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How Republics Fall: The Fourth Estate’s degrading hero worship trivializes an election.
National Review ^ | 09/17/2012 | Michael Knox Beran

Posted on 09/17/2012 5:52:19 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The weird ecstasy of the media-political complex at the convention in Charlotte last month was the first sign that its attachment to President Obama, always fawning, had become morbid.

In spite of the anemic economy and a real unemployment rate above 11 percent, the high priests of pontificating liberalism were giddy with euphoria. The Democrats “put on a nearly flawless convention,” Paul Begala opined, and it was soon all but incontrovertibly established that, come November, the president — beautiful, magical, and lovable as he was — would vanquish his boring opponent.

The media savants sympathized with the delirium of Charlotte because they worship at the same altar and feed at the same trough. Two and a half centuries ago Edmund Burke said the reporters’ gallery in Parliament was an estate “more important far than” the other three put together. Today America’s Fourth Estate is not merely predisposed, as it has been for generations, to favor a particular political party: It is deeply engaged in the hero worship of a particular political leader.

The closeness of mainstream journalists to President Obama has debauched their integrity. Some of them give the White House veto authority over their stories. Others look to be rewarded with plum jobs or stimulus-funded ads. This abasement before power presages a return to a time when political writers, among them Swift and Defoe, were the professed protégés of statesmen and relied on Whig or Tory patronage for their bread; it also leaves the country vulnerable to the distortions of ostensibly neutral journalists who are too fervently committed to the leader to tell the truth about him.

Obama worship, once the quaint foible of Grub Street liberalism, has become its opium, perhaps its bath salts. The unhinged quality of its analysis was painfully evident during the interval of bounce-talk that followed Charlotte. When, after days of media cheerleading, Obama rose modestly in the polls, the acolytes instantly sounded the death knell for Romney. The election was all but over, the princes of palaver declared. Time’s Mark Halperin spoke of the Romney campaign’s “death stench,” and MSNBC’s Steve Benan said that the president was now “exactly where he wants to be.”

Would a less prejudiced observer claim that the president was exactly where he wanted to be in early September, with a credit downgrade looming, a miserable jobs report on the wires, and a strike by Chicago schoolteachers trash-talking the generous, even lavish deal they had been offered, the kind of deluxe package that induced liberal Wisconsin to rise in revolt against public-sector irresponsibility?

Then came Cairo and, still more terribly, Benghazi. The “Gang of 500,” as Halperin styles the bigwigs with whom he shares the liberal soapbox, was duly outraged . . . by Mitt Romney. The Republican nominee had the lèse-majesté to criticize Obama’s foreign policy.

The president’s own statement on Benghazi, which he delivered in the Rose Garden before departing for a campaign event in Las Vegas, went largely unscrutinized by the media gang: “Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.”

The president’s air of certainty contrasted sharply with the reticence of his underlings. The State Department has consistently said it does not know what happened to Ambassador Stevens that night, and grim photographs cast doubt on the notion that he had been innocently conveyed from the bloody scene.

The Beltway clerisy failed to ask the obvious question: Was the president’s version of his emissary’s death a self-serving attempt to salvage a failing foreign policy? Three years ago Obama went to Cairo “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” Should we learn that the men in the Benghazi photographs were not good Samaritans generously carrying an American to safety but thugs snapping trophy pictures of a Yankee infidel, Obama’s “new beginning,” if it came at all, will not have made much of a difference. The “new” Middle East in which American diplomats are abused and murdered and black flags fly over American embassies may prove to look a lot like the Old Middle East.

Which raises another question: If the administration’s Islamic policy has failed to pacify Islam and “make us safer,” why didn’t the president act forcefully in the months preceding the tragedy to protect American diplomats? Yet other than the British Independent and Matt Drudge, no big journalistic enterprise pressed for an explanation. Rather than probe the most devastating assault on the diplomatic corps since 1979, the media-political complex blithely turned its collective attention to happier matters, among them the president’s rising poll numbers in the swing states.

Like the decadents of France’s ancien régime, the liberal literati of mainstream journalism are convinced that the party will go on forever. Islamic zealots can be talked out of making nuclear bombs; stagnant growth and high unemployment can be counteracted with a Caesarian policy of bread and shows, free food and even free cell phones; a moribund economy can be propped up with the saline drip of Ben Bernanke’s liquidity transfusions.

As detached from reality as Marie Antoinette milking cows with Sèvres buckets, liberal journalists fail to grapple in any serious way with the“crisis of liberalism” at home and abroad, preferring instead to compose billets-doux to Barack praising his basketball prowess and panegyrics on Michelle’s dexterity as a horticulturalist.

