Sunday, October 26, 2008

Barbara West is a Sav!

A real reporter asks Joe Biden actually TOUGH questions. And valid ones too, despite Biden's scoffs.

She must not be a media elite.

Afterwards, the Obama campaign cried about the hawd questions and even cancelled Mrs. Biden's interview with the station to show them who's boss.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama Supporter Beats Up McCain Supporter... Media Silent

Obama Supporter Beats Up McCain Supporter... Media Silent

While the unsubstantiated reports of nasty remarks and advocacy of violence from attendees at McCain's rallies remains the buzz from the Old Media establishment and as the Old Media points its accusing finger at Gov. Palin, constantly calling her a racist, real violence has been perpetrated on a McCain supporter at the hands of an Obamaton. Yet, strangely enough, the media has remained silent on the incident.

Oleg Atbashian informs us that the District Attorney of New York has indicted an Obama supporter that ripped a McCain sign out of the hands of a McCain supporter and beat her in the face with the wooden stick to which the sign was attached.

The complaint reads, “Defendant grabbed the sign [informant] was holding, broke the wood stick that was attached to it, and then struck informant in informant’s face thereby causing informant to sustain redness, swelling, and bruising to informant’s face and further causing informant to sustain substantial pain.”

He rushed towards them, grabbed a McCain sign off a volunteer’s hands, and tore it apart. That didn’t seem enough.

(The Victim reports) I said, “What are you doing? You can’t do that!” And he was red in the face screaming, “You people are ridiculous!” And I said, “Yeah, whatever, but you can’t do that.”

So I reached for the sign that he ripped up, and he grabbed another sign, broke it, and ripped it to shreds. And when I said, “You can’t do that,” he took the stick from the sign and started beating me on the head with it. He broke the skin on my head, he scratched my wrist, and almost broke my glasses, and then he left.

The victim, a small middle-aged woman, flagged down a policeman. They confronted the Obamamaniac and he admitted his attack. And now the DA has brought charges.

More information can be seen on a blog named "The 'Silent' Majority No More".

So, while the media chases myths and "bedtime stories" (as Atbashian puts it) about mean, rotten, dastardly Republicans -- the ones not even the Secret Service can find -- they are completely ignoring a real assault by a real, unhinged Obama supporter.

But, who can blame the Old Media, huh? After all, everyone just knows that Obama supporters are better people than McCain supporters, right? Gosh, we can't let just one real-life Obama supporter make all the rest look bad, could we? No, better to write about mean ol' McCainiacs that don't really exist, eh?

That's our media for you.

MSM Bias... What else is new?

CBS and NBC Refuse to Scold Obama’s False Slam on McCain

Photo of Rich Noyes.

Over the past few days, the Obama campaign has been claiming — both in ads and in statements by Barack Obama himself — that John McCain would “cut” Medicare benefits by “$882 billion,” a charge that the Associated Press called “shaky” and that bluntly dismissed as “bogus” and “false.”

Yet of the three broadcast networks, only ABC News has thus far joined the condemnation of Obama’s deceptive ad. NBC on Monday would only go so far as to say “McCain’s advisors say that’s not true...” — implying that it’s merely a partisan difference of opinion — while CBS has thus far refrained from questioning Obama’s truthfulness on this issue.

For weeks now, the networks have complained about the McCain campaign’s supposed nasty and unfair campaign attacks against Obama, so when will NBC and CBS join ABC in punishing this nasty and unfair charge from the Democrats?

ABC’s Jake Tapper in a “Fact Check” that aired on Monday’s Good Morning America, as transcribed by the MRC’s Scott Whitlock:

JAKE TAPPER: Good morning, Robin. Well, in the closing weeks of any political campaign, as candidates careen through battleground states in their campaign buses, they tend to leave the facts by the side of the road. In Virginia, Senator Barack Obama launched a new attack, saying John McCain plans to gut Medicare to pay for his health care proposal.

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: It turns out, Senator McCain would pay for part of his plan by making drastic cuts in Medicare, $882 billion worth.

TAPPER [Big red “FALSE” stamp appears onscreen]: That's false. The $882 billion number comes from a liberal think tank. The McCain campaign says the savings would not come from cutting benefits, but from program changes such as encouraging the use of more generic drugs.

On Friday’s World News Tonight, ABC’s David Wright had slammed the Obama claims as a “distortion,” but gave McCain a verbal kick in the shins at the same time:

WRIGHT : Today Barack Obama accused John McCain of undermining Medicare.

BARACK OBAMA: Time and again, he's opposed Medicare. In fact, Senator McCain has voted against protecting Medicare 40 times.

WRIGHT: That's a distortion of McCain's record, just as McCain distorts Obama's record when he claims Obama voted 94 times to raise taxes.

On Saturday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s John Berman discussed Obama’s ads, but instead of questioning their accuracy, he saluted the Democratic campaign’s incredible financial resources:

With just two weeks to go until Election Day, Barack Obama is unleashing a three-pronged attack, with his voice, his wallet, and his airplane. The latest front, the new charges about Medicare, claiming McCain would cut spending....It's a sensitive issue in key states with a lot of seniors, such as Florida and Pennsylvania....This new ad is just one of the multimillion dollar barrage from the Obama campaign. He has spent about $60 million more on ads than McCain. And he's outspending him three to one in Virginia, four to one in Florida, and eight to one in North Carolina.

On Monday’s NBC Nightly News, in a longer piece about the candidates’ health policies, reporter Mark Potter raised the issue Obama’s ad but would not condemn it as factually flawed:

POTTER: A recent Obama ad running in Florida and other states...

OBAMA AD: 882 billion from Medicare alone

POTTER: ...accuses McCain of threatening to cut Medicare benefits. But McCain's advisers say that's not true, arguing any cuts in Medicare spending will only come from attacking waste and fraud. Despite its importance, though, neither candidate has made Medicare a campaign priority.

On Saturday, the Associated Press put out a “fact check” headlined: “Obama's claim of benefit cuts suspect.” Reporter Kevin Freking found little basis for Obama’s incendiary claim:

Obama's charge is built on a shaky foundation. The campaign's evidence that McCain would make such cuts relies on a Wall Street Journal article where no specific cuts were mentioned.

