In questioning Obama's "policy credentials," Wash. Post's Cillizza cited AP article without noting its false claim

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

In a March 30 entry to his WashingtonPost.com weblog The Fix, Washington Post staff writer Chris Cillizza cited a March 27 Associated Press article by staff writer Nedra Pickler in claiming that "questions about when and whether [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL] will move beyond his rosy rhetoric and into real-world policy proposals have begun to crop up." Cillizza also asked his readers: "So, is hope enough? Or does Obama need to quickly build out his policy credentials to win the nomination?" However, as Media Matters for America documented, Pickler's article -- which asked: "Is Barack Obama all style and little substance?" -- falsely asserted that Obama has "delivered no policy speeches." Cillizza did not note the falsehood in Pickler's article.

In his March 30 blog entry, Cillizza wrote:

But, of late, questions about when and whether Obama will move beyond his rosy rhetoric and into real-world policy proposals have begun to crop up.

The Associated Press' Nedra Pickler wrote a story earlier this week that began: "The voices are growing louder asking the question: Is Barack Obama all style and little substance?"

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) got into the act on Tuesday during a speech to the Communications Workers of America. "It's great to talk about hope but that hope has to be turned into action," he said.

So, is hope enough? Or does Obama need to quickly build out his policy credentials to win the nomination?

Pickler, in her March 27 article, wrote:

The voices are growing louder asking the question: Is Barack Obama all style and little substance? The freshman Illinois senator began his campaign facing the perception that he lacks the experience to be president, especially compared to rivals with decades of work on foreign and domestic policy. So far, he's done little to challenge it. He's delivered no policy speeches and provided few details about how he would lead the country.

He has focused instead on motivating his impressive following with a call for unity and change in Washington. But along with the attention comes a hunger to hear more about what he's about.

However, as Media Matters noted, Obama delivered what the Chicago Tribune described as a "major policy speech on U.S.-Israel policy" on March 2 and has offered policy proposals on Iraq, education, the environment, energy, and health care. Indeed, Pickler's own article undermined her claim that Obama has "delivered no policy speeches." The article's third-to-last paragraph noted that during his presidential campaign, "Obama has offered a plan to get troops out of Iraq, beginning with a drawdown in May that would extended through a March 2008 goal of redeploying all combat troops. The plan is unlikely to become reality with Bush in office, but is what Obama says he would do if he were in the Oval Office today."

Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
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Chris Cillizza
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Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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