The Two MSM Presidential Templates: Camelot And Gridlock
The other day, building on John Nolte's theme of "Palace Guard Comedians", I wrote:
Whereas the journalists of a less enlightened age once sought out some blend of the truth and readers, the journalists (read polemicists) at the Times and MSNBC clearly have higher callings these days: placating Pinch and GE, respectively. John Nolte, the editor of Big Hollywood recently dubbed television satirists defending President Obama instead of speaking mirth to power “Palace Guard Comedians”; clearly there are plenty of Palace Guard Journalists as well.
Add CNN to the list, which earlier this week celebrated President Obama's generational wealth theft, with a birthday cake:
Yes, the same Stimulus program that retiring Democrat Senator Evan Bayh noted has failed to create any jobs:
“If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months.”
Mike Bates of Newsbusters writes:
Over at the most trusted name in news, they sure know how to party when it's called for. That was evident this afternoon on CNN Newsroom when anchor Ali Velshi gushed:Happy birthday, dear stimulus. Our producer Ben Tinker (ph) baked this cake. It is a stimulus happy birthday -- first birthday cake, which is also a pie chart. It is the birthday of the stimulus. It is actually very --
In the same segment Velshi assured guest Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Biden, that "I don't think we give much sway to people who say nothing (in terms of jobs) was created, it's just hard to actually respond and say something was created, cause jobs were lost."
Presumably not celebrating the stimulus's anniversary with a cake were the 94 percent of respondents to a recent CBS/New York Times poll who don't believe the stimulus has created a substantial number of new jobs. Of course, Ali doesn't give them much sway anyhow.
So after the celebrating the crash of that dead zeppelin, what does CNN think of Obama's second year in office? This is CNN -- or at least its PR department, which emailed this press release out this morning:
CNN Dedicates Week of Coverage to America’s Broken Government
Reporting and Analysis Across All CNN Platforms Beginning Monday Feb. 22
With constituents giving Congress one of its lowest approval ratings ever and politicians throwing in the towel, the issue increasingly uniting the right, left and middle is that the government is not working the way it should.
Beginning Monday, Feb. 22, CNN launches Broken Government, a multi-platform initiative to report in-depth on how the current environment in Washington as well as state capitals and small towns is disappointing and enraging many Americans and what solutions are being proposed to fix it.
As with the Stimulus Report, CNN will air several segments per hour from American Morning through Anderson Cooper 360, culminating in an hour-long special hosted by Jack Cafferty at 7p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 titled Broken Government: A Cafferty File Special Report.
Throughout the week CNN correspondents and contributors will file in-depth reports from around the country on issues including the debate over government spending, congressional gridlock, outrageous medical expenses, Wall Street bonuses, the disappearing middle class, and the rise of Independents as partisan extremism grows. CNN will bring its contributors and experts together--including TIME magazine correspondents--to offer diverse perspectives and analysis on these issues.
Since CNN and Time magazine share the same exact same establishment liberal ideological worldview (not to mention the same parent company), how diverse is the perspective going to be?
And which baker will supply the catering?
More seriously, as Andrew Breitbart said at the Nashville Tea Party convention this month, the legacy media has two templates for coverage of Republicans and conservatives: Watergate and racism.
Similarly, the MSM also has two templates for liberal presidents they wish to prop up: Camelot and gridlock. CNN's birthday cake (and what would the First Lunch Lady say about such rich, un-nutritious food?) marks the transition from the former template to the latter, for reasons that the Wall Street Journal makes easy to understand:
For the fourth time since the 1960s, American voters in 2008 gave Democrats overwhelming control of both Congress and the White House. Republicans haven't had such large majorities since the 1920s. Yet once again, Democratic leaders have tried to govern the country from the left, only to find that their policies have hit a wall of practical and popular resistance.
Democrats failed in the latter half of the 1960s, as the twin burdens of the Great Society and Vietnam ended the Kennedy boom and split their party. They failed again after Watergate, as Congress dragged Jimmy Carter to the left and liberals had no answer for stagflation. They failed a third time in the first two Bill Clinton years, as tax increases and HillaryCare led to the Gingrich Congress before Mr. Clinton salvaged his Presidency by tacking to the center.
