Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Media's Crush on Obama

A TimesOnline writer from across the pond marvels at how our media has throughout the years anointed some politican as a great savior from all out troubles. He notes John and Robert Kennedy, Carter and then Clinton, and of course now, Obama.

But something has always been missing in the adorations of the press. What is that? A Republican, of course.

The alert among you will have noticed by now that what all these spiritually uplifting leaders have in common. They are all Democrats. Never in any of the chapters of this hagiography does a Republican, a conservative, appear in a remotely similar light. These alien creatures by contrast have always been portrayed as cartoonish representatives of the Dark Side of humanity, or, if they were really lucky, simply idiots, failed B-movie actors and irredeemably ignorant hicks with embarrassingly neanderthal views on women, religion and communism.

So the media has found their shining light once again:

It's been a while coming - neither Al Gore in 2000 (before the luminescence created by his recent joint Nobel/Oscar triumphs) nor John Kerry in 2004 quite fit the bill. But it's fairly clear now that, with the near-certain nomination by the Democrats of Barack Obama everything is in place for the media to indulge in one of the greatest, orgiastic media fiestas of hero-worship since Elvis Presley.

You will not see a finer example of the genre than the cover story of this week's Newsweek, which was entitled “The O Team”.
Mr Obama is portrayed throughout as an immanently benevolent figure. Not human really, more a comforting presence, a light source. He is always eager to listen to all aides of an argument, always instilling confidence in the weak-willed, resolutely sticking to his high principles and tirelessly spurning the low road of electoral politics. I stopped reading after a while but I'm sure by the end he was healing the sick, comforting the dying, restoring sight to the blind and setting prisoners free.

McCain was the one Republican the media kind of liked, but now that he is up against the rainbow of light that is Obama, he will need to be "recast in the more familiar Republican mould of villain and scaremonger-in-chief."

As amusing (and true) this piece is in describing how our media portrays the ones they wish to be elected, it is a sad commentary on journalism in this country. It also explains the growing popularity of the "new media."

Obama is charasmatic, but the media is making him out to be a much bigger personality than it's possible to be.
Remember, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
h/t BigDog