Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I had an interesting conversation via Facebook status comments (a seemingly ever-more common occurence, interesting enough in itself) with a friend of mine yesterday about the future of Obama's presidency.

He pondered that it was "time to be vigilant and see just what government transparency means to an Obama administration."

Naturally, I responded with "Propobamaganda."

With startling insight into the current mindset of so many Americans, he suggested that I reread his pondering, and then comment again, as if to suggest that I misunderstood his meaning.

To be fair, I believe he was actually being pragmatic, at least as pragmatic as an O-bot is capable of. But it startled me how easy it is for the O-bots to accept as gospel what The One says. When did it come to pass that the American people started trusting the government to be honest with them?

What else can you label communications that come from the White House as the primary source, if not propaganda? His "transparency" via, for instance, requires every reader to either take Obama's word on everything, or to do additional due diligence and research that should be coming from objective journalists.

Granted, we can probably count the number of objective journalists as pertains to Obama on one hand at this point, so those of us that are still permanently skeptical of any governmental action in the first place are doing our diligence anyway. However it shocked me that he was willing to take any politician at his word as the first recourse, especially one that is so obviously already campaigning for his re-election via that joke of a website.

It doesn't help these people, either, even while the media panders to The One, that as Politico mentions today

7. The watchdogs are dozing.

The big media companies that once invested in serious accountability journalism are shells of their former selves. The Tribune Co. — in other words, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune — has slashed its Washington staff by more than half. Newspaper chains such as Cox are fleeing D.C. altogether.

The end result: There are few reporters in this country doing the kind of investigative reporting that hold government officials’ feet to the fire. Think back eight years to the pre-Iraq war reporting and consider the words of Scott McClellan in his otherwise humdrum book.

“The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise,” McClellan wrote. “In this case, the ‘liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.”

Rigorous reporting is even more important when you have one-party rule in Washington. Democrats, like Republicans, are simply less likely to scrutinize a president of their own. The end result here: Don’t expect the Democratic Congress to investigate the Obama administration or hold a bunch of tough oversight hearings. That means the only real check on Obama is the same one it’s always been — the voters.

And when the voters are taking Obama's words as gospel, without skepticism, and with lack of overall reporting at all, there appears little hope for those of us that take the time to actually think about what Obama's words actually mean.

Given that "there are few reporters in this country doing the kind of investigative reporting that hold government officials’ feet to the fire," it becomes all the more important that the blogosphere continues to mine and expose real facts. Just as important however, is that we must do all we can to expand our messages into the spheres of those who are not skeptical, rather than merely amongst our other like-minded bloggers and readers.

People who don't think won't start doing it on their own.

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