Re "The 800-lb. president," and "The polarizing pastor," editorials, May 17
Both editorials discuss how connections with unpopular people will affect John McCain and Barack Obama. But they yield very different opinions on whether this is fair.
In McCain's case, The Times points out instances of the GOP candidate trying to sound more moderate to distance himself from the president and counter claims that he is "nothing but Bush's smarter brother," as The Times puts it. "Buyer beware" seems to be the theme. Fair enough. Although I'm not part of the "Bush has ruined this country" crowd, I think it's a fair argument to make.
When it comes to Obama and the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., however, the tenor is different. The Times uses words like "rantings," "loopy" and "bombastic former minister" to marginalize Wright. The Times writes, "Whatever one thinks about Obama, it should be based on his own words, ideas and policies." With that statement, it's quite clear on which side The Times falls.
The Times says about Obama and Wright, "There are signs that this issue may dog Obama for some time to come." This is most definitely true, as long as big media keep flogging it as a way to sell papers and airtime.
The citizenry have already moved on. The May 4 CBS News/New York Times poll should have ended this non-issue when it revealed that 60% of registered voters who were familiar with the issue thought Obama handled the Wright situation appropriately, while only 23% disapproved. This ridiculous distraction over Wright is alive and well, but only in the minds of big media, the GOP and those who wouldn't vote for Obama anyway.