THE ROVE STREET JOURNAL
Hey, Amy Chozick of The Wall Street Journal -- Karl Rove thanks you for this:
Too Fit to Be President?
Facing an Overweight Electorate, Barack Obama Might Find Low Body Fat a Drawback
... in a nation in which 66% of the voting-age population is overweight and 32% is obese, could Sen. Obama's skinniness be a liability? Despite his visits to waffle houses, ice-cream parlors and greasy-spoon diners around the country, his slim physique just might have some Americans wondering whether he is truly like them.
The candidate has been criticized by opponents for appearing elitist or out of touch with average Americans. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted in July shows Sen. Obama still lags behind Republican John McCain among white men and suburban women who say they can't relate to his background or perceived values....
Yup -- forget about Bush's mountain biking and other forms of exercise. Health is un-American now! Four legs good, two legs better!
And now we get to see what separates the rest of us from Real Professional Journalists. Chozick writes:
"I won't vote for any beanpole guy," [a] Clinton supporter wrote last week on a Yahoo politics message board.
What Chozick doesn't tell you is that this wasn't a spontaneous online expression of anti-thinness contempt -- a couple of weeks ago, Chozick herself started the thread in which that message appeared. This is called "research." (UPDATE: The thread has been deleted, but, via Sadly, No!, here's the cached version. FURTHER UPDATE: screenshots of cached versions are at the end of this post):
Is Obama too skinny to be president? 15-Jul-08 06:04 pm
Does anyone out there think Barack Obama is too thin to be president? Anyone having a hard time relating to him and his "no excess body fat"? Please let me know. Thanks.
The astute voter she quotes -- the only respondent who actually agreed with Chozick's premise -- is an upstanding citizen who calls herself onlinebeerbellygirl. Her response in full:
Yes I think He is to skinny to be President.Hillary has a potbelly and chuckybutt I'd of Voted for Her.I won't vote for any beanpole guy.
To which a thrilled Chozick responded:
Love your response and your username (onlinebeerbellygirl). Would you mind shooting me an email so I can ask you a few more quesitons? My email is [firstname.lastname@example.org]. Thanks so much!
It should be noted that Chozick ignored the other two responses:
Easy to see that for some people in the world, totally meaningless drivel is what keeps them occupied and up at night.
The good news is that these people probably do not see the real problems in the world - living in the one they are in.
Hopefully, there is something that can legally keep you from voting - or remember to vote on November 20th - you will miss the rush!
The scary thing is that you have the right to vote and both parties are probably trying to get your vote.
Beyond that, Chozick's journalistic techniques seems to include failing to credit McCain campaign memos when she's essentially quoting them verbatim. McCain campaign manager Rick Davis a couple of days ago:
"...Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand 'MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew -- Black Forest Berry Honest Tea' and worry about the price of arugula."
These days he stays away from junk food and instead snacks on MET-Rx chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and drinks Black Forest Berry Honest Tea, a healthy organic brew.
Oh, and yes, she does get in arugula and three gym visits a day. (Regarding the latter, I'll say it again: that happened once, and it was just before a trip to Iraq that required secrecy and elaborate security planning. Think he might have really been ducking crowds to talk about security or other plans for the trip?)
Oh, and of course John McCain is a guy who "cannot lift weights due to injuries he suffered as a prisoner of war in Vietnam" (though he "hikes whenever he can find the time"), and -- admirably -- "is said to have a weakness for Butterfinger candy bars, jelly beans, and coffee and doughnuts from Dunkin' Donuts."
Argh. And it's only August.
Here's the cached version, in three screenshots. Click to enlarge: