Obama, the Media, and Dog World
A friend of mine, who happens to own three dogs, once articulated the concept of Dog World for me: the canine's charming ability to completely forget everything outside its immediate purview and then instantly light up with delight when, say, you come back into the room -- even if you've only been gone for a couple of minutes. Everything has been forgotten and forgiven, and the world begins again anew.
This phenomenon, I think, explains the mainstream media's utter inability to cover Barack Hussein Obama and his administration with any degree of rationality. It's been a commonplace for at least five years now that the MSM is more lapdog than watchdog, and the rapidly diminishing news organizations have become kennels for the housing of particularly prized hunt (conservatives) and fetch (for liberals) hounds.
The MSM gleefully abandoned all pretense of neutrality once Obama showed up -- for the aging Baby Boomers who still control the legacy media, the Civil Rights movement (not the Cold War against Soviet Communism) was and remains the signal issue of their lives; for them, Obama was the living embodiment of Martin Luther King's great "Dream" speech and, however unworthy he was to take on Dr. King's mantle ... well, you go to war with the army you have. There cannot be any "objectivity" about Obama, because to allow any into the coverage would be to negate the entire reason the news chiefs went into journalism in the first place.
Fair's fair -- the men (and they were all men in those day) who hired Boomers like me back in the late sixties and early seventies were, for the most part, cold warriors. There was a national bipartisan consensus about George Kennan's doctrine of containment (although even then the original red diaper babies were doing all they could to help out their ideological allies, the Soviets). Was the coverage therefore slanted against "objectivity" when it came to Soviet communism and the danger it posed to American society? Of course it was.
Now the Left is in the ascendancy in the media and academe and all the other professions into which they fled after their revolution of 1968-70 came up short, and they figured out you could get your head busted or worse trying to go up against The Man without adequate backup. It's just their luck that, late in their careers, they've completely taken over journalistic enterprises like the New York Times and the Washington Post, just as those newspapers are crumbling; when Carlos Slim bailed out the Times and Jeff Bezos bought the Post, they temporarily suspended their War on the One Percent in the interests of self-preservation, but you don't need a former member of the Weather Underground like Obama's buddy Bill Ayers to know which way the wind's blowing.
Still, for the Left, "objectivity" in covering Obama hasn't entirely died, it's just been redefined. Where once it mean "balance," today it means "forget everything that happened yesterday," just like in Dog World. Obama's prior actions, statements, inconsistencies, gaffes? No problem! Yesterday's fishwrap, pixels in the sand. Did the president switch positions on a dime? Who can remember back that far? It's like the scene in Casablanca (no, not that scene) in which Rick blows off Yvonne, his French girlfriend:
Yvonne: Where were you last night?
Rick Blaine: That's so long ago, I don't remember.
Yvonne: Will I see you tonight?
Rick Blaine quote: I never make plans that far ahead.
In other words, Obama and the Democrat-Media Complex exist in the Context of No Context. This allows the president to stay on the campaign trail (the only thing he really knows how to do; it's certainly not basketball or golf) and, in effect, to run against himself. The media allows him to hold one position -- say, opposition to gay marriage -- for years and then suddenly switch sides after "evolving," without ever mentioning again his former opposition. (That's because, in their hearts of hearts, they knew he was lying all along.) To bring it up again would not only be bad form, it would be indulging in "analysis" in the sacrosanct "news columns," which as we all know are completely free of spin, attitude or snark unless some Republican or conservative deserves it.