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Et Tu, ABC?


Here is a fantastic article by Jeffrey Feldman in the Huffington Post about the disgraceful performance of George Stephanopoulos and ABC News during Wednesday night’s debate. Why Stephanopoulos went so low into the gutter is anyone’s guess — loyalty to the Clinton’s, to keep the elections alive and people tuned in, or because Corporate America is in bed with Hillary as ReWrite believes?

Nevertheless, asking about the Weather Undeground was freakishly inappropriate and says something incredibly disturbing about U.S. politics and the media. Feldman writes,

Last night this violent framing took on a new and disturbing dimension when George Stephanopoulos, co-moderator of ABC’s candidate debate, asked a series of questions insinuating that Barack Obama may be politically aligned with a radical group called The Weatherman Underground–a 1960s violent political organization responsible for the bombing of federal buildings:

A gentleman named William Ayers, he was part of the Weather underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol and other buildings. He’s never apologized for that. And in fact, on 9/11 he was quoted in The New York Times saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs; I feel we didn’t do enough.” An early organizing meeting for your state was held at his house, and your campaign has said you are friendly. Can you explain that relationship for the voters, and explain to Democrats why it won’t be a problem?

(George Stephanopoulos, Apr 16, 2008)

Of course, it is patently absurd to believe that Barack Obama or any candidate for President in either party has political allegiance to 1960s [sic] group of domestic terrorists. But the truth in this situation did count for much, unfortunately. Stephanopoulos [sic] question was the type of media stink bomb that fouls a candidate in the asking. Obama’s answer, no matter how quick or good, could not have changed the outcome.

On the surface, Stephanopoulos’ questions seems to be about ‘patriotism,’ the supposed organizing theme for that particular round of questions. In fact, it was not about patriotism at all, but was a trap. The question tried to put Obama in a situation where he felt the need to repudiate his connection with a man associated with political violence in the 1970s. Obama responded not by taking the debate, but by showing what was at stake when questions like Stephanopoulos’ are allowed to stand unchallenged . . .

Check out the entire article: Continue reading


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