Which brings us to today, and, if the ABC suits thought, hey, it’s Friday … Almost the weekend … The worst is behind us … Well, they had a little surprise.
Remember that woman from the debate last night who the moderators showed videotape of asking whether Barack Obama “believes in the flag”? Her name is Nash McCabe.
I remember thinking it was sort of odd to have a couple one-off uses of ordinary voter questions when it didn’t really seem like it was part of the format. But I was too distracted by the general inanity of the debate to focus on this issue too closely.
Well, it turns out TPM Reader JL did give it some thought. And he came up with something very interesting (see JL’s post at the DrexelDems blog). He did a little googling and found out Nash is pretty popular with the traveling press now in Pennsylvania. It turns out McCabe was featured in an April 4th story in the Times which begins like this …”
What an incredible coincidence!
What an incredible stroke of unbelievable good luck?
Shoot, Norville Barnes, a recipent of a boatload of dumb, good luck as any, pales in comparison into the pot-o-gold ABC stumbled upon.
This woman, Nash McCabe, just happened to be out there … Just happened to live in Latrobe, PA … And an ABC producer, wandering around the vast state, looking for the one voice, the one golden voice, who could epitomize the burning issue, that buzzed about item at every dinner table, the linch pin to this years’ election …
Where was this All-American John or Jane Doe?
Who could ask;
Senator Obama, I have a question, and I want to know if you believe in the American flag. I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen, policemen and EMS wear the flag. I want to know why you don’t.
The always insightful and entertaining Attytood had puzzlement, as well;
As I watched her question, what I wondered — and I imagine many other viewers wondered as well — was where on earth did ABC find this representative of my home state. As a journalist, I kind of assumed that ABC sent a film crew to western Pa., and then culled the most provocative questions from the people that they found. Silly me. In fact, ABC News found Nash McCabe the old-fashioned way — they read about her, and her thing with the American flag, in the New York Times earlier this month:
LATROBE, Pa. – Ask whom she might vote for in the coming presidential primary election and Nash McCabe, 52, seems almost relieved to be able to unpack the dossier she has been collecting in her head.
It is not about whom she likes, but more a bill of particulars about why she cannot vote for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.
“How can I vote for a president who won’t wear a flag pin?” Mrs. McCabe, a recently unemployed clerk typist, said in a booth at the Valley Dairy luncheonette in this quiet, small city in western Pennsylvania.
In an interview with me moments ago, Stephanopoulos strongly defended his handling of the debate. He dismissed criticism that it had focused too heavily on “gotcha” questions, arguing that they had gone to the heart of the “electability” that, he said, is forefront in the minds of voters evaluating the two Dems.
Forefront in the minds of voters …
The NYT interview with Nash McCabe was published back on January 4th … Meaning it was taken a day, or more before that …
That’s over three-months ago!
So Nash McCabe wasn’t located at random at all. Instead, someone at ABC News decided that they wanted to go after Obama on the patriotism issue, and they actively sought a Pennsylvanian who they knew wanted to bring it up. I assume they thought it would sound better if “a typical voter” asked the question instead of Charlie Gibson. “You see, we’re only raising the issue the voters really care about,” they can claim.
It’s 11PM, Do You Know Where Your Lapel Flag Pin Is? Links