As the bad economic news continues to emanate from the United States — with a double-dip recession now all but certain — a reckoning is overdue. American journalism will have to look back at the period starting with Barrack Obama’s rise, his assumption of the presidency and his conduct in it to the present, and ask itself how it came to cast aside so many of its vital functions. In the main, the establishment American media abandoned its critical faculties during the Obama campaign — and it hasn’t reclaimed them since.
Much of the Obama coverage was orchestrated sychophancy. They glided past his pretensions — when did a presidential candidate before “address the world” from the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin? They ignored his arrogance — “You’re likeable enough, Hillary.” And they averted their eyes from his every gaffe — such as the admission that he didn’t speak “Austrian.”
The media walked right past the decades-long association of Obama with the weird and racist pastor Jermiah Wright. In the midst of the brief stormlet over the issue, one CNN host — inexplicably — decided that CNN was going to be a “Wright-free zone.” He could have hung out a sign: “No bad news about Obama here.”
The media trashed Hillary. They burned Republicans. They ransacked Sarah Palin and her family. But Obama, the cool, the detached, the oracular Obama — he strolled to the presidency.
To the degree the press neglected its function as watchdog and turned cupbearer to a styrofoam demigod, it is a partner in the flaws and failures of what is turning out to be one of the most miserable performances in the modern history of the American presidency.
Don’t expect this to change in the months leading up to the next Presidential election, either. We saw from a few media outlets in the hazy aftermath of the 2008 elections – most notably from the Washington Post – the begrudging mea culpas and admissions about their how coverage was indeed “tilted” towards candidate Barack Obama and against his opposition, a clear dereliction of duty of the MSM to do its job, which is NOT to favor one side over the other but to report news straight down the middle, leaving it to the READER – not the journalist – to form their own opinions on the candidate and/or issue being written about. This is something that conservative pundits had been screaming about for two years plus, but that the media only had the audacity to admit after they’d “done their duty” in getting the virtual empty suit elected to the WH.
What’s worse, is that even after the candid admissions, they went right back to doing exactly what they suggested in their mea culpas that they shouldn’t have: Pinch-hitting for Barack Obama! Most recently in doing the bidding for Team Obama, the Washington Post started a hashtag on Twitter in which they invited readers to – I kid you not – help #AdviseObama. The same question (“What would you advise him to do ..?”) was posted on their website.
In short, even if the media WAS feeling a little shame over how they’ve brazenly not just covered this President but covered FOR this President over the last several years – including the ones prior to his Presidency – they aren’t going to show their cards just now. They’ll continue to do what they always do: Trash any and all opposition to their Chosen Candidate, wait for him or her to get elected (or re-elected), feign guilt immediately afterwards at their deliberately lopsided coverage in fits of the familiar self-loathing we’re used to seeing from liberals, and then go right back to what they were doing, hoping no one will notice nor point out their complicity.
Lather, rinse, repeat and all that.