Newsweek's Embarrassing Homage to Obama
The only time in my life as a broadcaster that I departed from impartial analysis was after 9/11, when I waxed lyrical about Donald Rumsfeld. He had united a fractured nation with his oft-hilarious press conferences. His wit and raw patriotism were an inspiration to many at home and to those of us suffering abroad in a fiercely anti-American world. However adoring the press was towards Rumsfeld, nothing equals in unctuousness a recent issue of Newsweek, "Obama on Obama."
Journalists are supposed to be impartial in reporting on the peregrinations of leaders. Little wonder I nearly dropped my pizza slice all over my "Don't Tread on Me" t-shirt when I saw the aforementioned issue of Newsweek with the president on the cover. Apparently this is the twenty-sixth time Barack Hussein Obama has been on Newsweek and Time covers since 2007. Newsweek was renamed Obamaweek on a Fox News panel show in mid-June and this made me happy because I thought I was overreacting when the text of the O feature began to muddle my grey matter.
It should be noted that I am not a rabid Obama-hater and have, in previous op-eds, noted the joy with which my late, devoutly liberal mother, a lifetime fighter for gay and civil rights, would have kvelled on November 4, 2008. My problem with Newsweek is that the man is being lionized before he has achieved anything great for our beleaguered nation. It should also be noted that it is not proper to attack a fellow journalist, but I felt compelled to critique the profile of the president because it borders on hero worship. Were she alive my late mother would argue that she would have been paralyzed with awe interviewing Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but, whether one loves or loathes the legacy of FDR, BHO is not yet in that league.
This is what offends me:
In the feature about President Obama, the journalist, Jon Meacham, kicks off with "Barack Obama, moving as he wishes to move, and the world bending itself to him." What does this mean? Yes, he did bend to the Saudi princes. When he went to Russia in July did Vlad Putin bend to him? Vlad was not even at the airport and was probably practicing his karate moves in his personal Kremlin gym.
Meacham goes on to observe that the travails of Obama's days as a community activist have metamorphosed into "a palpable feeling of authority and effectiveness. What he says, what he does, what he decides: it matters, and he loves that." Well, we should be glad that the president likes his job, but as things seem to be going from bad to worse, from the economy to world affairs to state budget disasters, it seems what he says does not matter to the folks slaughtering one another in Honduras, China, the Middle East, the Gulf, Africa, and a few other troubled locales.