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Obama Brings It Down a Notch

Obama at last night's press conference. (Bill O'Leary - The Washington Post)

President Obama seized an hour of prime time last night to move beyond the overheated chatter of the past week and return the public's attention to the long-term economic problems that can't be solved overnight.

Polls continue to show that the American people are considerably more patient with and appreciative of Obama than the daily drumbeat of media coverage might have you believe. And so it was to the public -- right over the heads of the assembled press corps -- that Obama was sending the message that things are moving in the right direction, but that it could take a while.

Obama likened being president to piloting an ocean liner, rather than driving a speedboat -- even as his immediate audience continued to judge him as if he was driving a speedboat.

"We haven't immediately eliminated the influence of lobbyists in Washington. We have not immediately eliminated wasteful pork projects. And we're not immediately going to get Middle East peace. We've been in office now a little over 60 days. What I am confident about is that we're moving in the right direction," he said.

He repeatedly hammered home his central argument that serious investments in health care, energy and education are essential to the country's recovery, its long-term economic growth, and an eventual reduction of massive deficit spending.

"The best way to bring our deficit down in the long run is not with a budget that continues the very same policies that have led to a narrow prosperity and massive debt," he said. "It's with a budget that leads to broad economic growth by moving from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest."

Obama last night exhibited a lot of the qualities that the public seems to like: patience, confidence, and persistence. Especially persistence. "That whole philosophy of persistence, by the way, is one that I'm going to be emphasizing again and again in the months and years to come as long as I'm in this office," he said. "I'm a big believer in persistence."

He also demonstrated once again how he's operating on a different clock than many of the people in Washington's political and media elite. (See, for instance, my previous posts, Obama to Washington: Chill Out, Why Obama Is Still Smiling, and Inside the Beltway, the Honeymoon is History.)

My favorite moment came when Obama took on one of the more bizarre tenets of the Washington punditocracy: The belief that the willingness to call for public sacrifice in moments of crisis is in itself a key moral litmus test for a president.

On The Washington Post op-ed pages alone, David S. Broder has called former president George W. Bush's refusal to do so after 9/11 his "greatest moral failing," and, more recently, Ruth Marcus and Jackson Diehl scolded Obama for not asking for shared sacrifice to address the economic crisis.

Last night, NBC's Chuck Todd posed the question: "Why, given this new era of responsible that you're asking for, why haven't you asked for something specific that the public should be sacrificing to participate in this economic recovery?"

Obama's reply simply reeked of common sense. "I think folks are sacrificing left and right," he said. "They -- you’ve got a lot of parents who are cutting back on everything to make sure that their kids can still go to college. You’ve got workers who are deciding to cut an entire day and entire day’s worth of pay so that their fellow co-workers aren’t laid off. I think that across the board people are making adjustments, large and small, to accommodate the fact that we’re in very difficult times right now."

And he didn't even mention the vast loss of wealth suffered by people who had much of their savings invested in their homes or in stocks.

Then Obama called on his fellow citizens to do something after all: Participate in the political processs. "What I'm looking from the American people to do is that they are going to be doing what they've always done, which is working hard, looking after their families, making sure that, despite the economic hard times, that they're still contributing to their community, that they're still participating in volunteer activities" -- and, he said, "that they are paying attention to the debates that are going on in Washington."

All in all, I found this press conference much more lively than his last one, which felt much more like a lecture than a dialogue. Although Obama still only called on only 13 reporters in 57 minutes, he accepted follow-up question. That led reporters to request -- and Obama to provide -- sharper responses than he had the first time around. I think that was actually good for both sides.

Obama took the unusual step of calling on non-traditional news organizations, which added some welcome breadth to the night.

But he didn't avoid the news outlet with clear animosity towards him. Fox News's Major Garrett, for instance, asked Obama to respond to concerns about his economic plans expressed by "the Chinese government, run by communists," and "European governments,...some of them socialist," Garrett was pretty clearly saying: "Even the Commies and pinkos think you're spending too much!"

Obama responded dryly by, among other things, noting that America's reputation is not in danger. "I think it's fair to say that the response that people have had to our administration and the steps that we've taken are ones that are restoring a sense of confidence and the ability of the United States to assert global leadership," he said.

