February 24, 2008


The week the Obama backlash started (Paul Harris, 2/24/08, The Observer)

Thus the long-forgotten meeting resurfaced late last week in a detailed news story on the respected politics website Politico under the blaring headline: 'Obama once visited 60s terrorists.'

For a candidate long used to an overwhelmingly positive press, it was a jarring headline. But with Obama's new status as the Democrats' clear frontrunner, a media backlash is now showing clear signs of gathering pace.

The Politico story was not alone last week. In the New York Times, two influential columnists weighed in with brutal attacks against Obama. David Brooks called him a 'trophy messiah' and Paul Krugman claimed Obama's campaign was '...dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality'. Meanwhile, in the Boston Globe, Obama supporter Margery Eagan expressed her own doubts about her pick. 'I'm nervous because John McCain says Obama is an "eloquent but empty call for change" and in the wee, wee hours a nagging voice whispers: "Suppose McCain's right,' Eagan wrote.

Nor was it confined to print. On television, ABC's respected Nightline show ran a segment on Obama's often wildly enthusiastic supporters and compared 'Obama-mania' to the Beatlemania of the Sixties. Anchor Terry Moran asked: 'Is this a political movement or a personality cult?' On cable channel MSNBC, a hapless Obama backer, Texan state senator Kirk Watson, was harangued by host Chris Matthews to 'name any' of Obama's legislative achievements. When Watson failed, the clip became a huge Youtube hit.

...you half expect the group sitting there to be holding Scientology E-meters.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2008 8:42 AM
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