July 20, 2008

Will Elite Media Ask Obama Whether Their Coverage of Him is Fair?

Hatched by Dafydd

Well, we're not quite back yet; but we're out of the back country and rarin' to jump back into the political fray. So cowboy up and read on!


The elite media love to gaze upon Barack H. Obama... but if there is anything they love more, it's gazing upon their own navels. Thus, we're not at all surprised to note that the big story of the day is -- "What should the big story of the day be?" Or in this case, who should it be... and should it be Barack H. Obama all day, every day?

Television news' royalty will fly in to meet Barack Obama during this week's overseas trip: CBS chief anchor Katie Couric in Jordan on Tuesday, ABC's Charles Gibson in Israel on Wednesday and NBC's Brian Williams in Germany on Thursday.

The anchor blessing defines the trip as a Major Event and -- much like a "Saturday Night Live" skit in February that depicted a press corps fawning over Obama -- raises anew the issue of fairness in campaign coverage.

The news media have devoted significantly more attention to the Democrat since Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her campaign and left a two-person contest for the presidency between Obama and Republican John McCain, according to research conducted by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The media have two competing impulses here:

  • One is the irresistable force of their desire to elect the "revolutionary" Obama, whose soap-bubble-thin image mirrors every radical longing these wannabe Weathermen wannasee crammed down the throat of real America... each desire highlighted in the prismatic, rainbow aura in which these "journalists" see themselves.

(I remember when I was about five and a half years old and in a funk about something bad that had happened, I would visualize myself standing tall, arms akimbo, atop a platform shaped like a giant, scintillant number six; I convinced myself that When I Was Six, all would be airy perfection and rushy success.

(I envison Charles Gibson and Brian Williams doing roughly the same thing; respected elder statesmen that they are, they're still but pre-schoolers in the emotional and spiritual sense.)

  • The countervailing impulse is the immovable object of journalists' song of themselves: pristine, Ivory-Soap exemplars and Templars of absolute neutrality and unbiased, tell it like it is honesty.

Their desire to save the world careers headlong into their Gibraltaresque image of themselves as Murrow, Cronkite, and Rather tossed together and covered with Green Goddess dressing; they cover Obama obsessively, all the while questioning their own politicking with a primal, narcissistic scream of existential angst.

I fill to the brim with sardonicism.

A large part of my amusement flows from the inability of newsies even to recognize how biased they really are. For example, throughout this song of themselves, all actors assume that naturally, what Obama does is truly "newsworthy"... while McCain is just the same, boring old story:

News executives say there are reasons for the disparity, such as the continuing story about whether Clinton's and Obama's supporters can reconcile. [What about the "continuing story" about whether McCain and conservatives can reconcile?] They even partly blame McCain. By criticizing Obama for a lack of foreign policy experience, McCain raised the stakes for Obama's trip, "especially if he winds up going into two war zones," said Paul Friedman, senior vice president of CBS News.

Obama has traveled to Afghanistan and is expected to go to Iraq. He is also scheduled to visit Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and England. Network anchors stayed home during McCain's recent foreign excursions.

When McCain travels to Afghanistan and Iraq, it's stale, old news. When Obama does the same, it's Obama traveling to two war zones! -- and it leads. But it's worse than that... the elite media simply cannot imagine that anyone in the country is interested in anything that a Republican says or does, except to the extent that it illustrates his perfidy. Thus, in their minds, there are no McCain stories to report in the first place:

Friedman cautioned against reading too much into things like PEJ's coverage index, noting that it's a long campaign. Yet it's an open question about whether Obama is simply a more interesting candidate at this point, partly because McCain has been on the scene longer.

While fairness is the goal, "what are we supposed to do, go gin up some story about McCain to get some rough equality of airtime?" he said. "I don't think so."

Well, for starters, CBS and the other nets could try honestly reporting McCain's speeches, policy proposals, legislation, pork-busting activities, biography, and growing support within both the Republican and independent communities... you know, the same things they report with breathless excitement about Obama. (Except that B.O. hasn't any of those qualities but the first -- a few speeches that push all the right buttons in all the right megaphonic media mavens).

But such open-minded, democratic coverage you will not see. Boiled down, the nabobs simply cannot bring themselves to believe that anybody cares a fig for John S. McCain. So they will go through the motions, rolling eyes and hucking and smirking, reassuring themselves that they're beacons of objectivity... all the while making the world safe from democrazy and other derangements.