In the unreal city of progressive punditry, a charismatic leader uncommonly gifted in the preaching of sermons really can build a brave new world in which benevolent planners use other people’s money to mold a better life for the masses. If the same Comtean model bankrupted Europe, that’s because European regulators failed to master the esoteric arts of “quantitative easing,” which magically does away with the need for intelligently invested private capital.

Having been corrupted into a semi-official state press, America’s mainstream media is now transforming the most important election in a generation into the political equivalent of an episode of The Bachelor. Liberalism’s scribal class is actually pleased that the contest has become a referendum not on the president’s record or his plans but on his charisma and popularity. In the kingdom of vapor, substance has no place.

This is how republics die, in thrall to the inane, the frivolous, and the inconsequential. A liberalism incapable of persuading the public to embrace its policies has been converted by its media tribunes into a publicity stunt. As a result, the nation that gave the world the Federalist Papers and the Lincoln–Douglas debates may very well reelect a flawed chief executive for no other reason than that he has been continuously portrayed as a super-nice guy by the media lackeys who tend the Obama cult.

Is it later than we think? Very possibly.

— Michael Knox Beran, a lawyer and contributing editor of City Journal, is author of, among other books, Forge of Empires, 1861–1871: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the World They Made.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012; 2012election; corruption; crushliberalism; democrats; dncmedia; elections; fascistmedia; fraud; liberalism; liberalmedia; liberals; media; mediabias; msm; nobama2012; obama; obamatruthfile; obamedia; pravdamedia; press; progressives

1 posted on 09/17/2012 5:52:27 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The Republic is dying. Who’s on Dancing with the Stars?


2 posted on 09/17/2012 6:00:37 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: SeekAndFind
I have a new, appropriate name for the “Fourth Estate”

they are the "FIFTH COLUMNISTs".....© Moosejaw 2012

3 posted on 09/17/2012 6:02:42 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: SeekAndFind

What price silence, NBC? What price silence?


4 posted on 09/17/2012 6:03:15 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SeekAndFind

there is only one way to kill this beast... find out who the major advertisers are and REFUSE to patronize them...

you will not need a major announcement, or even an email blast... just say no..

this is the one thing we can do with little to no pain to us, and it will deny the msm what it needs.. cash flow..

these idiots have yet to figure out that a business model that automatically alienates over half your perspective customers is doomed to fail...


5 posted on 09/17/2012 6:05:49 AM PDT by joe fonebone (I am the 15%)
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To: SeekAndFind
This is how republics die, in thrall to the inane, the frivolous, and the inconsequential.

Well said. As the Greeks put it, "Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad."

6 posted on 09/17/2012 6:08:34 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Vaquero
The worship of the "cult personality" president is beyond disgusting.
7 posted on 09/17/2012 6:09:08 AM PDT by Machfour
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s going to take a collapse for people to wake up.


8 posted on 09/17/2012 6:12:36 AM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
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To: SeekAndFind

This is an excellent piece of work describing the Obama media.

This is worth passing on to others. Question is, what do we do about it?


9 posted on 09/17/2012 6:16:03 AM PDT by dforest
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To: Vaquero

Yep. See my tagline for the past 9 months.....


10 posted on 09/17/2012 6:57:21 AM PDT by Reo (the 4th Estate is a 5th Column)
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To: SeekAndFind; Deb; C. Edmund Wright; Kaslin
This is a masterpiece. Thanks for posting!

In spite of the anemic economy and a real unemployment rate above 11 percent, the high priests of pontificating liberalism were giddy with euphoria. The Democrats “put on a nearly flawless convention,” Paul Begala opined, and it was soon all but incontrovertibly established that, come November, the president — beautiful, magical, and lovable as he was — would vanquish his boring opponent.

This is how republics die, in thrall to the inane, the frivolous, and the inconsequential. A liberalism incapable of persuading the public to embrace its policies has been converted by its media tribunes into a publicity stunt. As a result, the nation that gave the world the Federalist Papers and the Lincoln–Douglas debates may very well reelect a flawed chief executive for no other reason than that he has been continuously portrayed as a super-nice guy by the media lackeys who tend the Obama cult.

... 'high priests of pontificating liberalism' (wretch) ping.

11 posted on 09/17/2012 7:51:47 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: SeekAndFind
On the other, locked thread: "I’d like to see him ban most, if not all, of the MSM from the WH Press Corps"

Mr Alinsky expressed it quite well. Name names, isolate them, etc. If the President from the podium at each presser, highlighted one Obamanite and their misreporting with a very specific and irrefutable example and then banned them for (say) the next 5 pressers it might tame them. If the Pres won't do it, start the presser off with the Press Secretary performing the ceremony. It would be fun to see how the remaining MSM would report it.

12 posted on 09/17/2012 8:10:46 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
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To: dforest
"This is worth passing on to others. Question is, what do we do about it?"

Well, one thing we do is vote for Romney, no matter how much we have to hold our noses. If Obama wins a second term, the 2016 election will be for a Potemkin Village and more worthy of Hugo Chavez than the former United States.

13 posted on 09/17/2012 8:14:36 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: SeekAndFind


14 posted on 09/17/2012 8:22:50 AM PDT by Iron Munro ("In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit." - Ayn Rand)
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To: dfwgator

Haven’t you heard? “If the Tea Party hadn’t held the republicans hostage and kept them from working with the president, this wouldn’t have happened.”


15 posted on 09/17/2012 8:30:00 AM PDT by Terry Mross (The Clintons are extremely afraid of obama. Do they owe him their souls?)
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To: SeekAndFind

bump


16 posted on 09/17/2012 8:38:07 AM PDT by Loud Mime (I'll claim I speak for God only after I do acid, a few lines of coke and half a bottle of bourbon.)
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To: SeekAndFind

First the media wore everyone out with the daily attacks on Bush for nearly the whole 8 years he was in office.
Then they do a complete 180 with Obama.
Everything is historic and he will fix all the evil Bush has done.
Here is where I think people are suffering from a little bit of the Stockholme Syndrome.
Obama has not been “historic” and he has not “fixed” anything.
In MANY ways he has made them worse!
Still, the media is not reporting the truth.
Its obviously not their objective.
They are manipulators,distorters,propagandist dupes, tools, American haters and all around sycophants.
Meanwhile politicians know they can promise almost half the country OPM for four more years.
Who cares if it destroys America.
In fact, in their twisted minds destroying America is the most democratic/patriotic? thing they can do.
Afterall, America deserves to be taken down a few notches.


17 posted on 09/17/2012 8:52:55 AM PDT by Leep (I'm a Chic-Fil-- A-merican)
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To: SeekAndFind
The closeness of mainstream journalists to President Obama has debauched their integrity. Some of them give the White House veto authority over their stories. Others look to be rewarded with plum jobs or stimulus-funded ads.

You're finding the good stuff SeekAndFind. Nice to know people are waking up to the corruption we're facing in the MSM...

18 posted on 09/17/2012 9:28:59 AM PDT by GOPJ (first they came for those clinging to their guns and religion, and I did not speak out....)
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To: blueunicorn6
Which raises another question: If the administration’s Islamic policy has failed to pacify Islam and “make us safer,” why didn’t the president act forcefully in the months preceding the tragedy to protect American diplomats?

Michael Knox Beran comes up with another question the MSM groupthink people won't ask...

19 posted on 09/17/2012 9:34:45 AM PDT by GOPJ (first they came for those clinging to their guns and religion, and I did not speak out....)
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To: Reo
Yup. Cool

Mine uses the (reporter) double meaning Columnist

20 posted on 09/17/2012 9:42:26 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The U. S. Mass Media remind one of the Courtiers in Hans Christian Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes". Andersen's description of the psychology behind the fawning there, is on the mark as to the equally absurd fawning now.

From any American or other Western perspective, Obama is as naked intellectually as was the Emperor of raiment. When will the equivalent of an honest little boy point out the obvious?

William Flax

21 posted on 09/17/2012 10:05:47 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: SeekAndFind

Mark Steyn’s book: Countdown... seems to predict just this horrid end for the Republic. No matter the reason, excuse, every real American patriot, conserv, Indies, TEA, whatever has to drag the Pubs and Mitt across the finish line. No more excuses. This MSM fantasy with a state senator know nothing who is alien to our American heritage, history and values has to be defeated. No matter one’s reasons, drop all of them and come out in droves to vote Pubs up and down the ticket. If the moron vote wins, America is gone by 2016 and it is not only Steyn or Nat. Review but hundreds of pundits just looking at the stats and facts if Obama continues his downgrading of the Republic economically, culturally and internationally via his un-Constitutional hatred.


22 posted on 09/17/2012 5:12:22 PM PDT by phillyfanatic
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To: SeekAndFind
These are vapid, frivolous, empty, useless people soaked in a scented bubble bath of celebrity and self-importance. Why would they not prefer a President with those qualities?

Where among them are the working men and women that reporters used to be? Where are the military veterans who see policy results on the ground? Where are the craftsmen who care deeply about the language they employ? Where remaining is the least scrap of humility, of curiosity, of respect for the truth?

It's all gone. It doesn't pay off, doesn't get the reward of access and a wink from the podium, doesn't garner the Pulitzers. What does, is adulation, and so adulation is what they offer. And scorn and hatred for anyone with the temerity to point it all out.

23 posted on 09/17/2012 5:31:50 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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