I Write to an Aussie Talk Show Host About Obama, He Gets “Inspired,” Writes a Column in “The Australian” (Mentioning Me), and Then…

…you may be as surprised as I was about what he said and how he said it…or maybe not!

Last week I wrote about an interview I heard on Radio Australia hosted by Phillip Adams.  His guest was Bruce Shapiro, a contributing editor for The Nation. I wrote about this interview in a post on August 1 and included a link to the audio.

During the conversation the talked turned to Obama both host and guest were awed by the turnout for Obama in Berlin.  Since I think Adams runs a great, informative show, I felt it my duty to inform him of the circumstances–that there were rock bands, brats and beer offered to anybody who showed up to see Obama.

Adams wrote back to me, asking if for some more information, and I provided a link to the Gateway Pundit’s post which included a link to a report in a German paper, the Berlin Morgenposten. He was curious about the “hijacked” crowd (his term, not mine):

G’day Gloria…haven’t heard about this…a rock concert? a hi-jacked crowd? .more info?

Then the “fun” began with this follow-up email (unedited for typos):

> Dear Gloria.I write a couple of weekly coumns for The Australian, our national
> newspaper.here’s one that will go in early next week – inspired by YOU!
Thought it might amuse..

(“The Australian” is a Murdoch paper and Australia’s only national newspaper.)

Adams had attached an advance copy of his article.  My full name was included and, at my request, he told the website editors to remove it prior to publication.  (They didn’t…the piece went up with my full name, misspelled, but there nonetheless. A couple of emails later, the correction had been made and only my first name appears toward the end of the piece.)

I wrote back to take issue with a couple of things in the piece, knowing full well that Adams was within his rights to say what he wanted.  I never “accused” Obama of anything, nor did I say the crowd was “left over” from a rock concert, as Adams wrote. (Unfortunately, I wrote to Adams the first time using the form on his page, so I don’t have a copy.  But the gist of it was simply that I was providing him with an “update” to the facts surrounding Obama’s speech, something that he might not have known about…which, he didn’t.)  But, I went on the record by replying:

Also, did I really “accuse” him if, indeed, he actually has used rock bands as
part of his events, not only in Berlin, but also in Oregon in May?…I just
wanted to apprise you of the staging in case you weren’t aware of it! (And the
food sure sounded good in Berlin, having almost overdosed on brats when I
visited there years ago!).  The question will always be, of course, whether the
crowds were there for Obama alone, the bands, alone, or a combination of both (and in what proportion if the latter!)

Thanks for revising my name if not the term “accuse.”   Because, if I’m ferreted out as being an Obama basher because of being labeled an “accuser” (I am a critic, but based on reasoning and observation, not obsession with any other politician), I really do have some fears the way things have been going here lately…I would like to refer visitors to my site to your piece but I’d be hesitant to do so with my full name “in lights”!

So, here is the tease for article as it appears in August 5 edition of The Australian:

In his advance copy to me, Adams called his piece “BARACK AND ROLL” but the print/web version has different title and there have been a few minor revisions.

Here are some key passages:

Valuable lessons from old japesters

Phillip Adams | August 05, 2008

BEARING a remarkable resemblance to the mummified remains of Ramses II, presidential hopeful John McCain must make a virtue of his dilapidated visage while turning Barack Obama’s youth into an electoral disadvantage. Hence the Republican’s new attack ad, cunningly contrived after Obama’s rock-star reception at Berlin’s Victory Column, suggesting that the Democratic candidate is enjoying a shallow, transient celebrity. Where McCain has maturity and gravitas, Obama is a teeny-bopper. The McCain ad tries to spear Obama by linking him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

Those of us who back Obama were delighted by the size of the crowd. Hundreds of thousands of young Germans clapping, laughing, cheering. But a US listener to my wireless program saw it differently. Her email accused Team Obama of hijacking someone else’s audience. The crowd, she insisted, was left over from a rock concert.


So if Obama did nick the German audience, it’s to his credit. Lateral thinking like that would be very useful to a commander-in-chief. Such a tactic wouldn’t be available to McCain, whose campaign team and natural demographic are septuagenarians totally unaware of rock concerts. Obama should retaliate with an attack ad linking McCain to Bing Crosby.

