Me­dia still hasn’t said who Obama re­ally is

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Tony Blank­ley

The main­stream me­dia have gone over the line and are now straight out pro­pa­gan­dists for the Obama cam­paign. While they have been lib­eral and blink­ered in their world­view for decades, in 2007-08 for the first time, the ma­jor me­dia are con­sciously cov­er­ing for one can­di­date for pres­i­dent and con­sciously knifing the other. This is no longer jour­nal­ism — it is sim­ply pro­pa­ganda. (The Amer­i­can left-wing ver­sion of the Volkischer Beobachter can­not be far be­hind.) And as a re­sult, we are less than seven weeks away from pos­si­bly elect­ing a pres­i­dent who has not been thor­oughly and even half way hon­estly pre­sented to the coun­try by our watch­dogs — the press.

The im­age of Barack Obama that the press has pre­sented is not a fair ap­prox­i­ma­tion of the real man. They have con­sciously ig­nored whole years in his life, and showed a lack of cu­rios­ity about such gaps that be­speaks a lack of jour­nal­is­tic in­stinct. Thus, the pub­lic im­age of Mr. Obama is of a “Man who never was.” I take that phrase from a 1956 movie about a real life WWII Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence opera- tion to trick the Ger­mans into think­ing the Al­lies were go­ing to in­vade Greece, rather than Italy, in 1943. Op­er­a­tion “Mince­meat” in­volved the ac­qui­si­tion of a hu­man corpse dressed as a Maj. William Martin, R.M. and put into the sea near Spain. At­tached to the corpse was a brief-case con­tain­ing fake let­ters sug­gest­ing that the Al­lied at­tack would be against Sardinia and Greece.

To make the op­er­a­tion cred­i­ble, Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence cre­ated a fic­tional life for the corpse — a let­ter from a lover, tick­ets to a Lon­don the­ater, all the de­tails of a life — but not the ac­tual life of the dead young man whose corpse was be­ing used. So, too, the man the me­dia has pre­sented to the na­tion as Mr. Obama is not the real man.

The main­stream me­dia ruth­lessly and end­lessly re­peats any McCain gaffes, while ig­nor­ing Obama gaffes. You have to go to weird lit­tle In­ter­net sites to see all the stam­mer­ing and stut­ter­ing that Mr. Obama needs be­fore get­ting out a sen­tence frag­ment or two. But all you see on the net­works is an even­tual one or two clear sen­tences from Mr. Obama. Nor do you see Mr. Obama’s lu­di­crous gaffe that Iran is a tiny coun­try and no threat to us. Nor his 57 Amer­i­can states gaffe. Nor his for­get­ting, if he ever knew, that Rus­sia has a veto in the United Na­tions. Nor his whin­ing and puerile “come on” when he is be­ing chal­lenged. This is the kind of edit­ing one would ex­pect from Goebbels’ dis­ci­ples, not Cronkite’s.

More ap­palling, NBC’s “Satur­day Night Live” sug­gested that Gov. Sarah Palin’s hus­band had sex with his own daugh­ters. That scene was writ­ten with the as­sis­tance of Al Franken, Demo­cratic Party can­di­date for Se­nate in Min­nesota. Talk about in­cest.

But worse than all the un­fair and dis­torted re­port­ing and im­age pro­ject­ing, is the shock­ing gaps in Mr. Obama’s life that are not re­ported at all. The ma­jor me­dia sim­ply has not re­ported on Mr. Obama’s two years at Columbia Uni­ver­sity in New York, where, among other things, he lived a mere quar­ter mile from for­mer ter­ror­ist Bill Ay­ers— af­ter which they both ended up as neigh­bors and as­so­ci­ates in Chicago. Mr. Obama de­nies more than a pass­ing re­la­tion­ship with Mr. Ay­ers. Should the me­dia be cu­ri­ous? In only two weeks the me­dia has fo­cused on all the colleges Mrs. Palin has at­tended, her hus­band’s driv­ing habits 20 years ago and the close crit­i­cism of Mrs. Palin’s may­oral po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents. But in two years they haven’t both­ered to see how close Mr. Obama was with the ter­ror­ist Ay­ers.

Nor have the me­dia paid any se­ri­ous at­ten­tion to Mr. Obama’s rise in Chicago pol­i­tics — how did hon­est Obama rise in the fa­mously sor­did Chicago po­lit­i­cal ma­chine with the full sup­port of Boss Da­ley? De­spite the great — and un­flat­ter­ing de­tails on Mr. Obama’s Chicago years pre­sented in David Fred­doso’s new book, the main­stream me­dia con­tin­ues to ig­nore both the facts and the book. It took a Bri­tish pub­li­ca­tion, the Econ­o­mist, to give Mr. Fred­doso’s book a re­view with fair com­ment.

The pub­lic im­age of Mr. Obama as an ide­al­is­tic, pos­trace, post-par­ti­san, well-spo­ken and hon­est young man with the wis­dom and courage be­fit­ting a great na­tional leader is a con­fec­tion spun by a will­ing con­spir­acy of Mr. Obama, his pub­li­cist David Ax­el­rod and most of the se­nior ed­i­tors, pro­duc­ers and re­porters of the na­tional me­dia.

Per­haps that is why the Na­tional Jour­nal’s re­spected cor­re­spon­dent Stu­art Tay­lor has writ­ten that “the me­dia can no longer be trusted to pro­vide ac­cu­rate and fair cam­paign re­port­ing and anal­y­sis.” That con­spir­acy has not only photo-shopped out all of Mr. Obama’s im­per­fec­tions (and dirt­ied up his op­po­nent Mr. McCain’s im­age), but it has put most of his ques­tion­able his­tory down the mem­ory hole.

The pub­lic will be vot­ing based on the ide­al­ized im­age of the man who never was. If he wins, how­ever, we will be gov­erned by the sunken, cyn­i­cal man Mr. Obama re­ally is. One can only hope that the se­nior jour­nal­ists will be judged as harshly for their pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct as Wall Street’s leaders cur­rently are for their fail­ings.

Tony Blank­ley is a syndicated colum­nist.

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