* * *
A fourth crackup is already well underway and is even more remarkable considering how Democrats were set up for success. Inheriting a recession amid GOP failures, Democrats had the chance to restore economic confidence and fix the financial system with modest reforms that would let them take credit for the inevitable recovery. Yet only 13 months later, Democrats are down in the polls, their agenda is stymied by Democratic opposition, and their House and Senate majorities are in peril as moderates like Mr. Bayh flee the scene of this political accident.
Democrats have responded by blaming "obstructionist" Republicans, who lack the votes to block anything by themselves; or a failure to communicate the right message, though President Obama is a master communicator; or even Madison's framework of checks and balances, though this system has worked better than all others for some 225 years.
John Podesta, who ran Mr. Obama's transition and heads the Center for American Progess that has supplied the Administration's ideas, summed up the liberal-media mood last week when he told the Financial Times that American governance now "sucks." If you can't blame your own ideas, blame the system.
The real source of this mess is the agenda that Democrats have tried to ram through the political system. Far from offering new ideas to reform the welfare state or compete better against rising global powers, Democrats have with rare exception tried to impose the same spending, tax and regulatory agenda that failed in the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s. Mr. Obama was a new face promising new hope, but his ideas are as old as the average Congressional Chairman.
To fix the economy, Democrats sent federal spending to peacetime heights in the name of replacing private investment with "public demand." But instead of spurring recovery, this spending spree has retarded it by frightening the public and business about future tax increases and the rising burden of public debt. The new jobs Democrats promised still haven't arrived, and while the recovery should finally produce job growth this year, Americans know they have received little for their $862 billion in "stimulus."
The rest of Mr. Obama's liberal agenda has foundered on its own overreaching implausibility. To fight the speculative threat of global warming, Democrats have tried to impose vast new taxes to raise energy prices. To address rising health-care costs, they proposed huge new health subsidies and political control of medical decisions. Medicare is heading toward bankruptcy, yet Mr. Obama's response is to make the entire health-care system like Medicare. And to fix the financial system, they have declared war on bankers while proposing reforms that would do little to prevent future bank bailouts.
The central contradiction in modern liberal politics is that Otto von Bismarck's entitlement state for cradle to grave financial security is no longer affordable. The model has reached the limit of its ability to tax private income and still allow enough economic growth to finance its transfer payments.
You can see this in bankrupt Greece, where government spends 52% of GDP; or in California and New York, where the government-employee unions have pushed tax rates to punishing levels and the states still can't pay their bills. Americans can see that this is where Mr. Obama's agenda is also taking Washington, and this is why they are rejecting it.
Camelot's over. Onto Gridlock!
Related: Doug Ross has your "Striking Headline Juxtaposition o' the Day." Meanwhile, TheBlogProf notes that the Stimulus promises should be revised to reflect not just jobs created or "saved" -- but lost as well:
I found this on my own blog from one year ago yesterday, just a days before the stimulus was signed into law: White House: Michigan could get 109,000 jobs from stimulus bill. 109,000 jobs added. Didn't quite work out that way. Here's what I had to say about it a year ago: "Don't hold your breath just yet, though - it's going to get worse before it gets better. All this debt that we are assuming will simply not help. What is being done right now is what led to Japan's "lost decade." It also deepened and lengthened the Great Depression... it's doubtful that the non-stimulus stimulus bill will make up even for the job losses in the last year. Of course, the Obama administration will be quick to make up a number of "jobs saved." Such a number will only be speculative, but the sycophantic media morons will trot out the canard anyway."
And so the prediction has come to pass. Michigan has in fact lost more than 162,000 jobs since Feb 17th of last year. Being that we were promised 109,000, that puts the Obama administration, both ironically and rightfully so, in deficit for job creation, by 271,000 jobs in Michigan alone.
The jobs deficit. Who knows -- maybe one day it will have a tote board near Times Square as well.
Related: From Steve Green, "A Pundit Says What?"