Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A thought on the whole Clark-Obama thing

Reflecting on the imbroglio about Clark's critique of McCain, and Obama's quick abandonment thereof, I think that not all actors are being taken into account. To wit, the fourth actor in this whole drama -- the media.

I've read elsewhere (including here) the theory that the Obama campaign hoped for a quick end to the whole patriotism argument with a quick comment. Bob over on BMG sharply points out that in his speech about race, Obama stated a desire to move past these types of ticky-tack discussions. And for the most part, during the Primary he was able. I can agree that Hope Central felt that a quick denunciation would not only eliminate Clark from VP contention, but put this debate back into a bottle right quick.

However, what has changed recently is Obama's opponent -- and the media's feelings there toward. The media was constantly willing to abet Obama in completing his strategy, due to their fondness for him, and their unquenchable hatred for all things Clinton. Obama quite ably directed the media during the primary campaign, and the media quite ably obeyed. However, now he's facing McCain, the Man the Media Built. This vestigal loyalty (somewhat thin due to McCain's weak poll numbers) keeps the media from too enthusiastically obeying Obama's directives.

Also, Obama was earlier seeking to close out debates on race and gender, two arguments with which the media is still manifestly uncomfortable. Most pundits don't like talking about such things lest they make a mistake and lose the respect of other pundits. Plus, the obstacles proffered by Hillary's gender versus those offered by Obama's race was a minefield without a correct answer of standard response. Thinking, risky journalism simply isn't in the interests of Punditocracy, Icnc.

However, patriotism is a subject they love to debate, partially because the script is already written: Republicans have it, Democrats not really. Asking the media to stop questioning a Democrat's patriotism and respect for the military is like asking a 6-year-old not to see her favorite movie over and over.

If Obama's campaign is honest with itself, it will accept that they won't have the media on their side from now on, and will adjust strategy accordingly. Hopefully this week will be filed under "learned it the hard way".

1 comment:

noternie said...

this is very disappointing.

now if I want to support Obama I have to look for someone to counter him on this issue.

especially since carlin's gone.

go away, jeebus people. leave us alone!