Next Week: The Overseas Obama Extravaganza

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Get read for all Obama, all the time.

The three network anchors will travel to Europe and the Middle East next week for Barack Obama’s trip, adding their high-wattage spotlight to what is already shaping up as a major media extravaganza.

Lured by an offer of interviews with the Democratic presidential candidate, Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric will make the overseas trek, meaning that the NBC, ABC and CBS evening newscasts will originate from stops along the route and undoubtedly give it big play.

John McCain has taken three foreign trips in the past four months, all unaccompanied by a single network anchor… Some 200 journalists have asked to accompany Obama on the costly trip, which will include stops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the campaign will be able to accommodate only one-fifth that number.

There are rumblings among the punditry (see MSNBC’s First Read, for example) that Obama is risking the appearance of arrogance: the tour through Europe feels like a victory tour and the visits with Iraqi and Afghani leaders in front of thousands of cameras seem to ignore the fact that Obama doesn’t have much of a record here — he has only been to Iraq once before, and he has never visited Afghanistan. The right is already using this line against him. Charles Krauthammer today: “The Audacity of Vanity.”

I’m of the mind that if Obama can appear cool, comfortable, and presidential in a foreign environment, it will underscore his capability at a moment where there are doubts about McCain’s. While no one is going to believe that Obama has impeccable foreign policy credentials because he makes one overseas trip, it may emphasize his competence.

As for the McCain campaign, it knows it’s in a tough spot next week. NBC News is reporting that McCain’s advisers acknowledge they may have to “fight for scraps that fall off the table” when it comes to media coverage. Considering how things have been going lately, keeping McCzechoslovakia out of the spotlight might be a good thing.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate