The networks were much more interested in casting Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama as a truly earth-shattering event, a real "game changer," even if they would never acknowledge the race is tight enough to require changing. They all cited CBS's glue-sniffing poll showing a 14-point Obama lead. These obedient publicists would not cast Powell as a calculating Beltway power player viciously backstabbing his career-makers -- Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. It was no betrayal, unlike the way they pounded "Zig Zag Zell" Miller for endorsing Bush four years ago. Tom Brokaw, the host of Powell's liberal coming-out party, boasted after the show he was a world-renowned figure with a "gold-plated military and national security resume."
Minutes after Powell's allegedly dramatic announcement of something he's discussed with Obama for months, NBC's Andrea Mitchell said it was "very powerful," and Newsweek editor Jon Meacham oozed that it was a "seal of approval from the most important military figure of the age." MSNBC created a special Sunday cheerleading edition of "Hardball," so that Chris Matthews could tingle in his Sunday best. "Obama gets the endorsement of the year!" ABC and NBC both led their Sunday night newscasts with it. ABC's Dan Harris called it a "major endorsement by a major Republican."
Baloney. Powell sounded like a former Republican angrily walking out the door: McCain was an unready mess on the economy, his Supreme Court nominations would be horrendous, and the Palin pick was just plain embarrassing.
The Monday morning network shows were absolutely aglow. On ABC's "Good Morning America," Diane Sawyer sounded like a Sixties teenager at a Beatles concert: "This morning, Sen. Obama's banner weekend: Record-breaking crowds, cash and the endorsement heard around the world." She called the endorsement a "booster rocket." The screen graphic screamed: "Obama's Best Weekend Ever? Powell and Donors Boost Obama."
No one in Network Land cared that Obama's enormous wad of September cash would have been scoured as "obscene" if Bush had raised it in 2000 or 2004. Their only principle is bullying the voters into putting Obama and his gaffe-prone running mate in power.
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