Monday, May 05, 2008

NOT PLAYERS, THEY JUST CRUSH A LOT. In New York magazine, Kurt Andersen talks about the press' alleged "crush on Obama." Andersen writes in a confessional style, portraying himself and the class with which he identifies as something out of a conservative's nightmare/wet dream of liberal vacuousness: prone to childish enthusiasms ("I figure this must be what it feels like to be a hopeful, fretful, stressed-out fan during the Super Bowl or World Series"), childish resentments ("accustomed to feeling a visceral, sputtering disgust with George Bush... visceral suspicion of the Clintonian political M.O. and character... the WTF jealousy Bill Clinton’s fellow boomers felt in 1992"), and just plain childishness ("Plus if all the kids love him and we also love him, that means we’re still kinda sorta youthful ourselves, right?").

Naturally conservatives have risen to the opportunity Andersen presents. He's even better for their purposes than a wacky hippie protester, equivalence of which with run-of-the-mill liberals requires more levels of transference. Andersen is MSM royalty, and his POV is automatically more trustworthy than that of journalists who try and act all serious.

This comes after weeks of Reverend Wright coverage that gave the impression Obama was running for pastoral advisor rather than President, and endless considerations of his "elitism." Were these reporters then disabused of their Obama "crush"? Andersen is clearly still attracted to Obama (and "baseball-geek analogies"), and so we may assume are the other press dorks for whom he speaks. Yet though they were crucial in elevating Obama, they were blindsided by events ("the media didn't see this coming") and powerless to stop the reams of critical stories issuing from their own laptops.

It's an interesting view of the press -- universally delirious for Obama, yet unrelenting in its attacks on him. Maybe Andersen is trying to tell us, in a roundabout way, that despite their emotional retardation reporters are capable of journalistic integrity, which they demonstrate by endlessly circulating rightwing talking-points. It doesn't matter, as Andersen is now a rightwing talking-point himself. It seems everything and everybody gets to be one, sooner or later.

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