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Obama's speech in Cairo yesterday was quite remarkable. Obama is not just an exceptional American president, but also an exceptional world leader. I need to go over the transcript for blogging purposes....so for now, here's a great 4:43 long compilation from Talking Points Memo, of Obama's remarks to the Muslim world....
What I want to cover today is what E.J. Dionne wrote yesterday in the Washington Post. While President Obama was speaking rarely heard truth to world viewers and listeners....E.J. Dionne was writing rarely read truth back home....
A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.
That's exactly right. Not simply because I've been saying it since before Obama's inauguration....but because it's painfully obvious. From Limbaugh's "I want Obama to fail" messaging, to the 2-1 Republicans over Democrats representation on Sunday news shows analyzing the stimulus plan, to the nightly appearance of the Cheney Torture family, to the savaging of Sonia Sotomayor.....corporate media has been, as Dionne says, "tilt(ing) to the right."
Yes, you read that correctly: If you doubt that there is a conservative inclination in the media, consider which arguments you hear regularly and which you don't. When Rush Limbaugh sneezes or Newt Gingrich tweets, their views ricochet from the Internet to cable television and into the traditional media. It is remarkable how successful they are in setting what passes for the news agenda.
To hear wimpy teleprompter-reading media anchors, like Chrissy Matthews of MSNBC, tell it.... Cheney and Limbaugh have nearly intergalactic powers to "grab the headlines." Often Matthews has asked, "what's Cheney doing, what's Cheney up to?" But each night Matthews obediently rolls a Cheney video and then, a Limbaugh clip. That dynamic is what Dionne calls "remarkable." I call it, standard operating procedure.
... the media play an independent role by regularly treating far-right views as mainstream positions and by largely ignoring critiques of Obama that come from elected officials on the left.
This is Dionne's strongest point. It's not some outside forces who are responsible for the predominance of "far-right views" in the daily corporate media....it's the corporate media, itself, that is playing an "independent role", specifically choosing fringe-right viewpoints to focus upon as mainstream, while neglecting truly progressive policy discussions.
The obvious question is why....
But why are their (liberals) voices muffled when they raise legitimate concerns, while Limbaugh's rants get amplified? Isn't Afghanistan a more important issue to debate than a single comment by Judge Sonia Sotomayor about the relative wisdom of Latinas?
I would like conservatives to answer that question. Why are genuinely liberal criticisms of the president rarely, if ever, heard? Why does it appear that corporate media is playing one big game of triviality-gotcha' with the president....and the daily gotcha' memes always emanate out of the mouths of the most rabid and discredited far-right mouthpieces?
For all the talk of a media love affair with Obama, there is a deep and largely unconscious conservative bias in the media's discussion of policy. The range of acceptable opinion runs from the moderate left to the far right and cuts off more vigorous progressive perspectives.
"deep..conservative bias." I must say....E.J. Dionne, (not my favorite) really nails the truth on this topic. While unhinged faith-basers raise hell every minute about the media being in the tank for Obama.....the reality is that truly progressive policies are like Halley's Comet...rarely seen.
Progressive bloggers have been pointing out this very obvious dynamic for years. Corporate media's spectrum of acceptable policy coverage starts at the Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin far-right extreme.....includes the centrist Colin Powell, David Broder, Evan Byah element.....encompasses the Village Elders like James Carville (and wife), the Politico and Drudge, and Lanny Davis.....BUT RARELY IF EVER.....includes authentic spokepeople for authentic liberal policies.
If liberal policies fall in the woods and no one hears them.....were there really any liberal polices?
Media Matters' Eric Boehlert adds additional insights.