T.K.Farrow, Pajamas MediaThis week, Newsweek’s Robert Samuelson covers the month-old Pew Research Center study which found that “President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House.”
The studywhich examined over 1200 stories by the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, NewsHour, and Newsweekfound more than 40 percent favorable coverage for Obama, compared to Bush’s 22 percent and Clinton’s 27. More significant than the percentage gap itself is the conclusion Samuelson reaches:
"But the deeper explanation may be as straightforward as this: most journalists like Obama; they admire his command of language; he’s a relief after Bush; they agree with his agenda (so it never occurs to them to question basic premises); and they don’t want to see the first African-American president fail."
If Samuelson is correct, then the mainstream media is racist. And like most liberal racists, they don’t even know it.
- It was Congressman Major Owens, a black representative from New York City, who in 1981 first told me and other members of a small audience of liberal activists and journalists that “liberals are sometimes the worst racists.”
There are many African-Americansincluding this writerwho would instantly agree with the former congressman. White liberals might be surprised at how frequently his observation is a topic of conversation among the “victims” that liberals wish to lift out of oppression.
Mr. Sleeper continues:
- Only gradually did I realize that liberal racism has several dimensions. Sometimes, prompted by misdirected and self-congratulatory compassion, liberal racism patronizes nonwhites by expecting (and getting) less of them than they are fully capable of achieving. … Liberal racism ends up perpetuating double standards by setting the bar so much lower for its intended beneficiaries that it denies them the satisfactions of equal accomplishment and opportunity.
No kidding! You think?
If Samuelson is right, then the media lowers the bar for Obama by consciously deciding to provide less critical analysis of his policies and performance. Under those circumstances, any presidential achievement is suspect because it’s shrouded in media assistance, rather than merely media coverage.
It also means the results of any disastrous Obama policy that manages to pass muster in the court of public opinion can be laid at the feet of those who are supposed to be the watchdogs of our democracy.
Candidate Obama’s campaign staff repeatedly showed they were not above branding Obama’s criticssee the repeated complaints by former President Clinton at having been so brandedand the candidate himself used race when he believed it to be beneficial: “They’re going to try to scare you because I don’t look like all those other guys on the dollar bills.”
Some of the president’s ardent supporters participated as well, such as Janeane Garofalo with her response to the tea parties. And we’ve also seen liberal media members attack one another when one dares to disagree with an Obama policy. Although not related to race, Jon Stewart’s reaction to Jim Cramer’s criticism of economic policy was scathing.
No liberal media member wants to be branded a dissident of Obama, much less be accused of dissenting for racial reasons. So even the liberal reporters who don’t think Obama needs the help of the media have justifiable fear of being considered a hindrance to his agenda. And race, of course, is at the center of that fear.
Who said election of the first black president would make race less relevant in America? Whoever it was needs to think again.
The previous opinion was written by T.K.Farrow for Pajamas Media. We, at the Two-Fisted Quorum, completely agree with the author's honest assessment. Viewing folks as equals, in the flow of circumstances is the only way out of the maze. But be careful how you parse these simple but double-edged words. Egalitarianism is not patronizing, smug, condescending, or passed along on a piece of paper. Nor is it achieved by branding.
As a president suspiciously fond of holding two oppositional positions at the same time, I suppose it's a no brainer to conclude that when Candidate Obama said, “They’re going to try to scare you because I don’t look like all those other guys on the dollar bills,” apparently he was referring to his own rather scary administration.