As world changes, the me­dia stays the same

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Tony Blank­ley

With the world con­stantly chang­ing, with Barack Obama in fa­vor of change, with Mr. Obama con­tantly chang­ing, there re­mains only one fixed spot in a world of chaotic change — the main­stream, mo­ron me­dia. It’s odd, but I find their pre­dictable non­sense quite com­fort­ing.

There is so much change in the world. I don’t know whether Michelle Obama thinks Amer­ica is “down right mean” and not a coun­try of which she is ever proud (ex­cept as it loves her hus­band) or whether, as on Aug. 25, her heart is all aflut­ter at the flap­ping of Old Glory when she is not be­ing a sis­ter to her brother, a daugh­ter to her mother, a mother to her daugh­ters, a wife to her hus­band, and, oh yes (though not men­tioned in the speech) a $300,000-a-year em­ployee of a Chicago hospi­tal so closely con­nected to Mr. Obama and his pub­lic re­la­tions firm that it would need their finest sur­geons to sep­a­rate them at their shared pock­ets.

I’m all in fa­vor of try­ing to make change my friend — al­though it’s not likely to be a last­ing re­la­tion­ship. But I con­fess that a lit­tle sta­bil­ity can be a com­fort also. And that is why the morn­ing of Aug. 23 was such a comfortable mo­ment for me. When I turned the TV on, the po­lit­i­cal ca­ble shows were filled with lib­eral pun­dits, lib­eral an­chors, lib­eral guest his­to­ri­ans, lib­eral weather gals and guys, lib­eral news you can use chicks, lib­eral po­lit­i­cal “strate­gists” (i.e. out of work for­mer Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee gofers.) What a re­lief — noth­ing had changed.

And, of course, all of the above im­me­di­ately went about their pre­dictable chore of trans­form­ing Sen. Joe Bi­den from what he is to what Mr. Obama needs him to ap­pear to be. Mr. Bi­den is, in fact, a ge­nial and much liked Wash­ing­ton in­sider with a ten­dency to­ward mild racial and eth­nic stereo­typ­ing, a six­term se­na­tor, a fix­ture of Wash­ing­ton pol­i­tics and a cheer­ful swim­mer with the rest of us in the great Po­tomac swamp. He is one of the big­gest, old­est and most tooth­ful of the al­li­ga­tors, which Wash­ing­ton out­siders reg­u­larly prom­ise Amer­ica they will leave high and dry af­ter they have drained the swamp.

So ev­ery lib­eral “ex­pert” on tele­vi­sion spon­ta­neously as­serted that Mr. Bi­den is no Wash­ing­ton in­sider — be­cause he com­mutes an hour by train home most nights. His heart is “back home in Delaware.” This is a most pre­pos­ter­ous, ris­i­ble, farce of a lie — so nat­u­rally each and ev­ery one of the lib­eral me­dia re­peated it straight faced and very earnestly. It warmed me to see my old re­li­able lib­eral mo­ron me­dia think­ing it was fool­ing the pub­lic when say­ing in the same breath that a six­term se­na­tor, chair­man of the For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee was no Wash­ing­ton in­sider. Even us sim­ple sons of the soil (I own a small gen­tle­man’s farm) could see through that howler.

The next en­dear­ingly ob­vi­ous lie was that Mr. Bi­den was not re­ally from Delaware (a small, re­li­able Demo­cratic state), but rather from Scran­ton, Pa. (a big, swing state) — even though Mr. Bi­den left Scran­ton as a young child at about the same age that Mr. Obama left In­done­sia. So why is Mr. Obama from Chicago and Mr. Bi­den from Scran­ton? But, be­cause Mr. Bi­den had his nap­pies changed in Scran­ton (also the myth­i­cal home of Hil­lary Clin­ton dur­ing the pri­mary sea­son, I seem to re­call), the mo­ron me­dia tells us he is real pop­u­lar in Penn­syl­va­nia and will help carry the state for Mr. Obama. Ex­cept he never reg­is­tered more than a few sin­gle dig­its in the Penn­syl­va­nia poll when he was run­ning in the pri­mary this sea­son.

Even as the first polls reg­is­tered the barest flicker of any pub­lic re­sponse to Mr. Bi­den’s se­lec­tion na­tion­ally — he seems to gen­er­ate a more tepid re­sponse from the pub- lic than Al Gore in 1992 or John Ed­wards in 2004 — lib­eral me­dia types were call­ing the se­lec­tion a mas­ter stroke, the best pos­si­ble choice.

Noth­ing against old Joe, but if Mr. Obama had se­lected a ham sand­wich as his run­ning mate, our old friends the main­stream mo­ron me­dia would be just as gush­ing and en­thu­si­as­tic (“by pick­ing a ham sand­wich, Mr. Obama, in a mas­ter stroke, has sent a dog whis­tle mes­sage that he is not a Mus­lim — as Mus­lims ab­hor ham. The ham sand­wich will also do very well in the agri­cul­tural Mid­west — which is a great hog farm­ing re­gion — thus bring­ing into play an­other 47 elec­toral votes. Also the ham sand­wich will help unite the party be­cause every­one likes a ham sand­wich — ex­cept the re­li­gious Jews, and they are part of the 23 per­cent of Jews who al­ready vote Repub­li­can. The ham sand­wich com­pares very fa­vor­ably with the other short list VP choices. Un­like Mr. Bi­den, the ham sand­wich doesn’t talk much and never makes a gaffe — it just goes about its busi­ness be­ing tasty and nu­tri­tious. Un­like Sen. Evan Bayh, a ham sand­wich is not bland — par­tic­u­larly when you put a lit­tle Di­jon mus­tard on it. And un­like Gov. Tim Kaine, the ham sand­wich is no novice. It has been around for thou­sands of years.”)

Obama/Ham for Pres­i­dent! Can’t you just taste victory?

Tony Blank­ley is a syndicated colum­nist.

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