In what little detail McCain discusses Medicaid and Medicare on his campaign Web site, he makes no mention of cutting benefits. He says this about the two health programs, the first for the poor, the second for the elderly and disabled: "We must reform the payment systems in Medicaid and Medicare to compensate providers for diagnosis, prevention and care coordination. Medicaid and Medicare should not pay for preventable medical errors or mismanagement."

Then on Monday,’s Brooks Jackson came out even stronger against the Obama claims:

In a TV ad and in speeches, Obama is making bogus claims that McCain plans to cut $880 billion from Medicare spending and to reduce benefits.

● A TV spot says McCain's plan requires “cuts in benefits, eligibility or both.”

● Obama said in a speech that McCain plans “cuts” that would force seniors to “pay more for your drugs, receive fewer services, and get lower quality care.”

These claims are false, and based on a single newspaper report that says no such thing. McCain's policy director states unequivocally that no benefit cuts are envisioned. McCain does propose substantial “savings” through such means as cutting fraud, increased use of information technology in medicine and better handling of expensive chronic diseases. Obama himself proposes some of the same cost-saving measures. We’re skeptical that either candidate can deliver the savings they promise, but that’s no basis for Obama to accuse McCain of planning huge benefit cuts.

Every election year, Democrats seek to convince senior citizens that Republicans are scheming to cut Social Security and/or Medicare benefits, and the media typically provide only a half-hearted pushback against such scare tactics. So far, this year seems little different.

Prop 8 Supporter Hopes Old People Die so Prop 8 is Defeated

Liberal Activist on California Prop 8: If Only Lots of Old Voters Died Before Election

Photo of Ken Shepherd.

If only elderly voters in California would die off in large enough numbers before November 4, then the final nail could be hammered in the coffin of California Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would define marriage as between a man and a woman. That according to liberal activist Kristina Wilfore, the executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, "an advocacy organization that specializes in using ballot initiatives to further liberal causes." Her comments were buried deep inside Michael Lindenberger's October 21 item at

Wilfore says she's prepared to take the long view in California. "I am not going to be discouraged if we lose," she says. Victory will come over time in the courts, as demographics works its influence on the nation's voting patterns, she says, noting that young people support gay marriage far more than their parents and grandparents do. "A lot of people are going to have to die" before Election Day is an easy day for gay marriage, she says.

While Wilfore was not wishing for the deaths of thousands of elderly conservative voters per se, one can imagine the ire the media would focus on such a statement of say a conservative activist annoyed with elderly voters blocking Social Security reforms.

Lindenberger quoted Wilfore in the penultimate paragraph of his article, using the final graf to herald the in-your-face activist liberalism of the mayor of San Francisco, who violated the Golden State's laws on marriage in a famous 2004 act of civil disobedience:
But not everyone has such patience. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, whose office has officiated over marriage ceremonies for thousands of gays since the California Supreme Court decision, told TIME recently that he thinks the outcome of the marriage vote will impact far more than just who can marry and who can't. "We're going to have a chance to find out whether America, and California, is ready for the change embodied in Barack Obama's campaign," said Newsom. "Or does it simply stop with him?" The country will know soon enough.

—Ken Shepherd is Managing Editor of NewsBusters

The Media's Double Standard

uess Who Sees MSM Double-Standard on Biden's Latest Gaffe?

Photo of Mark Finkelstein.

Guess who said the following this morning about Joe Biden's latest gaffe—his statement that America would be faced with a major international crisis within the first six months of an Obama administration as foreign forces seek to test the young new president: "certainly if Sarah Palin had said this, it would be above the fold in most newspapers today."

1. Brent Bozell
2. Rush Limbaugh
3. McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer
4. Dan Rather

If you guessed 1, 2 or 3, you'd be a rational NewsBusters reader . . . but wrong. Yes, the answer is 4, Dan Rather. In true man-bites-MSM mode, Rather made the remark on today's Morning Joe.

View video here.

The show led with a discussion of Biden's vainglorious gaffe.

WILLIE GEIST: Let's listen to Joe Biden in his own words, and then we can discuss it.

Cut to audio clip of Biden in Seattle, Washington yesterday.

JOE BIDEN: The whole world is waiting, folks. The whole world is waiting. I know almost every one of those major leaders by their first name, not because I'm important, because they were young parliamentarians when I was coming up and we've been hanging around a long time. I'll tell you what, mark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him just like they did young John Kennedy. They're going to want to test him, and they are going to find out this guy has got steel in his spine.

After Joe Scarborough reported that the Obama campaign is furious with Biden, Mika Brzezinski noted that there was only spotty coverage of Biden's remarks in the morning's papers.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well you know it's interesting, because I'm going through the papers. I figure there's got to be, just as you analyzed, Joe, political ramifications to that comment, gaffe, however you want to make it—two in a row, though—but I'm seeing spotty media coverage. I feel like half the media covered this. I'm just going through the papers and seeing if it plays highly, and I'm not finding it in the [Washington] Post so far.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, let us just say it's surprising, and I would just throw it back to you-all and tell you what the McCain campaign is saying this morning, and what a lot of Republicans, they're asking really a question: what if Sarah Palin had said electing John McCain would create an international crisis because of his age. Would that be above the fold on the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post? Would that be a lead story? We've got somebody who's an expert in the media who I think, Mika, knows a lot better than we do, Dan Rather. Dan, talk about the double standard. Are there times that you would cover this story differently if Sarah Palin said it rather than Joe Biden? Not you, but the media.

DAN RATHER: Well I think the point is well taken, Joe, that certainly if Sarah Palin had said this it would be above the fold in most newspapers today.

Rather expanded on his comment, and while he was putting it in the mouths of "what happens on the internet," he clearly seemed to be adopting it as his own opinion.

RATHER: But let me point out that what happens on the internet may be as important or more important than what's happening in the newspapers. And I'll be surprised, and you know, Joe, I'm frequently surprised, but I'll be surprised if this doesn't have a run on the internet, with among the points two that you raised. Number one, if Sarah Palin had said this, the newspapers would have jumped all over it and so would have the major television outlets. And number two, they can't be happy inside the Obama campaign about this, and let me emphasize I've not spoken with them this morning.

SCARBOROUGH [who clearly had been in touch with the Obama campaign]: They are not.

