The Job He Won't Topic: Media Research Center
The other day, we documented how Media research VP for research Brent Baker was too lazy to do any actual, you know, research on the truth of Mitt Romney's attack on Obama supporters, snarkily stating, "And the inaccuracy is?" Now Baker is mad at the fact-checkers who did the work he wouldn't do.
In a Sept. 19 MRC item, Baker was upset that the truth was told about Romney's statement and that media fact-checkers looked at everything Romney said about the 47 percent of voters who support Obama and didn't stop at the one correct claim he made:
NBC and CBS felt compelled Tuesday night to fact check Mitt Romney’s assertion “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax” and both had to acknowledge his accuracy, but then tried to undermine Romney’s point. Noting the statistic had become “Tea Party mantra,” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell allowed “it’s true that approximately 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income taxes, as Mitt Romney said, but,” she quickly added, “not because they are living off of the 53 percent.”
Over on CBS, Anthony Mason relayed how “Roberton Williams with the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says, to be precise, 46.4 percent of Americans pay no federal tax. But,” Mason insisted, “it’s more complicated than that.”
Mason gave a soundbite to Williams for a non-correction effort to explain away Romney’s concern: “Sixty percent of them are working and pay federal payroll taxes, the taxes that support Social Security and Medicare, so they’re not deadbeats that are not on the tax roll at all.”
Yes, Mr. Baker, the truth is complicated. Baker doesn't like things to be complicated, apparently.
At no point does Baker lift a finger to fact-check the fact-checkers -- after all, he has no basis to, since unlike Baker, they actually did their work -- instead whining that they ignored "Romney’s overall point about a growing number of Americans getting more from government than they put in."
One has to wonder how much the Romney campaign is paying Baker not to work. Would someone like Baker spout such lazy nonsense voluntarily?
So, to sum up: Baker is the head of research for an organization that claims to do research -- and he's attacking others for doing the research he refuses to do.
Baker really is an incredibly lazy researcher. Arrogant, too.
Which makes the MRC's "Tell the Truth!" such a joke since it exempts Republicans and conservatives from having to do it.
'Black Mobs' Get Their Own WND 'Big List,' Just Like Teacher-Student Sex Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember WorldNetDaily's ongoing obsession with (female) teacher-student sex, which includes a continually updated "Big List" of stories about same? Now, WND's race-baiting obsession is being given the same treatment.
A Sept. 19 WND article by Colin Flaherty -- who has spent the past summer as WND's resident freak-out artist on "black mobs" -- debuts his own big race-baiting list, with his usual excuse that he's doing the work "the media" won't:
America is the midst of an epidemic of racial mob violence and the media refuses to report it.
In my book, “White Girl Bleed a Lot,” I documented hundreds of examples of black mob violence in more than 70 cities big and small throughout the country.
Many of the episodes are on YouTube. I also documented how the media and public officials ignore, condone, excuse and even lie about this wave of lawlessness.
Despite a growing mountain of evidence, some still deny this problem exists. (Curiously, the same people who deny the problem are always the first to explain it away.)
So here are the links to racial mob violence throughout the country, following the organization of the chapters in my book: Some by city, some by theme, i.e. racial violence against Asians, “gays,” Jews, women and others.
I followed up many of the links with phone calls or emails to confirm the racial nature of the attacks and lawlessness.
Many of the individual links are definitive. Treat the others as clues that are part of an investigative package that help us determine the racial quality of the mayhem. And how public officials and media react to it.
Of course, WND claimed that teacher-student sex was an "epidemic" too, using the same desperate cherry-picking to falsely suggest racial links that don't exist. All Flaherty has done is document instances in which blacks are involved in crimes, ingoing crimes by all other races -- the epitome of race-baiting.
And some of the stories he links don't appear to be racially driven at all. For instance, one story about a fight involving football teams was apparently driven by one coach sending threatening text messages to opposing players. That's "black mob" violence? In Flaherty's world it is.
