Rick Moran argues that if we want to listen to Obama, then we have to open our ears to all the notes.
This disconnect became all too visible the last few days as left wing blogs supporting Obama were beside themselves over the efforts by ABC debate moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephenopolous to pull back the curtain and reveal Obama as the hypocrite he truly is. Their primary beef with ABC? The moderators asked questions the candidate didn’t want to answer and his supporters didn’t want to hear. As long as the press coverage limits itself to the “issues,” only the Obama on the stump will be highlighted. As long as the press reports on the incredible crowds, the adoring fans, the candidate’s rhetorical gifts (not “issues” in any sense of the word but hey! – no one ever accused the left of being consistent about anything), Obama’s Legions are satisfied.
The most valuable asset of the Obama campaign is not their control of the message, but of the medium. And it's interesting to speculate on how this works. My guess is that it works through a kind of "consensus" phenomenon that surfaces periodically in the media. A consensus about subjects as diverse as global warming, missile defense, Typhoon Katrina, Darfur, Iraq, Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, etc emerges through a little understood process and eventually becomes received wisdom in the press. From that point onward, any facts which don't fit the narrative are regarded as "fringe", however much merit they may intrinsically have. For example, take the recent campaign by the Iraqi government against Moqtada al-Sadr. The "consensus" is that Sadr won the encounter. The fact that Sadr is in hiding in Iraq, the JAM put to flight, and Basrah captured from Sadr's militias, not to mention a constant drumroll of takedowns of his men -- all of this cannot dislodge the "consensus".
From Obama's point of view the possession of this "consensus" is the single most important political asset that he has.
How does this mysterious annointment occur? My guess is that it is an emergent phenomenon which arises from the circumstance that MSM pundits all read each other's commentary. Because the opinion makers take in each other's intellectual laundry the stains simply move from garment to garment. Thus the "consensus" survives in mutated form in each stage of the process. For example, it is conceivable that George Stephanopoulos never heard of the connection between Obama and Bill Ayers until Sean Hannity told him about it. Some people will find this possibility too incredible to be true. But my own personal experience with "well informed" figures who I meet suggest that filtering plays at least as large a role as anything else in perpetuating the survival of myths. The famous "sophistication" of MSM pundits is just another way of describing a narrow provincialism.
In one sense Barack Obama doesn't represent "change" at all but its very opposite: the plat du jour of the same set of intellectual cooks we have had for decades. "We are the people we've been waiting for." Who's "we", kemo sabe?
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