You live long enough, you see everything. Let me write words I never imagined I would: I'll let Dan Rather's statement speak for me.

Note: I just heard from the McCain campaign that Biden is off the campaign trail, with no scheduled events today. Now why would that be?

Aside: If only Dan would have spiced up his commentary with some of his classic down-home shtick, perhaps something along the lines: "gosh knows if I were still at the Evening News desk, I'd of buried this story deeper than a large-mouthed bass on a Ju-ly afternoon."

—Mark Finkelstein is a NewsBusters contributing editor and host of Right Angle. Contact him at

Monday, October 20, 2008

Biden's Comments

“Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy," Biden said. "And he’s gonna have to make some really tough -- I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you, it’s gonna happen.”

“They're going to want to test him, just like they did young John Kennedy,” he said Saturday night in San Francisco.” They're going to want to test him. And they're going to find out this guy's got steel in his spine.”

Media Ignores Biden's Claim That Other Countries Will Intentionally "Test" Obama After Election

Twisting in the knife. While Barack Obama gets gushing coverage (ABC's Jake Tapper marveled on Monday's World News over Obama's “rather unbelievable weekend where he had his largest campaign crowd ever -- 100,00 in St Louis -- he announced record-breaking fundraising, $150 million in September and, of course, he secured the endorsement of that Republican Secretary of State, retired General Colin Powell”), ABC and CBS took gratuitous shots at John McCain and Sarah Palin, twisting upbeat events and a Joe Biden gaffe into negatives for the Republican ticket while NBC skipped over Biden's warning Obama's election will invite “an international crisis.”

ABC reporter Ron Claiborne cited McCain's “concentrated attack on Obama as not just a tax raiser, but someone whose policies are socialist. McCain never utters the S-word himself. That's left to his running mate.” But, he warned, “Palin may be a damaged carrier of the McCain message.” Claiborne then paired her Saturday night success with a negative poll finding as he noted “her appearance this weekend on Saturday Night Live was a boost for the show's ratings, but an ABC News poll finds that 52 percent of voters said McCain's choice of Palin made them less confident of his judgment.”

Over on the CBS Evening News, Chip Reid highlighted how a CBS News poll determined “over the last month, 23 percent of voters say their opinion of McCain has gotten worse. Why? 32 percent of those blame his attacks on Obama.” Reid proceeded to bury the Biden misstep under a McCain attack: “Late today, McCain added a new attack to his stump speech, seizing on a recent remark by Obama running mate Joe Biden who suggested that foreign powers would create an international crisis to test the mettle of a President Obama.”

ABC's World News didn't mention Biden's suggestion, at a Sunday fundraiser in Seattle, that the election of Obama will lead to “an international crisis,” though Tapper put it in his blog, and only the NBC Nightly News aired any audio of Biden -- though edited to avoid airing the more damaging portion.

In his Political Punch blog on ABC Tapper reported:

"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee said at a Seattle fundraiser Sunday, "it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

But instead of airing that prediction of how Obama's election will lead to a crisis, Andrea Mitchell's NBC Nightly News story featured a clip which painted Obama as tough: “They're going to want to test him, just like they did young John Kennedy. They're going to want to test him. And they're going to find out this guy's got steel in his spine.”

Portions of the Monday, October 20 ABC, CBS and NBC stories:

ABC's World News:

RON CLAIBORNE: ...In his latest campaign mantra, McCain once again invoked Joe the Plumber as someone he says would have his taxes raised by Obama. This despite questions whether Joe Wurzelbacher would really face a tax increase under Obama's proposals. In Columbia, he met with some small business owners who McCain claims will also suffer under Obama's tax proposals, and his campaign invited the public to send him 30-second home videos to explaining why they, too, are like Joe. It's all part of a concentrated attack on Obama as not just a tax raiser, but someone whose policies are socialist. McCain never utters the S-word himself. That's left to his running mate.

SARAH PALIN: Now is not the time to experiment with socialism.

CLAIBORNE: But these days, Palin may be a damaged carrier of the McCain message.

[SNL clip]

CLAIBORNE: Her appearance this weekend on Saturday Night Live was a boost for the show's ratings, but an ABC News poll finds that 52 percent of voters said McCain's choice of Palin made them less confident of his judgment...

CBS Evening News:

CHIP REID: ...Over the last month, 23 percent of voters say their opinion of McCain has gotten worse. Why? 32 percent of those blame his attacks on Obama. Late today McCain added a new attack to his stump speech, seizing on a recent remark by Obama running mate Joe Biden who suggested that foreign powers would create an international crisis to test the mettle of a President Obama.

JOHN McCAIN: We don't want a President who invites testing from the world in a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars.

REID: McCain is now spending most of his time in states like Missouri, states that were once reliably Republican but to you could go ert way. Tomorrow he heads for Pennsylvania, one of the few Democratic states he's still contesting. Chip Reid, CBS News, Missouri.

NBC Nightly News:

ANDREA MITCHELL: ...Sunday McCain's long-time friend Colin Powell endorsed Obama and criticized the choice of Sarah Palin.

COLIN POWELL, ON MEET THE PRESS: I don't believe she's ready to be President of the United States, which is the job of the Vice President.

MITCHELL: Powell could boost Obama's foreign policy credentials. But today the McCain camp seized on something Joe Biden said, that Oama would be tested in his first months in office.

AUDIO OF JOE BIDEN: They're going to want to test him, just like they did young John Kennedy. They're going to want to test him. And they're going to find out this guy's got steel in his spine.

JOHN McCAIN: We don't want a President who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis.

MITCHELL: Meanwhile, McCain's running mate, fighting the image war, confronted her double on Saturday Night Live...

—Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Real Answers, Not Rhetoric!

Commentary: Give real answers on the economy

By Campbell Brown

NEW YORK (CNN) -- On the eve of the third and final debate, a plea to the presidential candidates: Please don't tell us that as president you are going to have to make some tough decisions.

Yes, you are. We get that. We know that. We're in the middle of a financial crisis that analysts keep telling us is unlike anything we've been through as a country since the Great Depression. Families are at this moment losing their savings, losing their homes, losing their jobs.