It's interesting that WND now considers "black mobs" to be the same kind of threat as teacher-student sex.
MRC's Graham Hurls Media-Bashing Charge He's Too Lazy to Prove Topic: Media Research Center
Tim Graham headlines a Sept. 15 NewsBusters post thusly: "'Mainstream' Media Bloggers, Reporters Deny That Reporters Are Tougher on Romney In Press Conferences Than on Obama." But if you're familiar with the work of the Media Research Center, it should not be a surprise that Graham makes no effort to prove the accuracy of his headline.
All Graham is doing is keeping up his freakout that a couple of reporters were caught on tape planning to make sure that Mitt Romney was asked a certain question. Again, if you're familiar with the MRC's work, you will not be surprised that Graham considers this part of a grand liberal-media conspiracy, as he huffed in a Sept. 12 post: "But when has the public gotten a sense these journalists have done this to hold Obama accountable?"
In the Sept. 15 post, Graham mocks Washington Post media writer Erik Wemple for asking reporters about the whole coordinating questions stuff -- never mind that it's much more research than he or any other MRC employee has done on the issue. Instead, Graham does armchair pontification: 'Many Obama critics think that Obama may not have strategized that reporters would stoop to asking silly softballs from supposedly serious newspapers like the New York Times, such as how he was 'enchanted' by the presidency." Again, Graham has done no actual research to back up his whining; he's merely citing out-of-context anecdotal evidence.
Graham gets even huffier with a Politico writer who pointed out that Romney called the press conference to talk about the very thing the reporters asked him about: "It does not answer our argument that they looked like they were all plotting to hit Romney like an Obama-loving pack who thought the president deserved an abject apology."
Which is the core problem with Graham's "argument" -- it's about what it looked like, not what actually happened. Graham hasn't lifted a finger to find out what actually happened. He'd much rather carry water for the Romney campaign by attacking any media person who dares ask Romney a question that isn't fawning.
Who's Paying for Millions of Copies of Anti-Obama Film? Lazy Jerome Corsi Doesn't Want to Know Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi touts how "One million copies of the documentary film that presents evidence Barack Obama’s real father was Communist Party activist Frank Marshall Davis have been mailed to households in the crucial presidential-election swing state Ohio," adding that filmmaker Joel Gilbert "also has sent another 100,000 copies to New Hampshire, and he has plans to send 1 million to six more swing states."
One thing you won't find in Corsi's article: any evidence of him asking Gilbert who's paying for all of this.
After all, millions of copies of a DVD cost money, as does mailing them to millions of households. A lot of money, in fact. Where is that money coming from?
Gilbert is completely mum on the subject, and Corsi apparently lacks the intellectual curiosity to ask such a basic question.
Gilbert even admits this is all a publicity stunt to draw more attention to himself, and Corsi has no problem writing about that:
“The media simply can’t ignore 1 million free DVDs to Ohio; it is very newsworthy,” Gilbert said. “I encourage everyone who gets a DVD in the mail to watch it, share it with friends and contact the news media to discuss the information in the film.”
Gilbert told WND he hopes the 1 million DVD mailing to Ohio will stimulate “Dreams from My Real Father” sales, a television deal and possibly even a theatrical release in movie theaters around the nation.
But they won't say who's providing the not-insignificant amounts of cash to pay for this partisan political effort, or whether that money should face scrutiny under federal election laws.
If you wonder why we put "comedy" in parentheses -- and why we didn't make the obvious quip that a so-called comedy video is the perfect place for birther claptrap -- just watch the video if you dare. Much of it is dedicated to Nickelback jokes and a labored attempt to explain to "liberals" how jokes work.
Dolce forgot to mention, however, that jokes should also be funny -- something a viewer certainly wouldn'tknow by watching one of her videos.
Newsmax Rushes to Defend Romney Over Video Remarks Topic: Newsmax
Mitt Romney's remarks denigrating supporters of President Obama as freeloaders who don't pay income taxes forced Newsmax to go into full-on defense mode.
One Sept. 18 article carried the assertive headline "Romney Said Nothing Wrong" -- which was seemingly contradicted by an Associated Press article also published by Newsmax which points out that, while Romney is correct that 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes, "he blurred together half or more of the entire country, ranging from the nation's neediest to its middle class, and even some of its richest families."
Newsmax tries to buck up Romney with articles on conservatives supporting him:
Newsmax's chief Romney-fluffer, Ronald Kessler, weighed in as well with, predictably, more Romney-fluffing: "A new video showing Mitt Romney telling donors he will never convince those who are dependent on the government to vote for him demonstrates only one thing: When Romney tells the truth, the press will crucify him for it. When President Obama prevaricates, the press will ignore it." Kessler also likens Romney to Ronald Reagan in repeating his prediction of a huge win in November for Romney:
The press downplays Obama’s dissembling and treats almost any truthful Romney utterance as a gaffe. In the same way, the media portrayed Ronald Reagan as a bumbling idiot. Yet it was Reagan who won the presidency by 10 percentage points over Jimmy Carter.
As they did with Reagan, the American people will see through the press’ hypocrisy and vote Romney into office come Nov. 6.
Even Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy got into the act, though he didn't address the controversy directly. In his Sept. 18 column, Ruddy likens Ann Romney to Jackie Kennedy, declaring, "This November I would like to elect a first couple with similar character — Ann and Mitt Romney." Ruddy does concede that "Michelle Obama has done a wonderful job as first lady, but:
Still, the choice is clear between the two couples and the two starkly different visions for America they hold. The Obamas want more government, more taxes, more anti-business rhetoric, and more gridlock in Washington.
The Romneys have lived an American life, emblematic of the country they want, one that promotes free enterprise and public service. They want to bring to Washington fiscal responsibility, sane energy policies, and economic programs that promote job creation.
So my vote is for the team of Ann and Mitt over Michelle and Barack.
Newsmax' full-on Romney-fluffing won't be letting up until after the election, so get used to the bias.
WND's Corsi Obsesses Over Whether Slain Ambassador Was Gay Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's anti-gay agenda and Jerome Corsi's cesspool-dwelling meet once again in a Sept. 16 article in which Corsi engages in sleazy speculation about whether slain U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was gay:
Did President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton send a “gay” ambassador to Muslim-majority Libya, where homosexual behavior is a crime punishable by imprisonment?
Believing the “Arab Spring” countries would be encouraged to embrace democracy through left-leaning diplomats dedicated to understanding and dialoguing with Muslim communities, did a State Department under Secretary Clinton that refused to establish rules of engagement providing embassy personnel Marine Corps protection take the additional risk of placing a “gay” ambassador in Muslim countries?
The question comes amid claims in the diplomatic community that J. Christopher Stevens — the U.S. ambassador to Libya brutally murdered on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — was homosexual.
The question is worth serious exploration, even if Stevens’ sexuality cannot be determined with certainty, because U.S. government Foreign Service agencies are actively recruiting from the homosexual community for diplomatic assignments overseas, including in the Middle East.
Despite mentioning "claims in the diplomatic community" about Stevens' sexuality, he cites none; just a couple of bloggers and the Bristol Palin fan who is apparently Corsi's gay sherpa, Kevin DuJan.
How obsessed is Corsi with trying to prove that Stevens was gay? He also cites a "Brideshead Revisited" reference in a comment on a Facebook post by a friend and college roommate of Stevens. He then quotes DuJan saying, "This is total gay code that, yes, these two had a sexual relationship in the past." Neither Corsi nor DuJan explain what that means.Corsi then gay-smears the ex-roommate, saying that his bio on a theater website "notes he 'has two kids (one of each),' although no mention of his wife ... is made."
For all the trust Corsi is placing in DuJan, perhaps one must wonder if ... no, we won't go there. We're not as sleazy as Corsi.
MRC's Baker on Romney Video: 'And The Inaccuracy Is?' Topic: Media Research Center
You know what passes for "research" at the Media Research Center. It has produced yet another example.
Eager to defend Mitt Romney from his nasty attack on Obama supporters as freeloaders who don't pay taxes, Brent Baker repeated that summary of Romney's remarks in his Sept. 17 NewsBusters post, then asked: "And the inaccuracy is?"
Well, gee, Mr. Baker, you're the MRC's vice president for research and publications. Can we presume that you would research if there are any actual inaccuracies in Romney's claim before you drop a glib, snide statement like that?
Apparently, we can't.
As numerous websites that, unlike Baker and the MRC, actually are capable of reseraching basic facts point out, it's absurd -- and utterly false -- to portray every one of the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes as deadbeats and freeloaders or even Obama supporters, as Romney did.
Only 18 percent of tax filers did not have to pay either income tax or payroll taxes.
Nearly all of the people who did not pay either type of tax were elderly – 10.3 percent of total tax filers - or had incomes less than $20,000 – 6.9 percent.
But it's not just low-income people who get out of paying income taxes. About 1 percent of the top 1 percent of income earners, those making about $533,000 or more, did not pay income taxes. That's roughly 13,000 tax filers.
Of the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax, two-thirds pay federal payroll tax. Most of them aren’t making a lot of money; a couple with two children has to earn less than $26,400 to pay no income tax. Altogether, only a tenth of Americans pay no federal tax, and most who pay neither income nor payroll tax are retirees.
According to 2011 data from the Tax Policy Center, more than half of the filing units not paying income taxes are those with incomes less than $16,812 per year. Nearly a third - 29.2 percent - of those paying no income taxes are tax filers earning between $16,812 and $33,542, and 12.8 percent are those with incomes between $33,542 and $59,486. In other words, the poor are least likely to pay federal income taxes, but many middle-class families are also exempt. Smaller but significant numbers of the higher-income earners are also exempt: The same data shows that in 2011, 78,000 tax filers with incomes between $211,000 and $533,000 paid no income taxes; 24,000 households with incomes of $533,000 to $2.2 million paid no income taxes, and 3,000 tax filers with incomes above $2.2 million paid no income taxes.
Overall, according to the Tax Policy Center, "of the 38 million tax units made nontaxable by the addition of tax expenditures, 44 percent are moved off the tax rolls by elderly tax benefits and another 30 percent by credits for children and the working poor."
According to one analysis, only the very broadest definition of Americans "who are dependent upon government" yields a number approaching 47 percent.
If Romney is including anyone who receives Social Security and Medicare – both considered an earned entitlement since Americans pay for them – the percentage of Americans receiving money from the government hits 37 percent.
It’s safe to say that most of the 46.4 percent referred to by Romney are in the lower income brackets. According to the most recent Gallup polls of registered voters, 37 percent of those making less than $36,000 a year indicate they plan to vote for Romney. Moreover, as we noted earlier, a sizable chunk of 46.4 percenters are retirees, and among those 65 and older, Romney leads Obama by nine points, 52 percent to 43 percent. According to a Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters between Sept. 10 and 16, 40 percent of those making less than $20,000 said they plan to vote for Romney; 50 percent of those making between $20,000 and $40,000 said they supported Romney. The Pew Research Center similarly found in its latest poll that 32 percent of those making less than $30,000 and 42 percent of those making between $30,000 and $50,000 support Romney — as do a plurality of seniors.
Baker seems to believe that the MRC's name has changed to the Media Snark Center. That's probably just as well -- Baker and his subordinates substituted actual research for lazy partisan attacks a long time ago.
Newsmax Still Shilling for Ed Klein's Obama-Bashing Book Topic: Newsmax
Remember last week, when Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy coyly noted that "Obama critics" have been pushing Edward Klein's highly dubious anti-Obama book "The Amateur," without mentioning that among those "Obama critics" is Newsmax?
