There is little in the way of Obama coverage that surprises me. I don't know when I will get around to posting this (I'm writing it while camped out on the couch battling depression), but as of this draft it is 1/22/09. He's been in control for all of two days, so I wonder how much of what I write will hold up when this is actually posted.
I've covered the nomination of Obama in previous posts. I felt as if it had an almost fascistic air to it, and definitely reeked of propaganda. Even some of my friends who are Obama supporters are beginning to find the continuing coverage a little ... creepy. He's got the whole world in his hands, indeed.
Photos of the president adjusting his tie are described as “remarkable.” Pundits are saying he has changed the way black and white people are dealing with each other. Any moment I expect CNN to describe him as “the next Jesus.” Why is this? What is the fascination? I can only think of two things. History and Bush.
I think many journalists got so caught up in Obama-fever that they really couldn't criticize the man ... especially when other journalists were happily describing him as our next “ruler.” Sure, these various medias are trying to keep a sense of fairness, but look at NBC. That network has been selling an Obama DVD, with commercials for it during the nightly news. CNN makes the prideful boast that it is keeping the new administration honest, but the next commercial is for a CNN election day t-shirt (pro Obama). Am I the only one who finds irony here? It's kind of right on the nose. It's our first black president. Fine. We all can understand the historical impact of that (and that is nothing to be dismissed out of hand), but does that mean he and his administration are above serious examination and criticism? I don't think so, but it seems that Anderson Cooper does.
And then there's Bush. After close to a decade of that bumbling idiot's practically suicidal administration doing its best to run this country into the ground, Obama does seem like the Second Coming personified. He's everything Bush was not. Articulate. Intelligent. Well liked by people of his own country and leaders of other countries. Charming. Unfortunately, there are similarities, too. Both are shrewd men who aren't above throwing their friends to the lions (Obama even moreso), and both picked cabinets that are more than a little suspect. You won't find many in the mainstream media pointing this out.
McCain has become a footnote. Truth be told, however, I trusted him more. I wouldn't vote for him (my political leanings mean I don't really vote for leaders), but I did believe his words over Obama's. (Though toward the end of the campaign it was obvious McCain was listening to all the wrong people.) McCain may have been a bit of a racist, a hawk, and eventually easily manipulated, but he also spoke his mind for the most part. I'd rather hear things I don't agree with as opposed to rhetoric meant to draw a cheer and little in the way of thought.
The mainstream media truly dropped the ball when it came to the Bush years. It bought the lies and refused to ask the tough questions. And that is from a media that seemed to seriously dislike the man. When it comes to a media darling, does anyone seriously expect the mainstream media to deal with him with anything resembling tough questions? No. Like the feminists remaining quiet during Clinton's cigar fucking, the mainstream media will ignore that which takes more than a sound bite.
As I finish this up, I am watching Anderson Cooper's CNN show. Photos from the inauguration day are being described as “remarkable,” “incredible” and are compared to the footage of the plane that went down in the water. (One of those “incredible” pictures shows the First Lady putting a shoe on her daughter. I mean, that really is pretty damn fucking cool when you think about it. How many other parents do things like that? Not many, that's for sure.) Yeah, CNN can be trusted all right. It can be trusted not to delve into anything resembling truth (something that has been a problem for the network ever since it fired those journalists for doing their job). It can be trusted to not ask the tough questions regardless of what its commercials assure us. This is the network that shows footage of Obama ordering food on Air Force and describes it as “extraordinary.”
We have lost all sense of scope in this Obama-mania. Photos of the president with his eyes closed are now given the same consideration as photos of new galaxies forming. A dinner order is handled with the same seriousness as Hurricane Katrina. The “tough” questions asked are like this one, which was heard on CNN, “Can the president exercise on board [Air Force One]?” Granted, this was some from National Geographic special, but CNN ran it several times as news.
Those really are some tough questions. Somewhere in there I must have missed the one about why Obama broke his campaign contribution promise. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but when a guy who wants to be president breaks a promise that was one of the backbones of his campaign, I think that says something about character. But what do I know?
So let's compare this, written on 1/22/09, compared to the day you are reading it. Have my words held up? Is he still being treated like a god, or has the media and the rest of America come to its senses? I think I know ... but I hope I'm wrong.