February 29, 2008

When the Media turns on Barack--and they will

Eric Boehlert lists the current meme's coming from the right about Obama

1) That both Obama's might not be patriotic enough.

2) (This one is new) Obama is effeminate?
Meanwhile, in Sunday's New York Times, Obama was twice described as being overly effeminate: He's an "elusive starlet" who prefers "playing the tease," while espousing a "feminine management style." Compare that to the media's portrayal of Republican Sen. John McCain as sort of a man's man, and it's obvious where those competing narratives are headed.

3) That Obama is a self-centered snob who thinks he is better than the rest of us. See the Kingston attack on the flag lapel, or anything Bill Kristol has written on that. Or:
"He is the brilliant young black man as American dream," wrote Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, whose hatred of Hillary Clinton is limitless. But with the Clinton campaign now wounded and Obama grabbing the inside track on the nomination, Noonan quickly flip-flopped. In her February 22 column, she suggested the Obamas are self-centered "snobs" who can't relate to "normal Americans."

4) Obama might be a communist. Seriously?
I'm not referring to the truly nutty stuff that the radical right is starting to churn out, like National Review's Lisa Schiffren, who argued, with zero proof, that Obama's mixed-race parents had communist leanings because back when they got married, the only reason black and white people married was because they were communists. Or Accuracy In Media's Cliff Kincaid and his retro Red Scare column about how "Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA."

5) and most common--that Obama is some kind of cult-leader. Sigh.
CNN's Carol Costello suggested that the audience response at an Obama rally represented "a scene some increasingly find not inspirational, but 'creepy,' " while on-screen the text read "OBAMA-MANIA BACKLASH" and "PASSION 'CULT-LIKE' TO SOME."

The Los Angeles Times' Joel Stein referred to "the Cult of Obama," while mocking the campaign as "Obamaphilia" and his supporters as "Obamaphiles." (If Obama supporters were wondering what it felt like to be openly derided by the mainstream media, now they know.)

Time's Joe Klein complained, "There was something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism." The Times' Brooks joked that Obama's supporters would soon be "selling flowers at airports and arranging mass weddings."

And most egregiously, ABC's Jake Tapper made fun of the "Helter-Skelter cult-ish qualities" of Obama's supporters. That's right, the Charles Manson-led Helter Skelter cult that slaughtered five adults during the summer of 1969, and the same cult that believed murderous blacks would soon stage a bloody revolution and try to take over America. That's who Tapper compared Obama's base to. Ha-ha. Get it?

Why is the media so bad? That is a different question--one we have grappled with here some. Partly it has to do with the celebrity of the modern media. Tim Russert makes money off his reputation as a tough interviewer--not because he is dedicated (ala Ted Koppel) to journalistic excellence. Most of these people on the TeeVee wouldn't be there except they look good on camera and can read a teleprompter. And Boehlert points to one of the biggest problems in the media today:
Why? Because when McCain and the entire GOP establishment play the liberal media bias card and complain that the press is going too easy on the Democrat, the press will listen.

History shows us that the press panics when faced with the charge of liberal media bias, especially during a campaign year.
It is very true.

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