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Health Care & Environment
04.29 Children can’t play if they can’t breathe because our air is so polluted [good government is needed]
04.28 1.2 million children in the US have lead poisoning. We’re only treating half of them. [willfully ignoring children's health so the rich can get tax breaks—to be even richer—is immoral and costs much more long-term]
04.28 East coast readies for fresh climate fight as Trump eyes more offshore drilling [the Idiocracy is growing]
04.27 The Last time there was this much CO2 in the air, Florida was under Water [Trump will sell his properties before admitting to a problem]
News Media Matters
04.27 Authoritarians Like Trump Pushing Global Press Freedoms to 'Tipping Point' [stamping out inconvenient truths]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
04.29 Why Are House Dems Treating 2016 Campaign Autopsy Like a Classified Document? [obsessive money focus requires compromises that kill best and most-efficient public programs and policy—and that makes the public very very angry]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
04.27 Brazilians fight back against corruption– with the help of a purple plug-in [we hope app is updated for corrupt politicians everywhere!]
04.27 UK should axe state pension for rich people, says OECD [the moral choice for all nations]
FAVORITISM & MISLEADING THE PUBLIC:
McCain's 'Cone of Silence' Caper
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 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.