“Media sees Obama’s wars as good because he’s not Bush”
I know, right? Wipe that look of gobsmack off your faces! David Freddeso:
If you’ve noticed that the active anti-war movement seems smaller these days, you’re not alone – and just at the moment when the public seems to support their cause.
But those few who have remained consistent, along with a vast and ideologically diverse majority of Americans opposed to war with Syria, must now contend with a media that reflexively assumes purer motives of President Obama than it did of his predecessor.
This is how the media had been dragging us into a war that both Congress and the public view with great skepticism – right up to the moment the British Parliament’s vote and extremely sour public opinion forced Obama to un-make his mind about invading without congressional approval.
Witness, for example, the coverage this year and last of Obama’s controversial drone-strike policy. Even while providing reasonably critical coverage, journalists did not hide their shock that Obama – “a good man … an honorable man … the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize … an unimpeachably upstanding citizen,” as Esquire put it – had made mass assassination his singular contribution to the history of the U.S. presidency.
The New York Times, even in revealing Obama’s personal role in approving strikes, merely presented this as evidence of his credentials as a deep thinker: “A student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas,” the Times asserted, “he believes that he should take moral responsibility for such actions.”
That provides some insight into the sympathetic assumptions from which the media currently operate and how they have nearly got us into a war last week.
New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan asked her paper’s managing editor, Dean Baquet, about whether Times coverage of Syria isn’t ignoring the lessons of Iraq.
His paraphrased reply: “Syria is not another Iraq, he said. One of the major differences, he said, is that the Obama administration has no enthusiasm for this conflict in the way that President George W. Bush’s administration did a decade ago.”
– So you see? Again, it’s about perception — and is propelled by the leftist’s circular reasoning that, because they intend to do it, it must be done out of goodness, they being good and so capable only of doing things with the purest of intentions. Even if they sometimes have to lie, cheat, steal, bully, berate, destroy, and lay waste to those who refuse to see their goodness.
What passes for intellectualism here is crass cartooning: we’re to picture Bush licking his chops with glee at the prospect of attacking other countries — which he did as a result of a series of bombings against us, the last of which took down the Twin Towers and killed 3000 Americans.
Whereas Obama is reluctantly — and with a good sharp mind, having pondered Aquinas and Augustine — using drone strikes to take out targets of interest, and then entering into actions in Libya and now (he hopes) Syria, having interfered with Mubarak in Egypt but left Achmanidinnerjacket and the North Koreans alone, because he feels the moral compulsion to do so. Though somehow we’re to bracket that the same moral compulsion hasn’t led him to take action in Africa, Iran, North Korea, or places where Christians and women are routinely slaughtered, or citizens are routinely imprisoned or starved.
Or, to put it another way, even provoked, Bush’s motives were base; while even unprovoked, Obama’s are beatific, because Good Men often must reluctantly do bad things for Good Reasons.
What those reasons are is irrelevant. Because they are good. Having come from a Good Man. A thoughtful man. A man who evidently fits Aquinas in between rounds of golf, fried food binges, concerts, basketball, and parties with Jay-Z and Beyonce.
In other words, the press, being progressive, has pretended not to smell Obama’s bullshit, either. But you can only sprinkle so much rosewater on a turd. Because pretty soon, somebody is going to step in it and realize that it ain’t rose petals they’re trying to unclog from the soles of their shoes.