Rolling Stone Gives Obama Campaign Some Free Damage Control

Back on Feb. 22nd, Rolling Stone published their in depth story (6-pages on the net) about Barack Obama’s “charisma” under the title, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.” However, the story has lately been retitled “Destiny’s Child.” One might wonder why Rolling Stone made the sudden change avoiding the word “radical”… unless, that is, one were living under a rock and isn’t aware of the trouble Barack is lately having with the anti-American and racist ranting of his “spiritual mentor,” the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr.

Many hard questions arise over Rolling Stone’s self-censorship. Why did they make the title change? Why did they feel “radical” was good this morning, but not later the same day? Does Rolling Stone regret not having the journalistic integrity to stand for what they originally wrote? Why did they not append a notice about the title change to the story? More pointedly, has Rolling Stone registered as official Obama Campaign staffers? After all, they are obviously offering Barack some free damage control.

Now, a legitimate question might be how is it we know that Rolling Stone made the change in the article’s title? After all, there is no notice from Rolling Stone alerting everyone to the fact that they changed it. So, how can we tell the title of the piece was changed? (Though a recent comment from a reader named treyevans compliments RS for making the change.)

Here is where it might get a bit esoteric or technical for the average web user. You see, when a story is posted on the Internet many software packages (like WordPress, for instance) will place the title, or a segment therefrom, right in the address for the page. So, in this case, the Rolling Stone article has a web address of “
13390609/campaign_08_the_radical_roots_of_barack_obama.” But, if a page administrator goes back and changes a headline, the original title will not be changed in that page address. If a change were to be made in the address it would muck up the original address of the page, thereby causing search engines and anyone who already bookmarked the page to lose it.

So, because of all of that, you’ll see at the end of the webapage address what the original title was, which happened to be “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.”

Again, why did Rolling Stone make this change? It can only be that they want Barack to look good and that, while a few days ago calling Barack a “radical” would have seemed cool, something has changed now that we are all aware of the racist comments of Rev. Wright, Barack’s “spiritual mentor. ” RS obviously wanted to help Barack avoid this “radical” handle by dumping the word in their original title.

As I mentioned, one of RS’s readers inconveniently alerted everyone to the change in title. On March 15th at 2:15 AM reader treyevans complimented RS on the change:

Good call renaming the title from “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama” to Denstiny’s Child”. That other title might leave Obama open for attack.

Yeah… “good call.” Good if you want to assist Obama to continue gathering the support of voters. Not so good if you want to insure your own journalistic integrity.

I’ll bet the editors at RS are wishing that reader treyevans would have just shut up instead of spilling the beans on the title change?

So, what we have here is Rolling Stone doing damage control FOR a candidate that they love instead of having the integrity to stick with their own handiwork. It’s obvious they have crossed the threshold from reporting on the campaign to actively giving it assistance.

Who says the media are “fair and balanced”? Rolling Stone Magazine should register as official campaign staffers for the Obama campaign at this point, but they most certainly should dump any possible claims that they are engaging in journalism!

One thing is sure. Rolling Stone seems to lack the stones to stick with its original title! I guess “radical” ain’t so cool any more?

(h/t LittleGreenFootballs)

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