Wonder what others make of today's front-pager in the Times (complete with vintage Obama in Afro photo) which is a little reminiscent of that infamous Washington Post front-pager which focused so prominently on the 'Muslim rumors' -- with editors later explaining that actually they were trying to merely clear them up. "Friends Say Drugs Played Only Bit Part for Obama," the headline reads today.
The new Times story is at least based on fact -- Obama has admitted he dabbled in marijuana and cocaine as a young man -- but the slant of the story is that his old friends believe that he was the most casual of users, so no big deal. Then why put it on the front page, on the morning of important primaries and caucuses no less? The reporter, Serge Kovaleski, early on even muses that something seems to be off -- either Obama's friends' memories are fuzzy or Obama "added some writerly touches in his memoir to make the challenges he overcame seem more dramatic."
Much of the story, in fact, looks at other aspects of his teen and college years in Hawaii and at Occidental, such as what a great dorm room debater he was and how he became involved in activist concerns. The closing quotes a college friend: “I would never say that he was a druggie, and there were plenty there. He was too cool for all that.” Then why put it on front page with the drug headlines? If you have a view, let's hear it.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
'NYT' clears Obama of massive drug use -- puts it on the front page
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch