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Opinion: Barack Obama gets blown away by Hurricane Dolly (at least in part)

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Increasingly, coverage of Barack Obama’s trek through the world’s hot spots has focused on the coverage itself -- the extent of it, its tenor (generally positive, as exemplified by this New York Daily News analysis piece) and the somewhat tormented reaction to all of this from the John McCain camp.

Our own Maeve Reston wrote about this latter aspect in a story headlined: ‘Press coverage of Obama puts envy in the air at McCain headquarters.’ And Alessandra Stanley of the N.Y. Times provided her overview of the journalistic disparity in a column headlined: ‘Obama Overseas! In Presidential Mode! Back Home, It’s McCain in a Golf Cart.’

Today, however, nature intruded on the Obama parade, at least to some degree.

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He still won lots of attention as he conducted a news conference in Israel, during which he was pressed on how, if he wins the White House, he would negotiate with Iran. But with Hurricane Dolly bearing down on South Texas, the three main cable news networks -- CNN, Fox and MSNBC -- have had something else to spotlight, to greater or lesser degrees.

It was in September 1961 that a young fellow with the CBS affiliate in Houston caught the eye of network brass when, microphone firmly in hand, he stood amid howling winds as Hurricane Carla headed toward Galveston. And ever since Dan Rather boosted his career with those reports, there are few images television news producers are more fond of than those of someone stationed right in the middle of a big storm.

Not even Obama’s international tryout can trump that.

-- Don Frederick


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