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October 28, 2008

Volume 2, Number 26

Brian Williams Grills McCain- Palin on Biden Gaffe, Ayers

Both in January and in May, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams conducted softball interviews with Barack Obama, holding up a favorable news magazine and asking how his loved ones, like his late mother, would feel about the slobbery covers. In January, he asked: "How does this feel, of all the honors that have come your way, all the publicity?" In May, it was: "Last time we were together, I handed you a copy of Newsweek, it was the first time you'd held it in your hands with you on the cover. Have you yet held this in your hands?"

When Williams aired an interview with John McCain and Sarah Palin for three nights last week, there was no talk of gooey photographs or publicity "honors." The Republican candidates were grilled on how they dared to criticize Obama. It started on Wednesday with Williams suggesting to McCain that Joe Biden had not committed a gaffe when he claimed Obama would be tested quickly "like young John Kennedy" with an international crisis: "One of your very closest friends in the Senate, Joe Lieberman, said on Face the Nation, quote, ‘our enemies will test the new President early. And it has happened throughout modern history.'" But Biden didn't say they'd test any new President, he said they would test "young" Obama, not McCain.

When McCain and Palin each blasted Biden for suggesting his own running mate would spur U.S. enemies to start a crisis, Williams was unmoved: "I'm missing how that's different from Senator Lieberman saying quote ‘our enemies will test the new President early.'"

On Thursday, October 23, Williams also objected to Bill Ayers being described as a domestic terrorist: "Are the people who set fire to American cities during the ’60s terrorists under this definition? Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under this definition, Governor?" When Palin answered by denouncing Ayers, Williams kept pressing: "I'm just asking what other categories you would put in there, abortion clinic bombers? Protesters in cities where fires were started, Molotov cocktails were thrown, people died?"

Williams also pushed Palin to define "What is an elite," since she's attacked elitism, and whether she considers herself a "feminist," since she's attacked liberal feminists. When it came to Reverend Wright, Williams only wanted to know if McCain would stay quiet: "Are you going to keep your promise not to involve Reverend Wright in the campaign?" Where was this kind of grilling in January and May, when Obama's alleged hot seat was an easy chair?

For more, see the October 23, 24 and 27 CyberAlerts.



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