Monday, November 17, 2008

Any Pretense of Impartiality Is Purely Coincidental

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The media have been gloating. After eight years and two presidential campaigns in which they were beaten and exposed as laughable hacks, they now have their moment. Like the child who makes it to the bathroom all on their own for the first time during potty training, they are incredibly happy with themselves. They've done it, they've put their man in office and for the first time since 1996, they can say that they are relevant once again, they are important. The captain of the football team even winked at them.

The fact that they've destroyed what took at least a century to build is a non-starter because they have proven to themselves that they are popular again.

Even Howie Kurtz--a man who was loathe to criticize his brothers and sisters who were giving the finger to those who saw the media as a non-partisan entity--now has seen fit to point out the cult of personality that has engulfed those who write the first draft of history:

MSNBC, which was accused of cheerleading for the Democratic nominee during the campaign, is running promos that say: "Barack Obama, America's 44th president. Watch as a leader renews America's promise." What are viewers to make of that?

There is always a level of excitement when a new president is coming to town -- new aides to profile, new policies to dissect, new family members to follow. But can anyone imagine this kind of media frenzy if John McCain had managed to win?

Obama's days of walking on water won't last indefinitely. His chroniclers will need a new story line. And sometime after Jan. 20, they will wade back into reality.
Probably not, Howie. Obama will be given an extended honeymoon that any former president would have died for. I expect at least a year of blame for every blunder to be squarely placed on the shoulders of George W. Bush. Did they blame Clinton for 9/11 when he had myriad opportunities to take out bin-Laden but failed and resulted in the annihilation of a portion of Lower Manhattan less than nine months into W's term? Of course not.

We now have the least experienced and least vetted candidate in US history about to lead this nation. Traditionally, the job of vetting was entrusted to the media. Not anymore, Once trust is lost, it's difficult to gain back. The media colluded to avoid any stories which had the potential to derail what they saw as the inevitable and the ending they wanted. Why write an expose on William Ayers, have you seen Obama speak they said to one another. Rezko? Too boring and besides, have you seen Obama smile? Rev. Wright? All heresay generated by the right-wing machine meant to take us off-track when we are chronicling this inevitable moment in history they muttered.

So here we stand with a rookie president with a resume listing "community organizer," state senator and US Senator for a few years. Such a scant resume would surely have been picked apart by the media were it that of a GOP candidate (and was in the case of Gov. Palin). A man who has been given a pass on every single major issue in his past is now poised to be the leader of the free world because the media wanted it that way. The value of this betrayal of great reporters of the past is incalculable by a dollars and cents scale but put Obama over the top.

The newsmedia is done and it only took an Obama win, media people treating the moment like it was coming of the Lord and a few headlines that have been the status quo for months for Howie Kurtz to suddenly write about it.

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