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08.15 RIDE FOR THE OVERRIDE

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08.26 John Oliver Slams Charter Schools And His Critics Totally Miss The Point [18:12 video]

08.26 Diane Ravitch to Readers: Don't Let Charter Industry Silence John Oliver

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08.28 The Unlimited Power of Ocean Winds

08.27 EV Revolution Set To Cripple More Than Just The Oil Industry

08.26 Fatigue, Migraines Linked to Fracking as Case Builds for National Ban

08.26 Study Finds Biofuels Worse for Climate than Gasoline

08.26 In Effort to Kill Pipeline, Groups Call Directly on Obama to Oppose Permits

08.26 Andrew Cuomo Administration Now Questions General Electric Move To End Hudson River Cleanup

08.26 NHS plans closures and radical cuts to combat growing deficit in health budget

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08.26 The newspaper ad collapse: Bad news for readers

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08.27 Which Republicans Oppose Donald Trump? A Cheat Sheet

08.27 A Guided Tour of the ‘Alt-Right,’ by the Trump Campaign Chief’s Website

08.27 Challenged Over 'Racist' Remarks, Maine Governor Leaves Unhinged Voicemail

08.27 Prison gerrymandering: incarceration weakens vulnerable voting communities

08.27 Steve Bannon, Trump campaign CEO, faced domestic violence charges

08.25 Could urban farming provide a much-needed oasis in the Tulsa food desert?

08.25 A sense that white identity is under attack’: making sense of the alt-right

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08.28 DoJ Says Jail for Not Making Bail is Unconstitutional [9:13 video & transcript]

08.27 Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon is registered voter at vacant Florida home [how many more states has Bannon registered to vote? Absent a national voter registry, who knows?]

08.26 Mississippi Parents Demand an Answer: Are Charter Schools Constitutional?

08.26 Democracy Wins as 'Biggest Gerrymandering Case in Generation' Moves Forward

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08.28 How the Trumps Got Rich

08.28 Mylan CEO sold $5m worth of stock while EpiPen price drew scrutiny [Jay And The Americans.....Only In America]

08.27 Democrats Are Taking Full Advantage of Our ‘Broken Campaign-Finance System’

08.27 UBS whistleblower exposes 'political prostitution' all the way up to President Obama

08.26 Stiglitz Blasts 'Outrageous' TPP as Obama Campaigns for Corporate-Friendly Deal

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08.28 Trump and the Transformation of Politics

08.28 Brexit 'will put 75% of workers at risk of pension shortfall'

08.28 Turkey targets Kurdish forces south of Syria's Jarablus

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08.27 Brexit is not inevitable, says former civil service chief

08.27 Naomi Klein, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Others Condemn 'Coup' in Brazil

08.27 Two Weeks in September: The Makings of Merkel's Decision to Accept Refugees

08.27 Syria à la Carte: Turkish Invasion Highlights Rapidly Shifting Alliances

08.26 The Guardian view on Turkey’s incursion into Syria: Ankara’s biggest concern is containing the Kurds

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  McCain's 'Cone of Silence' Caper
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FAVORITISM & MISLEADING THE PUBLIC:

McCain's 'Cone of Silence' Caper

by Robert Parry

August 18, 2008—Millions of Americans who watched Barack Obama and then John McCain respond to nearly identical questions from evangelical minister Rick Warren were surely impressed by McCain’s quick and sharp answers. Supposedly he had been in a “cone of silence” while Obama was getting grilled during the preceding hour.

However, as it turned out, TV viewers and other Americans were misled. McCain had not been in any “cone of silence” shielding him from hearing Warren’s questions and Obama’s answers.

On Saturday night as Obama was on stage, McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church and thus would have had access through his staff to the questions and how Obama had answered them.

When McCain came on the set, he played along with the fiction about being in a “cone of silence,” joking that “I was trying to hear through the wall.”

McCain then proceeded to knock the questions out of the proverbial park, impressing not only the audience at Rev. Warren’s Saddleback Church in California, but the political pundits who spent the next two days praising McCain’s performance and judging him the clear winner over Obama.

For instance, New York Times columnist William Kristol declared that it was “McCain’s night” and marveled at how “McCain, who went second, was crisp by contrast [to Obama] and his anecdotes colorful.”

Kristol also mocked grousing from Obama’s aides that McCain may have had access to the questions beforehand. “There’s no evidence that McCain had any such advantage,” Kristol wrote in his Monday column.

However, in the same newspaper, New York Times reporters discovered that the assertion by Warren that McCain had been in some “cone of silence” wasn’t true.

“Members of the McCain campaign staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed,” wrote reporter Katharine Q. Seeyle.

Still, McCain’s staff bristled at suggestions that McCain listened to the broadcast while en route to the church.

“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” said McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace. [NYT, Aug. 18, 2008]

What McCain’s Vietnam War-era POW status had to do with this wasn’t clear. But it was clear that Warren’s assurance that “we have safely placed Senator McCain in a cone of silence” wasn’t true, nor was McCain’s light-hearted remark about trying to hear through the wall.

If McCain did get pre-briefed on what questions to expect, it would be reminiscent of the presidential debate in 1980 when someone from Ronald Reagan’s campaign stole President Jimmy Carter’s debate briefing book and allegedly used it to coach Reagan’s responses.


Robert ParryRobert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on August 19, 2008.

 

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