Friday, May 16


The TimesOnline takes a realistic look at the American media's worship of Obama:

it's fairly clear now that, with the near-certain nomination by the Democrats of Barack Obama everything is in place for the media to indulge in one of the greatest, orgiastic media fiestas of hero-worship since Elvis Presley.

You will not see a finer example of the genre than the cover story of this week's Newsweek, which was entitled “The O Team”. This rhapsodic inside account of Senator Obama's campaign reads a little like a cross between Father Alban Butler's Life of St Francis and the sort of authorised biography of Kim Jong Il you can pick up in any good bookshop in Pyongyang.
The idolatry of Mr Obama is a shame, really. The Illinois senator is indeed, an unusually talented, inspiring and charismatic figure. His very ethnicity offers an exciting departure. But he is not a saint. He is a smart and eloquent man with a personal history that is startlingly shallow set against the scale of the office he seeks to hold. It is not only legitimate, but necessary, to scrutinise his past and infer what it might tell us about his beliefs, in the absence of the normal record of achievement expected in a presidential nominee.

If the past 40 years have taught us anything they have surely taught that premature canonisation is an almost certain guarantee of subsequent deep disappointment.

The only real disagreement I have with this story is its speculation that the media will forsake John McCain for Obama when the GE gets going. I'll have to see that to believe it. Obama is the new crush, but I can't believe they'd turn on The Straight-Talking MaverickTM so easily. It seems more probable to me that they've been championing Obama because they think he's The One to finally and forever rid us of the pesky Hillary Clinton, but most of the male media actually want to BE John McCain. He's more their kind of guy, the one they want to have barbecue and beer with, swap football and war stories with.

I expect the media will be flummoxed and discomfited when their dream candidates go mano e mano. That's about the only pleasure that such a matchup will bring me.

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