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Monday, May 4, 2009

From President to King While the Media Yawns

Most conservatives and even many liberals were appalled by the media's treatment of then candidate Barack Obama during the campaign. We all expected the same cheerleading treatment when he was president and so far we haven't been disappointed.

What hasn't been discussed as much are the implications of a press that stops being watchdog and becomes nothing more than a propaganda arm of the administration. One obvious side effect is that corruption and mafeasance goes on and is left unchecked. Another side effect is that the government takes on new roles and powers without any sort of scrutiny of their expansive reach. We have, unfortunately, seen all of this manifest and the media has been largely silent.

The first hundred plus days has seen the media be a cheerleader and something akin to a worshipping cult for the president. This was epitmozied by the White House press corp standing in shock and excitement when the president made a surprise visit to the daily press briefing. The press showed no such excitement when then President Bush made a similar surprise appearnance during a press briefing. So, while they have been treating the president as something near a messiah they have also overlooked some very important story.

The most recent is a startling accusation that the White House tried to strong arm Chrysler creditors into accepting a restructuring plan they didn't want by threatening to sick the White House press corp on them and smear their reputations in the media. This story neither lacks drama or intrigue and yet the press has collectively yawned over this story.

Last week, the Government Accountability Office said that the both the stimulus and TARP both are sorely lacking in oversight and both are likely to be exploited and corrupted. Now, think about that. Between the two, there is about one and a half trillion in tax dollars and an arm of the government is saying the government is failing in oversight. As such, all of this money will likely be exploited and corrupted. Again, the media seems to ignore this and the story is barely reported.

There was another report that strongly indicated that in the next couple weeks the government would turn its preferred stock in banks into common stocks. Such a move would make the federal government a major shareholder in the banks and thus be back door nationalization. Now, isn't it a story that the federal government is nationalizing the banks, especially in such a stealth way? Yet, this particular story has barely been reported outside the financial stations.

Then, Bill O'Reilly reported that an arm of GE would be a major beneficiary of the president's cap and trade legislation. GE owns both NBC and MSNBC, both very favorable networks to the Obama administration. They also do a lot of green technology programming. This is both a potential quid pro quo between one of the most powerful companies in the world and the leader of the free world. It's also a potential conflict of interest for the network. This story was ignored outside of the Fox News Channel.

Now, what has happened in the last just over one hundred days? The president has taken over the auto makers. He's taken over the banks. He's expanded government. Now, he's set his sights on nationalizing health care, centralizing education, and controlling energy. Never has a president consolidated so much power so quickly. This president is trying to accumulate so much power that he'll soon be the closest thing we've ever had to a king. The legislature will be a rubber stamp and the press a cheerleader.

How has he done it? He's done it because the press has largely ignored his unprecedented power grab. The press has of course totally ignored any story that would make the president uncomfortable. Either that, or they mocked the tea parties which were a direct challenge to his agenda. The press has largely totally ignored important stories that would challenge the image they have built of an effective and populist leader. As such, they have of course done nothing to put his enormous power grab into any context. As such, a president is turning into something resembling a king and the media is yawning over the enormous power consolidation.


Anonymous said...

Will Americans use Roman or Arabic numerals to identify their kings? Will it be Obama 1 or Obama I? I lean towards Roman numerals myself, since Americans seem to like them to keep track of the SuperBowl.

Or will we skip the numbers altogether and just use the honorific? In which case do we or do we not capitalize the "t": Obama the Great or Obama The Great?Also, will Michelle be Queen Michelle, or just the King Consort?

We really should start working out these things in advance.


Anonymous said...

I know you must be desperate when you start whining about media bias.

The media like him because they admire him. They admire him because they think he is doing well. Perception is reality.

When the GOP find a real leader, perhaps the media will start treating you better.

David Brooks -
"The Republicans talk more about the market than about society, more about income than quality of life. They celebrate capitalism, which is a means, and are inarticulate about the good life, which is the end. They take things like tax cuts, which are tactics that are good in some circumstances, and elevate them to holy principle, to be pursued in all circumstances."

Anonymous said...

Gracie, its Roman numerals. The Democrats have been referring to GW Bush as "Bush II" and "Bush the Lesser" for years, haven't you noticed?

Anonymous said...

"Then, Bill O'Reilly reported that an arm of GE would be a major beneficiary of the president's cap and trade legislation. GE owns both NBC and MSNBC, both very favorable networks to the Obama administration. They also do a lot of green technology programming."

They're also the world's largest defense contractor, but hey whatever.

mike volpe said...

The media likes him because he follows the same ideology they follow. Was that a serious analysis? He's doing well? He's been in office about a hundred days. At best and worst, it's still an incomplete. Maybe they should hold off admiration until something tangible has happened. The media is treating him now as they treated him the entire campaign. Was he doing well then also?

Theseus said...

GE is not world's largest defense contracter, and they aren't even in the top 10 globally (Lockheed, Boeing, BAE, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics round out the top 5).

As they say, actions speak louder than words, so pay attention to what the media actually does and not the hackneyed ideas they put forth. This will give us a clear understanding what they are truly after.

Also we should just simply change the title of president to Obama, much like the other Caesar.