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View Diary: New York Times Distorts Obama's U of Chicago Years (76 comments)

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  •  This diary severely overemphasizes the negative, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYCee, tdub

    in my view. I liked your diary better.

    Here's one example: This diary takes offense at the line in the article that Obama was "'mining material for his political future even as he taught them'", claiming that the Times writer was suggesting that Obama was "using his students as a way to prepare for his political ambitions."  But the Times article refers to Obama's "admiration for the soaring but plainspoken speeches of Frederick Douglass" and states that Obama in particular "admired Douglass’s use of a collective voice that embraced black and white concerns, one that Mr. Obama has now adopted himself."  The article is referring to the textual materials Obama selected, not his interaction with his students.  (The article discusses Obama's selection and use of course materials quite positively, saying that for his voting rights class "Mr. Obama was so interested in the subject that he helped Richard Pildes, a professor at New York University, develop a leading casebook in the field."  It went on to say that Obama improvised his own textbook for his racism and law seminar, "including classic cases like Brown v. Board of Education, and essays by Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Dubois, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, as well as conservative thinkers like Robert H. Bork.")

    I understand that this diarist is familiar with the topic and with many of the individuals quoted or referenced in the article and I agree that the article could have emphasized the libertarian and conservative viewpoints of Epstein and others quoted in the article (though that's apparent to those of us discussing the article).  One could also take issue with some phrasing here and there.  But to claim as the diarist does that the article is an attack on Obama that seeks to confirm many of the false assumptions about Obama is way over the top, in my view.  That's a greater distortion of the article than the article is a distortion of Obama's academic career.

    •  Mining (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, the article does explain about Obama learning about these topics and using them later in his political life. But I still think "mining material for his political future" suggests something manipulative here. And that's probably the weakest example in my article; the other examples, I believe, confirm what I'm arguing. I think people are reading the positive elements of Obama (which the Times deserves credit for covering) and missing the negative spin being added by the reporter.

      Obama Politics (

      by JohnKWilson on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 07:00:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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