Obama's one bit of overt snippiness came when CNN's Ed Henry asked him (twice) why he waited two days after finding out about bonuses to AIG executives before expressing his outrage. "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak," Obama said, leading to a collective intake of breath in the East Room.

Obama's reaction may have been the result of frustration with the subject, or with the accusatory tone -- but I'd like to think it was also a riposte to the growing "Twitter culture" of the Washington press, where instant reaction to everything has been raised to a moral imperative.

Reporters who covered the press conference took a variety of approaches in their stories.

Christi Parsons and Peter Wallsten write in the Los Angeles Times: "With the major elements of his economic recovery plan now laid out, President Obama warned Tuesday that the climb out of recession will not happen overnight, and he called on Americans to show patience and faith that things will get better....

"Obama seemed to use the forum, so familiar as a tool of outreach to mainstream Americans, to present himself as a steady hand at the helm -- a leader who had a bad situation under control and was not making new demands on the public."

Michael D. Shear and Scott Wilson write in The Washington Post: "President Obama sought to reassure Americans last night that his administration has made progress in reviving the economy and said his $3.6 trillion budget is 'inseparable from this recovery.'...

"Asked about congressional efforts to chip away at his main facets of his agenda, Obama gave no indication that he would need to abandon core principles.

"'We never expected, when we printed out our budget, that they would simply Xerox it and vote on it. We assume that it has to go through the legislative process....I have confidence that we're going to be able to get a budget done that's reflective of what needs to happen in order to make sure that America grows.'"

Charles Babington writes for the Associated Press: "With Congress pushing back against his proposals for energy, taxes and other matters, President Barack Obama is taking a bend-but-don't-break posture.

"He will compromise on certain details if he must, he signaled at his news conference Tuesday evening, but not on the heart of his key initiatives.

"His strategic retreats are a nod to political reality. He is angling to avoid confrontations he probably can't win, but to sacrifice no more than is absolutely necessary."

Susan Page writes for USA Today that Obama "was walking a careful line.

"He is on the cusp, he hopes, of unlocking the credit crisis and saving the village while simultaneously trying to persuade a populist throng carrying pitchforks not to light any matches that might burn it down.

"So he expressed solidarity with those who are outraged that AIG executives were awarded $165 million in bonuses at a time the company was being propped up by billions in federal rescue funds, but he also urged Americans to keep their focus on the big picture."

John Dickerson writes for Slate: "The president needs the nation to be on an even keel, because addressing the economic collapse is going to take time. The nation must get through the stress test of cleaning up the current economic mess with enough emotional energy left to embrace his argument for an ambitious budget. To help everyone calm down, Obama argued that slow and steady progress was being made."

Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales writes: "Most of the facets of President Obama's personality that have made him intensely popular were on display last night during his second prime-time news conference, and so he emerged from it still every inch 'President Wonderful,' as it were, untouched and intact."

But Peter Baker and Adam Nagourney, writing on the front page of the New York Times, evidently found Obama insufficiently animated. It was a return of "Barack Obama the lecturer, a familiar character from early in the campaign," they write. "Placid and unsmiling, he was the professor in chief, offering familiar arguments in long paragraphs — often introduced with the phrase, 'as I said before' — sounding like the teacher speaking in the stillness of a classroom where students are restlessly waiting for the ring of the bell."

Baker and Nagourney conclude that Obama was "more enervating than energizing" and note: "Throughout his time in public life, Mr. Obama has confronted questions about whether he was too detached, too analytical, too intellectual."

In the New York Daily News, Kenneth R. Bazinet and David Saltonstall go even further, writing that many viewers "probably wished 'American Idol' hadn't been bumped from the lineup to make room for the President.

"Having been chided for laughing off some serious questions on '60 Minutes' last weekend, Obama seemed intent on stifling virtually all emotion - and running out the clock with a flurry of wonkish explainers and recycled answers."

Several reports reflected the media's bizarre obsession with Obama's use of a teleprompter for his prepared remarks. Ron Fournier, for instance, wrote for the Associated Press: "What kind of politician brings a teleprompter to a news conference? A careful one."

A focus on Obama's use of the device would be entirely appropriate if he had shown an inability to speak lucidly without one. But he hasn't. So it's just that much noise.

