Time to exhale

Yesterday Calvin Dodge said,

  I look forward to seeing your posts on your disappointment with the Obama campaign’s ads, as well as his attempts to silence people who are reporting on his associations with the radical Left. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for those posts.

… later mentioning how the “…Obama campaign has urged people to swamp WGN’s switchboard when guests on the Milt Rosenberg show…”

Looked that one up, and sure enough, here’s Andrew Sullivan — a conservative Obama supporter — telling his man to Leave Fredosso Alone, pointing for sourceage to this piece in Reason about David Fredosso, author of “the lone decent anti-Obama book”, and a scheduled guest on WGN. The Chicago Tribune takes it from there:

  Chicago radio station WGN-AM is again coming under attack from the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama for offering airtime to a controversial author. It is the second time in recent weeks the station has been the target of an “Obama Action Wire” alert to supporters of the Illinois Democrat.

  Monday night’s target was David Freddoso, who the campaign said was scheduled to be on the station from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Chicago time.

  “The author of the latest anti-Barack hit book is appearing on WGN Radio in the Chicagoland market tonight, and your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don’t gain credibility,” an e-mail sent Monday evening to Obama supporters reads.

  “David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering,” the message said. “And WGN apparently thinks this card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine needs a bigger platform for his lies and smears about Barack Obama — on the public airwaves.”

I’m not familiar with Fredosso. (Look him up if you like.) But there’s a difference between responding to critics and choking them.

4 comments

  1. electric_larry’s avatar

    from WGN Radio website:
    “Since 1973, Milt Rosenberg has been host of WGN Radio’s “Extension 720″, a two-hour discussion show with one hour reserved for call-ins.”

    What’s wrong with calling a call-in show? Isn’t a call-in show looking for responses? The critics can’t be criticized? The aim is to engage in discourse, not restrain it.

    Here’s a link to tips and talking points from the action alert:
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/WGNstandards2

    I have a hard time finding this unreasonable.

  2. Mike’s avatar

    Nothing wrong with calling in to disagree. Nothing wrong with urging people to call in and express disagreement with Freddoso. But for a campaign to urge people to call in, not to disagree, but to express outrage that he is even allowed to be on the station, well that’s brownshirt territory. The talking points in the email were not refutations of Freddoso’s claims. Obama’s campaign was not arming its followers with counterpoints, but urging them to protest the fact that anti-Obama views were presented at all. That’s just pathetic. We don’t need a President with a glass jaw. What a wuss. Change we can believe in.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Mike, I’m with you up right up to your last two sentences. There’s a difference between a candidate and a campaign. This looks to me like campaign zealotry that got out of hand, not the Hand of Obama himself.

    But, I don’t know. Until I do I’m withholding judgement. Meanwhile I agree on the rest of it.

  4. Marktropolis’s avatar

    Actually, I don’t think this is evidence of Obama’s glass jaw, I think it’s evidence of Obama doing what Kerry didn’t with the Swiftboaters. Which is take them on head-on. You may disagree with the tactic, but when a major radio station gives a hack (which Freddoso clearly is) airtime, and this is a station that should be serving the public interest, you fight back. If we were talking about David Duke, would you be responding in the same way? Now, I’m not saying that Freddoso is the same as Duke, but I will go a tad out on a limb with saying that they both make their livings playing fast and loose with the truth. Freddoso’s publisher is Regnery. Which in case you don’t know, is the premier imprint for the radical right. They just happen to be the same folks who published Jerome Corsi’s assault on John Kerry. Same pattern. Same publisher. And the Obama folks are just responding to the attacks. And they think (and I tend to agree with them) that responsible media outlets shouldn’t give platforms to folks that traffic in lies and obfuscation.

    By the by, Regnery has been doing this for years. But their influence has increased in the past few years – due in no small part to the Internet, and sites like Townhall.com, and their ilk. Remember when Hilary Clinton was talking about the vast right-wing conspiracy? Well, she was half right. It was (and is) vast, but it’s not so much of a conspiracy – Regnery has been their since before Goldwater lost. This is the same company that published the works of Robert Welch (for those of you not tracking the right-wing, he’s the guy who founded the John Birch Society), including “May God Forgive Us”. At the time they were called the Henry Regnery Company. Just google Robert Welch Jr. and you’ll get your fill.

    So. It makes a lot of sense to me that the Obama folks would be trying to fight fire with fire. Freddoso is selling tripe about Obama. Obama is countering that with his own troops. In the hopes that Freddoso won’t get anymore airtime. Kind of along the lines of no one wanting to let David Irving get any time on the radio (again, if you don’t know, Google it, he’s a prominent holocaust denier who’s actually lost lawsuits in Britain because of his lies).

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