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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Obama's Propaganda Tour

This article was originally posted on

Even the neutral observer would have to agree that the last few weeks for Barack Obama have been nothing short of stellar in terms of publicity and photo-opportunities. Meeting with heads of state, dining with kings and diplomats around the globe gives the Senator would-be standing in the world community. In contrast to the Victory Tower in Berlin – which Obama used as his most recent campaign backdrop, John McCain’s visit to the Sausage Haus, a German Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio was a sad attempt to either poke fun at or upstage Obama in some way. Its days like these that make you wonder whether or not the McCain campaign takes Obama as serious as they should. While Obama spoke in front of thousands of people to a world-wide audience, McCain should hands with a half a dozen people over beer and bratwurst in a dark lit restaurant.

The troubles of the McCain bid are a story for another day. To be fair, McCain and his campaign team are their own worst enemy. Tired, uninspiring, and reactive won’t produce the intended result in the media age of energy and glitz. That isn’t to suggest that substance and policy don’t matter – it does – but delivery is also a key element of any successful leader. And right now the McCain campaign has a long way to go to inspire even its own supporters.

Lately, and in the eyes of the media, Obama can do no wrong. Both the American and International Press coverage has been incredibly friendly – if not overtly pro-Obama, as few reporters have challenged him on his policy positions. Yesterday’s Lehrer NewsHour was a perfect example of how the media is aiding the Obama campaign. The PBS show invited three European journalists who instead of providing straightforward news analysis, opted to sing praises of Obama while at the same time being very clear that McCain, while somewhat respected by Europeans, represented views not welcome in Europe. The continuous references by our national media to “Obama-Mania” sweeping the continent are enough to make you question the fairness in news coverage. Could PBS’s news coverage do any more to support Obama? Jim Lehrer, once regarded as somewhat impartial, should be ashamed at the coverage of his news team. Not one challenging remark to anything Obama says or does. And his somber delivery of the news summary isn’t a substitute for fair, impartial reporting. Oh sure, he’s not responsible for the words of his guests, but he is responsible for the questioning by the segment host, and selecting guests with alternative opinions and mindsets.

In fact to show further evidence of further bias, yesterday afternoon MSNBC decided it was time to run a short story on President Bush’s twisting of words and phrases in the same segment as Obama’s European tour. Purpose? Overtly try to diminish our current President in order to make Obama look appealing and more presidential. It’s a sad commentary on MSNBC when executives can use their programming to help the Democratic Party achieve its goals.

Most of us know what Barack Obama’s international tour is really about. It is frankly nothing more than a planned attempt to quickly improve an otherwise poor resume – which lacks in experience on the international stage and understanding of complex international policy issues. The lack of substance in Obama’s speeches reflects his inexperience. Anyone can talk about a defeating tyranny, collaboration among nations, and working together for a brighter tomorrow. But those are the words of a dreamer and not a pragmatist, particularly when they aren’t backed up by substance and plans of any sort. Surely the media must recognize that for all the hype, Obama’s words equate to nothing more than poetic cheerleading on the world stage - words that appeal to emotion rather than thought. When previous American Presidents gave speeches in Berlin, they had something to say – not so with Barack Obama who says little, and calls for an empty appeal for change.

Obama says, “Now is our time.” Who’s time, and to do what? These are empty statements. And yet the propagandists in the network newsrooms found amazing ways to shape this into a meaningful speech of some sort. No one dared question his point and its purpose. No news anchor dared go against the script.

The fact is that this whole tour is embarrassing and shameful. United States Presidential Campaigns have sunk to a new low. Would-be candidates taking their propaganda, dog and pony shows on the road in front of international historic landmarks is sickening. Shouldn’t the media be asking if the words of Mr. Obama meet the same quality and stature of what the memorials he campaigns in front of stands for?

Well, of course not. That’s not the media’s job. For the last several years, their mission has been the same, well documented and observed – to tow the line of the Democratic Party, and to cast a dark shadow on Republican viewpoints (except of course when the Republican goes against his own Party). If this is a sign of what’s to come, McCain surely has an uphill battle.

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