Tuesday, September 02, 2008
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WADES IN
Even as Barack Obama gave his soaring speech Thursday night, his campaign was playing hardball with its critics.
Team Obama has launched an offensive against WGN, the Chicago Tribune's radio station, for interviewing Stanley Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz is a conservative writer who this week forced the University of Illinois to finally open its records on Sen. Obama's association with William Ayers, the unrepentant 1970s Weather Underground terrorist.
An Obama campaign email to supporters called Mr. Kurtz a "slimy character assassin" whose "divisive, destructive ranting" should be confronted. WGN producer Zack Christenson says the outpouring of negative calls and emails is "unprecedented." He also notes that it is curious -- because "we wanted the Obama campaign's take" on Mr. Kurtz's findings, but the campaign declined to put anyone on air.
Separately, Mr. Obama's lawyers have also demanded that the Justice Department prosecute an organization called the American Issues Project for running an ad about ties between their candidate and Mr. Ayers....
anyone questioning the approved story line is liable to be ignored, misled or even bullied. This isn't what reporters expected when Mr. Obama began campaigning for a "new politics" that would bring honesty and openness to government.
Walking the rows of media outlets at the Denver convention, I had no trouble finding reporters who complained the campaign was secretive and evasive. Ben Smith of Politico.com1 has written about Team Obama's "pattern of rarely volunteering information or documents, even when relatively innocuous."
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