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In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 5, 2008 / 8 Kislev 5769

Just answer the Hil question, Mr. President-elect

By Diana West

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article | Interesting thing happened this week. Somebody in the mainstream media (MSM) actually asked President-elect Barack Obama a good question. It concerned how Obama could square his campaign attacks on Hillary Clinton's foreign policy with his selecting her as secretary of state. Let's just say Obama didn't much like this new experience.

But besides making history as a bout of insubordination against the praetorian guardlike duties of the Obamedia, the question was also newsworthy enough to kick off a column by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. Milbank set it up this way:

"Peter Baker of the New York Times pointed out to Obama that he once held a different view of his nominee to be secretary of state. 'You belittled her travels around the world, equating it to having teas with foreign leaders,' Baker recalled. 'And your new White House counsel said that her resume was grossly exaggerated when it came to foreign policy. I'm wondering whether you can talk about the evolution of your views of your credentials since the spring.'"

Baker would ultimately buff the edges of the resulting give-and-take with Obama in his article — this was, after all, the New Obama Times — but Milbank, thankfully, retained the verbatim sharpness:

"'Well, I mean, I think —' Obama began. 'This is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign.'

"'They're your quotes, sir,' Baker pointed out.

"'No, I understand. And you're having fun,' Obama continued. 'And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not faulting that.'"

Milbank placed this exchange in the context of the return on the Clintonistas, who, at last count, will hold nine key positions in the Obama White House. "Obama," Milbank wrote, "who campaigned against the Clinton way of doing things is now engaged in the veritable restoration of the Clinton administration."

But something deeper and more serious than personnel decisions is on display here. What is revealed is Obama's tactical denigration of a basic, legitimate and even screamingly obvious question as so much "fun" that he, the serious new president, may disregard and deride as frivolous.

The roll-the-tape, clip-file fact is, however, candidate Obama belittled candidate Clinton's foreign policy judgment and experience throughout the primary season. Any reporter with the minimal moxie to ask the president-elect why he would now decide to make Clinton the face of American foreign policy is simply (barely) doing his job.

But even this journalistic ABC is debatable in today's Obamedia. Time magazine's Joe Klein, while traveling abroad ("I'm in Europe on my way to Afghanistan"), was moved to blog against the "inanity" of the Obama-Hillary press conference questions, particularly the Baker question. Klein asked:

"What sort of journalist expects the president-elect to tell the 'inside story' of how he selected Hillary Clinton? (Those sorts of stories," he continued, "if told at all, are wrenched from aides on background — and reported only after consulting multiple sources.) And what's the point of raising the nasty things Obama and Clinton said about each other during the primaries? Did the reporter expect Obama to say, 'Well, I still believe her resume is overblown, that's why I appointed her ... oh, and by the way, she still thinks it's dumb to talk to the Iranians without preconditions.'"

This is nothing less than breathtaking. Because, as Klein has effectively admitted, there is no plausible, logical or even grace-saving answer to the why-Hillary question, Klein sees no reason at all to ask it. This hyper-protective rationale opens a window onto a mindset that has long baffled me: Reporters like Klein simply don't want to put politicians like Obama (or, for that matter, Clinton) on the spot. Their litmus test appears to be: If it doesn't promise a good Obama answer, it's not a good Obama question. Indeed, according to Klein, there were much "better" questions reporters could have asked at that same Obama-Hillary press conference, a few of which he thoughtfully provided, including:

  • "Are you still going to call it the Global War on Terror?

  • "What are you going to do about Robert Gates's staff of Bush administration holdovers?"

  • "Could you give us a better sense of what the vice president's role will be in your Administration?"

Is he kidding?

Let's just say these aren't exactly queries born of zapping neurons, let alone a detectable pulse.

Elsewhere in the MSM, CNN's Campbell Brown of "No Bias, No Bull" reacted to the Obama-Baker exchange with far more lively sarcasm and fervor.

"I mean, really," Brown said, "how silly of that reporter to dare ask you, Mr. President-Elect, how it is that you completely mocked Hillary Clinton's foreign policy experience just a few months ago, and yet today, you think there is no one more qualified than she to lead your foreign policy team." Brown went on to nail Obama's "fun" response as "an attempt to delegitimize" the question.

"But it is a legitimate question," she continued, adding: "Annoying questions are about more than just the press 'having fun.' Annoying questions are about the press doing its job and the people's right to know."

Could this mark the decline of Obamedia-mania? Don't hold your breath. Paradoxically, though, even as the conservative punditry glows with a strange rapture over President-elect Obama's emerging Cabinet, there is at least a limited revolt in progress among the MSM.

Of course, we still don't have an answer to that one good question.

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© 2008, Diana West