We understand that if elected president you are going to have to make some tough decisions. That was Barack Obama's answer at the first debate when he was asked what he would give up among all his proposals and promises, given the financial mess. Video Watch Campell ask for specifics »

His response was about as nonspecific an answer as I have ever heard. And he only gave that answer after he was asked the question by the moderator three times.

At the second debate, his answer was even less helpful. He ignored the question entirely, again talking in vague generalities. I assume Sen. Obama has a sense of the magnitude of the economic challenges we are facing, but those answers sound like they are coming from someone living in la-la land.

John McCain also tried to avoid the question at first and then fell back on a plan he had proposed in April, well before the financial crisis.

At the first debate it took three tries for Sen. McCain to answer, finally repeating his call for a freeze on all discretionary spending with a few exceptions. Whether you love or hate his idea, that is a separate debate, but compared to what we are getting from Obama, McCain at least has offered something concrete.

From both candidates, we need real answers. And please don't tell us that you are going to cut pork barrel spending and scrub the waste out of every bloated federal agency. I mean, name a political candidate who hasn't promised to cut the fat and eliminate waste in government. Please, no bull. Be straight with us, we can take it. Americans understand the stakes. Just give us brutal honesty, because so far we are not really getting it.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

Michelle Obama Has a Temper Temper

Will MSM Investigate Alleged Angry Phone Call by Michelle Obama to African Press International?

So far this story about Michelle Obama's temper tantrum when she called African Press International (API) hasn't been reported by the mainstream media but it is a very hot topic in the Blogosphere. Your humble correspondent checked on the credentials of API and it has been in existence for a little over two years and has filed numerous stories in that period. Additionally, this story has been posted at World Net Daily. If the MSM wants to verify this story they can contact API directly to investigate its veracity. Perhaps they don't want to check out this story because Michelle Obama comes off with an extreme case of bad temper. This API article starts out with Michelle article making accusations of disloyalty against that organization in a phone call (emphasis mine):

Accusing API of colluding with American internet bloggers in an effort to bring down her husband, Mrs Obama said she decided to call API because of what she termed, API’s help to spread rumours created by American bloggers and other racist media outlets in their efforts to damage a black man’s name, saying she hopes African Media was mature enough to be in the front to give unwavering support to her husband, a man Africans should identify themselves with.

When API told her that our online news media was only relaying what the American Bloggers and other media outlets had discovered through their investigations, Mrs Obama was angered and she came out loud with the following: “African press International is supposed to support Africans and African-American view,” and she went to state that, “it is strange that API has chosen to support the racists against my husband. There is no shame in being adopted by a step father. All dirt has been thrown onto my husband’s face and yet he loves this country. My husband and I know that there is no law that will stop him from becoming the president, just because some American white racists are bringing up the issue of my husband’s adoption by His step father. The important thing here is where my husband’s heart is at the moment. I can tell the American people that My husband loves this country and his adoption never changed his love for this country. He was born in Hawaii, yes, and that gives him all the right to be an American citizen even though he was adopted by a foreigner; says Michelle Obama on telefon to API.”

Wow! Talk about a red hot temper! But will the MSM even ask Michelle Obama about this? This article is chock full of more shocking information:

This is a very interesting turn of events. The American man Dr Corsi was recently reported to have been arrested in Kenya because there was fear that he might reveal information on Obama when he wanted to hold a press conference in Nairobi.

The question now is why he was arrested and who ordered his arrest. Was Obama’s hand in this in any way? We will never know the truth but what is clear is that Dr Corsi was seen as a threat while in Kenya.

When API asked Mrs Obama to comment on why Dr Corsi was arrested by the Kenyan government and whether she thought Kenya’s Prime Minister Mr Raila Odinga was involved in Dr Corsi’s arrest, she got irritated and and simply told API not to dig that which will support evil people who are out to stop her husband from getting the presidency.

When asked who she was referring to as the evil people, she stated that she was not going to elaborate much on that but that many conservative white people and even some African Americans were against her husband, but that this group of blacks were simply doing so because of envy.

On Farakhan and his ministry, Mrs Obama told API that it was unfortunate that Mr Farakhan came out the way he did supporting her husband openly before the elections was over. That was not wholehearted support but one that was calculated to convince the American people that my husband will support the growth of muslim faith if he became the president, adding “even if my husband was able to prove that he is not a Muslim, he will not be believed by those who have come out strongly to destroy his chances of being the next President. Do real people expect someone to deny a religion when 80 percent of his relatives are Muslims?; Mrs Obama asked.

Mrs Obama asked API to write a good story about her husband and that will earn API an invitation to the innoguration ceremony when, as she put it , her husband will be installed as the next President of the United States of America next year.

Double WOW! As I stated, African Press International has been in existence for over two years and has filed over a thousand stories. So will the MSM investigate this? Meanwhile this story is gaining enormous steam in the Blogosphere.

UPDATE: Because of the high level of interest in this story, API has just posted a phone number where they can be contacted for verification. Calls must be made between Oct. 16 and 18. Here is the number posted on their site: 004793299739. To call from the USA, the number is: 011-4793299739.

UDATE #2: Jeff Schrieber, of the America's Right blog, after expressing initial skepticism over this story has an UPDATE:


Listen, I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong. And I think I was wrong.

I just got off the phone with a very reputable source that says there is absolutely, positively an audiotape showing that Michelle Obama did in fact say what she said.

I cannot say more right now, as to the source, but let's put it this way -- If you want to know something about Obama, you talk to this guy.


Okay, Jeff, will do. Now waiting for that audiotape...if there is one.

—P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.

The Rush to Smear

Smearing Palin, Olbermann Makes Stupid Error

D'oh! In his haste to condemn Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin last night far-left MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann made a particularly elementary reading comprehension error.

The mistake, caught by our friends at Olbermann Watch, involved a report of a person at a McCain-Palin shouting out to "kill" Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Rushing to tag the GOP ticket with this as much as possible, Olbermann expressed outrage that "as usual, [Palin] does nothing about it."

Unfortunately, however, Palin wasn't even on the stage at the time the remark was made as the Pennsylvania newspaper that the MSNBC ranter used as his source for the report stated. The comment was made at 1:25 ET, more than a half-hour before Palin and her husband Todd showed up at the event.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a correction.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nobody Yelled “Kill Him” About Obama at a McCain or Palin Rally

Nobody Yelled “Kill Him” About Obama at a McCain or Palin Rally

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:54 am

Everyone in the country seems to think someone yelled “Kill him!” at a McCain/Palin rally, about Barack Obama. It’s just not true.

