Tina Brown: I’m a Sap, a Specific Kind of Sap. I’m an Obama Sap

Oh sorry, that was David Brooks’ MSM mea culpa last week. We’ll get to Tina Brown’s in just a second. But first, a quick flashback.

Back in 2008, Barack Obama was omnipresent on the cover of Newsweek, as the Media Research Center noted with this partial round-up from the middle of that year:


Tina Brown wasn’t editor of Newsweek in 2008, so we can’t blame the magazine’s hyperpartisan Obama hype on her. (Just to keep track of things, Time compared him to FDR; Newsweek to Lincoln. Oh, and then God. And then the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva.) Though we can say that it led to the destruction of the Washington Post-iteration of the magazine, causing it to be sold to the late husband of California Democrat Jane Harman for a $1.00, and ultimately placed into Tina’s hands as editor.

But we can blame this November 5th 2008 article titled “Magic” on her, given that it carries her byline:

This has been an election full of magic. White Magic that only the black man from everywhere and nowhere could perform. Even his adored grandmother dying on the eve of the victory had a mythic feeling of completion to it in a candidacy full of signs and symbols. Remember the three-point basketball shot when he played with the soldiers in Kuwait? It’s as if Obama is the prince who lifts the curse in a fairy story, a curse that began eight years ago with an election wrenched away from the rightful winner and begetting as a consequence the wrathful visitation of tragedy and wars and hurricanes and economic collapse.

Perhaps the most moving image in the Chicago crowd last night was the pudgy, tear streaked face of Rev. Jesse Jackson as he held aloft his little American flag.

Last night President-Elect Barack Obama gave America back its idea of itself. Just by winning he restored the nobility of a dream that has inspired the world for 230 years. As he told us all last night: “This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change.” We were given that chance once in our longing for service and unity after 9/11 but what we got was a call to go shopping and we know where that took us. Even McCain seemed a different man when he conceded. Noble again. A Man of honor. The curse of this campaign has been lifted from him too.

Now can we please not risk any more catastrophes by letting this administration stick around? Just scrap the transition and let President Obama clean house right away like the Brits do at Number 10 Downing Street? In the country of my birth, the Prime Minister kisses the Queen’s hand and he’s in and the loser is on the way out with no time to make off with the silver. President Bush is still rushing through executive orders President Obama and his team (which he has surely decided as coolly as he planned everything else) will have to take months undoing. There are still agonizing weeks to wait before America can begin the painful job of putting herself back together and just by still being in the White House, I am afraid that Bush and the Death Eaters will cause some fresh disaster to fall.

Except that now if it does, we will feel better prepared to face it. Obama has been so calm and disciplined and resilient in his quest for this moment. He had to be. He was black and he has always known that one false step and he was down and out. Knocked off balance by the Reverend Wright tapes, he relied not on old style retaliation but on the power of reason and the power of words. His race speech became one of the most downloaded videos on YouTube.

His subtle guiding intelligence married to that uncanny connection to the fine-tuning of the zeitgeist made his campaign an unstoppable force before which everything fell away. The entertainment world saw it coming. This morning in the BBC Green Room, Richard Schiff, who played Toby Zeigler, the White House Communications Director on The West Wing, told me that in the 2004 series, Democratic candidate Matt Santos was based on Barack Obama. And, of course, Dennis Haysbert, who played the first President Palmer on FOX’s 24 further imagined for American audiences a black leader of the free world. Then the rest of the country caught up. You could almost feel the world spinning faster and faster in the last year, before it came to a stop in Chicago on November 4, 2008. As a new American, I pulled the lever for the first time and felt how lucky it was that it was this election I got to vote in. As I left the booth in the Catholic high school on East 56th street I felt as joyful and emotional as any Iraqi with a purple forefinger.


These days? Not so much: “Liberal Newsweek Editor Admits: “Obama ‘Wasn’t Ready’ to Be President:”

During an appearance on Morning Joe, Tuesday, Newsweek editor Tina Brown made an off-hand remark about Barack Obama, conceding that the politician “wasn’t ready” to be President. Brown has previously attacked Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives for daring to oppose the Obama

While discussing whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will change his mind and run for President, the former New Yorker editor blurted, “Actually, I just hope he doesn’t, because in the end, you know, his tremendous misgivings, maybe he is right. I mean, We had this with Obama. He wasn’t ready, it turns out, really.”

As the Professor would say, “Rube.”

In a way, Obama’s 2008 saga was the opposite of Robert Redford in The Candidate. Obama’s galactic-sized ego likely prevented him from asking Redford’s famous question at the end of that iconic 1972 movie: “What do we do now?” And the media certainly never bothered to ask “What does he do now?” after the inauguration.

Which in a nutshell is how the nation winds up here, and Tina’s admission today on MSNBC:


Wouldn’t a shock cover story expose on how the media completely botched that story — maybe with a mea culpa from Tina at the top of the issue — be a great way to hit the CTL-ALT-DLT keys and turn Newsweek around? Or to paraphrase Dan Rather when caught cooking the books on RatherGate, If the MSM blew it covering for Obama, Tina would like to break that story.



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