Steve Benen blogs for Washington Monthly on the press corps' repeated questions about deficit spending, "suggesting that the White House press corps has more or less internalized Republican talking points (again)....Note to the White House press corps: under these circumstances, deficits aren't our most pressing problem. This preoccupation with the issue isn't helping anyone."

Jonathan Capehart, blogging for The Washington Post, writes that he wanted Obama do a better job of explaining the economic mess. The president, for instance, talked about the need to "improve liquidity in the financial markets: and "stabilize the economy and get it moving again."

Capehart writes: "What exactly does that mean? And why does it involve playing ball with the very financial institutions that have brought the United States and the rest of the world to the precipice of economic ruin? A laser pointer, some charts and graphs and 30 minutes would have gone a long way to making sense of the extraordinary actions the Obama administration has taken since January and will have to take in the months and years ahead."

I wrote yesterday about questions I was hoping Obama would answer -- but he wasn't asked any of them, which I think left a lot of important ground uncovered. Similarly, much was made on cable TV last night of the fact that Obama wasn't asked even one question about our two ongoing wars.

Also missing: Any genuine introspection. The question that came closest to eliciting any came from ABC's Ann Compton. She asked "whether, in any of the policy debates that you've had within the White House, the issue of race has come up or whether it has in the way you feel you've been perceived by other leaders or by the American people?"

But Obama's reply was entirely on message. "[O]bviously, at the inauguration, I think that there was justifiable pride on the part of the country that we had taken a step to move us beyond some of the searing legacies of racial discrimination in this country," he said, "but that lasted about a day.

"And -- and, you know, right now, the American people are judging me exactly the way I should be judged. And that is: Are we taking the steps to improve liquidity in the financial markets, create jobs, get businesses to re-open, keep America safe? And that's what I've been spending my time thinking about."

Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz was most taken by Obama's choice not to call "on any reporters from the nation's top newspapers."

Los Angeles Times TV critic Mary McNamara has some of the most incisive commentary of the day. She writes: "Let the pundits wail and gnash their teeth about federally funded fat cat bonuses. Let the columnists dissect the stimulus package, explaining, with scholarly harrumphs, why it is or isn't the return of the New Deal, why the new administration is hewing dangerously left, perilously right or just altogether lost. President Barack Obama is not a product of media opinion or analysis; he's a child of television...

"In the last two weeks alone, he surprised the traditional Washington press corps by passing on its annual Gridiron Club dinner only to make unprecedented appearances on ESPN, where he picked his NCAA bracket favorites, and 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,' where he committed his biggest presidential gaffe to date before returning to '60 Minutes' for a tough-questions interview with Steve Kroft. Tuesday night, he held his second prime-time news conference in the last 65 days...

"Not everyone approves of all this exposure, of course. Many critics, professional and not, see Obama's high visibility as a sign of narcissism or ineptitude. They complain that the man needs to stop campaigning and start being president. But this is, apparently, exactly how Obama defines being president.

"Unlike the previous administration, and perhaps because of it, he seems to consider it part of his job to maintain the conversation he began with the American people at the 2004 Democratic National Convention."

McNamara writes that Obama -- who telegraphs "a resolutely optimistic and wonky hepcat charm" -- is "an American leader in the era of reality television. He came of age in front of cameras and digital screens, and he understands not just their power, but their nature. Americans these days want to make up their own minds, whether it's about the next American Idol or what the president's responsibility is toward those outrageous bonuses. Obama understands the definition of reality 'as seen on TV,' where the most important thing is your brand. The Obama brand is about calm amid chaos, strength through humility, and transparency through television."

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 25, 2009; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Financial Crisis , Obama v. D.C.  
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Too wonkish, but he should have used graphs and charts to explain the economy and his plans for it.

To lenghty in his answers, but he he should have taken some time to address Afghanistan and Iraq (about which he wasn't asked, and which he DID mention in the context of his proposed budget).

Too calm, but he showed anger when asked repeatedly about his less than immediate reaponse to the AIG bonuses.

A Leninist; a lackey of Wall Street.

Conclusion: It's not the public that has an attention span that has atrophied to a length of no more than 30 seconds, and which needs everything to be categorized into GOOD and EVIL, but the news media.