The “Kill him!” phrase was originally reported by the Washingon Post — and it was clearly yelled about William Ayers and not Barack Obama.

I quoted the relevant language in this post:

“And, according to the New York Times, he [referring to Ayers -- P] was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,’” [Palin] continued.

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.

That is unambiguously a call to kill Ayers, not Obama. As TNR writer Michael Crowley said in a comment to this post of his (h/t L.N. Smithee):

I took “kill him” to mean Ayers–not Obama. It’s just a far, far likelier explanation given the context. That’s still an ugly thing to shout–but on the other hand Ayers probably would have gotten the death penalty had his bombs actually taken a life. If I thought people were actually yelling that about Obama I would feel very differently.

Indeed. [UPDATE: Dana Milbank, who originally reported this, agreed. According to a Politico blog entry: "Milbank said that his impression was that the man meant Ayers, not Obama." Thanks to "no one you know."]

And yet outlets across the country are reporting that the man yelled “Kill him!” about Obama. For example, the New York Times reported:

Crowds in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have repeatedly booed Mr. Obama and yelled “off with his head,” and at a rally in Florida where Ms. Palin appeared without Mr. McCain, The Washington Post reported that a man yelled out “kill him.”

The implication is clear that “Kill him!” was yelled about Obama. This implication is made explicit in an article from the Associated Press:

The Secret Service confirmed Friday that it had investigated an episode reported in The Washington Post in which someone in Palin’s crowd in Clearwater, Fla., shouted “kill him,” on Monday, meaning Obama. There was “no indication that there was anything directed at Obama,” Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren told AP. “We looked into it because we always operate in an atmosphere of an abundance of caution.”

Like many AP articles, this article has been reprinted in numerous publications, leading to the widespread myth that someone yelled “Kill him!” about Obama.

Incidentally, the stories are also reporting that someone yelled “Off with his head!” in reference to Obama. I’m not sure why I should believe them, since they’re lying about the “Kill him!” phrase. But let’s accept that as true for the sake of argument, and put this single isolated incident of a yelled threat to Obama in context. I have an isolated incident of Obama supporters threatening the life of someone on the McCain ticket, too. Obama supporters yelled Let’s stone her, old school!” outside a Palin rally, about Sarah Palin.

Oh, the ugliness of the left!

Ah, you say, but there has been widespread ugliness on the right, going beyond a single random call for violence against Obama. We’ve seen people calling Obama an “Arab” (not really an insult, but never mind that) or a “terrorist” or a “liar.” And you guys on the left don’t do ugly stuff like that, right?


We have the plethora of insults and booing of McCain at Obama rallies, including screaming that he is a “liar”; the ugly and profane T-shirts about Sarah Palin; and much more nasty and violent behavior from the left.

That’s the point I was making in my post yesterday, in which I wrote a story about the ugliness of the left in the same style as the media has been writing stories about the ugliness of the right.

We on the right have our random fringe lunatics, and so do you on the left. Stop pretending you’re better.

There’s only one difference between your fringe lunatics and ours: the media reports about ours.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama Supporters Call Sarah Palin a C**t; Where Is the Media?

Reprinted with full permission from Wake Up America:

The media has been busy reporting the “anger” of the conservatives at the McCain/Palin rallies, how supporters want McCain to get tougher on Obama and force Obama’s terrorist associations into the eyes of the public and how McCain has been forced to “defend” poor little Barack Obama…..but where are the media reports about Obama supporters wearing t-shirts calling Sarah Palin a c*nt?

Have you seen this reported anywhere at all?

Please let me know where and I will add the link as an update.

This picture came to me via email, the email text is below:

I was at a Sarah Palin event in Philadelphia, at the Park Hyatt Hotel - late Saturday afternoon (Oct. 11th). If you are easily grossed out by the “C” word, I am sorry. But as Andrea says below, if McCain supporters wore a shirt that said “Obama is a N*g&^r” or even “Obama is a B*stard” or “Obama is a Terrorist” at an Obama Rally, they would either be thrown off the premises, have their heads kicked in, or even be detained at the local police station (I know this for a fact: I just had on a McCain button at a recent Obama event and I didn’t think I was going to get out alive).

Sorry the picture is not clearer. But these four young people were right in front of the hotel. They have on the nicest shirts. There were worse. There was group as well carrying around a fake dead fetus - exclaiming that “abortion should have been the path for Bristol(?) Palin”. And quite a few smoke bombs, etc. etc.

I also had some nice words thrown at me.

There were about 500 organized protesters. And about 500 not so organized at this event. The police and hotel security and secret service were letting me all the way up to the hotel steps. In a few cased … a few protesters got into the lobby.

In my family, the “C” word is about as bad as you can get.

Was this reported on the Philadelphia News. No!. Was anyone outraged? No!. All that was on the Philadelphia local news last night was: Obama was at several rallies in Philadelphia earlier in the day (but went home Saturday night to be with his children). Obama and Palin were in Philly on the same day. And was there any mention of Palin - No!. In the Sports section of the local evening news at 11:00PM, they did mention that Palin was at the Philadelphia Flyers game “dropping the first (hockey) puck”. The guy said it with a smirk. Then he added that Sarah Palin WAS NOT going home to spend the evening with her children.

Sorry the attached picture is not clearer. I need a new camera. Please circulate this to as many people as possible and let them see the double standard.

Not good stuff for a Sunday morning. But this is the REAL AMERICA!.

- Frank (Last name redacted for privacy by WUA management).

A PS from Andrea (last name redacted by WUA):

Calling Sarah Palin a cunt would be the equivalent of a group of protesters calling Obama a n*g*&r. If that ever happened you know we would be seeing it for weeks replayed endlessly with discussions about how the race is still close because Americans are racist.

I wonder what is taking the media so long to report something this obvious?

Want more horrifying sh-t?

Crush the Obamedia narrative: Look who’s “gripped by insane rage”

By Michelle Malkin • October 12, 2008 11:50 AM

The Obamedia is attempting to set yet another false narrative: The narrative of the McCain “mob.” McCain-Palin rallies are out of control, they wheedle. Conservatives are mad! They’re yelling mean things about Obama and calling him names! It’ scaaaaary!

