Streisand Speaks Out

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Barbra Streisand tells the Politico’s Jeffrey Ressner that she believes election contest between Barack Obama and John McCain will come down to turnout, that she’d like to see Obama adopt Hillarycare, and that race probably will be a factor in the election.

“On some level, it would be naive to think that race will not be a
factor,” she writes in e-mail responses to written questions. “I do believe, however, that there is much less racism, sexism
and homophobia among the younger generation and that we have come a
very long way.”

She’s open to the idea of performing for Obama, and, as she has in the past, defends the right of celebrities to speak out on political issues.

Overseas Obamamania: Our own Ali Jaafar, assisted by Variety’s foreign correspondents in Europe, surveys the overseas media coverage of Obama’s “Magical Mystery Tour” and finds that most outlets gave it favorable coverage.

“The coverage of apparent overseas Obamamania peaked over the weekend
as the presumptive Democratic nominee flew back to the U.S. following a
headline-making tour of Europe and the Middle East.

“The weeklong
tour, which saw Obama visit Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian
territories, Jordan, Germany, France and the U.K., dominated foreign
media coverage, with the majority of commentators dubbing the visit a
success.”

What Liberal Bias?: James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times reports on a new study that shows the media has been tougher on Barack Obama than John McCain. Rainey writes, “The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University,
where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades,
found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican
John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.”

No Laughing Matter: Eve Fairbanks of TNR finds Al Franken’s ads just a little bit too serious. (via The Daily Dish).

“Franken has encountered the Great Dilemma
for gimmick candidates: Do you play up your gimmick shamelessly or do
you flee from it, insisting you’re just a regular guy who got tapped to
run thanks to your sudden, gripping urge to serve the nation rather
than your Superbowl-winning pass or high-grossing big-screen turn as a
lonely Wall Street exec who finds love with a sexy yoga instructor?”

“24” Effect: Dahlia Lithwick of Slate finds that Jack Bauer is the “prime mover of American interrogation doctrine.”

“According to British lawyer and writer Philippe Sands, Jack Bauer—played by Kiefer Sutherland—was an inspiration at early “brainstorming meetings” of military officials at Guantanamo in September of 2002. Diane Beaver, the staff judge advocate general who gave legal approval to 18 controversial new interrogation techniques including water-boarding, sexual humiliation, and terrorizing prisoners with dogs, told Sands that Bauer “gave people lots of ideas.” Michael Chertoff, the homeland-security chief, once gushed in a panel discussion on 24 organized by the Heritage Foundation that the show “reflects real life.””

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