“Amazing peaceful transition of power:” 1,009
“First black president in American history:” 957
“We are witnessing history:” 576
“This is Barack Obama’s moment:” 322
“The world is watching:” 214
“My leg is tingling beyond all control:” 2
Add your own!
Speaking of tingling legs, two manifestations of the Obamedia at work for you.
First, Howard Kurtz:
Every inauguration is a major media moment, with nonstop television coverage, newspapers churning out special editions and correspondents parachuting in from around the globe. But it is hard to envision this level of intensity if John McCain were taking the oath of office. All the hoopla has left the impression that many in journalism are thrilled by Obama’s swearing-in.
Gee, ya think?
Obama is being covered not just as an incoming president but as a white-hot celebrity. In recent days, the New York tabloids have run front-page stories on his official portrait and new Cadillac limousine, amid such headlines as “VOICE OF HOPE” and “RENEW THE DREAM.” The Washington Times gave front-page play yesterday to an essay Obama wrote for the paper, while Parade magazine’s cover story was a letter that Obama wrote to his daughters. Michelle Obama is being touted as America’s next supermodel. And there has been much panting over the family’s search for a dog.
At what point does the recognition of Obama’s gifts and this juncture in history spill over into partisan adulation? Some journalists justify the ebullient tone by arguing that Obama is simply more fascinating than most politicians, as well as a trailblazer who is following 43 white presidents. Others say they are merely reflecting a public groundswell. Still others say Obama moves product when he’s on TV shows and magazine covers. Perhaps, more than one reporter says privately, Obama deserves the adulation, given the fact that he pulled off a political feat even harder than landing a crippled jet intact on the Hudson River.
As for liberal pundits who reflexively booed George W. Bush, are they now waving the pom-poms for Obama?
Gee, ya think?!
Exhibit 2 comes from the journalism website run by the Poynter Institute, where Steven Myers surveyed MSM reporters’ Facebook websites for exultations in praise of Obama:
Back in November, I asked my colleagues at Poynter to be on the lookout for fellow journalists’ Facebook “status updates” regarding the election. I suspected many would express happiness at Barack Obama’s victory, and that’s pretty much what I saw in the 50 or so status updates we collected.
Some were overt. Others were vague enough that it wasn’t exactly clear what people were so excited about; considering the historic event, though, the context was practically unnecessary. As I learned, that vagueness often was intentional.
I contacted most of those 50 or so people and interviewed about 15 of them. I wanted to know how they reconciled what they post on social networking sites with newsroom guidelines that discourage getting involved with or expressing support for political causes and candidates.
What I found was a disconnect between what these journalists said and what they did. Most agreed that journalists should accept some limitation on free speech so they don’t undermine their position as fair brokers of information. Almost all of them said they never would have put an Obama sign in their front yards or a bumper sticker on their cars.
Yet they posted status updates such as:
* “voted for change”/”change is coming”/”yes we did”/”is thrilled.”
* “is hoping the American people elect to leave behind the dark ages and step back into the hopeful light. It’s been a long time.”
* “helped turn her state blue.”
* “I live in the United States of America again.”
* “is getting out the vote for Barack Obama.”
Doug Powers is manning “The Chris Matthews Inauguration Obamagasometer.”
*“How is he going to deal with such high expectations?” (from commenter cbwv99)
*It’s time to start healing the country.” (from commenter Mr Vibeman)blog comments powered by Disqus
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Categories: New York Times