November 8, 2008

The Position We're In

Justin Katz

One consideration that brings some of the darker visions for an Obama presidency a few steps closer to the light of plausibility is the astonishing complicity of the media. Victor Davis Hanson states it well:

In the 3rd book of his history, Thucydides has some insightful thoughts about destroying institutions in times of zealotry—and then regretting their absence when there is a need for refuge for them. The mainstream press should have learned that lesson, once they blew up their credibility in the past election by morphing into the Team Obama press agency.

There will come a time in the year ahead when either Obama's unexamined past will come back to haunt him, or his inexperience and tentativeness in foreign affairs will be embarrassingly apparent, or his European-socialist agenda for domestic programs simply won't work. And as public opinion falls, what will MSNBC, the New York Times, the editors of Newsweek, a Chris Matthews or the anchors at the major networks say?

Not much—since they will have one of two non-choices: (1) either they will begin scrambling to offer supposed disinterested criticism, which will be met with the public's, "Why should we begin believing you now?" or "Why didn't you tell this before?", or (2), They can continue as state-sanctioned megaphones of the Obama administration in the manner that they did during the campaign. They will lose either way and remain without credibility.

In short, we live now in the Age of Post-Journalism. All that was before is now over, as this generation of journalists voluntarily destroyed the hallowed notion of objectivity and they will have no idea quite how to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.

If the Democrats should move toward a program of idea rationing, perhaps with other measures to restrict ideological opposition, we'll be treading on very dangerous territory.

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I think we are truly in the dark ages when it comes to mainstream journalism.

They have totally sold out to the Dem. party, and there is little likelihood that a return to balance can be attained in the near term.

But this phenomenon has occurred at the same time that the mainstream print media are in their death throws, and the major network news organizations are headed in the same direction.

I have a hunch that sometime in the not-too-distant future folks will be looking back at 2008 as the last time that these mainstream media had significant influence over the outcome of an election.

What will fill the vacuum?

Who knows . . . the internet? Talk radio?

Posted by: brassband at November 8, 2008 2:24 PM

Get yer Obama coins here:

What's next-The Obama Youth (Obamajugend) or Michelle's own line of dresses on QVC. First Ho Fashions.

Posted by: Mike at November 8, 2008 6:51 PM

It wasn't so long ago the mainstream media was rah-rah about going to Iraq.
Basically, we're talking about a bunch of front-runners here (of which Chris Matthews is the greatest example - I love how the guy who wanted Clinton hung in the public square and was head cheerleader for the Iraq War and the impeachment of Gray Davis is now portrayed as a liberal tool).
If Obama encounters difficulties, the MSM will turn against him on a dime. The MSM puts people on pedestals just to eventually knock them off.

Posted by: rhody at November 8, 2008 7:32 PM

Rhody-I have to say you're right on the money here.The media,with a very few exceptions are carrion feeders who make Cosa Nostra members look wholesome by comparison.
The first time Obama makes a controversial decision he will be dissected better than a frog in a biology class by talking heads whose biggest decision is which hand to wipe their ass with.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 9, 2008 10:21 AM

I agree with Rhody and Joe. MSM has their own agenda and it is increasingly for entertainment. It still is a given in media that " if it bleeds it leads". But we are dealing with the hyper-media now and the cycle of build up the star in order to tear he or she down is accelerated. It is up to the consumers of this media information to be skeptical and discerning.

Posted by: David at November 9, 2008 6:18 PM

The solution:watch CSpan-the Olbermann/Matthews/Hannity/'Reilly factor is absent.You see and decide for yourself.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 10, 2008 9:52 AM
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