Wednesday, November 19, 2008

O, Come Let Us Adore Him

Oh, boy - this is quite some article by Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post (H/T to athy at No Quarter for this article). He really tells it like it is. I wonder if he still has a job there? Just the title alone gives it away: A Giddy Sense of Boosterism.

Holy Toledo - is he allowed to SAY something like that?!?! I hope he has someone watching his back. At all times. Oh, but you're not gonna believe some of the things our "media" have cooked up. Check this out:
Perhaps it was the announcement that NBC News is coming out with a DVD titled "Yes We Can: The Barack Obama Story." Or that ABC and USA Today are rushing out a book on the election. Or that HBO has snapped up a documentary on Obama's campaign.

Perhaps it was the Newsweek commemorative issue -- "Obama's American Dream" -- filled with so many iconic images and such stirring prose that it could have been campaign literature. Or the Time cover depicting Obama as FDR, complete with jaunty cigarette holder.

Are the media capable of merchandizing the moment, packaging a president-elect for profit? Yes, they are.

Okay. NBC. ABC. Two of the major networks using OUR AIRWAVES have lost all semblance of journalistic integrity. What the HELL is the matter with these people?!?!? Good grief, how in the world will they ever cover anything remotely challenging for The One??? Oh, right - what they care? They are clearly making a lot out of this:
What's troubling here goes beyond the clanging of cash registers. Media outlets have always tried to make a few bucks off the next big thing. The endless campaign is over, and there's nothing wrong with the country pulling together, however briefly, behind its new leader. But we seem to have crossed a cultural line into mythmaking.

"The Obamas' New Life!" blares People's cover, with a shot of the family. "New home, new friends, new puppy!" Us Weekly goes with a Barack quote: "I Think I'm a Pretty Cool Dad." The Chicago Tribune trumpets that Michelle "is poised to be the new Oprah and the next Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis -- combined!" for the fashion world.

Whew! Are journalists fostering the notion that Obama is invincible, the leader of what the New York Times dubbed "Generation O"?

I'm sorry - were you saying something? I couldn't hear you through the grinding of my teeth. When did the MSM and the National Enquirer change places? If you will recall, this year, it was the latter that that actually broke some real news. The MSM? Not so much:
Each writer, each publication, seems to reach for more eye-popping superlatives. "OBAMAISM -- It's a Kind of Religion," says New York magazine. "Those of us too young to have known JFK's Camelot are going to have our own giddy Camelot II to enrapture and entertain us," Kurt Andersen writes. The New York Post has already christened it "BAM-A-LOT."

"Here we are," writes Salon's Rebecca Traister, "oohing and aahing over what they'll be wearing, and what they'll be eating, what kind of dog they'll be getting, what bedrooms they'll be living in, and what schools they'll be attending. It feels better than good to sniff and snurfle through the Obamas' tastes and habits. . . . Who knew we had in us the capacity to fall for this kind of idealized Americana again?"

I am seriously on the verge of being ill here. "It's a Kind of Religion"??? Worshiping this lying, cheating, bamboozling, hoodwinking, race-baiting sham of a politician who hasn't had an original idea I can discern, who got everywhere he is by stepping on the throats of others? THIS is a "kind of religion"? Okay, it is clear to me. We have gone to hell in a hand basket.

No doubt, Thomas Jefferson, who knew the importance of the Fourth Estate for maintaining a democracy, would be, check that, probably IS, rolling over in his grave right now. Kurtz asks the right question about this, well, INSANITY:
But aren't media people supposed to resist this kind of hyperventilating?

"Obama is a figure, especially in pop culture, in a way that most new presidents are not," historian Michael Beschloss says. "Young people who may not be interested in the details of NAFTA or foreign policy just think Obama is cool, and they're interested in him. Being cool can really help a new president."

So can a sense of optimism, reflected on USA Today's front page. "Poll: Hopes soaring for Obama, administration," the headline said, with 65 percent saying "the USA will be better off 4 years from now."

Yeah, I saw that headline, too. I wondered who the hell they were talking to first, then realized it was probably an AP article. Sure enough, it was. Like they haven't been in the tank all year long. Hahahaha.