But it's to no avail, because these media legends in their own minds are about as subtle, opaque, and inscrutible as Barack Obama's personal presidential seal. With every
"fawning" performance, the American voter will further discount anything he sees, reads, or hears about the Obamessiah from the anointed ones.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 20, 2008, at the time of 10:54 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

I'm waiting to see how the foreign Press treat the Great B.O... or if the Obama handlers ever let him do a presser where they could toss him a question or two. So far it seems that only the US Press is allowed to approach, but that may change.

Here in Seattle, back in the WTO Riot days, the local Press was bending itself into pretzles trying to show what a great job our Mayor was doing protecting the City. The Euro Press managed to talk to him at a party, (yes, a party) and after hearing him answer two questions came up with the perfect follow-up:

Mayor, do you even KNOW what's going on outside?
It was devastating... a true 'deer in the headlights' moment, caught on tape for eternity...

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 4:00 AM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

Not to worry. The story about "can McCain reconcile with conservatives" is getting full media coverage. Every time McCain says or does something to anger conservatives, it's fully covered in the press. When he says something conservatives might like, it's crickets chirping.

I think you are right, as you posted previously, that all of this fawning coverage will soon or eventually start to backfire-- that the public will become tired of hearing about the Obamessiah. The moniker will actually start to stick in various craws and the Obama and the Obamamedia can go down in flames together. Ah, it's a pleasant vision.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 5:21 AM

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

The purpose of this trip is to prove that Obama knows something about foreign affairs. Why, he once traveled to some foreign countries. With his superior insight and judgement he instantly became an expert on what was going on. He might even change his positions with his new insights. Of course if he doesn't, that only shows how vastly intelligent and thoughtful he was in the first place. All hail Obama!

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 9:30 AM

The following hissed in response by: boffo

Have you read this Onion article:

'Time' Publishes Definitive Obama Puff Piece

The above hissed in response by: boffo [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 10:25 AM

The following hissed in response by: David M

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 07/21/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

The above hissed in response by: David M [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 11:08 AM

The following hissed in response by: Karmi

They determine what fair is example:


No wonder the NYT is headed down the 'tube'...

The above hissed in response by: Karmi [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 11:12 AM

The following hissed in response by: biggyrat

Take heart, and set aside your fears, for there are whisperings eminating from beyond the veil. My mother-in-law, staunch democrat from the J.F.K. era, and straight ticket voter ever since, bemoaned the other day to her daughter, my lovely wife, the following. Yes, she said, obama's changing things alright, changing democrats into Republicans. Further stating that she could not see herself voting for the man. I know that this is simply anecdotal evidence, but it warmed the cockles of my evil, capitalist pig heart.

The above hissed in response by: biggyrat [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 4:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: GW

Hello Wanderer:

I believe it was Krauthammer the other day who described the press coverage being given to Obama's trip as transcending that which has ever been provided to mere mortals.

Obama's problem is the same that all people with no principled positions have. They find their positions hard to defend when challenged.

Thus there is a huge secondary benefit in all of this press coverage to Obama. He dominates the news and the MSM does not question his positions with any intensity. They are enabling Obama to dodge and weave away from any debate or argument that would possibly call into question his pronouncements ex cathedra. This is a pattern so clear its likely visible from space.

Gateway Pundit notes that Obama met with Maliki but DID NOT raise the issue of his sixteen month timetable during the meeting - apparently wanting to avoid any challenge to his concrete time table or any fall out that might require Obama to publicly discuss "refining" his plans. Obama also deliberately avoided raising his sixteen month timetable when he had the opportunity to question General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker in April. Then Obama went AWOL from a town hall meeting before military families where the issue of Iraq and his embrace of defeat was almost sure to be raised - rather pointedly. And he is staying as far away as possible from any debates with McCain, let alone any that are not both truncated and moderated by MSM synocophants.

This man is a coward who owes his position completely to the MSM. The incredible amount of coverage being given to Obama is a disgrace. But the failure to force Obama to defend his positions is beyond that. It is unforgivable.

The above hissed in response by: GW [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 5:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: TerryeL

I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence as well of people getting really fed up with Obama. And I am talking about the kind of people who should want to vote for him.

I have not seen one single Obama sign or bumper sticker around here. I think he is starting to get on people's nerves. It is all Obama all the time.

The above hissed in response by: TerryeL [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 7:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

It's interesting... I've now heard from five or six people who live in what should be Obamania that they don't see signs for him, as they generally have for the most liberal Democrat in the race in previous election cycles.

I'm starting to believe it; what is statistics but the study of a collection of anecdotes?


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 8:22 PM

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