Instead, the paper put the video of the whole hour-long interview online, where it sat until late October of 2008, when the then-nascent multimedia blogger known as “Naked Emperor News” (later affiliated, I believe, with first Breitbart.tv, and then Glenn Beck’s The Blaze website) stumbled over it and sent a link to Matt Drudge.
It was an October surprise hiding in plain sight, that could have easily been the Chronicle’s story 10 months earlier. As the Chronicle’s Bronstein later said of Obama, in mid-2009, when the first hints of the bloom were just gradually coming off the rose:
This guy is good. Really good. And, frankly, so far, we’re not.
You can’t blame powerful people for wanting to play the press to peddle self-perpetuating mythology. But you can blame the press, already suffocating under a massive pile of blame, guilt, heavy debt and sinking fortunes, for being played. Some of the time, it seems we’re even enthusiastically jumping into the pond without even being pushed. Is there an actual limit to the number of instances you can be the cover of Newsweek?
If I wanted to see highly manicured image management I’d just take some No-Doz and read Gavin Newsom’s tweets. But the Obama-press dance is a more consensual seduction where, in the old-fashioned sense, we’re the girl. (In California, there’s no other option.)
And in 2008, the Chronicle, as with most old media shops, didn’t exactly play hard to get. The love affair, now seen as a the courtship to a permanent, albeit rather abusive relationship, was so obvious, even the McCain camp could see it back then:
Did any of that play a role in yesterday’s story? Maybe not. But the distance between the two events, and all that’s come between them is enormous. (Including the administration’s heavy-handed tactics with Fox, Forbes, and other news organizations and even individual columnists, not to mention at least once calling into an MSNBC show on the air to “request” a correction.) And you know, it kind of places this viral early-2007 video produced by one of candidate Obama’s staffers into fresh perspective as well:
A few months after Obama spoke to the Chronicle, in April of 2008, San Francisco was also the place where a Huffington Post journalist with a digital audio recorder would capture Obama’s infamous Bitter Clingers line. In terms of revealing the president’s harshly punitive worldview it was the very definition of a Kinsleyesque gaffe.
As I asked last month, at this point, where else can Obama’s base go? And earlier this month, a group of hardcore Obama fundraisers sang to Obama in, appropriately enough, San Francisco:
We’ll vote for you in 2012, yes that’s true
Look at the Republicans – what else can we do
Even though we don’t know if we’ll retain our liberties
In what you seem content to call a free society
Of course, they also ponyed up $5,000 a person that night. Similarly, it’s a remarkably safe bet that the Chronicle will still — somehow — reluctantly find it in their heart to endorse President Obama reelection bid next year, no matter how heavy handed they treat the Chronicle’s reporters.
Where else are they going to go?
Update: Welcome those readers clicking in from Instapundit, and from Hot Air, where this item is cross-posted. I’m pleased to be sitting for a few days while Capt. Ed and the First Mate are on an inspection tour of Europe, in order for each major blog on the starboard side of the Blogosphere to have at least one Ed on duty at all times, as stated by a recent Web-oriented codicil of the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
For more on the Chronicle’s star-crossed affair with the president, don’t miss Bookworm Room on how “Totalitarian revolutions always end up eating their own.” And Tom Blumer of BizzyBlog spots how this story is even more interconnected than I first imagined: “WH West Coast Pool Reporter Banned for Videotaping SF Fundraiser Protest Gave Obama Early 2008 Assist by Omission.”