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Monday, March 03, 2008

Andy Martin says, “Three cheers for Carol Marin”

Media critic Andy Martin on Chicago’s news media and Barack Obama. Andy Martin has known Carol Marin for thirty years. But he never thought of her as an “agitator,” until Dana Milbank of the Washington Post called her one. Andy’s ready to make sandwiches and bring a thermos as long as Carol keeps storming Obama’s barricades.

Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”






(CHICAGO)(March 4, 2008) I first met Carol Marin thirty years ago. Where did the years go? She was new to Chicago television and at the start of her long stint at Channel 5. I vividly remember answering a call from her while driving on the New Jersey Turnpike some twenty years ago, in a snowstorm. Time flies. And snow melts.

But I have never thought of Carol as an “agitator.” Until today, that is.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank refers to Marin as an “agitator” at an Obama news conference in Texas, a “visitor to the Obama entourage who accused the regulars of being too quiet.”

Carol, honey, you stole my lines. Where have you been for the last four years?

The tabby cats in Chicago that masquerade as “reporters” have allowed Obama to inflate himself into a giant blimp that has begun to shadow the future prospects of the Democratic Party.

Obama has portrayed himself as America’s new royalty, set to claim the throne in Washington and to bring “peace” to the world by disarming and destroying the only peace-making force on the planet, the U. S. Government. Imperfect it may be; I know all of its many imperfections; but the U. S. and the American people are still the last, best hope for peace on earth.

Unlike Russia, we have real elections, and we throw our tyrants out of power, not merely shuffle the names on doors. Whether one loves George Bush, or hates him, he will be out of office next January, not serving as America’s “prime minister.” A new president will take over and almost all of the Bushies will be history. Are you listening, Mr. Putin?

So welcome to the campaign. Carol. How’s agitatin’? [I am afraid to say “Whassup?” for obvious reasons; I might be compared, unfavorably, to Bill Clinton. That’s a column for another day.]

Milbank says reporters have begun to ask tough questions of Obama. What took them so long? I have news for them. Obama will be put on “lockdown” status. Yesterday (Monday) was probably the last time they will see an open Obama news conference until after the Democratic convention.

Listening to Obama speak when he is not reading from a teleprompter is an aggravating experience. Unlike the casual fluidity of his speech-reading, when Obama speaks without a script he is completely hesitant, hedged and unable to mumble more than a few words without more hedging and edging. He was that way Monday.

Back home, is a new day dawning in Chicago? Is some of the legendary rough-and-tumble of Chicago’s journalism returning? Don’t count on it. The Chicago Tribune has not yet committed any of Emperor Zell’s co-owners and storm troopers to the Obama expose squad. And while Mike Flannery from Channel 2 managed to show up in Texas (an “agitator” for sure), the other TV stations were absent. No, I will remain hesitant until I see more evidence than just Carol Marin storming Obama’s barricades.

Chicago media cover Obama as though he were the pope, and in return he exudes an air of infallibility and nonchalance. No more.

Way back in 2006 I reported that the links between Obama and Rezko were much deeper than known to the public. It took the “working press” fourteen (count’em) months to catch up with me, a mere Internet columnist, albeit one with the worldwide audience most Chicago writers lack.

On the other hand, if Carol keeps agitating, the Obama beat might just become fun. If Carol will keep agitatin’ I’ll make the sandwiches and bring a thermos.

Just to be sure we understand ourselves, the issue is not whether Obama is a Muslim today (he is not) but why he has made such convoluted statements for years about the religious heritage of his family tree. And why he continues to confuse the media about who his real relatives are.

“Granny” Sarah Obama is not his real grandmother. But she is sure a great prop. No wonder Barry Obama refuses to give Sara some cash to connect lights and running water. And, as Nick Kristof learned recently, Obama's "Granny Sarah” may lack electricity and plumbing, but she now knows how to demand cash for an interview. Ah, those Kenyans. They demand money even from Nick Kristof of the New York Times, a save-the-plant man if ever there was one.

The whole Obama family now has their palms out. Or, as the late Mike Royko would have said about Granny Sara, she may not speak English, but she was a fast learner with her Latin: “Ubi est mea?”

Here’s a more local assignment, Carol. Ask yourself why the hospital where Michelle works, located in a poor neighborhood, pays Michelle a third of a million dollars for “outreach” when that money could be spent either lowering fees for the “uninsured” or expanding treatment to the under-insured? Instead, they give Michelle Obama a third of a million dollars for a make-work job. In New York, they used to call such exploiters “poverticians,” because they got rich serving the poor. Once again, the Obama family has had its hands out for years. Only Michelle is also likely now to go on lockdown status with the media as well. Maybe they will lock Barack in a cell next to Rezko until after the Democratic convention, to keep pesky reporters away.

The issue is not whether Rezko did a lot of favors for Obama, many still to be disclosed; he did. Rezko got Barack his first job at a law firm. But when the “going got tough” for Tony, Obama got going. So much for Obama’s sense of loyalty. Obama learned more than he admits on the streets of Chicago; he’s a taker, not a giver. The Daley family would understand.

Obama talks tough on the campaign trail, to the uneducated “regional” journalists or to college students in a state of rapture that would embarrass even Mike Huckabee’s devotees. But back home in Chicago, he still sleeps in Emil Jones’ bed.

And, if Obama had not been lying to the pliant Chicago media about his links to Rezko for more than a year, the issue would not have triggered an ambush on March 3, 2008. Obama may claim he has “judgment,” but Hillary is right: other than a speech six (6!) years ago, what “judgment” has he shown?

If Carol Marin keeps up her tactics I may just have to serenade her with an old Sinatra song, recalling Chicago thirty years ago when we first met. It was a very good year.


Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008. Martin covers regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He has been a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639.


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