Edward Klein’s “The Amateur” — and what it reveals about America’s partisan media

I got a $5 Amazon gift card, so I overcame my usual skinflint habits and purchased Edward Klein’s The Amateur.  It is a very easy read (I’m more than halfway through after only an hour and a half), and a scary one too.  The book’s title could just as easily have been “The Malignant Narcissist.”  It describes a White House under the sway of a man who is simultaneously unreasonably arrogant and insecure to the point of paranoia.  To cope with both of these pathologies, he surrounds himself with utterly loyal sycophants who, wrapped in their own insecurity, work hard to isolate the president from anyone who could interfere with their ideology, their power plays, and their egos.

Scary as the White House is, what’s really horrific is the way the media still works to protect the man and his plan.  The book makes clear that the media hasn’t been treated very well by the White House (no access), and that savvy media members have caught on to the fact that the Obama White House is a dysfunctional place.  They don’t care.  Obama is pursuing an agenda in which they fervently believe.  They won’t do anything to destroy the narrative.  Witness the election coverage that sees the media play lap dog to the Obama campaign, while working hard to undermine the Romney campaign.

Honest reporting would require them to stop this kind of partisan activity.  Wounded egos (and there are many because of the White House’s arrogance) would hint that the love would die.  But while the big donors — the ones who, in 2008, put their money where their mouths were — have kind of oozed away (they still talk the talk, but they don’t write the checks), nothing stops the media.  It talked the talk before, when the love affair was in its passionate ascendency, and it’s still talking the talk, despite the fact that the Obama love affair has proven to be nothing more than a campaign-fueled one night stand.

We all thought that the media showed its partisan stripes when it drove Obama’s campaign in 2008.  That was nothing.  At least then the media had the excuse of hope, ignorance, and novelty.  Now, though, there’s no excuse.  The media, despite knowing that Obama was grossly unprepared for the job and is driving the White House into the ground, nevertheless still campaigns for him as vigorously as ever.  If Obama wins in 2012, it will be because of the powerful cabal of media and Hollywood, the first of which provided the PR and the second the cash.  And I’ll tell you right now that there’s something seriously wrong with a country that lets those two entities dictate national policy.

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  • Charles Martel

    In Arthur Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon,” the revolutionary hero Rubashov willingly accepts being purged by the Party, even though in bourgeois terms the indictment against him is a lie and great injustice, because he believes in the Party’s ultimate cause. It does not matter if he, a mere molecule in the majestic sweep of history, is “wrongly” convicted and destroyed. The Party will prevail and mankind surely will someday live in a heaven on earth.
    The American press is a collection of Rubashovs. Though its members may personally disdain and find distasteful the little monster in the White House, they know it is their duty to abet the things he stands for.

  • groman

    I think most of us who’ve spent any time researching BO prior to 2008 and since his anointment, have understood all along that this malevolent man-child had a serious personality defect. Never mind the dysfunctional childhood, just judge him by the company he has kept for the last twenty years. It’s too bad his media handmaidens are such lousy students of history. Who are the first to be killed when a dictatorship arises? That’s right, all the useful idiots who helped Dear Leader in the first place. For they are now a danger to his rule.

  • Mike Devx

    There may have been a time, pre-Obama, when I merely *thought* that the media were propagandists, no longer interested in the truth, and dedicated to deceiving the American people.  I may also have *thought* that socialism and redistribution were wrong and guaranteed to fail.

    One of the benefits of having suffered through nearly four years of Obama is: I no longer *think* such things.  I am now absolutely certain of them.  The mainstream media is utterly biased, deceitful, untrustworthy, and, yes, they are deliberately deceiving you.  Obama’s socialism, green dreams, and redistrubtionist policies (especially to his political friends, aka crony capitalism) ARE guaranteed to always fail.

    I also heard that Paul Krugman was the scheduled speaker to an event at the NetRoots convention (a far-left gathering, if you don’t know), and he showed up to give his speech… to a completely empty banquet room!  Not one guest – and this is the far-left! – wanted to hear what their Nobel-Prize-winning, highly influential among the “in crowd”, and  most noteworthy propagandist has to say!!!

    So I’m thinking, things are looking up!

    But then I read that 64% of American Jews still support and will vote for President Obama in 2012.  And I am flabbergasted.  Are American Jews really that intensely far-left as a bloc of voters, that they would deliberately betray Israel to vote for Obama?   To vote for the most vicious and virulently anti-Israel president that the USA has ever had, and is likely to ever have?  How can American Jews betray Israel to the forces of darkness that seek to destroy it?  It becomes clear that for most American Jews, they have no love for Israel, and in fact they don’t even have LIKE.  It is impossible, otherwise, to square their support for the monstrously vicious Obama with any warm feelings for Israel.  They are far-left Democrats, and will vote Democrat, even if that Democrat pushes the button against Israel himself.

    Nothing else explains it.  64% of American Jews still will vote for Obama!!! Unbelievable!!!  The mind is staggered and reeling.  The sun is rising up the western horizon, pigs are flying, and cows are playing the ukelele and singing opera.

  • Charles Martel

    Mike, most of the Jews I know are classic self-loathers or deracinated. Being Jewish to them is a sort of charming little amulet created by primitive ancestors that sets them apart, a clever conversation piece as long as their politics remain conventionally left. Once you have reduced the moral demands of a great religion to such generators of cheap grace as abortion on demand, plundering the national treasury, and equating sexual minorities with the enslaved Hebrews in Egypt, you’re pretty much left with, as C.S. Lewis put it, men (and women) without chests.
    I think that despite their horrendous history of persecution, Jews tend to be optimistic–“Next year in Jerusalem!”–which explains why, even with the Holocaust so recent, American Jews are repeating the delusional mindset of Middle Europe’s Jews in the late 1930s. It simply can’t happen here, can it?
    The Israelis certainly aren’t delusional. Living next door to savages who bray endlessly about their desire to eviscerate you has a way of serving a ginormous restraining order on fantasy. It will probably take a few Biden-like slips of the tongue by the Jew haters who surround Obama to pry open enough eyes to make American Jews finally blink and see the light.


    I was thinking back to the old days when each network had their own “foreign news bureau”. The closings were supposedly tied into belt-tightening but the more probably reason was cable television. Watching them fawn, kneel and schmooze with dear leader – it became pretty obvious that they would never need a foreign news bureau again. The MSM has become the foreign new bureau – the Russian Politburo.

    Mike Devx, I cannot explain the 64% either, although individual assimilation and interfaith marriages account for 50%. Old habits are hard to break – calling yourself Jewish and then doing everything to upend it IMO is a slow suicide. I’ve never understood how some call themselves Jewish and live like a Gentile.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Charles Martel: Being Jewish, I ought to resent what you wrote — except that you’re absolutely right.  Jews used to be about justice.  Now, they’re about political self-delusion.  Pathetic really — and dangerous.

  • jj

    Those two things go together, Sadie – the proliferation of cable and the need for network belt-tightening.  I am most certainly no fan of network news operations, but the government screwed the networks good and hard and deep while cable was getting up and running – and have continued to do so.  (And, though it pains me to say it, Reagan made matters worse.)

  • lee

    A couple of random thoughts:

    Journalism is a relatively new thing. Sure, once upon a time, there was a “town crier” but they announced whatever the local authorities wanted them to announce. Not some objective “news.” Newspapers only go back a couple of centuries. And for much of their existance, many of them existed primarily as some one’s, some party’s, some group’s, mouthpiece. I have spent an inordinant amount of time doing research that has involved reading massive quantities of articles printed in the various New York newspapers from the late 1890’s* to the early 1900’s and believe me, “objective” is NOT a word that could be used to describe the news any of them saw fit to print. But then, the first school of journalsim in the US was not established until1908. Read the Wikipedia article (and if it’s in Wikipedia, it MUST be true, right? -sarcasm alert-) on “Journalism.” I love the two “philosphers of journalism” cited–Dewey and Lippman. If these are the primary two who shaped American schools o’ journalism, and American journalism in general, no wonder we’re in a mess…

    On  to random thought Number Two: Yep, Charles Martel (and I love your nom de cyber, btw), I, like Bookworm, am Jewish and
     ought to resent what you wrote, but you are right. But there is another group who are not, as you describe “deracinated”–and I cannot figure out why the heck they can’t wake up and smell the coffee. These are the Not Academically Afiliated Modern Orthodox of the Leftist Enclaves. Like the Upper West Side. They work for their living. They are defi itley PRACTICING Jews. They tend to be supportive of Israel. I have many as friends on Facebook. And yet, they support Our Dear Leader–AND I CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY!! One of my friends recently posted a limk to an announcement for some talk by some idiot who claims Our Dear Leader is a supporter of Israel. (snort) Does the Upper West Side eruv emit rays designed to cloud Jews’ minds so they cannot see the real Dear Leader?

    * Yes, the height of the Pulitzer-Hearst battle. And believe me, the other papers were NOT much better. The NY Times tended to be a little more staid than most of the others, but it was almost strictly a MANHATTAN newspaper. News of the hinterland, the other boroughs, was more or less treated as fillers. The best paper of that period, by far, was the Brooklyn Eagle.