Perhaps Team Obama has even more to learn from the Yippies. One of their stunts – unreported in US media for fear of copycats – involved attacking Wall Street via the lift shafts in a small building occupied by a merchant bank. They filled the shaft with polystyrene foam. Even better was what they did with an adhesive acquired, somewhat illegally, from NASA. While not entirely successful in keeping those fireproof tiles attached to space shuttles (to protect them during blazing re-entries), this same superglue worked wonders when applied to the tyres of New York police cars. The Yippies snuck up on a Bronx police station, glued the front door and windows closed and then sped off, at 40km/h in their rusty VW. When the cops smashed their way out of the building to pursue the recalcitrant radicals they found their prowl cars stuck to the road. I’m recommending to Team Obama they do the same thing to McCain’s wheelchair and to the golf buggy of George Bush Sr.

Was Gloria correct in her accusation? If readers have more info, please let me know. Somehow I doubt that Obama needed to hijack an audience. Anyone who seems poised to end the regime of GeorgeJr would be greeted rapturously in any city on earth. I’m old enough to remember the large crowds that greeted Lyndon Johnson in Melbourne and Sydney after prime minister Harold Holt promised to go all the way with LBJ.

A great decision that got us mired in Vietnam, the Iraq invasion of its era. That’s why I’m barracking for bama.

So that’s what I inspired!  I’m surprised at the blatant AGEISM, considering the fact that Phillip Adams is definitely middle-aged.  Heck, he remembers LBJ!  And then there’s the story about the Yippies gluing police cars and the suggestion that “Team Obama” do the same to McCain’s wheel chair.

Sigh.  It seems I’m now fending off Obama fanatics on TWO continents….So, what’s with these people?  Younger Obamatrons I can chalk up to a lack of knowledge about history and never having been exposed to a decent media.  But older Obama fans?  What’s up with that?  Why do they seem to be so entranced by a guy who has actually dissed the era they lived through?  My “friend” sounds a lot like Adams, as does the professor I wrote about a few weeks ago.

So what is it?  Wanting to relive their youth?  The ageism aimed at McCain seems to be overkill.  Are a lot of these “aging hippies/yippies” simply afraid of getting old??

8 Responses

  1. Murdoch is a cheerleader for B0.
    here’s my own research on the Berlin trick:

  2. The ageism in that piece is appalling!

    There are any number of things to take issue with John McCain about. But to compare him to the mummified remain of Ramses II?

    The whole article is incredibly tacky as is their failure to protect your full name. Fortunate for you that they are so incompetent they couldn’t even spell it right.

    I like a good, classy, smart smackdown. I can admire it even when it’s done against someone I like. There is no class here, just nastiness and a total lack of class.

  3. ‘….large crowds greeted LBJ and that led to Vietnam…’

    Large crowds greeting Obama will lead to ?

    Given the scary behind the scenes folks who are backing Obama, I cringe thinking about it.

  4. Mr. Adams serves as a pointed reminder that while we may all age, we do not all mature.

    Recalling criminal acts and advocating them as a fun new campaign tactic really shows his head isn’t screwed on straight.

    You have also rightly brought up concerns about privacy and safety. The mindset Mr. Adams reveals confirms the need for caution.

  5. I’m old enough to remember the large crowds that greeted Lyndon Johnson in Melbourne and Sydney after prime minister Harold Holt promised to go all the way with LBJ.

    A great decision that got us mired in Vietnam, the Iraq invasion of its era. That’s why I’m barracking for bama.**

    Brilliant! You can’t argue with logic like that. Me, too! I’m going to vote for bama because LBJ “got us mired in Vietnam.” This nonsequitur is only matched by his inaccurate cliches about America and his delinquent sense of humor. Good grief. I will gladly stay out of Australian politics, on the assumption that I couldn’t possible know enough to be informed, if these idiots abroad who think our election is a popularity contest would do the same.

  6. Given that I am not mearly as erudite as your other readers, I’ll just write what I first thought upon reading this.

    That was just plain wrong.

  7. WTH…do these people believe that Obama is their Viagra fix? Obviously we have not learned the lessons of the past century.

  8. Viagra wears off eventually.

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