A clear view of Obamania from overseas *UPDATED*

Danny Lemieux sent me a link to what must be one of the clearest statements ever written about the media fetish regarding Democratic candidates generally, and Obama specifically. The author is Gerard Baker, writing in the London Times. After describing media love affairs with presidential candidates from Kennedy on up, Baker gets to the meat of the matter:

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.

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”. This rhapsodic inside account of Senator Obama’s campaign reads a little like a cross between Father Alban Butler’s Life of St Francis and the sort of authorised biography of Kim Jong Il you can pick up in any good bookshop in Pyongyang.

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.

You must read the rest of Baker’s article. It’s beautifully written and it perfectly nails the scary way in which the media worships their latest savior. And if you haven’t watched the video I recommended in the preceding post, you’ll definitely want to after having read Baker’s article.

UPDATE: If you have the stomach for it, in light of the above opinion piece, you’ll enjoy this perfect example of AP hagiography — er, I mean, an AP news report — about Obama:

Is Obama, with his incandescent smile and silky oratory, a once-in-a-century phenomenon who will blast open doors only to see them quickly close on less extraordinary blacks?

Or is he the lucky and well-timed beneficiary of racial dynamics that have changed faster than most people realized, a trend that presumably will soon yield more black governors, senators, mayors and council members?

Presidential campaigns have destroyed many bright and capable politicians. But there’s ample evidence that Obama is something special, a man who makes difficult tasks look easy, who seems to touch millions of diverse people with a message of hope that somehow doesn’t sound Pollyannaish.

Please forgive me while I abandon my keyboard a moment and fall down and worship at my Obama-shrine.

H/T: Best of the Web

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  • Ymarsakar

    Remember back in 2002-8 wherein the Left and their Democrat useful idiots always accused conservatives or Republicans of being x-heinous, when the truth of the matter was that it was the Left that was x-heinous?

    Thus we have the Democrats accuse Bush of building a theocracy in America. And now we have Obama.

    You see how accurate Leftist projection truly is? And I mean projection as in psychological projection, not logarithmic, linear, non-linear, or exponential projection.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    I wish I’d abandoned my keyboard in time…..now I have to clean the “sick” out of the keys….

    (retch)

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  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Earl, I love comments that make me burst out laughing, as yours did.

  • Mike Devx

    The AP article in the update would have gotten an ‘F’ in any journalism class with a “See Me” at the top. After the hapless student shuffled to the desk, the teacher would say:

    “I’m very impressed with the grammatical construction of your sentences,”
    (because you always want to start out positive)
    “but have you been listening to anything I’ve said throughout these months? Journalism is about facts and a sober presentation of reality. You’re not supposed to fawn and gush over your subject as if you were a child on your first trip to Disneyland. It’s rather pitiful.”

    Student shrugs. “Well, I tried.”

    “That’s not good enough. There are techniques to be mastered, tones to register, themes to be followed. You must do better, much better.” Teacher pauses. “What magazines do your parents have at home?”

    “People.”

    “Oh, my God.”

    “Entertainment Weekly.”

    “Anything else? Any others?”

    “No, that’s it.”

    A sigh. “Well, aside from a regrettable lack of self-direction, that certainly does explain things. Here… let me provide you with some better examples.” The teacher goes to the shelves and rummages through stacks of magazines and newspapers. “Hmmm… The NY Times. My goodness, how did I ever let these stick around? … hmmm… here we go, some Time and Newsweek – er, no, they are too recent, they’re less than twenty years old! I’ve got it. Try these. The Wall Street Journal.”

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  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Wow. Folks, this isn’t journalism; it’s politics. And political speeches don’t really do anything. They uplift and inspire. Full of empty promises, our candidates court us and tell lies about each other in hopes of obtaining enough votes to do whatever they can (from the list of things they’d like to accomplish). And when someone says, “it’s time for a change,” what’s to debate (unless you like the way things are going).

  • Ymarsakar

    Journalism isn’t even journalism. So there’s nothing to debate there, either.

  • Ymarsakar

    I’m glad that helen agrees that the main stream media is a political organization out to sacrifice other people for political ambition. Next step is we break apart the power of the press to manipulate nations and governments.

  • http://thomaschronicles.com Thomas

    Hello Bookworm,

    Newsweek, The NY Times, MSNBC portray themselves as “news organizations” but rarely present the news. The facts are even, at times, distorted.

    As far as I can recollect, the last time we’ve seen anything like this is in the person of Joseph Goebbels. He presented propaganda as news, advocated the subsuming of individuality to the collective state (note the “inspiring”, “uplifting” verbage of the current media), and he elevated one individual to the status of a “Myth”.

    Towards the end of 1941, at the height of Nazi power and domination in Europe, Goebbels claimed the creation of the “Führer myth” as his greatest propaganda achievement. He had some justification for his claim, and . . . the “Hitler myth” [was] an achievement of “image-building” by masters of the new techniques of propaganda. However, it has been rightly pointed out that the “heroic” Hitler image was “as much an image created by the masses as it was imposed on them.” Propaganda was above all effective where it was building upon, not countering, already existing values and mentalities.

    Whatever vacuity exists in Obama because of his remarkable lack of achievement in the 50 odd years of his life is counterbalanced by our media’s effort to elevate Obama to the heights of a “savior”. Goebbels would have been proud.

    We’ve heard this tune before, haven’t we?

    We know next to nothing about Obama other than his associations, his appallingly scant amount of work in the Illinois legislature and the US Senate (he barely bothers to show up), and his two books where race is uttered on every other page.

    If the only information we can gather about Obama comes from his adoring fans in the press, Obama’s elevation would be complete and without challenge. As much as I dislike many of the ill effects of the internet upon society, on this score, thank God for the internet.

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