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Thought Police

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By Geoff Metcalf

October 28, 2008

Arrogance rides triumphantly through the gates, barely glancing at the old woman about to cut the rope and spring shut the trap. --Mason Cooley

Notwithstanding the sage admonition of Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over…” Democratic presidential wannabe Senator Barack Obama has increasingly been adopting the assumptive close and acting like his ordination is a foregone conclusion.

I remain the consistent contrarian and maintain it is possible (even probable) that Obama will still lose for a variety of reasons already addressed here previously.

However, a recent snit over a tough interview of Joe Biden resulted in the Obama/Biden camp canceling a scheduled interview with Mrs. Biden AND canceling a media buy on WFTV-Channel 9 in Orlando. Apparently WFTV had to be punished for asking difficult questions of the gaffemaster Biden.

During a satellite interview with Sen. Biden, WFTV’s Barbara West had the temerity (and tenacity) to ask hard uncomfortable questions. Hey, that’s her job…and she did it well despite the patronizing efforts of Biden to marginalize her and her questions.

If you haven’t seen the interview yet, please check it out.

Biden was asked specifically about Obama's comment, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.

"Are you joking?" said Biden. "No," West said.

Biden was so ticked off by West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with the VP candidate’s wife, Jill Biden.

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, "Mr. Biden didn't like the questions…We choose not to ask softball questions."

Jordan added, "I'm crying foul on this one." And he should. He probably hasn’t been burned like this since leaving L.A..

One upon a time, in a previous incarnation, I ran an ad agency. I too often reminded my subordinates our job was to reach and influence the most number of likely prospects for the least amount of money.

Television, radio, newspapers and magazine are all in the same business. They do not sell what you see, hear or read. They sell audience. Advertisers pay media for access to audience, not for editorial or entertainment content. The content is a tool to generate the product, and the product is audience.

When an advertiser tries to “punish” a station or publication for content they don’t like, they sacrifice the audience that patronizes that media. From a partisan standpoint, ignoring the audience of a major media outlet is counter productive and petty at best…at worst, it is flat out stupid.

Perhaps the Obama camp has become so jaded by the softball coddling they have enjoyed thoughout the campaign, they assume it is the job of media to enable their poorly vetted gaffe inclined campaign. They certainly have reason to assume the main stream media should conduct themselves along the lines of a Saturday Night Live skit…just ask Sen. Hillary Clinton.

However, at the same time team Obama may be measuring the drapes in the Oval office, Americans have increasingly seem to getting hip to the consequences of their early enthusiasms. Yes, there ARE consequences to the things we do and don’t do. When Obama warned “Don’t underestimate our ability to screw this up…” it may have been half way prophetic.

Even a hardcore liberal California Democrat recently told me, “The noise about Obama’s eligibility (birth status) is nuts. I wish he would just release the documents and shut up those knuckle dragging republicans and p.o.-ed Hillary supporters. Sandbagging documents keeps this garbage alive. His foot dragging almost gives credibility to the wackos…” Ya think?

If, or (as I maintain) when, Obama loses, it will not be a direct function of the campaigns arrogance and assumptiveness. Rather, it will probably be the result of epiphany and fear.

Epiphany that (gosh oh gee golly) there are a LOT of holes in this guys act…and fear that the real tangible cost of flipping off the GOP establishment will have severe negative consequences on those inclined to change for the sake of change and sizzle. THAT pain may not be worth the visceral rush of slapping the GOP.

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Better to elect the lesser of available evils and then complain about HIM rather than suffer the significant inevitable consequences of embracing the anointed arrogant one, who although generous with his charisma and charm, hoards unanswered questions like maggots cling to rotten meat.

� 2008 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's

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However, at the same time team Obama may be measuring the drapes in the Oval office, Americans have increasingly seem to getting hip to the consequences of their early enthusiasms.