President Obama is a paradox, if you ask anyone in the national media. The man rose to fame with eloquence, realism, and tangibility. He quickly became a darling of the media — someone who cherished candor and transparency.
In what seemed like moments after he took office, Obama had the White House website updated with his version of “No New Taxes”: Under the headline Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov, the administration claimed it would be “the most transparent ever.”
This week at a DNC shindig, he seemed determined to prove that the relationship between his administration and “the media” is not quite as chummy as some continue to assume.
ICYMI: President Obama has done his best Transformers impression of a “lame duck” contradicting promises made during the honeymoon at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The wall erected between him and the White House Press Corps has become so high and wide that the Society of Professional Journalists publicly lambasted the Administration for “politically driven suppression of the news.”
He questioned that statement by locking out the White House media gaggle again. And now, he’s putting it all out there. Here’s part of a recent speech he gave for the Democratic National Committee in New York City on Wednesday via a story in HuffPo:
“The issues I’m fighting for, the issues that I will continue to fight for even after I leave this office, those issues are at stake. And we’ve got to be willing to fight for them. We’ve got to feel a sense of urgency about this at a time when, frankly, the press and Washington, all it does is feed cynicism.”
Was he talking about his arch-nemesis FOX News, or all of the national news networks?
Obama presented the audience with several optimistic facts regarding U.S. health care and the economy, before taking yet another dig at the press.
“Most of you don’t know the statistics I just gave you. And the reason you don’t know them is because they elicit hope. They’re good news. They shouldn’t be controversial. And that’s not what we hear about. We hear about phony scandals, and we hear about the latest shiny object, and we hear about how Washington will never work.”
The leering national press is nowhere near perfect; however, many of the “phony scandals” and “shiny objects” we hear about from the pundits have validity. The problem is that they aren’t given much, so they improvise for the rest.
Obama’s attitude recalls a vitriolic speech about craziness in the world all seen through the lens of the media:
“And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be! We all know things are bad — worse than bad — they’re crazy.
It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’
…I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
The iconic speech was delivered by Howard Beale as played by Peter Finch in Network. As in a news network. The more things change…