Wednesday, November 26, 2008



"Liberalism = Genius?"

If there is a dreadfully overused word in the giddy countdown to the
Obama inauguration, it is "smart." Not just "smart," but also its
stronger cousins like "Brilliant" and "Genius." These words have been
offered shamelessly for nearly every person assigned a role by
President-Elect Obama. They are assembling an "all-star cabinet."
This was not an honor for those having attended all the right
schools, but a tribute to people who have all the "right" ideas.
Liberals are smart because they're liberals. Conservative beliefs are
honed from having been dropped on your head as an infant.

Last week, Newsweek almost comedically compared Obama to Lincoln,
hailing the strength of his "humility." How could anyone stay humble
with all these hyper-flattering cover stories about whether you're
Lincoln or you're Franklin Roosevelt? Nobody asked: But what if he
turns out to be another ineffective Jimmy Carter? Then again, not to
worry. Just as Time turned Obama into FDR on its cover, they
comically projected Carter as Gary Cooper in "High Noon" in the
hostage-crisis spring of 1980.

Back in June of 2001, Newsweek headlined an article on an upcoming
Bush foreign policy trip with these words: "See George. See George
Learn Foreign Policy." He was painted like a president who couldn't
prove he was smarter than a fifth-grader on TV. Newsweek did attempt
a historical comparison. European pols heard Bush advocating missile
defense, and one participant joked, "He was like Reagan....without
the charisma." Newsweek concluded school wasn't working yet for Bush:
"Still a student in a most demanding and unforgiving school, he needs
all the teachers he can get."

That dismissive attitude toward Republican politicians will long
outlive the Bush presidency, just as it outlasted Reagan's. Nine days
after the election, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham denounced Sarah Palin
in the snobbiest of tones on NBC's "Today" as someone who should "be
going into a kind of policy Berlitz course, which one would think
would be a relatively sound thing to do." Plugging Meacham's
biography of Andrew Jackson, NBC's Matt Lauer added the colorful tale
that Jackson threatened to kill his own vice president, so Meacham
caustically added, "I don't know if Senator McCain has thought that
along the way."

Meanwhile, Newsweek's writers are exploring the inspiring depths of
humility of their blessed Barack: "Obama has unusual detachment for a
politician. He observes himself as a kind of figure out of
literature." Does that sound humble? Or does it sound astoundingly
arrogant? Reagan living in his own movies put him in Fantasy Land,
but Obama seeing himself as the Embodiment of Hope on the library
shelf is somehow grounded. The Obama-crazed media are hallucinating.

On ABC's "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts couldn't stop gushing about the Obama cabinet picks: "Some would say it's a team of rivals, a la President Lincoln, or is a better comparison a team of
geniuses as FDR did?" George Stephanopoulos unsurprisingly agreed:
"We have not seen this kind of combination of star power and brain
power and political muscle this early in a cabinet in our lifetimes."

Smelling salts all around, please.

If this proposed incoming Obama administration wasn't so stuffed with
Clintonites, starting with Hillary, that line might have sounded
insulting to Bill Clinton. Sixteen years ago, all these same tributes
were being offered to Bill Clinton's superior intelligence, Bill
Clinton's grace under pressure, and a superior incoming Clinton
staff. Even Stephanopoulos was ogled back then over the charisma of
his "power whisper."

But looking back, how well did Bill Clinton display a foreign policy
genius that made the world a less violent place? Are the mass murders
in Rwanda or the massacre in Srebrenica something that every Clinton
fan in the media has wiped clean from their brains? Have they all
forgotten the Americans killed at the Khobar Towers, or aboard the
U.S.S. Cole, our lost diplomats at the embassies of Kenya and
Tanzania? Did the overflowing international compassion of Clinton
melt the hearts of al-Qaeda into retirement? Why, then, does every
media liberal assume that History will open her arms and beckon Obama
forward as an early entry into the Pantheon of Presidential Greatness?

Conservatives and Republicans have a very important role to play now
in holding this alleged Team of Geniuses accountable. This
disgraceful "news" media won't, period. They will line up to serve
Obama only slightly less explicitly than Chris Matthews, who
typically blurted out that his new job as a television host was to
insure President Obama's success. We say "blurted out" because
Matthews tends to...blurt. But give him credit for one thing: the
courage to admit the attitude of servitude that his colleagues so
piously deny.
Brent Bozell
Media Research Center
26 November 2008

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