And why, pray tell, would these young people think Obama is "cool," yet know NOTHING for which he stands?? I mean, really - on what, exactly, are they making that determination? His listening to Ludacris? The misogyny? Reverend Wright's racist ravings? What?? What a bunch of ridiculously uninformed children. And THEY are the future? Yikes. Sure will be interesting to see what happend if they ever get more than one brain cell to rub against another. Or as Kurtz puts it:
But what happens when adulation gives way to the messy, incremental process of governing? When Obama has to confront a deep-rooted financial crisis, two wars and a political system whose default setting is gridlock? When he makes decisions that inevitably disappoint some of his boosters?

"We're celebrating a moment as much as a man, I think," says Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham, whose new issue, out today, compares Obama to Lincoln. "Given our racial history, an hour or two of commemoration seems appropriate. But there is no doubt that the glow of the moment will fade, and I am sure the coverage will reflect that in due course."

FDR?? LINCOLN?? Are they INSANE????? LINCOLN??? The ONLY thing Obama has in common with Lincoln is living in IL. FDR? What are you people SMOKING???

And, sure. You just know you can count on the media to reflect reality at SOME point, right? Because they have demonstrated time and again how willing they are to reveal the realities of who Obama really is, and what he has really done. Oh, yeah.

And not for nothing, but I sure as hell don't remember the media being so glowing and positive about Hillary Clinton, who, since they were clearly unaware of this, was a "historical" figure by being a woman who received more votes than any other Democrat ever, as well as winning a primary, and a lot more than one. But hey, let's bury THAT "moment" as quickly as possible so no one intrudes on The One's ascension.

Thankfully (or despairingly), there is an itsy bitsy teensy weensy ray of light:
One of the few magazines to strike a skeptical tone is the London-based Economist, which endorsed Obama. "With such a victory come unreasonably great expectations," its lead editorial says.

Naturally, it is European based, not US based. Big surprise. One could say that:
Web worship of Obama is nearly limitless. On YouTube alone, the Obama Girl song, "I've Got a Crush on Obama," has been viewed 11.7 million times. Even an unadorned video of the candidate's election night speech in Chicago has drawn 3.5 million views.

Can someone please tell me how it is that this virtual unknown with the thinnest resume I have ever seen, who couldn't even get a full time job in any university or business on his lack of documentation, has manipulated the masses so masterfully with "words, just words" and no real deeds of which to speak? I mean, besides the characteristics he has demonstrated thus far besides those listed above?

Yes, this is a change:
I am not trying to diminish the sheer improbability of what this African American politician, a virtual unknown four years ago, has accomplished. Every one of us views his victory through a personal lens. I thought of growing up in a "Leave It to Beaver" era, when there were no blacks in leading television roles until Bill Cosby was tapped as the co-star of "I Spy" in 1965. When the Watts riots broke out that year, the Los Angeles Times sent an advertising salesman to cover it because the paper had no black reporters. The country has traveled light-years since then.

Is it nitpicky to point out that Obama is bi-racial, reared by his white and Indonesian family, not his African one at any time? But hey - why rain on (more of) their delusion? Those pesky facts, why am I bringing THOSE up? This is SPECIAL, you know:
It is hard to find a precedent in American history. Ronald Reagan was a marquee star because of his Hollywood career, but mainly among older voters, since he made his last movie 16 years before winning the White House in 1980. Jack Kennedy was a more formal figure after winning the 1960 election -- "trying to look older than he was, because he thought youth was a handicap in running for president," Beschloss says -- but quickly took on larger-than-life dimensions.

"The Kennedy buildup goes on," James MacGregor Burns wrote in the New Republic in the spring of 1961. "The adjectives tumble over one another. He is not only the handsomest, the best-dressed, the most articulate, and graceful as a gazelle. He is omniscient; he swallows and digests whole books in minutes; he confounds experts with his superior knowledge of their field. He is omnipotent."

Soon afterward, Kennedy blundered into the Bay of Pigs debacle.

