Obama Push Polled… By CNN?

In general, I’ve actually enjoyed watching climb in baseless attacks at Barack Obama.  Not because I want to see his campaign go down in a fit of smoke and gunfire, but because such attacks only assert that he’s the man to beat.  Conservatives want to try to claim Obama is an undercover Muslim, be my guest.  Obama’s not a real patriot because he won’t wear a lapel pin?  Awesome, more of this please so we can blow it out of the water when the time comes.  All style and no substance?  Let’s wait for the first debate with McCain and see about that.

Watching conservatives and Clinton partisans spin scandal out of thin air is both funny and reaffirming.  But watching the Mainstream Media get in the act is a different act completely.

Ben Smith caught it; a reader poll on CNN’s website that asked, “Does Barack Obama show the proper patriotism for someone who wants to be President of the United States?”

The poll is gone now, replaced by some question about the Oscars last night, so unfortunately I can’t divulge the results of this survey, but the results don’t really matter.  What does matter is that the reader poll too closely mimics the MO of your typical push poll; a device disguised as a poll, but in truth is used to push a certain negative meme about a candidate.  Here, the meme is the ridiculous idea that Obama somehow lacks the requisite patriotism to hold the highest office in the land.

In truth, it’s a small thing, but one to be wary of nonetheless.  We all know that the media often drives the major narratives of an election season, and faulty reporting can sink a candidate’s chances.  Think Al Gore in 2000 who was frequently misquoted by the press in such a manner that it was easy to paint him as a serial liar, or John Kerry who suffered under the story of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as a result of their story not being properly vetted until well after the damage was done.

If this is how the cookie is going to crumble, if the Mainstream Media is going to get a head start on sabotaging Obama’s efforts, whether intentionally or otherwise, can Obama see it through?  When it comes to suffering attacks from his opponents, the man appears to be made of Teflon and Kevlar, but can the same be said about him when it comes to slights on behalf of the press?

Only time will tell, I’m afraid.

UPDATE: Thanks to Johnny Dollar’s Place for linking in.

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