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Friday, November 28, 2008

 
Kewl Kid Kabuki

by digby

I don't know how long it will take for Halperin and Kurtz to get the kewl kidz on board the train (they are all worried about their own 401ks, after all.) But it's out there.

I'm starting to feel a little guilty about the media's treatment of President-elect Barack Obama -- and I may not be the only one.

Chalk it up to a phenomenon I'd like to call "Obama-remorse." You know how you feel buyer's remorse after you've spent a lot of dough on some big-ticket item, only to realize that you might have made a mistake? Well, it's going to happen to the president-elect as well.

Perhaps this sort of recognition prompted Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz to do an incisive piece called "A Giddy Sense of Boosterism" on Nov. 17. As Kurtz noted, the media have tripped over themselves to celebrate and cash in on Obama's victory. NBC News is preparing a DVD called "Yes, We Can: The Barack Obama Story." ABC is readying a documentary on the campaign, too.

As I see it, the media are having second thoughts about their performance over the past year.

[...]

I'm thrilled that he won the election, underscoring the American ideal that we live in a forward-thinking democracy, where any man or woman can rise to the highest office in the land. And I'm proud that even Obama's staunchest foes -- particularly the man he defeated, John McCain -- seem to be willing to accept his victory and pledge to help him turn around the economy and cure the nation's other ills.

But I also feel guilty because I know that the media's Adulation Express -- never to be confused with McCain's old Straight Talk Express -- is going to hit a few speed bumps before it inexorably grinds to a halt.

It's inevitable... that Obama will eventually have his turn under the microscope. When the media start picking apart some of his Cabinet choices or his pronouncements on the state of the economy or his declarations about Iraq, he may be surprised to find that the afterglow of his stunning victory turns sour so fast.


This is a member of the media writing this as if its something fated by the Gods --- something over which these media professionals simply have no control. It's inevitable! And it's inevitable because reporters have buyers remorse and will have to "turn sour" in order to assuage their bad feelings about themselves.

It's all about them, you see.

I agree with this fellow that this is probably going to be the dynamic. It was predicted long ago. But it certainly doesn't have to be. The media could develop some self awareness and not play out their adolescent psychodramas on American politics for a change. But I'm not hopeful when media establishment leaders like Halperin and Kurtz are bringing the hammer down so hard.

Meanwhile, it looks like the old innocent bystander excuse is coming into play heavily. This person, who is a paid media professional, is "observing" how the paid professional media is going to turn on Obama as if his publishing this story isn't helping them do exactly that by pretending that it is some sort of inexorable certainty. It's kewl kid kabuki, same as it ever was. I'm pretty sure they don't even know they're doing it.


h/t to Charles





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