Friday, April 18, 2008

ABC Plants Its Flag

Sadly, we already used the hysterical Eddie Izzard "Flag" routine video recently, in another post.

And there was a great video up, briefly, yesterday, called "In Memoriam - George Stephanopoulos", mocking the diminutive politico/news reader and, as we described him the other day, the "former staff member of the husband of one of the participants in this so-called debate", in the same production style as on his weekly Sunday morning thingy (it was "This video has been removed by the user." which means either YouTube gave him shit, or ABC gave him shit ... Likely, both).

Which brings us to today, and, if the ABC suits thought, hey, it's Friday ... Almost the weekend ... The worst is behind us ... Well, they had a little surprise.

From Josh Marshall's "Hmmm";

Remember that woman from the debate last night who the moderators showed videotape of asking whether Barack Obama "believes in the flag"? Her name is Nash McCabe.

I remember thinking it was sort of odd to have a couple one-off uses of ordinary voter questions when it didn't really seem like it was part of the format. But I was too distracted by the general inanity of the debate to focus on this issue too closely.

Well, it turns out TPM Reader JL did give it some thought. And he came up with something very interesting (see JL's post at the DrexelDems blog). He did a little googling and found out Nash is pretty popular with the traveling press now in Pennsylvania. It turns out McCabe was featured in an April 4th story in the Times which begins like this ..."

What an incredible coincidence!

What an incredible stroke of unbelievable good luck?

Shoot, Norville Barnes, a recipient of a boatload of dumb, good luck as any, pales in comparison into the pot-o-gold ABC stumbled upon.

This woman, Nash McCabe, just happened to be out there ... Just happened to live in Latrobe, PA ... And an ABC producer, wandering around the vast state, looking for the one voice, the one golden voice, who could epitomize the burning issue, that buzzed about item at every dinner table, the linch pin to this years' election ...

Who could ask Barack Obama about the Lapel Flag Pin?

Where was this All-American John or Jane Doe?

Who could ask;
Senator Obama, I have a question, and I want to know if you believe in the American flag. I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen, policemen and EMS wear the flag. I want to know why you don't.
The always insightful and entertaining Attytood had puzzlement, as well;

As I watched her question, what I wondered -- and I imagine many other viewers wondered as well -- was where on earth did ABC find this representative of my home state. As a journalist, I kind of assumed that ABC sent a film crew to western Pa., and then culled the most provocative questions from the people that they found. Silly me. In fact, ABC News found Nash McCabe the old-fashioned way -- they read about her, and her thing with the American flag, in the New York Times earlier this month:
LATROBE, Pa. — Ask whom she might vote for in the coming presidential primary election and Nash McCabe, 52, seems almost relieved to be able to unpack the dossier she has been collecting in her head.

It is not about whom she likes, but more a bill of particulars about why she cannot vote for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

“How can I vote for a president who won’t wear a flag pin?” Mrs. McCabe, a recently unemployed clerk typist, said in a booth at the Valley Dairy luncheonette in this quiet, small city in western Pennsylvania.

Greg Sargent, of TPM Election Central interviewed Stephanopoulos the other day;
In an interview with me moments ago, Stephanopoulos strongly defended his handling of the debate. He dismissed criticism that it had focused too heavily on "gotcha" questions, arguing that they had gone to the heart of the "electability" that, he said, is forefront in the minds of voters evaluating the two Dems.

Forefront in the minds of voters ...

The NYT interview with Nash McCabe was published back on January 4th ... Meaning it was taken a day, or more before that ...

That's over three-months ago!

From Attytood again;
So Nash McCabe wasn't located at random at all. Instead, someone at ABC News decided that they wanted to go after Obama on the patriotism issue, and they actively sought a Pennsylvanian who they knew wanted to bring it up. I assume they thought it would sound better if "a typical voter" asked the question instead of Charlie Gibson. "You see, we're only raising the issue the voters really care about," they can claim.

I have to wonder, if off-air (we already know what he did on-air), Sean Hannity coached Stephanopoulos to beat down Obama on the Lapel Flag Pin as well ...

It's 11PM, Do You Know Where Your Lapel Flag Pin Is? Links

D-Mac: Sen. Obama, Are You The Devil?

Steve Benen: About that flag-pin question…

Digby: Tiddly Winks

dday: We're marching on ABC/Disney in Burbank today - armed with flag pins!

The Nation: Journalists Slam ABC Debate Tactics; In an open letter to ABC, journalists and media analysts condemn the network's poor handling of the April 16 Democratic presidential debate

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