Idolatry Versus Ideology
The news media do not usually cover news media. They are a club. They are perhaps the most insular profession in America. There might be pecking orders and rivalries and jealousy but they are good at keeping their grievances in-house. They like to refer to one another as colleagues.
Bernard Goldberg reminds us that there is no secret handshake. None is needed. In this finely-screened guild, dissidents are not recruited or welcomed. They often graduate from good schools but nonetheless they do have dimwits in their ranks. They are not necessarily stupid but they will consciously promote stupidity when duty calls.
Members of the news media are haughty and cavalier and every word in the thesaurus for both haughty and cavalier accurately describes them. No exceptions. They are parochial and provincial and every word in the thesaurus for both parochial and provincial accurately describes them. No exceptions.
Smugly superior, tirelessly loyal to their clan, secular in the extreme. Secularists are notoriously vulnerable to cult leaders. Offbeat religions have much better success recruiting at Harvard or Yale than at Brigham Young or Oral Roberts. The Cult of Obama would find the ranks of the secularist media to be their Happy Hunting Ground.
Observers might denounce media bias but they often mistake loyalty to proper noun for loyalty to principle. In the case of Barack Obama, idolatry is often mistaken for ideology. The Obamacist media practice unconditional love for their beloved leader.
A purely objective press has never existed. We have discussed press prejudices and how they have evolved over time. Yes, there has always been a bias against dissent, an endorsement of pack journalism for the good of the pack. What was absent until 2008 was an ongoing consensus on behalf of matters related to one man and his agenda.
The news media might have been chummy and sniffy but they were also independent. Even during times of war—World War II being the possible exception—news media expressed diverse viewpoints. That is no longer the case.
“Mysticism is unifying. Reason is divisive. “ So says Thomas Szasz. Ideology has its limits. An idea as simple as “the government should help the poor” immediately encounters an obstacle course. How do we help the poor? Should we first help those who help themselves? Should we first help those who cannot help themselves? Should we first help those who will not help themselves in hopes of lifting their spirits? Should we help poor people find work or just give them cash? Would it be better to give poor people food stamps and free education and subsidized housing than to give them cash? Should we help intact families more than single mothers or vice versa? Reason divides.
George Patton said, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” To that, our news media reply in unison “Yes we can!” For many journalists, Obamacism is their first religious experience. For most journalists, Barack Obama is the only deity they love and revere. For all members of the Fourth Estate, Obamacism is the only religion that matters.
Issues do not matter to the Obamacist. Candidate Obama excoriated President Bush for his profligacy, “two wars on a credit card...Bank of China credit card...” more references to credit cards, calling deficits unpatriotic, etc. President Obama would ultimately spend more rapidly and more recklessly than any president in history, arguably with little or nothing to show for it. The press are behind their deity all the way, They are zealots, not ideologues.
President Obama bears no resemblance to Candidate Obama in 2008 or even Candidate Obama in 2012 when the press adroitly assisted the incumbent in running against his own record. Republicans. The Tea Party. Congress. His rivals who acted as rivals. Rush Limbaugh. These entities all served as scapegoats for the Administration's ongoing failure. Never is anything the president's fault. Never.
The Obamacist media mob praised the Affordable Care Act without reading it. Through executive order and Secretarial fiat, the ACA morphed and shape shifted and evolved into something much different from its legislative form. The chorus backed their deity every step of the way. Changes in law were but words on paper. Love and worship of their leader is all that mattered.
Previous executives waffled or flip-flopped. Barack Obama pivots and grows and evolves. Never indecisive, always reflective. One Obamacist even coined a term to prop up their divinity: He leads from behind. Unconditional love. Unending loyalty. Consensus achieved.
Obamacism is a media-created, media-generated, media-fed religion. A land of skeptics found its savior. Finally, there was someone worthy of their deference. We will examine the techniques of persuasion and deception that made Obamacism possible. We need to reemphasize Obamacism's universal support from the Fourth Estate. Their unanimous, total and unending loyalty has made the impossible a reality.