Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Enthusiasm Is Not A Replacement For Rational Judgement

Well, now more media has publically stated they can no longer be objective about Barack Obama:

During MSNBC's live coverage of Tuesday's presidential primary elections, after the speeches of Barack Obama and John McCain had aired, Chris Matthews expressed his latest over the top admiration for Obama's speaking skills as the MSNBC anchor admitted that Obama's speech created a "thrill" in his leg: "It's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often." Minutes later, Brian Williams poked fun at Matthews' confession: "Let's talk about that feeling Chris gets up his leg when Obama talks ... That seems to be the headline of this half hour."

At about 10:13 p.m., right after McCain finished his speech, which came after Obama's speech, co-anchor Keith Olbermann remarked that, due to Obama's unusual speaking skills, it was a good idea for any other speaker to speak before the Illinois Democrat instead of after him. Matthews then expressed what he referred to as an "objective assessment" of Obama's speech:

I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often. No, seriously. It's a dramatic event. He speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the feeling we have about our country. And that is an objective assessment.

Alright. Now get a hold of yourself all of you unabashed Obama backers, because I'm gonna bring up Hitler. Now, I'm not comparing Obama to Hitler, and in fact I'm not talking about Obama at all but the reaction of some of the electorate (including an ever larger portion of our supposed watchdog media) watching all of this. All of the hyper emotionalism attached to the Obama candidacy is reminiscent of the reaction of most Germans to Hitler. Rationality was discarded because all that was needed was the belief in the personality of Hitler. What became important was not the content of ideas and policies but the way he made you "feel." The end result was utter disaster for humanity as a whole. I know I am hopelessly old fashioned, but reason and good old American pragmatism still matter to me and I view all such emotional enthusiasms as suspect by definition. I decided a long time ago that history does have things to teach us, if not in the area of particulars than in generalities.

If you don't see parallels in this instance you are either A) not looking, or B) swept up by "enthusiasm" yourself. That doesn't mean you cannot support Obama, but it does mean you have to stand up and demand rationality in the process, especially from the media.

It is starting to scare the s%$t out of me.

UPDATE:

Actually, more an addendum. Had to point to this:

I have now basked in the glow of the biggest political rockstar of our times and I was much less-impressed than the rest of the crowd at the Kohl Center. Obama did his thing and it was good, let there be no doubt, but he really does seem more style than substance at this point. And when he does get specific about any policies I can be fairly certain I will disagree with him. But that's not the point, Obama is a rockstar and there are a whole lot of people who just want a fresh face, who sounds good and makes them feel good. That is Obama to a T. There is no way Hillary or John McCain generates the love that was in that place. People were ear to ear and just watch the 18,000 eyes raised to the big screen when the Will.i.am "Yes we can" video plays. That is a powerful force people and it transcends facts.

Facts and substance? Who needs em?

Sheep obviously do not.

Gleaned from Stubborn Facts.

Good God...am I gonna be forced to give money to John "The whole First Amendment thing is overrated" McCain?

Quite possibly.

More thanks to Stubborn Facts for pointing to the following:

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from MSNBC? They don't know the difference between commentary and straight reporting, or subjective and objective. This is why the reporting in the MSM is so biased. Whether the bias results from intent or from their enthymemes is irrelevant; the result is virtually the same.

Liberals kill me: Fox is an "organ of the Republican party", but Keith Olbermann, an avowed left-wing partisan, can moderate debates. Do they not know what moderate means?

On the bright side, Hitler didn't clear more than a third of the vote when he ran. So I'll put my faith in the good old 2-party system, and the the pragmatism of the American people--they'll come around soon enough. Nevertheless, I am going to write 2 checks: one for McCain and one for the RNC in case McCain fails...

I'm so glad my girlfriend sees through all of the hype....

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

MSNBC views themselves as the anti-Fox, which is fine...although I've noticed it still had much affect on their ratings. The larger point is if they are willing to misrepresent things in the INTERNAL fight between Democrats, what would they do during the general election? And this goes far beyond MSNBC, who are merely the most blatant of cheerleaders. The fawning over Obama is damn near universal, and the unwillingness to challenge him on particulars in any meaningful way comes across as nearly conspiratorial...which is why you get the "Oh woe is me" refrain from Clinton. The sad truth is, she actually has a point. (For a change.)

Anonymous said...

Your analysis of Clinton's predicament ignores that her claim to the presidency is as empty as his. With no substantive grounds on which to engage Obama, she loses the personality conted.

Still, your point about the general election rings true. I fully expect the presidential debates this year to be characterized by slow-pitch softball for Obama and spitters for McCain.

I really hope the Republicans get their act together soon. I would love to see some 527s come out and start pounding Obama now. It would take Obama down a couple of notches, and HRC likely would absorb any blame or backlash that followed.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

Oh, Clinton and Obama hold almost identical policy positions (such as they are), but at least the media isn't trying to sell me on the idea Clinton represents anything new.

They are both selling the same snake oil, so why should I go into estatic convulsions when it issues from Obama and discount it when it comes from Clinton?

I just hate hearing the complete and utter crapola about Obama being some sort of "moderate." If he is a moderate than so is Clinton.