Monday, August 18, 2008

All the Networks Should Take the Rick Davis Challenge!

Apparently Rick Davis, Campaign Manager for John McCain, is hot after NBC News President Steve Capus over Andrea Mitchell’s comments pointing out that McCain wasn’t really in a “Cone of Silence” as Pastor Rick Warren interviewed Barack Obama, leading some to wonder if McCain cheated by knowing the questions in advance.

Here are Mitchell’s comments:
The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that — what they're putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.... He seemed so well-prepared.
And here's what I consider to be the money quote from Davis’ angry letter to Capus (who incidentally is the same guy who suspended David Shuster after a similar letter from Hillary Clinton)
Make no mistake: This is a serious charge. Andrea Mitchell is repeating, uncritically, a completely unsubstantiated Obama campaign claim that John McCain somehow cheated in last night's forum at Saddleback Church. Instead of trying to substantiate this blatant falsehood in any way, Andrea Mitchell felt that she needed to repeat it on air to millions of "Meet the Press" viewers with no indication that . . . there's not one shred of evidence that it's true (my emphasis)
I think the perfect response to Davis’ whining would be for all the networks to take a pledge that they will not repeat either campaign’s claims - without critically evaluating the evidence to determine if the claims can be substantiated, or whether they are blatant falsehoods with not one shred of evidence.

And then, they should report what they find!

By the way, Davis claims McCain was “in his motorcade on the way to the church” while Obama was being interviewed by Warren, but that he didn’t cheat. If he was traveling in his campaign bus, and the networks were to critically evaluate the evidence, this is what they would find:

I’d guess that TV on the bus gets CNN, wouldn’t you?

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