Paul Krugman is trembling: “Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage…What happens when Obama is elected? It will be even worse than it was in the Clinton years. For sure there will be crazy accusations, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some violence.”

Frank Rich decries “Weimar-like rage” and the “violent escalation of rhetoric.”


Let’s talk about “insane rage” and “violent escalation.”

This is insane rage — Madonna bashing Sarah Palin and shrieking “I will kick her ass:”

This is insane rage — Sandra Bernhard bashing Sarah Palin and cursing her head off with hate warping her crazed face:

This is violent escalation — Palin-hating artwork designating her an “M.I.L.P.” (Mother I’d Like to Punch). Hat tip: Edge of Forever:

This is insane rage and violent escalation — trendy “ABORT Sarah Palin” stickers:

This is self-admitted insane rage: Why Sarah Palin Incites Near-Violent Rage In Normally Reasonable Women.

This is insane rage — the Democratic Underground indulging in name-calling the MSM ignores:

Reader Monica M. sent me a link to the Democratic Underground’s latest thread for commenters to come up with nicknames and posters to slime GOP Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — and then to “spread [them] all over the ‘net.” There are now nearly 100 filthy, hate-filled responses and counting. Among the “nicer” entries: “Cruella,” “Gidget,” “Governor Jesus Camp,” “VPILF,” “Fertilla the Huntress,” “Iditabroad,” and “KILLER PYSCHO FUNDIE BITCH FROM HELL!!”

…Peer with me further into the liberal sinkhole again and behold P.D.S. in full bloom. Note that this site is raising money for Barack Obama and that an ad for their fundraiser appears at the top of the thread. Is Obama going to accept their cash? Know your enemy:

…The Photoshop entries getting thumbs up from DU commenters:

And the sickest attack of them all — mocking Palin for being a nursing mom:

This is insane rage — deranged left-wing photographer Jill Greenberg sabotaging an Atlantic magazine photo shoot of John McCain and defacing the pictures on her website:

This is insane rage and violent escalation — pointing a fake gun at the head of a Sarah Palin likeness sitting next to a cardboard cutout of her daughter in a museum display:

The Obamedia diaper-wetters are gripped with fear over a few over-the-line catcalls at McCain-Palin rallies. Ana Marie Cox is even making things up to advance the narrative.

But, as Glenn Reynolds notes, they’ve looked the other way at the last four years of anti-Bush assassination chic — a subject I covered extensively in Unhinged and on this blog:






Death of a President

ABC News Edited Out Key Parts of Sarah Palin's 1st Interview

A transcript of the unedited interview of Sarah Palin by Charles Gibson clearly shows that ABC News edited out crucial portions of the interview that showed Palin as knowledgeable or presented her answers out of context. This unedited transcript of the first of the Gibson interviews with Palin is available on radio host Mark Levin's website. The sections edited out by ABC News are in bold. The first edit shows Palin responding about meeting with foreign leaders but this was actually in response to a question Gibson asked several questions earlier:

GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?

PALIN: There in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of other countries.

GIBSON: And all governors deal with trade delegations.

PALIN: Right.

GIBSON: Who act at the behest of their governments.

PALIN: Right, right.

GIBSON: I’m talking about somebody who’s a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?

PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. But, Charlie, again, we’ve got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody’s big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state … these last couple of weeks … it has been overwhelming to me that confirmation of the message that Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite.

Next we see that Palin was not nearly as hostile towards Russia as was presented in the edited interview:

GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.

PALIN: Sure.

GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.

The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…

GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.

PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals. That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.

And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?

PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

We also see from Palin's following remark, which was also edited out, that she is far from some sort of latter day Cold Warrior which the edited interview made her seem to be:

We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We’ve learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.

We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

Palin's extended remarks about defending our NATO allies were edited out to make it seem that she was ready to go to war with Russia.

GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help.

But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to — especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.

We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.

GIBSON: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.

PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.

And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.

It doesn’t have to lead to war and it doesn’t have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.

His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that’s a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.

That answer presented Palin as a bit too knowledgeable for the purposes of ABC News and was, of course, edited out. Palin's answers about a nuclear Iran were carefully edited to the point where she was even edited out in mid-sentence to make it seem that Palin favored unilateral action against that country:

GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?

PALIN: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this globe, yes.

GIBSON: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran? John McCain said the only thing worse than a war with Iran would be a nuclear Iran. John Abizaid said we may have to live with a nuclear Iran. Who’s right?

PALIN: No, no. I agree with John McCain that nuclear weapons in the hands of those who would seek to destroy our allies, in this case, we’re talking about Israel, we’re talking about Ahmadinejad’s comment about Israel being the “stinking corpse, should be wiped off the face of the earth,” that’s atrocious. That’s unacceptable.

GIBSON: So what do you do about a nuclear Iran?

PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.

GIBSON: But, Governor, we’ve threatened greater sanctions against Iran for a long time. It hasn’t done any good. It hasn’t stemmed their nuclear program.

PALIN: We need to pursue those and we need to implement those. We cannot back off. We cannot just concede that, oh, gee, maybe they’re going to have nuclear weapons, what can we do about it. No way, not Americans. We do not have to stand for that.

Laughably, a remark by Gibson that indicated he agreed with Palin was edited out:

PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.

But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.

That’s what that comment was all about, Charlie. And I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing. It’s an unfortunate thing, because war is hell and I hate war, and, Charlie, today is the day that I send my first born, my son, my teenage son overseas with his Stryker brigade, 4,000 other wonderful American men and women, to fight for our country, for democracy, for our freedoms.

Charlie, those are freedoms that too many of us just take for granted. I hate war and I want to see war ended. We end war when we see victory, and we do see victory in sight in Iraq.

GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln’s words, but you went on and said, “There is a plan and it is God’s plan.”

Gibson took her point about Lincoln's words but we wouldn't know that by watching the interview since it was left on the cutting room floor. I urge everybody to see just how the unedited version of the first interview compared to what we saw on television by checking out the full transcript. It is a fascinating look into media manipulation via skillful editing.

