Heeding the Times from Harry Antonides' Desk

The (White) House That the Media Built

September 12, 2011  

Many Americans must still scratch their heads, wondering how it was that Barack Obama, an unknown academic turned community organizer and then a Senator from Ohio, managed to capture the first prize of American politics, President of the most powerful nation in the world.

Undoubtedly, his victory had to do with his eloquence, political savvy, energy, and boundless ambition. These characteristics would have brought him far, but in themselves they would not have been sufficient to defeat his competitors in the Democratic Party, and then go on to win the 2008 election.

The one, decisive factor in his rise to the presidency was the role of the mainstream media in American politics. Bernard Goldberg, who spent 28 years as a correspondent with CBS News did not like what he saw. He was quite outspoken against the systemic bias in the mainstream media that had changed from impartial observer/reporter to the role of advocacy for mostly left-wing causes.

Goldberg perceived this transformation as a threat to the integrity of the media that is undermining the public’s confidence and the health of a free society. His book Bias won him no plaudits from his colleagues, many of whom considered him a traitor, but it became a New York Times #1 bestseller.

Obama is Crowned King

In 2009, Goldberg published A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media. The title tells you everything you need to know about the theme of this book. The blatant partisanship of the media became very obvious in the many favourable articles about Obama in contrast to the disproportionate number of negative articles about his Republican opponents. Goldberg refers to a number of studies that have exposed this lack of fairness in the media.

The media helped Obama by mostly writing glowing stories about his performance and his crowd-inspiring speeches. Hard-bitten reporters like Chris Matthews of MSNBC Hardball were reduced to making the most embarrassing and juvenile claims about their hero Obama. Many will remember Matthews’ comment about the thrill down his leg when listening to Obama. Evan Thomas, editor of Newsweek, raised flattery to a new level when he praised Obama`s June 2009 Cairo speech as follows: “I mean in a way Obama‘s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.”

MSNBC Keith Olbermann had this to say about Obama’s famous Invesco Field speech: “For forty-two minutes not a sour note, and spellbinding throughout in a way usually reserved for the creation of fiction.” Olbermann intended to praise Obama, but in an odd sort of way, he spoke the truth when he referred to the “creation of fiction.”

Putting a glow on Obama’s every uttering was bad enough, but the most important way in which the media became an apologist for Obama was to play interference and shielding him from damaging information. That appeared when some who had not fallen for the Obama adoration syndrome took a hard look at his previous relations with some shady characters. They were all people of the hard Left, including Bill Ayres, an unrepentant terrorist; Jeremiah Wright, the racist, America-hating preacher at the church where Obama attended for 20 years; Rev. Michael Pfleger, another demagogue preacher; ACORN, specializing in voter fraud and thuggery. The complete list is much longer. (See Stanley Kurtz, Radical-in-Chief.)

Damage Control

If anyone would mention these connections, Obama and his staff would shrugs them off by saying that the relations with these people and organizations were only incidental and of no consequence. However, that changed when the story about the real Jeremiah Wright broke in February 2007, not in the mainstream press, but in Rolling Stone. This coincided with the distribution of a number of Wright`s sermons in which he made the most outlandish and hate-filled claims.

The media, led by the New York Times, swung into action to minimize the damage. The spin masters were so effective that they managed to turn the tables on anyone who wanted to pursue this story by smearing them as hatemongers and racists.

Goldberg does a masterful job in shining the light of truth on the duplicity of the mainstream media that helped to bring someone in the White House who is now busy trying to turn America into a European welfare state. This is a change of immense consequence, and not for the better.

The author writes with a quiet passion because he is convinced that the new advocacy role of the media is its undoing. Worst of all, it is doing immense harm to the freedom that is indispensable for a healthy and thriving democracy. This book should be required reading at the high school level and beyond. Thank you, Mr. Goldberg.

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