Team Obama beware: Liberal media bias has not changed, but neither has Stuart Taylor.
Ironically, it is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., the young presumptive 2008 Democrat presidential candidate and rookie United States Senator, not John Sidney McCain, the septuagenarian presumptive 2008 Republican presidential candidate and veteran United States Senator, who is challenged by time.
Senator McCain is well known and he's been nationally known for decades. There's not likely to be much more to find out about him.
On the other hand, Senator Obama became a national figure in 2004, because he was permitted to give the keynote address at the Democrats' national convention, when he was an Illinois state senator hoping to be elected Illinois' junior United States Senator, and there's plenty to learn about him.
"The folks," as Bill O'Reilly puts it, did not know much about Obama when he became the Democrat presidential frontrunner because the liberal media preferred to encourage his candidacy instead of to investigate him and report on his many unsavory connections or focus on his past "indiscretions" (like choosing to be a drunken and drugged high school student).
It was only after Obama replaced Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination that Obama received significant media scrutiny. His connections to Rev. Jeremiah A. "God damn America" Wright, Jr., William "domestic terrorist" Ayers and now convicted Tony Rezko proved problematic for Obama, but too late for Hillary.
As Election Day 2008 approaches, "the folks" will learn more truth about the candidates and that will be bad news for Obama.
To those who doubt it, I happily cite the shift in attitude toward the Obama candidacy of National Journal's Stuart Taylor, Jr., America's top legal commentator, during this year.
In "Cheering Obama, With Doubts," an article dated January 12, 2008, Taylor began: "Hillary Rodham Clinton's New Hampshire comeback was impressive. But I remain convinced that if Barack Obama can show he is tough enough and pragmatic enough to win the presidency and serve with distinction, it would be the best thing that could happen to America and the world."
In "Obama's Wife and Their Spiritual Adviser," dated April 5, 2008, Taylor noted that "[m]any Republicans see clear proof of unfitness for high office in Obama's choice of spiritual adviser and his equivocations about why he condoned the reverend's vicious rhetoric for so long" and acknowledged that "[w]eeks of brooding over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Michelle Obama eruptions have severely shaken the hope I expressed in January: 'If Barack Obama can show he is tough enough and pragmatic enough to win the presidency and serve with distinction, it would be the best thing that could happen to America and the world.'"
In "Voters: Racism Is Not the Problem," dated May 10, 2008, Taylor disputed the Obama premise that his race is a handicap for his in his campaign for the presidency, declaring: "Wright aside, if Obama's race were a net liability with voters, he would have had no chance of winning the nomination."
Taylor elaborated as follows:
"Is Barack Obama--now closer than ever to winning the Democratic nomination--nonetheless at a political disadvantage because of white racism, or 'racial fears,' or 'race-baiting,' or racial 'double standards,' as some commentators have suggested?
"The evidence indicates otherwise, as it pertains both to this election and more broadly to the perennial tendency of many in the racial-grievance groups, the media, and academia to exaggerate how much white racism remains and its impact on African-Americans."
Taylor was not deceived by the attempt of The New York Times to play the race card for Obama:
"'It is an injustice, a legacy of the racist threads of this nation's history,' The New York Times declared in an April 30 editorial, that Obama was so widely called upon to repudiate the Rev. Jeremiah Wright while the media have given much less attention to McCain's courtship of an equally bigoted white, far-right Texas pastor named John Hagee. The editorial pre-emptively condemned as 'race-baiting' any campaign ads showing Wright in action. Times columnist Frank Rich and PBS commentator Bill Moyers voiced similar complaints. And Steve Kornacki wrote in the April 29 New York Observer that Wright was being and will be 'used to stoke racial fears and prejudices about Mr. Obama.'
"All of this seems unpersuasive to me. True, the McCain-Hagee connection deserves more attention, which it will no doubt get once the spotlight moves past the Clinton-Obama donnybrook. But McCain did not spend 20 years as a parishioner in and contributor to Hagee's church, was not married by Hagee, did not ask Hagee to baptize his children, did not draw on a Hagee sermon for the title to his book, and did not palliate Hagee's bigotry by suggesting that his own grandmother was a bigot, too.
"Wright aside, if Obama's race were a net liability with voters, he would have had no chance of winning the nomination--not with a campaign more focused on his personal appeal than on ideas and issues, and a political resume thinner than that of any presidential nominee in more than a century.
"It's clear from the election returns and polls that a majority of Democrats--especially but not exclusively black Democrats--see Obama's race as a plus, not a minus. The same is true of the many independents (including me) and even Republicans who think that electing a black president would (other things being equal) promote racial healing...."
Taylor objectively continued:
"There is plenty of residual racism, of course. But race-motivated white votes against Obama have been more than offset by race-motivated black votes for Obama, who won more than 90 percent of the black vote in both Indiana and North Carolina on Tuesday.
"Some commentators discern signs of white racism in exit polls showing (for example) that 16 percent of Indiana respondents said that a candidate's race was an important factor for them, with whites in this category voting heavily for Clinton. But 83 percent said that race was not important. And Clinton's majorities among whites seem attributable less to racism than to understandable concerns about Obama's belatedly severed connection to Wright, which nearly half of voters in both Indiana and North Carolina identified as an important issue.
"The best evidence that the Wright factor hurt Obama far more than his own blackness is that before the turbulent pastor became famous, Obama easily won the caucuses in overwhelmingly white Iowa on January 3 and, over the next seven weeks, captured the white male vote in Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin and as many white male voters as Clinton did in South Carolina. Although Obama did less well among white women, the obvious reason was Clinton's gender, not Obama's race."
Note: Taylor was not deceived or cowed by the media-promoted attempt of disgraced and disbarred former Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong to railroad the innocent Duke Three and vilify the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team (all but one being white) for what was supposed to be the benefit of a black ex-convict "stripper" and Nifong's political aspiration to be elected and economic interest in maximizing his pension.
As I wrote with respect to Taylor sizing up the Duke case situation in an article titled "The deplorable Duke political prosecution," dated May 23, 2006:
"What we appear to have here is an accuser who should be prosecuted, three Duke lacrosse players who never should have been indicted, a prosecutor abusing his office and the New Black Panthers out to exploit the situation while posing as champions of black womanhood....
"America's top legal commentator, Stuart Taylor Jr., had written that 'the available evidence leaves [him] about 85 percent confident that the three members who have been indicted on rape charges are innocent and that the accusation is a lie.'
"Mr. Taylor's designated Duke case rogues gallery does NOT include the indicted players, but 'does include more than 90 members of the Duke faculty who have prejudged the case, with some exuding the anti-white racism and disdain for student-athletes that pollutes many college faculties' as well as 'former Princeton University President William Bowen and civil-rights lawyer Julius Chambers [who] went out of their way to slime the lacrosse players in a report on the Duke administration's handling of the rape scandal — a report that is a parody of race-obsessed political correctness.'
"America has a huge problem — a despicable media bias — and Mr. Taylor dared to call attention to it with commendable candor: 'Many members of the national media have published grossly one-sided accounts of the case while stereotyping the lacrosse players as spoiled, brutish louts and glossing over the accuser's huge credibility problems.'"
Team Obama beware: Liberal media bias has not changed, but neither has Stuart Taylor.
Full disclosure: To his credit, Obama was one of the very few elected officials who called for a Justice Department investigation of Nifong (in early March 2007) and Taylor duly reported that twice (pp. 303 and 335) in Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and The Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, co-authored with KC Johnson.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.