‘Morning Joe’: ‘The press was in the tank for Obama’ [VIDEO]

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough and guests were in agreement: The press was “in the bag” for Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign.

Speaking to Newsweek and Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, Scarborough pointed out how she “followed Hillary [Clinton] around in 2008 and just saw, everyday, incoming [attacks] against not only Hillary Clinton, but anybody who supported her.”

Brown agreed with Scarborough’s statement, explaining it partly as the establishment media’s fatigue with the whole Clinton “narrative.”

“I think a lot of it was about the press wanted a new narrative,” Brown said. “And in the end, Obama’s story of the first black president … trumped the exceptionalism of her being the first woman president. It was bad luck for her that happened. But it was also a much more fun idea to have this new narrative to write about. Everyone was bored with the Clintons. They didn’t want to have another Clinton story.”


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In addition, New York magazine’s John Heilemann, co-author of “Game Change,” which chronicled the 2008 election, said that the “first woman president” narrative was one that Hillary Clinton’s campaign avoided.

“To put some blame where it belongs,” Heilemann said, the Hillary Clinton campaign “didn’t embrace that [first-woman] narrative — they didn’t sell that narrative. They didn’t want to sell her as the first woman president. They had the opportunity to make her the candidate of change and instead they made her the candidate of the establishment, of inevitability, and they didn’t talk about  anything about her being a breakthrough figure until it was way too late, so she bears some responsibility for that [media image] problem.”

“The press was in the tank for Obama,” Heilemann conceded, but he maintained that it is, “a strategic imperative of any presidential campaign is to recognize what your challengers are going forward. [Clinton’s campaign] saw that throughout 2007. They did nothing to try to counter it, and kept her in that safe conventional box until it was too late.”

“I agree 100 percent with John Heilemann,” Scarborough added. “The press was in the tank for Obama.”

“It was a miserable media moment,” Brown concluded. The press “just drooled.”

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