They're not done touting it -- Newsmax is still plugging the thing in a Sept. 17 article, with the echo-chamber hook of Rush Limbaugh touting it:
Klein, a former editor of the New York Times Magazine and a senior editor at Newsweek, is the celebrated author of numerous New York Times best-selling books, and has made regular appearances on shows like NBC's "Today" program.
But that was before he decided to run counter to the liberal establishment and reveal the "insider" truth about Obama − a course that has made him persona non grata as far as the mainstream media are concerned.
There are stunning allegations in "The Amateur" − including Rev. Wright's claim an Obama ally offered him a $150,000 bribe to shut up and not talk about what he knows about the president.
As Rush Limbaugh stated, "Klein's got this on tape" − a recorded interview with Wright that simply can't be ignored.
In touting Klein's mainstream-media credentials, Newsmax is careful to mention that he hasn't been part of that for a good couple decades -- his Times stint ended in 1987.
Noel Sheppard Laughably Claims It's 'Misinformation' That Fox News Stokes Islamophobia Topic: NewsBusters
How much of a right-wing hack is NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard? He's in complete denial about the anti-Muslim bias of Fox News.
Sheppard uses a Sept. 12 post to attack a Salon article for daring to point out the obvious about Fox's anti-Muslim bias. Sheppard declared the Salon article's headline that Fox has "stoked Islamophobia" to be "truly absurd," adding that the article is "stocked with misinformation about America's leading cable news channel."
But at no point does Sheppard make any effort to disprove the Islamophobia claims -- instead, he tries to attack the messenger:
What was the author's proof? A poll by the left-leaning Brookings Institution.
Lean next gave some examples of Fox's supposed anti-Muslim bias featuring Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer, before citing work done by George Soros's shills at Media Matters and Think Progress.
I bet you knew that was coming.
Yes, we did -- we knew that Sheppard would have nothing with which to respond to the article but lazy ad hominem attacks. At no point does Sheppard prove anything in the Salon article wrong regarding Fox's Islamophobia, giving him no basis whatsoever to assert that the article contains "misinformation."
Sheppard went on to claim that Salon wasn't "concerned about checking the facts" regarding a claim that Fox News chief Roger Ailes has a large security detail and an office with blast-resistent windows. But all Sheppard does is note that Ailes has denied the claim, not that the claim was disproven. And the Fox News statement Sheppard obtains simply echoes Ailes' denial.
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 14 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein keeps up his long tradition of citing impossible-to-verify anonymous sources, this time citing an "Egyptian security official" to claim that "there is information about large-scale infiltration by al-Qaida and its affiliated Jihadia Salafiya groups within the Libyan security apparatus."
Klein frequently cited anonymous Egyptian officials when he was acting as a mouthpiece for soon-to-be-ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak last year. Then, as now, Klein provided no explanation of why anyone should trust what his anonymous sources have to say.
MRC's Graham Weirdly Concerned 'SNL' Getting New Obama Impersonator Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham, in a Sept. 12 NewsBusters post, doesn't take the news that "Saturday Night Live" "is dumping its Caucasian Obama impersonator and going with a fully black Obama," Jay Pharoah, very well. Graham adds: "Obama is half-black, so is Pharoah more authentically Obama-like?"
Graham seems not to have considered that perhaps Pharoah is a better Obama impersonator than the previous one, Fred Armisen. As Slate's David Haglund notes: "Armisen mostly captured Obama’s nerdy side," but "Pharoah may highlight the president’s well documented swagger." Slate's Alisha Harris adds that Pharoah is "clearly an upgrade—not simply because he’s black, but because he has a better feel for the Commander in Chief’s intonations and tics than Armisen ever showed." Harris adds, "Pharoah is a more formidable impressionist than Armisen, and he may continue to make the role his own."
Time adds: "Aurally speaking, the new Comedian in Chief nailed it — in the episode’s opening scene, he perfectly matched Obama’s cadence, intonation and verbal tics."
Nobody else, it seems, has an issue with the "SNL" switch. Why does Graham?