As adults, we all know the power of infatuation. We can recall swooning over someone of the opposite sex in high school or college, and how overpowering the emotions can be. But when it comes do doing our jobs we have an intuitive understanding that infatuation has no legitimate role, that, in fact, it can cause serious problems.
Unless, of course, you're a member of the mainstream media charged with covering President Obama. As Robert J. Samuelson reports in today's Washington Post, media coverage of Obama has ranged from merely fawning to blind infatuation, with a summary indifference to any pretense of maintaining journalistic standards. Of course, Samuelson's observations and the data he provides in support of them merely confirm what most Americans are already convinced is the case: Not only are reporters in Obama's thrall, their visceral attraction has compromised their integrity (or, more candidly, further compromised their integrity).
Samuelson also explores the linear relationship between uncritical coverage and approval ratings, which effectively means the media is complicit in distorting Obama's relatively high job approval ratings. This kind of shameful self-promotion and indifference to professional honesty would be headline news were it not for the fact that these mainstream media mavens also have absolutely no humility, or insight.
Imagine for a moment that a Republican president moved to aggressively decimate federal spending, proposed eliminating entire departments, including the Internal Revenue Service, slashing the federal budget by twenty-five percent. Every newspaper and news program nationwide would report that doomsday was around the corner and bleeding-hearts in news rooms nationwide would sound like town criers in Pompeii.
Yet here's Obama, launching the highest level of federal spending in American history, creating deficits for decades to come, and now, proposing to put us on a track to nationalize health care, and all you hear from the media is the sounds of silence. Pick up any newspaper or watch any evening news show and it's as though the content was faithfully copied off the White House web site or lifted from the Democratic National Committee's talking points.
Reinforcing the perception we all have of them is the fact that they're oblivious to the problem. Indeed, the studied indifference they bring to their work would earn anyone in a normal job a one-way ticket out the door. For a more lively take on how the press treats the Obama monarchy, have a look at James Lewis' column in the American Thinker, who notes that "Stalin himself couldn't have wished for a more slobbering press corps."
Of course, we can thank God for the Internet, but the consensual infatuation of the press corps is truly a national embarrassment, and, it does a great disservice to the voters who the media also scorns by its willful refusal to do its job.