Obama Versus R. Kelly: No Competition

05/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The news media in Chicago is obsessed with R. Kelly's child pornography trial. The Chicago Tribune tantalizes readers today with its "Gavel to Gavel" coverage featuring "5 things you never knew about R. Kelly" including important morsels like Kelly's love of the movie "Space Jam."

But it's not just the mainstream media, even the local public radio station has devoted a blog entirely to the Kelly trial.

Straight news about Obama's delegate lead, even about his reaching a milestone in his delegate lead, can't compete with a celebrity underage porn trial, which is certainly no knock on Obama's achievement-- for what news, really, can compete anymore with a celebrity underage porn trial? A politician celebrity underage porn trial, perhaps?

Obama has won 1,969 delegates, according to a recent Associated Press tally, out of the 2,026 he needs to win the democratic party presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton has won 1,779.

Most of Obama's "hometown" newspapers all but ignored this story Wednesday.

The Sun-Times, the most city-focused of the two major dailies, ran the huge front page headline "YES, HE DID" accompanied by a large photo of a smiling Obama. But this is the paper that made a similar fuss overnude blow-up dolls.

Three Sun-Times columnists, who happen to be women, gave their take on the significance of Obama's situation.

Mary Mitchell, who has long been supportive of Obama in her column, reported on the Iowa "victory party" in Des Moines on Tuesday.

Longtime local news personality, investigative reporter and former CBS news correspondent, Carol Marin, entered a plea to the campaigns finally put the racism and sexism charges to rest.

"When Obama made headlines last week by calling a female reporter "sweetie," something for which he immediately apologized, some women were outraged. Card-carrying feminist that I am, I confess, I wasn't. As someone who has too often called perfect strangers "hon" and just last week, on air, handed off a television interview to a male colleague by saying, "back to you, Phil dear," I know something about being tin-eared and tone deaf."

Marin added: "Barriers of race and gender have been broken here no matter how it ends.
And somewhere along the line, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are going to join hands and figure out how to mean it."

Sure.., we can hope.

Anchored in D.C., Lynn Sweet succeeded in sounding like the mainstream pundit, opening her Wednesday column with a reference to Obama's "weakness" and keeping the "middle class white votes" ball in play.

Sweet said Obama was at the same time cleaning up in Oregon but

"getting trounced by Sen. Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, exposing problems he might face in winning middle-class white votes in the fall campaign."

Top suburban paper, The Daily Herald, popular in the politically mixed north and northwest suburbs of the city, ran the cautious headline "It's still not over, or is it?" noting that the recent primary voting saw "a big Obama win in Oregon and an even bigger Hillary Clinton victory in Kentucky".

Chicago Magazine, known more for condo development stories and posh dining spot reviews than political analysis, featured a curious straightforward visual representation of just how different the Democratic race would look if had been run according to GOP primary rules.

"what if the Democrats had followed the Republicans' system--the candidate who gets the most votes in a state gets all the nominating delegates? By that count, Clinton would have been ahead by 150 votes, even though Obama had won primaries and caucuses in nearly twice as many--albeit smaller--states."