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Obama and the Media: It's Not a Sing-Along


There's a song by the blues ensemble "Fathead" with a terrific title: "First Class Riff-Raff". I would call it to the attention of all our big headed politicians who get so caught up in their delusions of grandeur they dpn't remember how Americans see them: as First Class Riff Raff.

It's easy for them to forget that the their esteem and the terrific honorifics are merely the reflected glory of their offices. We chose them after they probably went through demeaning gyrations in order to be elevated onto their government pedestals. So it's easy to understand why we take great delight in knocking them off.

They take quite a pounding, particularly from the relentless criticism and second guessing of the media.

That brings to mind another piece of music: "Send in the Clowns". Let's face it, the news biz is saturated with ill-informed bombast and triviality that masquerades as journalism. It's not entirely that way, but oftentimes, the substance is drowned out by the noise and blotted out by superficiality. This abandonment of the mission to inform has been accelerated by the desperate efforts to keep up with the internet.

So it's easy to understand why a political leader, say a President of the United States, might get a little thin-skinned after awhile, weary of trying to match wits with nitwits. All this static interferes with his message.


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There's only one thing worse, President Obama (did I mention this was about President Obama?). What's worse are docile, pliant media who, instead of tripping you up, march in lockstep with you, as so many did during the campaign. It wasn't good for the country then and it isn't now. Clowns we may be, but you are not the Ringmaster.

Like so many in power, any and all Presidents, eventually look out from theircircle of sycophants and see a herd that engages in rabble-rousing instead of reporting that would properly explain the nuance of thinking among you and yours. It's easy to see how a generation or two ago, the press was viewed as a collection of "Ink Stained Wretches" All that's changed in modern times is that most people wonder what "ink" is. But then, as now, you leaders-of-the-free-world decide that doesn't include a free-press. Inevitably, you go that extra step...you get spiteful.

The anti-media rhetoric becomes a standard part of your speech. You resort to attempts at intimidation, in ways that not only display pettiness but counterproductive silliness. As an example, look at how the paltry efforts to shut out Fox News have not only sent even more wingnuts to FNC, but have even forced the competitors to galvanize in support of the the network and the principle that it's not up to you to determine which organizations are "acceptable".

Preach to your choirs all you want, politicians, but try to remember we in the media are not part of them. We can be expected to carry a different tune, and no matter how discordant it may seem to you it is not your right to force us into adhering to what you consider proper harmony.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 26, 2009 12:39 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Slicing the Ham.

The next post in this blog is The Meeting: A Fox in the White House.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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