Using nearly the exact same language as the McCain campaign when dealing with actual criticism, the Obama campaign has tried to exercise prior restraint on the Chicago radio station WGN just because of a controversial speaker they plan to air. When I criticized John McCain’s campaign’s violent censure of Madonna’s video, one of my readers questioned whether I was hearing things in his word which were not there because I was reading my own biases into my interpretation of his statement. I did not want to report Obama’s anti-first Amendment actions which are as bad as those hinted at in the McCain campaign statement.
After staring the item above in the face for a few minutes, I finally decided that while I may not be a reporter, I could not allow myself to ignore evidence of Obama’s attack on the media just because he is my preferred candidate. I could not love thee Democratic Party such much, loved I not the Bill of Rights more.
The issue ties into the Weather Underground scandal, and Obama’s links to the founder. Suspiciously, the University of Chicago initially banned media outlets from accessing the files relating to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a project Obama chaired and Ayers co-founded. Not necessarily a strike against Obama, though my cynical mind can’t help following the money on that decision.
Now the UofC has opened those files and all sorts of people are poring over them. One such person is a conservative writer who will be appearing on a WGN talk show tonight.
Enter the biggest strike against Obama since he voted for FISA and decided against public financing. His press release uses language more dictatorial than John McCain’s campaign used–reminding me of some of the things China’s government said about protests during the Olympics.
Obama’s press release (this link leads to his campaign’s own website) starts:
In the next few hours, we have a crucial opportunity to fight one of the most cynical and offensive smears ever launched against Barack.
Smears, not Constitutionally protected free speech. It continued:
Tonight, WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears. He’s currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers.
Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse.
Call into the “Extension 720” show with Milt Rosenberg at [go to the website if you want to phone number]
(Show airs from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. tonight)
Then report back on your call at http://my.barackobama.com/WGNstandards
I am disturbed, saddened and outraged on this thin skinned, heavy handed and first amendment agressive approach to politics. Is the change in your hands, Barack, a matter of mob rule and anti-free speech calls to action?
Here are two final quotes, before I write any more:
It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves.
I thought that was why they were public–to give not just the majority, but many minority groups access to a wide audience. Because I thought a republican democracy meant all people had a voice, not matter how offensive their opinions.
Keep fighting the good fight,
Obama Action Wire
Senator Barack Obama has done nothing unconstitutional in this press release. Nothing illegal; but to my mind something gravely immoral. He has used his popularity and pull with the crowd to attempt to quash a minority voice who might damage him. This is not American behavorior, much less behavior for a man who wants the Presidency.
I am ashamed of my support for you, Barack. I can’t vote for McCain but I will have to search my soul to vote for your now.
To Lucasta, Going to the Wars
Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind
That from nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,
To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honor more.