Obama trip press frenzy backfires

Ray Robison
Many observers considered the press frenzy over the Senator Obama trip as one more data point of evidence about media bias in favor of Obama. The shear number of references to the"historic" or "unprecedented" trip have been sickening considering that the "unprecedented" trip to Iraq was proceeded by multiple trips over the last several years by Senator McCain.

However, despite the media attempt to keep the presidential race coverage one-sided, an odd thing happened on Barak's trip to Baghdad. A lot of Americans realized we are winning the war on terror.

Many have made note that as the surge succeeded and the bad news blissfully began to ebb, media coverage of Iraq thinned to a trickle. We knew it, but we couldn't measure the effects of the media callousness towards our military until now. It now appears indisputable that for many Americans who don't follow the news regularly there was a serious gap in what they believed was happening in Iraq and the reality of it.

Coinciding with the "Obama goes to Iraq" coverage comes a poll update by Rasmussen and released on July 23rd. And it shows that a very interesting thing happened last Monday. The number of respondent in this reoccurring poll who answered that we are winning against terrorists jumped to levels not seen in four years, to 51% - now a majority. Conversely, the number who considered al Qaeda and their ilk the victors dropped to a threadbare 16% of respondents, a new low by a wide margin. And it just so happened that this poll was conducted the same day that Obama and his media entourage hit Baghdad.

Although it is not definitive, it is a strong indication that all the media hype and attention on this trip refocused the media lens on Iraq and that Americans saw a new picture there. Ironically for Obama that new picture helps McCain by decreasing the common feeling of urgency which created the mood for immediate withdrawal at any price that Obama rode to the nomination.

For many who were afraid to read news about Iraq in 2008 (if they could find it) after the desperation felt in 2007, this new coverage opened their eyes. And these newly opened eyes just might be attached to ears that heard McCain claiming success and Obama dismissing our efforts in Iraq. The media attention has shown to an entirely new - admittedly previously disengaged - audience that McCain made the right call.

Some portray the success of the surge in McCain's case in political terms of winning the battle but losing the war. They claim he will be a victim of his own success. They claim that his surge strategy and success in Iraq reduced the threat to our nation which negates his advantage on security issues. They might have a point.

But a counter balance to that is that many Americans genuinely did not know that we have essentially won in Iraq until now. They thought that Obama was delivering the straight truth to them on Iraq. But now they know he was being less than candid. The Independents and conservative Democrats now might see that he was not telling them the truth.

A picture says a thousand words and those pictures of Obama in Iraq with no body armor are telling a different story than what he has been selling to the American people. And it was a fawning media brazenly trying to tip the scales in his favor that made it happen.  
Many observers considered the press frenzy over the Senator Obama trip as one more data point of evidence about media bias in favor of Obama. The shear number of references to the"historic" or "unprecedented" trip have been sickening considering that the "unprecedented" trip to Iraq was proceeded by multiple trips over the last several years by Senator McCain.

However, despite the media attempt to keep the presidential race coverage one-sided, an odd thing happened on Barak's trip to Baghdad. A lot of Americans realized we are winning the war on terror.

Many have made note that as the surge succeeded and the bad news blissfully began to ebb, media coverage of Iraq thinned to a trickle. We knew it, but we couldn't measure the effects of the media callousness towards our military until now. It now appears indisputable that for many Americans who don't follow the news regularly there was a serious gap in what they believed was happening in Iraq and the reality of it.

Coinciding with the "Obama goes to Iraq" coverage comes a poll update by Rasmussen and released on July 23rd. And it shows that a very interesting thing happened last Monday. The number of respondent in this reoccurring poll who answered that we are winning against terrorists jumped to levels not seen in four years, to 51% - now a majority. Conversely, the number who considered al Qaeda and their ilk the victors dropped to a threadbare 16% of respondents, a new low by a wide margin. And it just so happened that this poll was conducted the same day that Obama and his media entourage hit Baghdad.

Although it is not definitive, it is a strong indication that all the media hype and attention on this trip refocused the media lens on Iraq and that Americans saw a new picture there. Ironically for Obama that new picture helps McCain by decreasing the common feeling of urgency which created the mood for immediate withdrawal at any price that Obama rode to the nomination.

For many who were afraid to read news about Iraq in 2008 (if they could find it) after the desperation felt in 2007, this new coverage opened their eyes. And these newly opened eyes just might be attached to ears that heard McCain claiming success and Obama dismissing our efforts in Iraq. The media attention has shown to an entirely new - admittedly previously disengaged - audience that McCain made the right call.

Some portray the success of the surge in McCain's case in political terms of winning the battle but losing the war. They claim he will be a victim of his own success. They claim that his surge strategy and success in Iraq reduced the threat to our nation which negates his advantage on security issues. They might have a point.

But a counter balance to that is that many Americans genuinely did not know that we have essentially won in Iraq until now. They thought that Obama was delivering the straight truth to them on Iraq. But now they know he was being less than candid. The Independents and conservative Democrats now might see that he was not telling them the truth.

A picture says a thousand words and those pictures of Obama in Iraq with no body armor are telling a different story than what he has been selling to the American people. And it was a fawning media brazenly trying to tip the scales in his favor that made it happen.