Okay, seriously now……
I actually like Barack Obama. Granted, I didn’t vote for him; but I am (particularly in comparison to Dick Durbin) somewhat proud to call him my Senator. I read his book, and found that he has some interesting and important things to say. And if he runs – more power to him!
As I’ve said before, what bothers me about Obama-mania is the degree to which the media is not simply reporting it, but rather creating it. What evidence is there to support this? Well, consider the past week. Locally, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board and Illinois political guru Rich Miller published editorials essentially encouraging an Obama run. Nationally, there have been stories in the Washington Post and on NPR’s All Things Considered program. None of these stories or commentary mentioned any of the numerous polls taken regarding a potential Obama candidacy. Since they won’t, I will. A quick glance at pollingreport.com shows that Obama (despite popular myth) trails potential GOP candidates Rudy Giuliani and John McCain by double digits. He also constantly ranks behind Giuliani, McCain, Clinton, Rice, Edwards and even Al Gore when people are asked whether or not they would like to see the above mentioned run for president.
The NPR story really got under my skin, because I pride myself on being a Republican who actually enjoys their programming (particularly Saturday mornings) and is honest enough to admit that their ‘liberal bias’ is often overstated. But Mara Liasson’s report entitled "Barack Obama, Still on the Rise" was anything but serious, objective journalism. She claims that "some people who have met him say Obama has a powerful, even mesmerizing effect," then backs that up with a sound bite from Donna Brazile. To support the claim that there is a broad, grassroots movement supporting an Obama run, she interviews a computer programmer who started a "draft Obama" website, but who has admittedly also volunteered for other Democratic presidential candidates in the past. Most infuriating is Liasson’s attributing the "dismissive" assessment of Obama as a "blank canvas where people project their desires" to "a Republican," when almost the exact same sentiment and wording was used by The Nation’s David Sirota!
Perhaps there is something "special" and "unique" about Barack Obama. One thing is for certain, he definitely gets a special and unique sort of treatment from the press. Hopefully, this will be the last post I have to do about Obama for a while. Hopefully I will have spurned some of the professional political reporters out there to look at the polls and give us an honest assessment of what’s going on out there. If there is something "centrist" and "unifying" about Obama, they need to stop basing their stories on the anecdotal evidence of adoring supporters who will be voting for the Democratic nominee whomever he or she is. Give us the facts, and let us decide if Obama really is the "real thing."
Also posted at the Grand Old Partisan of Illinois
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Okay, seriously now……