Posted by: bfieldk | March 25, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the reason President Obama prefers a teleprompter to using papers or note cards may have to do with his eyesight. I don't know if he wears contacts or does not wear glasses at all, but he's right around the age when people start to have difficulty alternating between focusing downwards on papers or notecards and upwards on an audience unless they have bifocals. He may have tried bifocal contacts and hated them, or just have a strong preference for sticking to a single focal angle instead of having to adjust back and forth from one focal length to another.

Posted by: herzliebster | March 25, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse


Excellent post, spot on.

Posted by: teamn | March 25, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Of course the Got 0 Plan gang are going to complain about Obama staying out front and not hiding in the White House like Bush did...this keeps the pressure on them and highlights the fact that they are unable and unwilling to contribute to getting us out of the mess they created...they have no ideas and the changes that must be made will hurt the fat cats who've helped them maintain gridlock...and gotten the benefits while main stream saw their income shrink and their debt mount.

Posted by: constwkr | March 25, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

to herzliebster:

i think people use the teleprompter for the purpose of looking straight into the camera, so to maintain eye contact.

the problem of reading from note/paper is that you have to look down and lose eye contact.

Posted by: JoeBridgeman | March 25, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

At least Obama can read, pronounce words correctly and has the ability to complete a sentence...that's refreshing by itself!

Posted by: constwkr | March 25, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Best put down of the MSM EVAH:

"I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak."

Posted by: RealCalGal | March 25, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Todd's question about sacrifice was totally emblematic of the brain-dead mainstream media. SACRIFICES from the American people?

--You mean like their homes to foreclosure or being underwater on their mortgage?

--You mean like the 4 million jobs that they have lost?

--You mean like the 401Ks that have vanished to the point that investors can no longer plan retirement while they can only pray that there are menial jobs available when they lose theirs?

--You mean like the trillions of OUR tax dollars that are being shoveled into the black hole of the private financial system?

--You mean like the waste of treasure and human life in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Aside from these extraordinary sacrifices, Obama HAS asked us to do something specific, namely volunteering to improve someone else's life. Have you forgotten the big painting photo op he staged just to illustrate the specific request? He has also shown up at other volunteer centers.

When I heard this question, I just about fell out of my chair. What cave has this "reporter" been hiding in? What is he smoking? Just because you were too cowardly to confront the last tyrant to hold the office doesn't mean you can save face with the guy who's trying to clear the wreckage.

These guys just operate on automatic pilot, asking the same, tedious questions of every president, regardless of the circumstances, writing the same, tired stories year after year. I particularly loved the story about how "gray" Obama's hair has become after 30 days in office. Usually, they wait a couple of years before trotting that one out. And, of course, they had to recite the one about how Obama "said" he was outraged but didn't really "seem" outraged, as if he were auditioning for a role in a soap opera. This is similar to the one they always write about politicians like Nixon, who, when they grovel before the public in penance for their sins are accused of not offering a "real apology."

It's so embarrassing to see the mainstream media's front lines in prime time.

Posted by: motorfriend | March 25, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

'Baker and Nagourney conclude that Obama was "more enervating than energizing"'

I personally think the media AND the markets are a little TOO "energized" right now, and some calm sobriety (or "enervation" as the Times calls it) is what is called for.

"Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz was most taken by Obama's choice not to call "on any reporters from the nation's top newspapers."

Newspapers? What are THEY? Newsprint is SO twentieth century. (Sorry WaPo, but your future is online.)

Posted by: RealCalGal | March 25, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak".

Thanks for that, if nothing else, BHO.

Posted by: crix | March 25, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the GOP can't get a grip on that concept...if they truly knew what they were talking about they'd realize how stupid what they are saying really is...

Posted by: constwkr | March 25, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Some people are easily mollified. The question should not have been why did you wait two days before you got angry. It should have been how does the public reconcile your putting on a show of anger on the one hand and doing nothing or enabling these outrageous bonuses on the other. What media outlet represents the voice of the working class? Who in that room was going to ask the question, "Mr. President, why are people who are set for life already the first ones getting into government provided lifeboats?"

Posted by: SarahBB | March 25, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The best part of the news conference to me was that it is obvious that Obama knows what he is talking about in all areas. You may not agree with everything, but he intelligently answers questions and analyzes issues. Quite a contrast from his predecessor!

