Obama Campaign Freezes Out Local Florida TV Station

Senator Joe Biden gave an interview to WFTV, a local Orlando TV station, on Thursday and the result was comical...even Joe Biden himself was laughing halfway through it at the pathetic litany of right-wing talking points being hurled at him by the anchor, Barbara West. West, who, it should be noted, is married to Republican political consultant Wade West (h/t Blue Tidal Wave) makes Fox News seem fair and balanced by comparison.

At about 2:16 into the interview, West asks Biden:

How is Senator Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?

Biden then provides a master class in how to treat these people: mock them.

Are you joking? Is this a joke? Is that a real question?

...and dismiss them...

I don't know who's writing your questions...

The next step, which the Obama campaign took on Friday: freeze them out.

Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.

"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.

McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."

Drudge and Fox News have, in their way, both expressed outrage at this decision and Lindsey Graham on the stump for McCain today said it was proof that Barack Obama is afraid of taking "tough questions." Right. This is merely the latest attempt to throw something at the wall in hopes that it sticks (what, Joe the plumber was busy?) But, no, what West was peddling was far worse than simply asking tough questions, it was an abuse of the public airwaves to advance a partisan agenda and I'm glad to see the Obama campaign send a clear signal to the right-wing media of the consequences of doing so.

Tags: Barack Obama, barbara west, joe biden, wftv (all tags)

Comments

29 Comments

WTF...V?

Seriously. It's time to ignore that kind of behavior... at least that's what all the parenting books say.

by mechanosm 2008-10-26 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Freezes Out Local Florida TV Station

Dear WFTV:

good luck reporting the news when Barack Obama is President. Your name will be mysteriously left off the memos. Don't worry, you can always keep up the latest breaking news by watching your competitors!

by bushsucks 2008-10-26 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Freezes Out Local Florida TV Station

good luck reporting the news when Barack Obama is President.

They're not concerned. After all, McCain's guaranteed victory.

by TCQuad 2008-10-26 06:45PM | 0 recs
Disappointed.

I don't understand why the Obama-Biden campaign did this.  Whether we like it or not, many Americans think this way about Obama's philosophy and policies, and the campaign needs to address these concerns on their own terms.

Unsurprisingly, when confronted with the opportunity to do so, Biden handled the task masterfully. That is the story that the campaign should have milked from this interview. But now it looks like we can't handle hostile questioning.

I'm surprised that I seem to be the only one to think that this was an over-reaction (though, thank God, not a damaging one).  

by notmyactualname 2008-10-26 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Disappointed.


I'm just annoyed that Team Obama scheduled Joe into an ambush interview like that.

There are other videos of the same Talking Head interviewing McCain. Pure powder puff.

Putting anybody on that show is the equivalent iof putting them on the Rush Limbaugh show.

Yeah, a lot of people think that way, but you're not going to change their minds by sending someone over there to be shot at for five minutes.

by Bush Bites 2008-10-26 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Disappointed.

On the contrary. I think it looks like we can handle hostile questioning very well.  

I wonder how McCain would have handled being asked why we shouldn't consider him fascist. Or maybe "Some have compared you to Hitler, how do you respond?"  Her questions were of that caliber and I would respect McCain if he just plain dissed the questioner. That type of thing is beyond the pale.

by veggiemuffin 2008-10-26 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Disappointed.

This question is just a variation on "When did you stop beating your wife?"  How would Biden answer it? Give the 2 hour lecture necessary to explain what Socialism is so that he can then point out to the interviewer that she doesn't even know what she's asking?  

If she had asked "Why do you think that Obama's statement of wealth redistribution is good?" it would have been a fair question to answer, but not the one she asked.

by anonevent 2008-10-27 08:48AM | 0 recs
Huffpo maybe?

I think I read about this earlier too....  Not only did she keep hitting Biden with "have you stopped hitting your wife" type questions, but threw nothing but fluffy softballs at McCain during his interview.

Freeze 'em out.

by JenKinFLA 2008-10-26 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Campaign Freezes

The bottom of the screen on Fixed News read "BIDEN LASHES OUT!"

lol

by freedom78 2008-10-26 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Campaign Freezes Out Local Florida TV St
Those were not journalistic questions.  
I want a video of this interview!
I am so tired of hearing republican talking points morphed into questions.
I wish I could have seen Biden do it.  
Sometimes you just can't participate with idiocy masquerading as serious thinking. Biden gave her an "out" to join in the laughter and move on...
There should be consequences to political media that refuses to conduct responsible journalism.  
by Palli 2008-10-26 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Campaign Freezes Out Local Florida TV St

Here's the interview with Biden.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW_wQgWvi Z8&eurl=http://www.dailykos.com/stor y/2008/10/26/133722/20/1016/642755

Here's with McCain.

http://www.wftv.com/video/17712615/index .html

by Bush Bites 2008-10-26 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re:

I would suggest everyone go to the WFTV website and write the station and even Ms. West a letter stating your opinion of the interview. (Leave out expletives and personal insults as that does nothing but just shut down your argument)

by werd2406 2008-10-26 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re:

Here's the links:

Station: http://www.wftv.com/contact/index.html

West: http://www.wftv.com/station/1874549/deta il.html    

(near the bottom for her)

by werd2406 2008-10-26 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re:

Thanks for the contact link. I thrive in cutting subtle sarcasm.

by Gary Kilbride 2008-10-26 07:27PM | 0 recs
Any point in calling the station's advertisers?

That was one shameful, disgusting pretense of an interview.

by Sumo Vita 2008-10-26 09:10PM | 0 recs
Who are their competitors?

Maybe letters to a competitor complaining about WFTV's abuse of the airwaves, and praising their even-handedness as opposed to WFTV's blatant bias might even get some publicity.

by Sumo Vita 2008-10-26 09:54PM | 0 recs
I didn't know

   Sean Hannity had a sex change! We learn something new every day.
by southernman 2008-10-26 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Campaign Freezes Out Local Florida TV St

I can't believe a local news station let their anchor pull a right wing hit job like that. Biden handled it masterfully however, and continues to demonstrate what a class act he is.

by wjpugliese 2008-10-26 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Campaign Freezes Out Local Florida TV St

Most local stations are very right wing, so it really doesn't suprise me that much.  I just hope that this is the start of a new way of dealing with the press.  

by gavoter 2008-10-26 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Stop Making Post Titles Too Long to Re!!!!

Where's the line between the Bush "toe the line or lose access" and what was done here?

I don't for a minute equate them, but at what point does it BECOME refusing to answer tough questions?

by MNPundit 2008-10-26 09:22PM | 0 recs
Oh give me an f-ing break

These aren't tough questions, these are

"So, when did you STOP abusing drugs?"

Questions.

Tell the bitch to F off and Die, we don't need her and her dumb-ass audience, anyone that watches this hack is a brain dead moran anyway.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-26 09:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh give me an f-ing break

If you think for a minute I was talking about this situation you're crazy.

by MNPundit 2008-10-27 08:40PM | 0 recs
where's the line?

Her questions were namecalling and based on GOP talking points. There was no intent to promote understanding of the issues.

If there's no intent to illuminate a policy issue then it's reasonable to object.

Also, since the questioner is married to a GOP communications person the station was on thin ice already. If you're gonna use someone with obvious partisan affiliations you need to make sure they make an extra effort to be beyond reproach. Is there any evidence the station made an effort to appear fair, reasonable or even-handed?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-10-26 09:47PM | 0 recs
lurking over at redstate

OK, so progressive sites have been a little boring lately, cuz mainly we're just freaked that things look so good for us (i.e. DON"T GET COMPLACENT).

Anyhoo, was over at RedState last night, just cuz, well, rightwing paranoia can be rather amusing. OK, sad, but still.

They were having great fun with the interview. "Proved" that Biden was worthless, etc.

Bottom line, it is in the eye of the beholder. If you like Obama/Biden, you'll view this (justifiably) as a hit job. If you think Biden is a tool, it is one more piece of evidence of his, ummm, tooldom.

Gonna be interesting times in the months ahead. Conservatives already jumping ship from being labeled "conservative." Time for them to get a taste of the old "Liberal" medicine.

by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-10-26 10:14PM | 0 recs
Biden rocks

I thought Biden did a fantastic smackdown of the wingnuttery.

Since that stupid is out there in right wing and GOP circles, I don't think it is bad to get it out in the open.  Biden treated the questions like softballs and hit home runs.

However, you don't want to put someone less experienced up against that idiocy and you don't want to chance diluting your message.  Canceling interviews is the right strategy.

by bakho 2008-10-27 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Freezes Out Local Florida TV Station
Now I understand what the founding fathers meant in the 1st amendment.  If you don't like the conversation, block them from being able to talk.
And all this time, I thought it meant "free speech".
by lefty2 2008-10-27 06:28AM | 0 recs
Nope, you still don't understand

the first amendment.  She can spew that all she wants, and Biden and Obama have the right to call bullshit and stop listening to her.

by anonevent 2008-10-27 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Freezes Out Local Florida TV Station

Not sure where you're going with the 1st Amendment thing.  I don't think Obama/Biden are taking this channel or newscaster off the air.

They have every right not to go on a show and take abuse if they don't want to.  It isn't like there isn't media access to the campaign, rallies, or the candidates themselves.

I think your comment is a bridge to far.  Nobody is blocking anyone from being able to talk.

by nintendofanboy 2008-10-27 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Camp Freezes Out Hacks

One thing I really liked about Hillary was her approach of Mocking the quesitons then Dismissing them.  She bitch slapped the media for peddling this garbage.  Rather than giving a pedantic lesson and complex explaination a la Gore or Kerry, the best approach is not to dignify these quesitons.

Ask a serious quesiton; get a serious answer. Otherwise get the f@#k out.

Nice job by Biden and a tough repsonse by the campaign.

by nintendofanboy 2008-10-27 09:23AM | 0 recs

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