Exclusive: Obama Campaign 'Punishes' Television Station for Hard-Hitting Interview

by PAM MEISTER October 27, 2008
A particularly pointed interview of Joe Biden by Barbara West of Orlando’s WFTV-Channel 9 last Thursday resulted in the Obama campaign canceling an interview of Biden’s wife Jill. Why? The reason given by the campaign was “an unprofessional interview [of Joe Biden]…both combative and woefully uninformed about simple facts.”
 
West touched upon a number of topics that have been deemed verboten by the rest of the mainstream media, including whether Obama’s talk of “spreading the wealth” to Joe the Plumber was a “crushing political blunder.” Her follow up question to that was, “How is Sen. Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?” Biden’s initial response was to ask if the question was a joke.
 
Er, no, Joe, it wasn’t a joke. Americans really want to know.
 
The final question of the interview was, “Are you forewarning Americans that nothing will be done and that America’s days as the world’s leading power are over?” Biden’s answer was as glossy and glib as all of the other answers he provided for West, but he probably didn’t know what hit him. After all, when you’re not directly challenged for the gaffe that FDR calmed Americans on television in 1929 after the stock market crash, or for claiming that Obama never said he would sit down with Iran’s Ahmadinejad without preconditions, the tough questions from West must have been somewhat of a shock.
 
What also jumped out at me when watching the interview were Biden’s eyes. (No, not the tightness around them that has prompted some to question if he’s had Botox injections.) While it’s not something one can prove without a doubt, his excessive blinking is an indication, based on research by body language experts, that he could either be being deceptive or nervous.
 
Now why would tough questions worry an old hand at campaigning like Joe Biden?
 
It’s a shame that much of the media has thus far avoided asking questions like this of Biden and Barack Obama himself. The American people deserve to know everything about the candidates who may one day soon occupy the most powerful office in the land and even the world.
 
Yet note: Sarah Palin has been accused of giving interviews mainly to friendly media outlets (not true; she sat down with the evening anchors of all three alphabet networks and has been generally more accessible to the press of late than her rivals). Meanwhile, the Obama campaign, in response to an interview that makes their vice presidential candidate work, “punishes” the television station responsible by canceling other interview opportunities. It’s reminiscent of childhood: “You’re mean, so I’m not going to talk to you anymore.”
 
Is this how the Obama campaign will continue to react when unexpectedly faced with questions that probe deeper than ones like, “How does it feel to win?” or “What issues is your campaign about?” If elected, how will Obama react to even more intense press scrutiny, or to delicate yet potentially heated negotiations with other heads of state? Shut off discourse entirely? Relegate those who bucked the softball question trend by sending them to an editorial Siberia?
 
It’s been pointed out that unwelcome questions or observations were considered to be racist in nature. Now the Obama campaign is taking it one step further by cutting off interviews to retaliate against those naughty enough to upset The One.
 
What this portends in an Obama administration is anyone’s guess.
 
The interview can be seen below. Judge for yourself whether West was unprofessional or combative:
 

 
Pam Meister is the editor of FamilySecurityMatters.org.

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