A major part of the Barack Obama narrative when he ran for president was his international roots, the global sweep of his life and how much more cosmopolitan he would be as president than the pedestrian George W. Bush. So it's a little weird to watch Obama yelling from the campaign podium that foreigners are funding political commercials and stealing our elections.
Obama's now stooped to accusing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of being a tool of foreign operatives. He doesn't produce any evidence to make the charge; but since when has this stopped him? Obama's Organizing for America clones are promoting this quote of his: "This is a threat to our democracy. ... And if we just stand by and let the special interests to silence anybody who's got the guts to stand up to them, our country's going to be a very different place."
So Obama's critics are now "threats to our democracy." That, folks, is desperation. Obama clearly doesn't have the guts to stick to the global-village narrative his liberal base in the media and elsewhere adore. The Washington Post now laments that his critique smacks of xenophobia.
Liberal reporters who still care about evidence in campaign charges asked Team Obama for the evidence. On CBS's "Face the Nation," Bob Schieffer suggested to Obama adviser David Axelrod that the foreign dues for the Chamber of Commerce were "peanuts," and challenged him to produce "anything other than peanuts." Axelrod snapped back: "Well, do you have any evidence that it's not, Bob?"
Obama & Co. don't care about how hypocritical they look. The blog trashing the chamber, "Think Progress," is a project of the Center for American Progress. The center doesn't disclose its donors. Moreover, they've obviously forgotten the controversy in 2008 when thousands of dollars were pouring into Obama's Internet coffers from an address in "GA." The Obama folks said they thought that was "Georgia," but it was Palestinian money coming from the Gaza Authority.
Still, the network reporters tripped over themselves last week to sell the Obama storyline that Democrats were being swamped by ads from "special interests" that didn't disclose their donors. Team Obama blames this scenario on the evil Supreme Court, and their ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. CBS morning anchor Harry Smith said, "Thanks to recent Supreme Court decisions," a lot of money is pouring in, "especially on the Republicans side. Some people suggest that this decision has allowed all this money to come in and literally takes these elections out of the hands of the voters."
Notice the double standard there. When Republicans are winning the battle in the polls and campaign coffers, voters are losing. When Democrats are winning, democracy has triumphed.
But what of the people and institutions that build up or tear down candidates in between the political commercials — i.e., reporters in "news" media consistently promoting Obama & Co., while disparaging all things tea party? As usual, the media lament when other corporations try to purchase a fraction of the firepower they unload daily on Republicans.
"Citizens United" is not an ugly phrase that connotes corporations are drowning out democracy. "Citizens United" is a court case that demonstrated how media and entertainment conglomerates get more power in a democracy than every other institution, and how conservative voices are often squashed and mocked by the liberal media.
It began when Citizens United tried to buy pay-per-view cable time to air "Hillary: The Movie." Their free-speech rights were crushed by the FEC, and then by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which said the McCain-Feingold campaign law prohibited its airing within 30 days of a Democratic primary election. Whose voices were being drowned out in this democracy? Relief from the courts didn't come during the campaign, when it really mattered. Justice came long after that campaign was history.
By contrast, powerful Hollywood leftists had no problem getting their documentaries with political overtones widely distributed in theatres as Citizens United was being squashed. In the summer of 2007, Michael Moore's health care mockumentary, "Sicko," was shown on more than 1,100 screens. In the fall of 2008, Bill Maher's noxious atheist documentary, "Religulous," was spread across America on more than 500 screens. Even this fall, anchors like Harry Smith are already promoting the ridiculous Valerie Plame "docudrama" titled "Fair Game," complete with sound bites of her real-life congressional testimony. Those evil-Bush-years commercials will run in the campaign's final weeks without a single reporter batting an eye.
And guess who's financed that "Fair Game" movie? A film company named Imagenation Abu Dhabi. The executive producer is Mohamed Khalaf al-Mazrouei, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Media Company. But Obama won't be pounding the podium against that foreign influence.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.