Tuesday, September 22, 2009
... Is Another Man's Noise
Back in the days of the Clinton Administration, I recall the way the left-dominated media lionized the First Lady. I also recall the right's reaction to same: It was to jokingly refer to Mrs. Clinton as the "Most Intelligent Woman in the World."
Today, the adoration of Barack Obama is no less slavish, and yet, we don't hear him being touted for his intelligence so much. This fits with the quasi-mystical cult of personality surrounding "the Obamassiah" as our President is now called by his opponents.
The Left still pretends to uphold reason in many cultural areas. Environmentalism is allegedly scientific. Dictating how land owners use their own property is euphemized as "smart growth." And then, of course, helping Iran pretend that its aggression against the West is a mere dispute that can be settled with some give-and-take is held as more civilized than the "violence" of (the necessity of) confronting that theocracy militarily.
But if there's one place the Left no longer even pretends to be rational, it's in the realm of domestic political debate. Just look at where Barack Obama's getting ready to head with the bailout bucket and consider his rationale:
The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.Will Obama "look at" these bills with the same diligence he and his party have the rest of the legislation they have passed unread during his term? Or with that he used to learn and evaluate the facts of the Skip Gates arrest before speaking about it publicly? Is his conception of "shouting" the same as his conception of "bickering" about physician slavery? Is his respect for facts and freedom of speech the same as that he showed when he set up the national snitch line?
Obama said that good journalism is "critical to the health of our democracy," but expressed concern toward growing tends in reporting -- especially on political blogs, from which a groundswell of support for his campaign emerged during the presidential election.
"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding," he said.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
"Shouting" about this back in February, I stopped just long enough to quote a newspaper about the whole, self-contradictory notion of government-financed journalism:
[N]ewspapers aren't the lifeblood of anything if they are merely an adjunct of the state. Independent journalism is valuable, but only if it is truly independent. A newspaper that is bankrolled by the state, even if it's only a loan, is going to have a strong interest in not criticizing the state. Perhaps this is one of Mr. Rendell's goals, since like all politicians he prefers a favorable press.And Nevada Senator Harry Reid illustrated that very point not too long ago. I'll quote another newspaper on that:
The business of journalism is changing, and many newspapers will vanish in the coming months and years. But that doesn't mean that journalism itself is vanishing. TV, radio and national newspapers have an audience in Philadelphia. Smaller papers like the Bulletin are also working hard to reach a larger audience in the city. Internet news operations have popped up in Minneapolis, San Diego and other places, often started by former reporters for the big-city dailies. The fastest way to kill a newspaper is to make it dependent on the politicians it is supposed to cover. [bold added]
Yet, as Bob shook hands with our senior U.S. senator in what should have been nothing but a gracious business setting, Reid said: "I hope you go out of business."And this is how Harry Reid is behaving when he can only, "[exact] some kind of economic punishment in retaliation for not seeing eye to eye with him on matters of politics." Just wait until he has even more direct control over the papers which, if they don't take the bailout, will find themselves competing with nonprofits that are under federal oversight and control.
Later, in his public speech, Reid said he wanted to let everyone know that he wants the Review-Journal to continue selling advertising because the Las Vegas Sun is delivered inside the Review-Journal.
For the sake of all who live and work in Nevada, we can't let this bully behavior pass without calling out Sen. Reid. If he'll try it with the Review-Journal, you can bet that he's tried it with others. So today, we serve notice on Sen. Reid that this creepy tactic will not be tolerated. [minor format edits, bold added]
And Reid is nothing compared to Obama, who couldn't finish nationalizing General Motors before telling its CEO to step down, and who is now ordering New York Governor David Paterson not to run in 2010.
Barack Obama is the most blatantly irrational President in American history. He quite literally sees his draconian, anti-American agenda to be as plain-as-day obvious and uncontroversial as the job a janitor would perform. How does he know he is right? I don't know, because he never explains why he thinks his programs will work or why he thinks they're are a good idea (besides saying they're motivated by altruism). He ought to be able to do that if it's so obvious, but he does not. I can only conlcude that he does not know why he wants to do these things, that he does not want anyone to know, or that he does not see a reason for us to know.
In the context of his eagerness to kill the news media with kindness, the above shows us that (1) His lip-service to good journalism ends with its expedience at excusing him (or altruism) from serious scrutiny; and (2) That nobody babbles on and on about what a brilliant man Barack Obama is partially because he acts like anything but a brilliant man.
Were Barack Obama a truly brilliant man, he would by now, in, say, the physician slavery debate, have either answered his critics persuasively or shown himself amenable to persuasion and admitted he was wrong.
But he has not. He has, instead, shown a childish contempt for dissent and begun taking steps to quash it.
And the fact that this is not raising a loud outcry among the left-dominated news media explains the rest of why people are not touting Obama as the World's Most Intelligent Man: The left no longer values (or pretends to value) reason enough to want (or pretend to want) "intelligence," its modern surrogate, in a leader, or enough to think it needs to persuade the American voter about anything.
Today: Corrected a typo.