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G Felis

This isn't ABC's first offense against the substance of the American political process and the seriousness of Obama's candidacy. Remember their repulsive, trivial-distraction focused Democratic presidential "debate"? Here's a reminder for those who've forgotten:

The ABC news desk has revealed itself to be the pinnacle of everything wrong with America's mass media. They aren't as transparent as Fox (faux) News, but clearly they are supporting a similar political agenda.

The press was once seen as "the fourth estate" because oversight and critical evaluation of the actions of the powers-that-be is a vital part of a functioning democracy. America's megacorporation-controlled mass media no longer realizes that vital function in any meaningful way.


Television news, in general, is crap. It isn't about getting the news out anymore, it's about ratings. And since everyone can air the same speech each station needs to add something unique to steal viewers away from the competition - their commentary. That's why the assorted reporters and commentators are such celebrities these days.

George Swill

Why didn't anyone broadcast what BRITNEY thinks about this? That's what really counts.

Kit Whitfield

From an English perspective, it sounds like a fairly typical piece of US media evil. The people who own ABC will get a lot more profit from President McCain than President Obama. They want McCain to win. Obama is good at trashing his opponents without making himself look bad; ergo, ABC don't want their viewers to hear him doing it. They can't get away with cutting the speech, but if they talk over it, they hope nobody will notice the censorship.

I don't think that opinion calls for a tinfoil hat. Did you ever see the news broadcast of the 'don't taze me, bro' incident where the newscaster's first comment afterwards was, not 'Shocking footage of brutality at a political gathering', not 'Free speech advocates called the incident disgraceful', but 'Well, I guess that's the most excited anybody's ever been at a John Kerry rally'? Ie, a kid was tortured for being mouthy, and the best response is a petty dig at the Democrats? American TV pundits are bad, bad people. That's why left-wing bloggers like your fine self are so important: they can tell the truth without fear of firing.

Allienne Goddard

Um, "verges into flat-out racism"? I wonder if you might explain how this particular bit of media douchebaggery was racist. I'm certainly not saying it wasn't, because I can be blind to the manifestations of racism, though I despise it. Hell, I miss sexism sometimes, and as a feminist I'm pretty well sensitized to it. But I don't see how this particular offense is a result of racism.


This is precisely why I don't have a TV. On the internet, there aren't any talking heads to interrupt my news. Now, I'm not one to get into speeches - politicians don't warm my heart or inspire me with hope - but at least if I choose to listen to one I can hear it uninterrupted.

Greta Christina

Here's why I think ABC's actions verged into racism, Allienne.

A big part of why the speech was historically important was that it marked the first time that an African- American has been a presumptive major-party nominee for President of the United States. It was an extremely important moment in Black history.

For two white pundits to interrupt this speech and talk over it, as if the moment weren't worth paying more than a couple minutes attention to, as if what they had to say was more important and more interesting than what Obama himself had to say... yes, I'd say that verges into racism.

Kit Whitfield

That does sound pretty racist. I was assuming that they probably wouldn't have done the same thing to a Black Republican nominee - but then, I doubt such a nominee would have talked about racial issues, so it's pretty much a moot point. I suspect they'd have given him a less interrupted speech, though.

Karin W

The analogy that came to mind for me reading about this was when you go to some beautiful place, like the Grand Canyon, and people seem more interested in getting a photograph of the place than actually experiencing the beauty of the place. Something about how we've learned (well, not me, but some people) to see the Grand Canyon, listen to Obama, from a mediated perspective (a commentator, how it will look in a photo), rather than from the experience itself. We end up losing the authenticity of our experiences. And disbelieving our own experiences, and you know where you can go with that politically!


I just finished listening to the speech - thanks so much for sending the link along - and all I can say is, WOW.

Jon Berger

I have no doubt whatsoever that it was deliberate. You don't cut away from an acceptance speech by a candidate for President without planning it in advance and having a very good reason. This is like cutting away from the Super Bowl three minutes before the end of the second quarter -- which they'd never NEVER do, of course, because football is IMPORTANT.

By the way, on the subject of Obama's reputation as a fluffball who talks real purty but doesn't have any actual ideas, the thing is, he's just never been in the habit of using major speeches as the forum for laying out policy ideas, because his policy ideas are complex enough that they'd be supremely boring if you had to sit there and listen to them. As policy ideas should be: a policy idea that can be reduced to a snappy 25-word sound bite is probably a pretty sucky policy idea. If you go to his web site, there's a level of detail there that makes it impossible to buy into the "all he can do is say 'hope' over and over again" meme. The guy is seriously smart, and on top of that he's got a really stupendously amazing campaign team. I can't wait to see Plouffe as Chief of Staff.

(Did I use "meme" correctly? That's a word I got from this blog.)

Anyone catch the McCain speech that same night? It was, like, the Worst Political Speech Ever, hands down. And for reasons unknown, he did it in front of a brilliant lime-green background, which ought to delight all the video geeks who want to put it on YouTube with Daffy Duck hitting him over the head with a mallet or whatever.

Allienne Goddard

Sorry for the drive-by comment, but to pick up the racism angle again: So, even if ABC would have treated Edward's acceptance speech the same way as Obama's, it is nevertheless racist because they should have shown greater respect for Obama's achievement because of its historical significance? It would, then, have been sexist to do the same to Clinton if she had won, for parallel reasons? Am I understanding you?

By the way, I am just trying to understand. My response sounds sarcastic, even to me, but I only slept two hours and I can't seem to fix it.

If I am understanding, it is a rather interesting argument which had not occurred to me. It would be dismissiveness and insensitivity which verges on racism. It does run up against the "special treatment" canard, but only if one discounts the unique importance of the event. Okay, I find that pretty convincing. Thanks.

David Harmon

In this case, I'd say the networks' racism is perhaps secondary to their sheer arrogance. I'm hoping that after the election, a goodly number of reporters will be disinvited from the White House Press Room. And at least a few of the bloviators face hate-crimes charges (and/or "incitement to violence").

Sue Katz

I agree that the coverage is appalling and such voice-overs are beyond annoying. Many of the commentators are so full of themselves that they don't have room for intelligence, but I'm afraid I was very disappointed in Obama's speech. I felt it veered away from his rather unique approach towards the standard "America-greatest-country-on-earth-god-bless-us" pap of American politics. And my worst fears were confirmed the next day when he addressed the right-wing Israeli lobbying group, echoing their very reactionary politics and wearing a linked American/Israeli flag pin (!). Sigh.

Cath the Canberra Cook

Your link to watch the speech doesn't work. I get this notice: "This is a private video. If you have been sent this video, please make sure you accept the sender's friend request."

Try this one:

(Some HTML in comments would be useful here; I tried to put in a link but the system won't accept it.)

Cath the Canberra Cook

Oh hey, look, instant markup. Good enough!

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