Ed Driscoll

Random Anthropological Observations of the Faith-Based Community

ABC-Disney’s Barbara Walters discusses the legacy media’s initial take on Barack Obama with Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman Piers Morgan: “We thought that he was going to be — I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime — but the next messiah,” as spotted by Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters:

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009?

BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you’ve touched on it to a degree. He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be — I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime — but the next messiah. And the whole ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call it, the Affordable Health Act, it just hasn’t worked for him, and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.

It’s very difficult when the expectations for you are very high. You’re almost better off when they are low and then they rise and rise. His were very high and they’ve dropped. But you know, he still has several years to go. What does he have, three years, Piers? And, you know, there will be a lot of changes, one thinks in that time.

There are all sorts of follow-up questions that could be asked of Walters at this point, none of which Morgan is capable of doing — because he too thought of Obama as the next messiah (and very likely still does). Off the top of my head, some of these questions include:

● When you said that “we thought he was going to be…the next messiah,” define “we,” please?

● How could virtually the entire MSM get the biggest story of 2008 wrong? Why did they move in such lockstep?

● This wasn’t a case of single reporter on a crime scene talking live into a mini-cam, and making a snap decision to go with his gut during a fast-moving story that turns out to be wrong — telling viewers that the suspect has a gun, when it turns out later he actually had a knife, that sort of thing. This was a long, slow-moving story that stretched out for years. The cutline on Froma Harrop’s article at Real Clear Politics, titled “Obama Scores as Exotic Who Says Nothing,” was December 26, 2006. Which means that the MSM had over a year and a half to tell potential voters what Mr. Obama wasn’t saying. Instead, in mid-2008, CNN demonstrated how flexible they would be with the truth, first praising hate-filled Obama mentor Rev. Wright’s NAACP, then a week later, tossing Wright down the memory hole on behalf of his most famous parishioner.

● Immediately after the election, in November of 2008, a CNN journalist submitted an article that compared Obama to Lincoln, FDR, JFK and even Bill Clinton before concluding, “The Americans who are comparing him to those remarkable predecessors are putting a lot of faith in a man they barely know.” Who’s fault is that, champ? The weekend prior to the election, Tom Brokaw of NBC and Charlie Rose, then with PBS, pretended that they knew little about Obama, despite having the Internet at their fingertips, and their own vast research departments at their beck and call. Clearly they chose not to tell voters who Obama really was for ideological reasons. Why?

● During that period, Barbara, is there anything from either Hillary’s camp, or John McCain’s, or information from ABC journalists that would have caused you to discard your messianic worship of a fellow radical chic Democrat?

● And of course the ultimate questions: Why should we trust the MSM ever again? Not just Walters, who’s reportedly retiring next year, but the entire ABC news team, AKA, the House of Stephanopoulos, himself a former Clinton aide? And CNN, and NBC?

● Am I missing anything above? What questions would you ask the MSM if a superstar journalist made such a jaw-dropping statement to you? Let me know in the comments.

The MSM could use all the help from us that we can muster; they have lots of soul-searching they still need to do, almost as much as Dan Rather, for similarly cooking the books in 2004. And like Rather, they’re too oblivious to even realize how badly they deceived the American public in 2008…and 2010…and 2012…and 2013, until the horrific reality of the Obamacare rollout was too overwhelming, even to those residing in the ozone layer of the self-styled elite MSM.  Which brings us to Brent Bozell’s column today, also at Newsbusters, titled “Safeguarding Obama Throughout 2013”:

The statist media despised sequestration in February, and hated the shutdown in October. Politico columnist Roger Simon won the “Kamikaze Award for Disparaging Conservatives During the Shutdown” with this snide riddle. “Question: If Ted Cruz and John Boehner were both on a sinking ship, who would be saved? Answer: America.”

There was an obvious “Quote of the Year” for 2013: the one that removed Martin Bashir from MSNBC. On November 15, he carefully laid out the diary of one Thomas Thistlewood, who punished slaves by having someone urinate and defecate in their mouth. Bashir concluded  “if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she [Palin] would be the outstanding candidate.”

For this, Bashir was out standing – on the street corner looking for a new job. Maybe there’s a slot at the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. He’d feel right at home.

While I rarely disagree with Bozell’s take on a media issue, that last sentence is actually quite a backhanded shot at the lads in the DC sewer department, who spend years perfecting their craft in a thankless but absolutely vital job that hundreds of thousands of local residents rely upon every day. As opposed to Bashir, a leftwing newsreader in a $3000 bespoke suit, who discovered the hard way that it’s possible to go too far, even at Comcast-NBC-Universal. Even when demonizing Sarah Palin, the designated anti-Christ to the man that old media dubbed God.