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Obama Camp Didn’t Call For Prosecutions

First, here is the news report from Missouri’s CBS affiliate KMOV-TV that got so much attention:

Today we have this from the reporter who did the on-camera report for KMOV-TV:

Analysis: Who’s afraid of the big bad truth?

McCain has a truth squad, but Obama’s makes big news

Monday, September 29, 2008

By John Mills

John McCain’s campaign has a truth squad which includes prosecutors who support his candidacy, according to reports and a campaign source.

Last Tuesday without any fanfare, the Barack Obama campaign announced Jennifer Joyce and Bob McCulloch, the top prosecutors in St. Louis city and St. Louis County, were joining something called an Obama truth squad.

They plan to respond immediately to any misleading advertisements and statements that might violate Missouri ethics laws.

“We want to keep this campaign focused on issues,” Joyce told me. “Missourians don’t want to be distracted by these divisive character attacks.”

The truth squad’s plan is to indentify false attacks and respond immediately with truthful information, Joyce and McCulloch say.

Truthful information like: Obama is a Christian who plans to cut taxes for anyone making under $250,000 a year.

The Obama campaign says prosecutors from the Kansas City area and some rural areas are also joining the truth squad, and Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer was also expected to be part of the team.

“Whether it is directly attributable to the campaign or one of the soft money operations,” McCulloch told me, “if they’re not going to tell the truth, then somebody’s got to step up and say ‘wait a minute, that’s not true, this is the truth.’”

For reasons that are still not fully clear, prosecutors promising to tell the public the truth have sparked outrage among supporters of John McCain.

Three days later, I got a call from KMOX radio talk show host Mark Reardon. (I’ll paraphrase.)

That story you did last night is really getting a lot of attention, Reardon said.

I was off yesterday. What story? I asked.

The one about the Obama truth squad, he said.

Oh, that story I did Tuesday at 6, I responded.

Well, Rush Limbaugh just talked about it, and the blogoshpere has it, and it’s getting big. It’s really going to get big, Reardon said.

Reardon was correct.

More than 90,000 people from across the country watched my report on KMOV.com. Click here to watch the report

When I returned to the office on Saturday, I spoke with callers from New York to Florida who had heard about Obama’s truth squad and were outraged about it.

One caller said he was angry, because people were going to be “prosecuted” and “indicted” for stating their political views.

Another caller said Obama was planning to send police to the homes of elderly women because of their political statements.

A third caller said he wanted information about Obama’s “storm troopers.”

Members of law enforcement never said anyone would be prosecuted, indicted or punished for saying anything, only that they were prepared to tell the public the truth.

By Saturday afternoon, outgoing Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, a McCain supporter, was also outraged and accused Obama of “police state tactics” that would “intimidate people and kill free debate.”

In a written statement on the governor’s official Web site, Blunt said the basis for his statement was prompted by “news reports.”

“The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill open debate,” Blunt said in the statement.

Prosecutor Jennifer Joyce said: “We’re here to respond to any character attacks, to set the record straight.”

“Barack Obama needs to grow up,” Blunt continued. “Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations, because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them.”

If you look at the clip, the anchor introducing the story is the person who brought up the threats of prosecution:

“Senator Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign. Reporter John Mills is with us live in the capitol. He has been learning which members of law enforcement are getting involved in this. John, tell us more…”

Also, on the KMOV website the clip is still described thusly:

Obama campaign cracks down on misleading TV ads

September 23rd, 2008

The Barack Obama campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign.”

Oddly enough, Mr. Mills did not mention either of these misleading actions on the part of his station.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 29th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Obama Camp Didn’t Call For Prosecutions”

  1. McCain has a truth squad? Really – then why is this the first we’re hearing about it? And what law-enforcement agencies have agreed to prosecute the creators of false/mis-leading ads against McCain?

    Especially since the NEW YORK TIMES is saying that at least one Obama ad is fraught with lies. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/us/politics/26ads.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin

    As a local talk show host said, this will blow up in their faces. BIG TIME. There are still more Americans willing to fight for the First Amendment than there are liberal fascists willing to destroy it for Obama.

  2. TXGRunner says:

    Let’s say, for the sake of full discussion, that Mr. Mills didn’t start off by saying prosecutors and law enforcement will be targeting those running anti-Obama ads for ethics rules violations…

    …why did the Obama campaign create a truth squard primarily (exclusively?) made up of prosecutors and law enforcement?

    …why did the Obama campaign emphasize and publicize the fact their truth squad included prosecutors and law enforcement from across the state?

    …why were the Obama truth squad members emphasizing their official capacity as prosecutors and law enforcement instead of countering alleged mis-statements or promoting the candidate?

    Even if Mills didn’t mention targeting people on ethics rules, doesn’t a truth squad of prosecutors and law enforcement imply the threat of criminal prosecution and prosecutorial harassment?

    Mills and the Obama Truth Squad sent the message they wanted to send, “speak out and we’ll come after you” – they’re just regretting it wasn’t subtle enough.

  3. Bohemian says:

    Don’t think they regret it; they have plausible deniabilty. It’s a win-win for the little “Rovian” wannabes.

  4. Phil Byler says:

    Obama is a socialist. He believes in free speech only for other socialists. He will suppress other viewpoints. It is in the nature of socialism.

  5. andrewsvan says:

    Hmm, seems like the McCain truth squad would have their hands full keeping up with the Obama ads, not to mention the NY Times, 3 network “news” organizations, MSNBC, myriads of looney lefty blogs, and loads of commie rags a.k.a “newspapers”. If Obama is so concerned with the truth, maybe he should look at the bilge coming out of his campaign disguised as ads before worrying about Republican ads. I wonder if the Rev. J. Wright or Father Pfleger ever got around to preaching the parable of removing the beam from your own eye before removing the speck from your brothers eye. Probably not enough time to get to that parable when you spend so much time G** D***ing America.

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