Howard Kurtz notes that Big Media is failing to hold Obama’s feet to the fire for his flip-flop on firearms.
Barack Obama is under hostile fire for changing his position on the D.C. gun ban.
Oh, I’m sorry. He didn’t change his position, apparently. He reworded a clumsy statement.
That clumsy statement, which his campaign is now running away from, was pretty categorical: “Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.” Yet, Kurtz says, the newspapers aren’t calling him to task:
But even though the earlier Obama quote and the “inartful” comment have been bouncing around the Net for 24 hours, I’m not seeing any reference to them in the morning papers. Most do what the New York Times did: “Mr. Obama, who like Mr. McCain has been on record as supporting the individual-rights view, said the ruling would ‘provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.’ “
Add the L.A. Times to the list. In David Savage’s piece on the Heller decision, he allowed Obama to pretend he has always supported the decision, which found unconstitutional the very ban Obama’s campaign had declared constitutional:
On the presidential campaign trail, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama were supportive of the court’s ruling.
. . . .
For his part, Obama drew a somewhat different lesson from the court’s decision. He said it endorsed both gun rights and reasonable regulation.
“I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures,” he said.
“I know what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun-show loophole and improving our background-check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals.”
Wouldn’t it have been helpful to tell readers that Obama’s campaign said the D.C. law was constitutional?
Yes, that would have been helpful . . . to the truth.
But not to Obama.
And increasingly, that appears to be the editors’ calculus for deciding what appears in the paper.
UPDATE: In a story today about the Obama move to the center, the editors once again allow Obama to act as though he has always been in favor of the result in Heller:
Obama’s reaction to another Supreme Court ruling, which struck down a gun ban in Washington, D.C., stood in contrast to that of many local political leaders and was more tempered than that of many liberals. Whereas his hometown mayor, Richard M. Daley of Chicago, and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton sharply criticized the court decision, Obama was more welcoming. He said the ruling “reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.”
The best they do to undercut this notion is to say that “McCain’s campaign said Obama was unable to give a clear account of whether he viewed the Washington gun ban as constitutional” and claim that Obama has given “mixed signals” on the issue. How about saying that his campaign flatly declared the ban constitutional? There’s nothing “mixed” about that signal . . .
UPDATE x2: Is this a mixed signal, or a flip-flop?
Thanks to daytrader.