In defense of the locals
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008
* We’ve been hearing for weeks from the national punditry that Barack Obama hasn’t been fully vetted by the media. I think that’s mostly wrong, and I angrily told that to a national reporter who called me last week.
Will something else come out about Obama? Could be. One never knows what might get mentioned at Tony Rezko’s trial, for instance.
But the Tribune explains today what they dug through to get at any connections between the law firm Obama worked for and Rezko…
The scouring turned out mostly to be a dud. Still, it was a heckuva lot of work.
* That doesn’t include all the other stuff the Tribune has done, like this…
* The Trib has also filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests on Obama, sources say, and they combed through Obama’s list of nearly 100 interns to find one connected to Rezko. And, of course, it was the Tribune which figured out that Rezko had bought the lot next door to Obama’s house.
* The Sun-Times has been doing a lot of work, too, like this piece which tracked down a bunch of people who attended a long-ago Obama fundraiser hosted by Rezko.
* The CS-T also dug into something I wouldn’t even dream of doing…
That’s pretty deep, if you ask me.
They also found a photo of Obama and Rezko today that I don’t ever remember seeing.
* And then there’s all the leftover Blair Hull opposition research that’s found its way into the Clinton campaign via her assistant campaign manager Mike Henry, who ran Hull’s disastrous 2004 primary against Obama. One of Hull’s sharpest criticisms of Obama was his “Present” votes in the state Senate, so it’s no surprise that Clinton is now using it, too. Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet made the connection…
Sweet has been following Obama around for months, tracking his every move. Nobody has more intense coverage of Obama’s campaign than Sweet.
* Again, something more may be found. The Tribune and the Sun-Times might possibly still be working on stories. There may be a “silver bullet” in Hull’s old OR that hasn’t been used yet (I doubt it, however).
But for the national types to claim that Obama’s past is mostly unknown is just a total crock. All they have to do is comb through the Tribune and CS-T’s archives, or try the Google. A lot of very hard work has already been done, and is still being done today. Too many reporters based in DC, or NY, or LA think that all there is to know is in their own publications. Not so.
I often criticize the media, but in this instance I’d like to take my hat off to the locals who have really done a bang-up job on this Obama thing.