The media would be remiss if they didn't reflect the sense of unadulterated joy that greeted Obama's election, both here and around the world, and the pride even among those who opposed him. Newspapers were stunned and delighted at the voracious demand for post-election editions, prompting The Washington Post and other papers to print hundreds of thousands of extra copies and pocket the change. (When else have we felt so loved lately?) Demand for inaugural tickets has been unprecedented. Barack is suddenly a hot baby name. Record companies are releasing hip-hop songs, by the likes of Jay-Z and Will.I.Am, with such titles as "Pop Champagne for Barack." Consumers, the Los Angeles Times reports, are buying up "Obama-themed T-shirts, buttons, bobblehead dolls, coffee mugs, wine bottles, magnets, greeting cards, neon signs, mobile phones and framed art prints."

"Unadulterated joy"? That the MEDIA ITSELF created, and for which it fanned the flames?? Yeah, absolutely - don't start having any kind of ethics now on our behalf! We might all fall over dead from the shock of it. So, please, just spare us and keep us in our little Happy Obama Place. Oh, yuck - making myself sick now...

Oh, and just in time for the holidays:
A barrage of Obama-related books are in the works. Newsweek's quadrennial election volume is titled "A Long Time Coming: The Historic, Combative, Expensive and Inspiring 2008 Election and the Victory of Barack Obama." Publishers obviously see a bull market.

Oh, JOY!!!! Another way for Americans to spend all of our hard earned, ever dwindling dollars! Yay!

And speaking of cheers:
MSNBC, which was accused of cheerleading for the Democratic nominee during the campaign, is running promos that say: "Barack Obama, America's 44th president. Watch as a leader renews America's promise." What are viewers to make of that?

There is always a level of excitement when a new president is coming to town -- new aides to profile, new policies to dissect, new family members to follow. But can anyone imagine this kind of media frenzy if John McCain had managed to win?

Obama's days of walking on water won't last indefinitely. His chroniclers will need a new story line. And sometime after Jan. 20, they will wade back into reality.

Do you PROMISE, Mr. Kurtz? Because I am WAY over all of this Messiah worship we have had to endure, even as the most qualified candidate in decades was kicking his butt in the primaries on a whole helluva lot less money (that untraceable mountain of Obama's money. See Ani's post, "Obama's Questionable Internet Donations Raise Suspicion at WaPo."). But hey - that never stopped the "media" from promoting their rapturous tale of who Obama was, how he was the One for whom we had been waiting, regardless of what the people said with their votes...I mean, really - how much reporting did they even do on the Michigan fiasco? How many people in this country really knew what happened there? How many people outside the states where there were caucuses actually knew about the vast amount of caucus fraud? Close friends in Baton Rouge had no idea about a lot of this because their state wasn't contested, so how would THEY know what had really been going on? As one of them said, they sure didn't see this on ABC News! No, indeed. And that is exactly the problem. So many of the issues that should have been covered about Obama simply were not, or left to the "News Briefs" section. Not so for anything the least bit suspect or negative about any of the other candidates (or if it was one of Obama's BFFs, like John Edwards. In that case, the MSM buried critical information the voters deserved to know.). And on it goes...

You may have seen this new video already, but personally, I find this to be a glaring indictment of the Fourth Estate,as if the above was not enough (H/T to American Girl in Italy for the heads up on this):

Holy Toledo. Add these results of the Zogby Poll commissioned by John Ziegler of "How Obama Got Elected", and bear in mind these were MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS:

512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points

97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates

Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions

57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)

81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

And yet.....

Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes

Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter

And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her "house," even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!

Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.

Only .5% got all of them correct. (And we "gave" one answer that was technically not Palin, but actually Tina Fey)

Just to be clear - Palin did not ask for the clothes the MSM made such a brouhaha about, and she did not keep them. They were given to, or will be auctioned off for, charity.

For an added bonus, you can watch this John Stoessel interview of voters:

YIKES. Are people not required to take Civics classes any longer?? Really??

What a sad, sad state of affairs, for our educational system, for the Fourth Estate, for democracy, and for this country. We reap what we sow...

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