—P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Making an Issue Out of Nothing

Gallup Finds Race is Meaningless in This Election... Unless You're Non-White

As Gallup polling organization says, race is a natural question to ponder with this election since Obama is the first black man to gain the nomination of a major party. But, instead of finding race to be a major factor among whites, the polling from Gallup has found that considerations about race is basically a wash making the issue practically meaningless as a factor in possible vote outcomes with white voters. So much for the Left's claims that whites won't vote for Obama because he's black.

Gallup found that only six and seven percent of white voters polled even found race a factor at all, with six percent saying they'd be less likely to vote for Obama based on race and seven percent actually saying they are more likely to vote for Obama because of his race. That pretty much cancels each other out, I'd say.

But of note are the non-whites that say they will vote for Obama because of his race. About double the amount of non-whites (15%) said they are more likely to vote for Obama because he's black as well as less likely to vote for McCain based on his race (13%).

So, it looks like the race card is firmly in the hands of minorities instead of whites. One wonders why all the charges of racism from the Old Media and the political left are levied against whites when it seems that minorities are far more racist than whites? At least if these polling numbers are to be believed, this would be the case.

But, even at that rate, let's face it. Race is so far at the bottom of the list that it doesn't factor in much for voting totals nationwide.

Candidates' False Donors

N.Y. Times Finally Smells Something Fishy on Obama's Dubious Donors List

Photo of Clay Waters.

After dismissing it in a brief story on Tuesday as "G.O.P. Query Involves 1% of Giving to Obama," the Times' Michael Luo and Griff Palmer finally decide that Obama's plethora of odd donors may be politically newsworthy. They finally devoted a more serious story to the matter on Friday ("Fictitious Donors Found in Obama Finance Records"), which comes after Newsweek's Michael Isikoff's similar piece back on October 4. Luo and Palmer ran down some of the more entertaining entries from Obama's dubious donor list:

Last December, someone using the name "Test Person," from "Some Place, UT," made a series of contributions, the largest being $764, to Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign totaling $2,410.07.

Someone identifying himself as "Jockim Alberton," from 1581 Leroy Avenue in Wilmington, Del., began giving to Mr. Obama last November, contributing $10 and $25 at a time for a total of $445 through the end of February.

The only problem? There is no Leroy Avenue in Wilmington. And Jockim Alberton, who listed his employer and occupation as "Fdsa Fdsa," does not show up in a search of public records.

An analysis of campaign finance records by The New York Times this week found nearly 3,000 donations to Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee, from more than a dozen people with apparently fictitious donor information. The contributions represent a tiny fraction of the record $450 million Mr. Obama has raised. But the questionable donations -- some donors were listed simply with gibberish for their names -- raise concerns about whether the Obama campaign is adequately vetting its unprecedented flood of donors.


It appears that campaign finance records for Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee, contain far fewer obviously false names, although he has taken in about $200 million in contributions, less than half Mr. Obama’s total. Mr. McCain did collect about $173,000 from donors who appear in campaign finance records with only a name and have no other identifying information. Mr. Obama collected about $314,000 from such donors.

—Clay Waters is the director of Times Watch, an MRC project tracking the New York Times.

Palin Isn't Stupid

Fake Palin SAT Scores Fool Left-O-Sphere

Did you hear that Governor Palin is stupid? Well, if you watch TV, listen to the radio, or read any news outlet you can't help but find the lefties there claiming in unison that she is the dumbest woman to appear on the scene since Goldie Hawn made her chops as the blonde ditz on 1960's TV. And, heck it's gotta be true. Why, even her SAT scores prove it! Except that the "proof" of that is an Internet hoax that fooled Wonkette, the DailyKos and a blue million nutrooter sites. But, who cares? As long as it makes Palin look bad, we're golden, baby! Truth-schmooth, right?

On October 10, blogger Dawn Eden found that a posted image of hers had been stolen, then altered, and then posted everywhere as "proof" that Sarah Palin is stupid. Apparently, the biggest stir was created by the tabloid site on its "Assignment Desk" section.

Originally, Gawker wondered if the image presented as Palin's SAT scores was real and posited that it was believable. Later in the day, however, one of their own site commentors effectively proved it an obvious fake. But not before it fooled Wonkette and the DailyKos and a score of other nutrooter sites.

Before the obviousness of the fakery was settled, the DailyKos site pronounced the SAT score card as "credible," and the unprofessionally profane Wonkette said that the faked scores "sounds about right."

This fake image appeared on dozens of sites in a few hour's time.

Unfortunately for the left's indulging in gettin'-the-hate-on at Sarah Palin, though, this image was stolen and made to appear like Palin's SAT score card. It was all a deliberate hoax.

This is the real image as posted by Dawn Eden.

This sort of thing goes beyond a merely misreported story, goes farther than a bad interpretation of facts, and enters into outright forgery. And what we have here is a perfect example of how the left has no interest in "truth" as long as their agenda is furthered. Situational "ethics" is the left's calling card and this is more evidence of this salient truism.

So let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story, shall we DailyKos?

Now, let's keep our eyes peeled to see if the next level up in the Left-O-Sphere (and that would be the Old Media) start using this one. Look for the occasional comment by a lefty commentator about this "true SAT score report" to show up soon!

Racism Rears Its Head in the 2008 Campaign.

Op-Ed Columnist

The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama

Published: October 11, 2008

IF you think way back to the start of this marathon campaign, back when it seemed preposterous that any black man could be a serious presidential contender, then you remember the biggest fear about Barack Obama: a crazy person might take a shot at him.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times-Frank Rich

Some voters told reporters that they didn’t want Obama to run, let alone win, should his very presence unleash the demons who have stalked America from Lincoln to King. After consultation with Congress, Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, gave Obama a Secret Service detail earlier than any presidential candidate in our history — in May 2007, some eight months before the first Democratic primaries.

“I’ve got the best protection in the world, so stop worrying,” Obama reassured his supporters. Eventually the country got conditioned to his appearing in large arenas without incident (though I confess that the first loud burst of fireworks at the end of his convention stadium speech gave me a start). In America, nothing does succeed like success. The fear receded.

Until now. At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.

