The Slobbering Sycophants Of The MSM

by Burt Prelutsky [scriptwriter]

It wasn’t that long ago that my friend Bernard Goldberg told me he was never going to write another book.  It was just a lot of hard work, he complained, and while he was working on one, virtually all joy was sucked out of his life.  It made perfect sense to me.  Besides, books take a lot of time to write and Bernie, who wishes he’d grown another foot-and-a-half so he could have competed in the NBA, still needs to work on his hook shot.

Well, he lied.  But at least it was in a good cause.  I just read his latest slice-and-dice of the liberal media, “A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media),” and I was  reminded what a travesty the MSM made of the 1st amendment in its desire to ensure Obama’s victory.

There was a time, after all, when Americans actually had a rather high opinion of those who brought us the news in a fair and reasonably objective manner, and when editors and publishers didn’t allow their opinions to bleed all over the rest of the newspaper.  But those days are long gone.  Today, nobody trusts print or TV journalists.  Liberals may have been delighted to find the MSM working overtime to get their guy elected last year, but in the final analysis nobody respects a whore.  Americans, whatever their politics, have no more reason to believe what they’re told by the members of the fourth estate than the Russians had when their news source was Pravda, Stalin’s propaganda machine.

As Goldberg makes clear, the shame of the MSM during the presidential election wasn’t simply that they couldn’t mention Barack Obama’s name without swooning, although it did get awfully embarrassing.  Giggly teenage girls at a Jonas Brothers concert behaved with more restraint than Chris Matthews.

Worse yet was the way the media kept anything negative about their Lochinvar under wraps.  So it was that although Rolling Stone, as early as February, 2007, in a profile of Sen. Obama, wrote about his friend and religious mentor, the loony racist, Jeremiah Wright, the MSM totally ignored the connection until bloggers and Sean Hannity forced the issue.  Even then, the media merely took its lead from Obama.  When the candidate claimed that in 20 years, he’d never heard his minister say anything hateful about America or white people, they went along with it.  When Obama dismissed Wright’s rants as sound bites taken out of context, that was good enough for the MSM.  When Obama said that he would never turn his back on Wright, they praised him for his loyalty.  Then, when Wright kept repeating those “sound bites” and Obama hurled his worthless carcass under the bus, the MSM praised him for his resolve.

When some people questioned how Obama could have sat in that cesspool of a church for a thousand Sundays, Obama said that anyone who would ask such a rude question was obviously a racist, knowing full well that the MSM, aka the amen corner, could be counted on not only to parrot his words, but to clap hands and shout “Hallelujah!”

If some of us began to confuse news stories about Obama with his campaign press releases, it’s because they were interchangeable, although the press releases tended to be more restrained and, usually, better written.

When Geraldine Ferraro dared to point out that if he were white, the inexperienced Obama would not be running for president, there was such a firestorm of media outrage that Hillary Clinton had to toss her under the bus.  Clearly, though, when 90% of blacks were voting for Obama when he was running against someone as liberal as Sen. Clinton, it should have been pretty obvious to one and all that the allegedly post-racial candidate was about as post-racial as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson or Jeremiah Wright.  Considering how cynical the members of the press like to consider themselves, it’s rather amusing how naive and, well, slobbering the members of the press can be when they really put their minds to it.

The members of the MSM, as Goldberg makes perfectly clear in 173 very readable pages, went completely in the tank to ensure that Obama would be the 44th president of the United States.  But they paid a terrible price.  They showed themselves to be nothing more than partisan hacks.  And in the end, Obama owed his victory more to the financial meltdown than to their ethical meltdown.

Is it any wonder that newspapers are barely hanging on, that network news shows are seeing their audiences evaporate like the morning dew, and that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann could double their ratings if only they could finally convince their fathers to tune in?

The MSM reminds me of Marlon Brando’s character in “On the Waterfront.”  By taking a dive, they’ve forfeited their chance to be contenders…for our respect.  Instead, like Terry Malloy, they’re just bums.  ExileStreet

copyright 2009 Burt Prelutsky

Television scriptwriter, former humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine.

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