September 17, 2011

REX MURPHY: The Media’s Love Affair with a Disastrous President. Now approaching an end, I think.

But he’s right about this: “As the bad economic news continues to emanate from the United States — with a double-dip recession now all but certain — a reckoning is overdue. American journalism will have to look back at the period starting with Barrack Obama’s rise, his assumption of the presidency and his conduct in it to the present, and ask itself how it came to cast aside so many of its vital functions. In the main, the establishment American media abandoned its critical faculties during the Obama campaign — and it hasn’t reclaimed them since. . . . As a result, the press gave the great American republic an untried, unknown and, it is becoming more and more frighteningly clear, incompetent figure as President. . . . To the degree the press neglected its function as watchdog and turned cupbearer to a styrofoam demigod, it is a partner in the flaws and failures of what is turning out to be one of the most miserable performances in the modern history of the American presidency.”

As with John Edwards, though, they’ll pretend they had nothing to do with it.

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste emails:

Rex Murphy’s column you linked to is interesting. But what’s particularly interesting is the word that isn’t there: “black”.

What no one wants to say is this: the reason the press gave Obama a free ride was because he is black. He’s the ultimate example of affirmative action.

Well, who can blame them, when every criticism of Obama is characterized as racism? And reader Sean Sorrentino writes:

You wrote “As with John Edwards, though, they’ll pretend they had nothing to do with it.” I think it will be more subtle than that. I think what will happen is that they will wring their hands and promise NEVER to do that again. They will take up their duties as political watchdogs with a vengeance. The next President will get the full treatment. The fact that the next President will be a Republican will not have anything to do with this. No Sir. Honest.

Heh. That’s probably right . . .

MORE: Den Beste posts an extended version.

STILL MORE: Bill Quick:

It’s all bullshit, you know. This new meme, that the press “neglected its functions as watchdog.” It didn’t. It performed to perfection what it truly believes its function is: to help shape history, politics, and culture in ways it finds congenial. Early on, the press made a collective decision that helping to effect the election of Barack Obama would admirably fulfill that function, and so it did everything it its power to help him defeat, first, Hillary Clinton, and next, John McCain. There was no failure here. There was instead complete success at fulfilling their intentions.

Unfortunately for them, the man they elected was nowhere near as effective in advancing their mutual goals as they were at getting him elected in the first place. And so, rather than admit their willing efforts to elect him, and take responsibility for the resulting disaster, they would rather pretend that their sin was a “failure” to “act as a watchdog.”

The truth is, their only failure was to drastically overestimate his ability to do what they elected him to do. That’s what they’re really ashamed of. They thought they were electing a full-on Marxist hero. Instead, they elevated an incompetent socialist with pretensions to Marxism. And now, steeped in the misery and humiliation of their own miscalculations, they want to pretend – and want us to believe – that their only sin was neglecting to vet him properly.

Indeed.