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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008
A Failure to Communicate

You may be forgiven for thinking that the whole Tony Rezko affair, the dealings of a Chicago political bag man, and its connection to Barack Obama is some new, shiny object on the national political landscape. After all, Senator Obama has been an official candidate for President for over a year and a national object of infatuation for longer than that.

Surely, a reasonable citizen may conclude, if the man who seems destined for the White House has a less than stellar past in the grubby world of Chicagoland politics, surely the national media which likes to call itself the "fourth branch of government" would have investigated him on this score and rendered its judgment a long time ago; certainly before he was considered the prohibtive favorite for the Democratic nomination.


Yeah right.

I first read about Tony Rezko and his connections to Barack Obama in the various Chicago papers a good 16 months ago after Rezko's indictment. Not only did Rezko and Obama own neighboring plots of land and engage in what looks like to be sweatheart deals on that land, but Obama also wrote letters in support of Rezko's attempt to gain city funds for a development project.

Now Obama hasn't been accused of any wrong doing, but he is by definition a "Chicago Democrat." To be an idealist climbing through the world of Chicago politics is much like a man who walks to church in his Sunday best through a pig sty, you cannot help but carry some of the stink. To contrast and compare, look at the NY Times breaking a story on John McCain concerning the appearance of impropriety with a lobbyist 8 years ago. On Obama, hardly a peep.

Media cover-up? Hardly. Media bias? You bet.

The media, especially in political campaigns, works on story lines and narratives. For the 14 months, Obama was cast as the outsider idealist, David fighting the Goliath of the Clinton political machine. Forget his lack of policy specifics, gaffes on details, or his grubby Chicagoland past. "All the News that is Fit to Print" is because there isn't enough room to print all the news, so reporters and their editors decide what is "fit."

You the voter, you the media consumer may have a different opinion on what is fit, but the freedom of the press is the freedom to own one. Get your own paper and find your own narratives.