All’s fair in politics. John McCain and Sarah Palin have every right to bring up William Ayers, even if his connection to Obama is minor, even if Ayers’s Weather Underground history dates back to Obama’s childhood, even if establishment Republicans and Democrats alike have collaborated with the present-day Ayers in educational reform. But it’s not just the old Joe McCarthyesque guilt-by-association game, however spurious, that’s going on here. Don’t for an instant believe the many mindlessly “even-handed” journalists who keep saying that the McCain campaign’s use of Ayers is the moral or political equivalent of the Obama campaign’s hammering on Charles Keating.

What makes them different, and what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies, is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin. Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist.” He is “palling around with terrorists” (note the plural noun). Obama is “not a man who sees America the way you and I see America.” Wielding a wildly out-of-context Obama quote, Palin slurs him as an enemy of American troops.

By the time McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” it’s no surprise that someone cries out “Terrorist!” The rhetorical conflation of Obama with terrorism is complete. It is stoked further by the repeated invocation of Obama’s middle name by surrogates introducing McCain and Palin at these rallies. This sleight of hand at once synchronizes with the poisonous Obama-is-a-Muslim e-mail blasts and shifts the brand of terrorism from Ayers’s Vietnam-era variety to the radical Islamic threats of today.

That’s a far cry from simply accusing Obama of being a guilty-by-association radical leftist. Obama is being branded as a potential killer and an accessory to past attempts at murder. “Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family” was how a McCain press release last week packaged the remembrance of a Weather Underground incident from 1970 — when Obama was 8.

We all know what punishment fits the crime of murder, or even potential murder, if the security of post-9/11 America is at stake. We all know how self-appointed “patriotic” martyrs always justify taking the law into their own hands.

Obama can hardly be held accountable for Ayers’s behavior 40 years ago, but at least McCain and Palin can try to take some responsibility for the behavior of their own supporters in 2008. What’s troubling here is not only the candidates’ loose inflammatory talk but also their refusal to step in promptly and strongly when someone responds to it with bloodthirsty threats in a crowded arena. Joe Biden had it exactly right when he expressed concern last week that “a leading American politician who might be vice president of the United States would not just stop midsentence and turn and condemn that.” To stay silent is to pour gas on the fires.

It wasn’t always thus with McCain. In February he loudly disassociated himself from a speaker who brayed “Barack Hussein Obama” when introducing him at a rally in Ohio. Now McCain either backpedals with tardy, pro forma expressions of respect for his opponent or lets second-tier campaign underlings release boilerplate disavowals after ugly incidents like the chilling Jim Crow-era flashback last week when a Florida sheriff ranted about “Barack Hussein Obama” at a Palin rally while in full uniform.

From the start, there have always been two separate but equal questions about race in this election. Is there still enough racism in America to prevent a black man from being elected president no matter what? And, will Republicans play the race card? The jury is out on the first question until Nov. 4. But we now have the unambiguous answer to the second: Yes.

McCain, who is no racist, turned to this desperate strategy only as Obama started to pull ahead. The tone was set at the Republican convention, with Rudy Giuliani’s mocking dismissal of Obama as an “only in America” affirmative-action baby. We also learned then that the McCain campaign had recruited as a Palin handler none other than Tucker Eskew, the South Carolina consultant who had worked for George W. Bush in the notorious 2000 G.O.P. primary battle where the McCains and their adopted Bangladeshi daughter were slimed by vicious racist rumors.

No less disconcerting was a still-unexplained passage of Palin’s convention speech: Her use of an unattributed quote praising small-town America (as opposed to, say, Chicago and its community organizers) from Westbrook Pegler, the mid-century Hearst columnist famous for his anti-Semitism, racism and violent rhetorical excess. After an assassin tried to kill F.D.R. at a Florida rally and murdered Chicago’s mayor instead in 1933, Pegler wrote that it was “regrettable that Giuseppe Zangara shot the wrong man.” In the ’60s, Pegler had a wish for Bobby Kennedy: “Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow falls.”

This is the writer who found his way into a speech by a potential vice president at a national political convention. It’s astonishing there’s been no demand for a public accounting from the McCain campaign. Imagine if Obama had quoted a Black Panther or Louis Farrakhan — or William Ayers — in Denver.

The operatives who would have Palin quote Pegler have been at it ever since. A key indicator came two weeks after the convention, when the McCain campaign ran its first ad tying Obama to the mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Rather than make its case by using a legitimate link between Fannie and Obama (or other Democratic leaders), the McCain forces chose a former Fannie executive who had no real tie to Obama or his campaign but did have a black face that could dominate the ad’s visuals.

There are no black faces high in the McCain hierarchy to object to these tactics. There hasn’t been a single black Republican governor, senator or House member in six years. This is a campaign where Palin can repeatedly declare that Alaska is “a microcosm of America” without anyone even wondering how that might be so for a state whose tiny black and Hispanic populations are each roughly one-third the national average. There are indeed so few people of color at McCain events that a black senior writer from The Tallahassee Democrat was mistakenly ejected by the Secret Service from a campaign rally in Panama City in August, even though he was standing with other reporters and showed his credentials. His only apparent infraction was to look glaringly out of place.

Could the old racial politics still be determinative? I’ve long been skeptical of the incessant press prognostications (and liberal panic) that this election will be decided by racist white men in the Rust Belt. Now even the dimmest bloviators have figured out that Americans are riveted by the color green, not black — as in money, not energy. Voters are looking for a leader who might help rescue them, not a reckless gambler whose lurching responses to the economic meltdown (a campaign “suspension,” a mortgage-buyout stunt that changes daily) are as unhinged as his wanderings around the debate stage.

To see how fast the tide is moving, just look at North Carolina. On July 4 this year — the day that the godfather of modern G.O.P. racial politics, Jesse Helms, died — The Charlotte Observer reported that strategists of both parties agreed Obama’s chances to win the state fell “between slim and none.” Today, as Charlotte reels from the implosion of Wachovia, the McCain-Obama race is a dead heat in North Carolina and Helms’s Republican successor in the Senate, Elizabeth Dole, is looking like a goner.

But we’re not at Election Day yet, and if voters are to have their final say, both America and Obama have to get there safely. The McCain campaign has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and inciting vigilantism, and each day the mob howls louder. The onus is on the man who says he puts his country first to call off the dogs, pit bulls and otherwise.