Floor Fight Cover Up: How Politico Buried and Disappeared a Scoop Damaging to Obama

Floor Fight Cover Up: How Politico Buried and Disappeared a Scoop Damaging to Obama

If you had the biggest scoop of the night that would break open the biggest story of the night, would you bury it under this generic headline:

Division over platform at DNC

Well, Politico did. Because when you’re Politico, protecting Obama is infinitely more important than breaking a potentially explosive and legitimate news story.

Before we get to the meat, let’s set the scene:

Yesterday, on the floor of the DNC convention, a fiasco occurred when the attempt was made to reinsert language into the party platform about God and Jerusalem. The stripping of this language had already caused President Obama’s reelection team any number of headaches, but things got improbably worse when convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, called for what he probably assumed would be a rote floor vote only to have it blow up in his face.

Democrats are used to their supporters being mindless lemmings, so when at least half of the floor shouted “nay” to reinserting the 2008 language surrounding God and Israel, Villaraigosa (who needed a two-thirds “aye” to pass the resolution) looked legitimately stunned. Things quickly went downhill from there. Two more floor votes only increased the intensity of the “nays,” and Villaraigosa was forced to pretend he had the votes necessary to pass the amendment.

The defiant boos of those who just had their votes disenfranchised by their own party still echo in the hall.

What came next, predictably, was the Democrats’ spin.

Almost immediately after the debacle, we were assured by Team Obama and their worshippers in the media like NBC’s Chuck Todd, that after learning of the changes in the platform language (only after the platform was passed and the changes made news) that President Obama was upset to learn of the changes and immediately demanded the language be put back in. Both the Obama campaign and its Media Palace Guards spun this information in a way intentionally designed to make the president look decisive and like a leader.

This is exactly where things were when Politico learned…

None of it was true.

Whoa, hey, wait a minute! You mean, the Obama campaign lied to us and the media about this?

According to a Politico source, yes.

Now you have to imagine that you’re a real honest-to-goodness reporter in the middle of the biggest story of the convention and holding in your hot little hands the news that the furious spin spinning all around you is probably false.

What do you do?

Well, if you’re Politico and reelecting Barack Obama is more important to you than breaking news…

You bury it under a generic headline:

Division over platform at DNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two platform planks sparked division at the Democratic National Convention here Wednesday.

Things got so bad that President Barack Obama was forced to personally intervene, ordering language mentioning God and naming Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel be added.

Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, a campaign source said, but did not seek to change it until after Republicans jumped on the omissions of God and Jerusalem late Wednesday. And even then, it had to be forced through a convention hall full of delegates who nearly shouted down the change.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention’s chairman, kicked off Wednesday’s proceedings by trying to clean up a mess Democrats made by omitting from their official party platform mentions of God and of Jerusalem as the preferred capital of Israel.

Did you catch it?

Did you catch the story there?

Just in case, let me extrapolate: [emphasis added throughout]

Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, a campaign source said, but did not seek to change it until after Republicans jumped on the omissions of God and Jerusalem late Wednesday. And even then, it had to be forced through a convention hall full of delegates who nearly shouted down the change.

Yes, you read that correctly. Politico was told by a source that all the spin coming from the White House and the Obama campaign wasn’t true — that, in fact, Obama had seen the new language long before the media uproar and did not seek to change it. 

Not only is this news a big deal and the kind of story that should launch a thousand more inquiries, but it makes sense. Just from a logical point of view, it makes total sense that Obama would thoroughly read his own party’s platform after it was passed or at the very least be given a memo that highlighted any changes.

The spin that he had only learned of the language changes after the story about God and Jerusalem blew up never made sense to begin with.

Let’s recap:

Democrats remove the only reference to “God.”

Democrats remove language declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

These removals cause an embarrassing media storm.

To fix the problem, an even more embarrassing episode occurs when Democrats are unable to muster the two-thirds vote necessary from their delegates to reinsert the language.

Damage control immediately is put into place painting President Obama as the hero who, upon hearing of the changes, immediately demands the language be put back in.

Politico has a source that says this isn’t true; a source reliable enough to include in the story — but they BURY the biggest scoop of the night as though they find it embarrassing.  

Naturally, had Politico done what Politico always does when it has a Republican in its sights — EXPLODE this new information into the narrative to paint the target as a liar and then force them into burning a full day trying to explain themselves — the media afterglow Obama’s enjoying today wouldn’t exist.

And now you know why Politico buried its own scoop.

But there’s more…

This morning, like something out of Orwell’s “1984,” the scoop was… Disappeared.

This morning, without any notation or update I can spot, Politico… Disappeared its own scoop.

This morning, what once read…

Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, a campaign source said, but did not seek to change it until after Republicans jumped on the omissions of God and Jerusalem late Wednesday. And even then, it had to be forced through a convention hall full of delegates who nearly shouted down the change.

Now reads….

While the campaign at first said Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, it later said he did not learn of the issue until Wednesday morning, when he became aware of seeing news coverage of the issue. Once that happened, the president directed his staff to change the language to include a reference to God and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital because, the campaign source said, the amended version is “consistent with the president’s own positions.”

*as though it never happened*

Breitbart News reached out via email to Politico’s Reid Epstein, the primary author of the piece in question, for comment. As of now, he has not responded.

 

Follow  John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC

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