A Sycophant in Wolffe’s Clothing
Journalist Richard Wolffe's new book about Obama deserves a place in the media bias hall of shame.
July 16, 2009 - 12:00 am
Reading books by the opposition is generally an educational yet unpleasant endeavor. Devouring Renegade: The Making of a President was no exception to this rule. Its deliberate (self-?)deception proved both annoying and painful, but revealed much about the mindset of mainstream media members. Of course, its author, Richard Wolffe, no longer hustles from a reporter’s perch at Newsweek because since April he has officially spun tales for the benefit of a public relations firm instead.
Like many others ensconced in the journalistic milieu, Wolffe reflexively attempts to deceive his audience regarding the nature of his own political bias. He is entirely contaminated by leftism and seems blissfully unaware of how discernible his compromised state is.
Wolffe fails resoundingly in his central mission to “neither lift up the candidate nor to tear [Obama] down” and “to probe and challenge, to inquire and investigate, to observe and analyze, to explore and explain.”
The activist reporter initially expressed doubts that the book would ever see the light of day because “publishers want partisan screeds.” Yet he fulfilled expectations by providing Crown with exactly that.
Despite being granted exclusive access to the Obamamessiah, the author manages to reveal nothing new about the president while simultaneously defending him against the charges of his critics.
Wolffe’s unreliability as a source can be inferred from his claim that the idea to write this book came from the highest authority — meaning, Barack Obama. That Wolffe eagerly fulfilled his directive is not surprising, even though his former editor at Newsweek would only go so far as to term our untested and inexperienced leader “a sort of god.”
That President Obama gave his blessing to the venture is readily believable, as Wolffe never questions or critiques anything that emits from his mouth and affirms his deity at every opportunity. The author accepts the hunks of lies fed by his savior in the manner of Shamu with a Sea World trainer.
Wolffe plays Boswell to Obama’s Johnson — provided, historically speaking, that Boswell was a logic-trampling simian and the father of the dictionary was a physically fit narcissist with no respect for truth whatsoever. Turbid is the smoke surrounding Obama and our scribe-observer seems quite content to keep its plumes as thick as possible.
What’s important to remember about Renegade is that its bias is far from brazen. Its influence is subtle, which makes its attempts to sway more invidious. What is left unsaid is as troubling as what is said. For example, even a person devoid of cynicism would be somewhat puzzled by the author’s acceptance of Obama’s stated rationales for desiring the presidency: “because I have good ideas” and due to his “deep and abiding love for this country.”
In light of his omnipresent ambition, the number of czars proliferating, and Obama’s known penchant for interfering with private contracts, to attribute his ascendancy to altruism is absurd. Moreover, Wolffe buys that a politician so obtuse as to hold that he can borrow his way out of debt spends “a lot of time reading about” the world financial system.
A more typical instance of media bias is the discovery that Senator Tom Coburn is a “social ultraconservative” while no Democratic pols are delegated as ultraradicals or ultraleftists. Assumedly, only conservatives warrant placement on the extremist side of the political spectrum.
Along these same lines, commentator Dick Morris is dismissed as a “Hillary hater,” but no matching derogation is given for his leftist television peers. Wolffe’s slander is entirely undeserved as Morris is a critic of the Clintons, not a hater. Furthermore, based on everything I’ve read by Morris, he is a hater of no one.
Wolffe does not use the word “hater” so freely, though, when it comes to Jeremiah Wright. He believes more prudent a newspaper headline describing the reverend as a “Preacher with a Penchant for Controversy” rather than one describing him (accurately) as “Obama’s Minister of Hate.” Few at the DNC would disagree with the author’s conclusion or that criticisms of their candidate were “smears.”