Mindless Monolith: Media Pick Obama

Ilana Mercer, June 6, 2008

The top Democratic dogs finally got their way: Senator Clinton, who lost her party’s delegates but won the people, will concede the Democratic nomination. Media pack animals are also on top of the world.


From the AP’s Charles Babington to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Wolf Blitzer and his “best political team on television”: They had all worked their hearts out for Obama. Now they were overcome by soggy sentimentality. The Obama win was declared an historic victory. Every American, vaporized a misty-eyed Matthews, will remember where he was on this momentous day—momentous because of Obama’s alleged pigment burden.


Americans had come out in droves for Barack, not because he’s a black man, but because they think he’s the right man. Yet the journalistic herd never stopped riding the same old racism ass. In so doing, they were insulting Americans. For how was it their fault that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had been the best the African-American community had to offer before Obama?


The usually dignified Andrea Mitchell of NBC swelled the Obama chorus, to say nothing of wild man Keith Olbermann, a Daily Kos blogger, and his side kick, Air America‘s Rachel Maddow. Walter Shorenstein, founder of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, summed up the Obama-centric campaign coverage as “biased, blasé, and baseless.”


I suspect most media cheered for Obama reflexively, rather than consciously—too stupid to ask themselves whether what they were doing was journalism or advocacy. A couple of older news guys, ABC’s Charles Gibson comes to mind, failed to take sides. Consequently, the pack pounced on him and on George Stephanopoulos for asking the senator some pointed questions. But good newsmen are a dying breed. Good newswomen are mostly dead already. By the time she died, the brilliant and brave Oriana Fallaci had long since been buried professionally by mediocrities like Barbara Walters of the “cutting edge” anti-aging reportage and colonic crusader Katie Couric.


So how did a mindless monolith’s hunger for Hussein help the Obama momentum? 


Early in 2008, a melodramatic media latched on to the phony supposition that the Democratic Party was in crisis because two candidates were battling bitterly over the nomination for the highest office in the land. If MSM was to be believed, the American people were incapable of tolerating the tussle. If Hillary and Barack didn’t stop bickering, Americans the country over would curl-up in the fetal position and never unfurl. This was the subtext transmitted daily, even hourly.


So began the media-manufactured storm in the D. camp.


Soon Howard Dean was placed on emergency call. Al Gore was volunteered as mediator. Pelosi achieved the impossible: a perpetual furrow on that botoxed brow. Next came the talking heads’ obsessive calls for the candidate who wasn’t winning to quit the race. Hillary was commanded to bow-out. Throughout, debate was framed as disunity. Words like “spoiler” were bandied about regularly.


The kick-Hillary-out clucking reached a crescendo as she swept Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island.


Character assassination was another of the strategies the stumblebums stumbled upon. Obama’s lies were always white as lilies; Hillary’s as black as her heart was said to be. Barack beefed up his community activist’s résumé—he was never a professor. He also conjured a familial Camelot connection during a speech he gave at Selma. These episodes of amnesia the Washington Post called “overstatements.” For her flights of fancy, Hillary should have been chided too. Instead, the same idio-experts who had demonstrated an allergy to the truth in the build-up to war against Iraq diagnosed her as a pathological liar.


When the Rev. Wright scandal percolated with great difficulty into cable’s quarters (thanks to Sean Hannity), that grizzled “newswoman” Anderson Cooper crumbled: “How do we make this go away?” he cried on air. Greta van Susteren was the only anchor to protest the unadulterated racism that was the attack on Hillary by Pfleger, another of the pornographic preachers at the Trinity cesspit. Not one member of a MSM that never swims upstream was capable of concluding that Obama needed to be confronted about his adopted philosophy of two decades, not for his presence or absence in the pews during sermons.<


Clinton carried Florida and Michigan, the states that were guilty of violating party protocol. It seemed plain that procedural violations should not have trumped the truth as represented by the voters of these states. But the impending miscarriage of justice was minimized by the media collective. They were only too happy to mislead the man on the street into believing that Democratic Party petty rules were as sacred as those governing the Electoral College. The rules committee of the Democratic National Committee subsequently chose to halve the votes of the Florida and Michigan delegates.


Slaves got a slightly better deal under the “Three-Fifths Compromise” during the Constitutional Convention.


By now the red/blue split in the Democratic Party had become a gash. Clinton was getting the red, Reagan Democrats—seniors, whites, blue collar and rural voters. “Barack Obama,” in the words of another veteran news guy, the always-edifying William Schneider, “was winning the blue Democrats: young voters, upscale urban professionals, well-educated liberals and African-Americans.”


Red versus blue meant left versus right. Those who own guns voted for Hillary; those who don’t, and think you should not, voted for Obama. One more thing: Because they’re older, more blue collar, and more conservative, Clinton voters will be more likely to vote for McCain than Obama. Obama voters would have countenanced Clinton over McCain.


Barack Obama didn’t exactly sprint for the finish. Rather, he limped across the line, having lost Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, and Puerto Rico. He was the delegate’s choice; Hillary the democratic choice. 


Obama was also the media’s Anointed One from day one.



    June 6, 2008

CATEGORIES: Barack Obama, Elections 2008, Media

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