‘GET A ROOM’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - / Bruce Tins­ley

“Obama and the fawn­ing press need to get a room,” the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle’s Phil Bronstein writes in a blog at www.sf­gate.com.

“When Barack Obama de­cided that ques­tions from the Ger­man press about his trip agenda in that coun­try were too pesky, he told the re­porters, ‘So, stop it, all of you!’ He just wanted them to ask things he wanted to talk about. Well, what politico wouldn’t want that?” Mr. Bronstein said. “OK, Dad. We’ll be­have. “And ac­cord­ing to a new Pew Re­search Cen­ter poll, we are be­hav­ing … like fans. On do­mes­tic press, it showed that ‘Pres­i­dent Barack Obama has en­joyed sub­stan­tially more pos­i­tive me­dia cov­er­age than ei­ther Bill Clin­ton or Ge­orge W. Bush dur­ing their first months in the White House’ with ‘roughly twice as much’ Obama cov­er­age about his ‘per­sonal or lead­er­ship qual­i­ties’ than was the case for ei­ther pre­vi­ous pres­i­dent.

“Back in the U.S., NBC’s Brian Wil­liams’ two-part ‘Liv­ing Large With the Top Dog’ fea­ture on Mr. Obama’s life in­cluded a plug for Co­nan O’Brien’s new show and men­tion of ca­ble talkies where Mr. Obama only cited MSNBC per­son­al­i­ties. Ac­ci­dent? I don’t think so. There were a few prob­ing mo­ments in there, but they were over­shad­owed by the flash of hang­ing out in the back of the Auto One limo and hav­ing burg­ers. A lit­tle navel-gaz­ing among jour­nal­ism stan­dards hall mon­i­tors about whether the thing had been too soft came and went.”

Mr. Bronstein added: “You can’t blame pow­er­ful peo­ple for want­ing to play the press to ped­dle self-per­pet­u­at­ing mythol­ogy. But you can blame the press, al­ready suf­fo­cat­ing un­der a mas­sive pile of blame, guilt, heavy debt and sink­ing for­tunes, for be­ing played. Some of the time, it seems we’re even en­thu­si­as­ti­cally jump­ing into the pond without even be­ing pushed. Is there an ac­tual limit to the num­ber of in­stances you can be the cover of Newsweek?” tor across civ­i­liza­tions, redeemer of our faith in Amer­ica, a salver of wounds and a teacher — Mwal­imu, in the Swahili of his fore­fa­thers — of all good things. Mwal­imu Obama made School­boy Brown stum­ble, and it was piteous to be­hold.

“When a politi­cian is wor­shiped to the ex­tent that Obama has come to be, those who an­swer to a dif­fer­ent liturgy, a dif­fer­ent creed, are re­duced to a kind of im­po­tence. That is the state to­day of the Repub­li­can Party, which can­not counter his charisma, his rhetoric, his prosody. The Repub­li­cans should, by sense and by logic, seek to counter his ideas, for this is where he is weak­est. But here, too, al­though weak, he is not vul­ner­a­ble; his halo dis­arms his op­po­nents, not merely shield­ing him from at­tack but turn­ing at­tack on him into an op­tion that is un­seemly.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

His Wor­ship­ful­ness: Pres­i­dent Obama

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