Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Huffington Post Obama Bitter Pennsylvanians Blogger Admits Campaign Donations to Both Candidates

Update Gallup Daily: Obama 51%, Clinton 40%Both Democratic candidates have 46% to 44% margins over McCain


Her formerly double-digit lead is now just a five-point margin in Pennsylvania, survey finds. The reduced margin makes a win for her there less significant. She trails Obama among Hoosiers.
By Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
2:00 PM PDT, April 15, 2008
WASHINGTON -- With three crucial Democratic primaries looming, Hillary Rodham Clinton may not be headed toward the blockbuster victories she needs to jump-start her presidential bid -- even in Pennsylvania, the state that was supposed to be her ace in the hole, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.


Blogging statistics show an increasing participation by individuals with a viewpoint worth sharing with the rest of the world.

Under our gaze recently - the Huffington Post blogger who made mainstream media, all the cable networks, and into the New York Times with a piece entitled: Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turn Bitter Posted April 11, 2008

In it, Mayhill Fowler recounts Barack Obama's comments about "bitter" small-town Pennsylvanians, she observed first-hand, and audio-taped.

In a later article published in the New York Times, Mayhill Fowler admits several items about how her post came to be published.

Fowler blogger unpaid?


Fowler admits she donated to the Presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, and was a grass-roots individual contributor who reached the legal contribution limit of $2,300. She also admitted she'd donated to Obama's opponent for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.

Fowler's admissions, and more, give us a few questions to consider.

First, do regular journalists donate to the campaigns of the politicians they cover?

Wouldn't that be highly irregular and frowned upon, say if Alan Greenspan's wife, journalist and network regular were found to have donated to John McCain, like her husband, or to one of his Democratic opponents, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

It wouldn't raise much of an eyebrow if for instance, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Christopher Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Alan Colmes, Dan Abrams, Joe Scarborough, Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Wolf Blitzer, Larry King, Lou Dobbs, etc. were all found to have contributed to anybody in the current crop of Presidential candidates.

skepticism of the final product, the news report, would be raised if a journalist was known to not only have contributed to a Presidential candidate's campaign, but also attended a campaign event as one of the grass-roots donors.

Then the journalist turns around and contributes to the opponent's campaign as well.

A few days after attending the inital candidate's event, the journalist is encouraged to write a report about the event which includes some potentially disturbing material about the candidate.

Wouldn't this raise even more questions? Wouldn't one wonder whether the blog hierarchy encouraged the report to be written for less than sterling motivation?

Wouldn't one wonder whether the blogger submitting the piece had fees and maybe even campaign donations reimbursed?

Here's the piece wherein Fowler admits her contributions to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Here's the original blog post Fowler submitted at the Huffington Post.

Much more needs to be explored about how the piece came to be written a few days after an initial report about the event was published. And while apparently Fowler says she is an unpaid blogger for The Huffington Post's citizen journalist enterprise, her piece raises questions about any other benefits received from any quarters.

What raises new questions today: the Fowler piece doesn't appear to have engendered even one raised eyebrow or question from Fox News Network's Bill O'Reilly on the O'Reilly Factor.

In the past, O'Reilly has made statements he doesn't trust anything that's posted on The Huffington Post. He's criticized the founder, Arianna Huffington, for what he perceives is a lack of oversight of what is published.

Not only is O'Reilly silent about those concerns with the Mayhill Fowler piece, he has not questioned the integrity of a journalist - even a citizen journalist - donating to not just the campaign of the Presidential candidate whose campaign she's coverning, but the campaign of that candidate's opponent.

We know this, if this were a top journalist say Andrea Mitchell from MSNBC and NBC, O'Reilly would run her over the hot coals of his gaze.

We have to wonder why O'Reilly missed the story behind the story.

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