Posted by: justfacts1 | March 25, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I listened on the radio. I couldn't help thinking back to the (rare) news conferences given by the previous incumbent. I am reassured and (sorry wingnuts) proud every time I hear this man respond to questions. A thoughtful and intelligent man in the White House. "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak" sums up our President.

Posted by: gposner | March 25, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

America is glad it has a real President, one who cares about what most of us care about - or at least the 95 percent who aren't making more than $250K a year.

Which upsets the commentators and pundits who make millions and care only about beltway interests, and whine about the tax rate being returned for them to what it was at the lowest under President Reagan.

The only thing missing are prosecutions of the executives, but not bad for a couple of months dealing with the disasters of the last eight years of insanity.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 25, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Pres. Obama continues to impress me when he speaks. He knows the subject matter, he has studied it and one can see him thinking, thinking as he ponders the question. Some of our media comes out looking a bit "dumb" since the questions asked do not seem to fit the occasion as in Chuck Todd asking about sacrifices from the people. Does he want blood? Pres. Obama tried to be polite. Had it been Bush, the questioner would have been zapped. the press should really study Obama as a thinker to understand him. There are many materials they can read. Obama is not a lightweight in the brain category.

Posted by: mstratas | March 25, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

froomkin is such a joke. his blog and chats are merely an echo chamber for him and those that share his opinion. he is the left version of everything he criticizes on the right. i am not a religious man by any stretch of the imagination, but i think this quote serves better then the normal pot/kettle cliche:

"Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?"

Posted by: funkey | March 25, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama makes us proud.

Posted by: troyd2009 | March 25, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

More froomkin pandering, interesting how he dissed the WAPO. By the way Obama's numbers are down and trending downward, no matter what kind of spin the obama man crush froomkins say.

Posted by: pwaa | March 25, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

For all those who oppose President Obama and his policies, I have yet to see intelligent counter proposals all I ever see is bloviating about teleprompters, echo chambers and empty suits. If that's the best you got, then President Obama must be doing a very fine job. He certainly is in my book!

"[It took us a couple of days because] I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." Loves it! And those of you who are coming with the same negative recitations about the President, perhaps you should do the same.

Posted by: DinahS | March 25, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

So far, all the chatter about Obama's two press conference performances is disturbingly anal-retentive.

The serious, long term worry should be the potential conflict between accumulating additional debt to stimulate the economy, and the possibility that such additional debt may or may not have the desired positive effect. The Europeans have a different view of the global financial crisis (for instance, inflation is a primary concern for Germany, and european countries have better social safety nets for unemployment and health care). Also, it is inevitable that some of our borrowed stimulus money will inevitably find its way overseas as the result of global interconnectivity. We can't enable economic recovery in a vacuum. In this context, press conference questions such as Ann Compton's was ridiculous and irrelevant.

We as Americans (media and congress especially) need to foster an intellectual attitude of perspective, perspective, and more perspective! Probably way too much to ask.

Posted by: MillPond2 | March 25, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

After watching the news conference, I switched back to my PBS station, which was showing "Ten Trillion and Counting". Forrest Sawyer did a remarkable job of exposing the Bush/NeoCon mindset and providing a clear and honest background of how the country was led into this financial morass. The Republican attempt to "starve the beast" is, in large part to blame for the precarious budget situation we are in, the private financial crisis notwithstanding.

As to the news conference itself, what a refreshing sight it is to see a leader who obviously has a grasp of detail and a firm grasp on reality. So unlike his predecessor.

Posted by: hadenuff1 | March 25, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

What a refreshing contrast! A President who is articulate, thinks on his feet; a President whose span of interest moves beyond terrorism and Iraq. Thank you, Mr. President.

PS: that insolent squeaker from CNN with his "gotcha journalism" approach confirms that CNN is willing to do anything to dig into Fox Noise's ratings.

Posted by: sundog2 | March 25, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sundog...

Yes...after 8 years of total failure, we have a President once again...he is smart, articulate, and sincere in his efforts to keep the Titanic from sinking...Ed Henry got what he deserved last night...a smack down...regardless of the "who knew what & when" nonsense...the bonus issue was not addressed by the previous Administration, and they clearly opposed any limits on executive once again he inherited another left behind mess and suddenly it's his fault....????????

I'm unemployed now, and have been for months...and expect that to continue for a while into the future...but at least we have a President that is trying to resolve this mess...despite the insurgent Got 0 Plan clan.

Posted by: constwkr | March 25, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

this has nothing to do with obama and everything to do with froomkin's complete double standard when it comes to coverage. he is a joke. hey, froomy - it was me earlier, and yeah, your slip is still showing. nice of you to duck my question for more softballs, you liteweight.

Posted by: funkey | March 25, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Prez Out Of Touch On AIG?

After the Press Conference on March 24th we all wonder if the President lied or if he truly and frighteningly is out of the loop, after his AIG response. When asked by Ed Henry of CNN, why "the president wait several days before speaking out?", The president, with an icy stare, responded that he "likes to know what he's talking about" before he speaks. Next question.
Given that one of the lead members in Congress (Barney Frank) was speaking publicly about such bonuses months ago, his Treasury Secretary, Congressman Chris Dodd (D) and supposedly even Rahm Emmanuel met to discuss the AIG item specifically the week prior to giving them $30 billion additional dollars ones credulity is stretched as to Obama being out of the loop. Is he saying he paid no attention to Mr. Frank duirng the first hearings on the bailout? Is he indicating lead democrats, his cabinet appointee and his chief of staff did not inform him of the situation?

Under the best case scenario I can only assume that Mr. Obama did in fact know but doesn't like to be challenged in public or admit he messed up. Again, if he waited because he was out of the loop, then we all need to sell our stocks now!

Posted by: smokedsalmoned | March 25, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Froomkin for your excellent analysis! President Barack Obama excelled as usual during his press conference. What goes over the pundit's heads is in turn very well understood and supported by the American people. It is to them Obama was addressing his responses.

Posted by: ceciboloca | March 26, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what press conference some of the journalists saw. The one I saw involved a discussion of very big issues in a calm and professional fashion. The President is setting a tone for the debate, and understated would be a refreshing change from past incendiary language and tactics

Posted by: Mill_in_Mn | March 26, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Excellent post! Thanks.
(I found this through a link on Daily Kos, my top news source along with TPM. I usually avoid the WaPo -- it has too many pundits devoted to mindless Obama-bashing.)
But I'll bookmark Froomkin.

Posted by: ally1 | March 26, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

How totally mainstream media driven we are!
A month ago the media was telling us that Obama was much, much too serious to be president of the United States and he should be striving to lighten up, thus cheering us up. As if we are the little children
Now, he laughs during an interview and dearie me!! He is laughing in our faces about the mess we're in. All this, after eight years of media silence about the Bush regime's truly, criminal conduct.

The truth is, Americans are totally mainstream media driven. A month ago the media told us that we were outraged, fit to be tied, over the obscene bonuses being handed out to CEOs on the taxpayer's dime, to greedy failures. And just how did 'the media' come to that conclusion? That they've never told us.
The media runs America.

When George Bush was giving his bizarre, surreal press conferences and making a buffoon of himself, the media, and all Americans, the media always, always sat in total and respectful silence and again, always in the face of Bush's insanity

There was no day-after crilticism of those insultingly moronic performances, never was there any followup the next day as to how utterly lying and disgustingly stupid Bush or Cheney were.
I mean, these criminals, Bush and Cheney, did nothing BUT lie and sling orders.
They proved for all time that the best defense is a strong offense.

As I recall Bush press conferences, after two or three groveling questions from the same media hacks who presided over us during the Clinton adm. ended up with Bush going off on long incoherent rants and then ending it all and walking off. -- time for a bike ride.

What a surprise at how short a time it took for these SAME media hacks to find their voices again. I see now the secret to in-depth reporting on the part of the mainstream media. It is to have a non-Republican president and administration in office.

Through three administrations I have seen the same old media shills for Republicans reporting the news. You know, the ones who sat in kowtowing, absolute silence while the Bush regime openly, shamelessly lied us into a genocidal invasion. In fact, the mainstream media cheered the liars on.
The media collectively looked into the face of lying evil and cowered, to the man and woman, with a tiny, always denigrated handfull of voices speaking the truth to power.

This column, "White House Watch", was only four years ago considered an off-to-the-side of the mainstream blog, a lone voice of opposition to the fawning media always in the service of the Bush regime.

Posted by: marquesa1793 | March 27, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

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