Obama Works the Refs

In three speeches over the past week, President Barack Obama laid out a pointed critique of partisan media and our hyperconnected, super-cali-cybertastic age. It started with a commencement address at the University of Michigan:

We've got politicians calling each other all sorts of unflattering names. Pundits and talking heads shout at each other. The media tends to play up every hint of conflict, because it makes for a sexier story -– which means anyone interested in getting coverage feels compelled to make their arguments as outrageous and as incendiary as possible. [...]

Today's 24/7 echo-chamber amplifies the most inflammatory soundbites louder and faster than ever before. And it's also, however, given us unprecedented choice. Whereas most Americans used to get their news from the same three networks over dinner, or a few influential papers on Sunday morning, we now have the option to get our information from any number of blogs or websites or cable news shows. And this can have both a good and bad development for democracy. For if we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we become more polarized, more set in our ways. That will only reinforce and even deepen the political divides in this country.

But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs, perhaps we can begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from.

Now, this requires us to agree on a certain set of facts to debate from. That's why we need a vibrant and thriving news business that is separate from opinion makers and talking heads. That's why we need an educated citizenry that values hard evidence and not just assertion. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously once said, "Everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

Next up was the president's no-seriously moment at the White House Correspondents Dinner:

Earlier today I gave the commencement address at Michigan, where I spoke to the graduates about what is required to keep out democracy thriving in the 21st century. And one of the points I made is that for all the changes and challenges facing your industry, this country absolutely needs a healthy, vibrant media. Probably needs it more than ever now.

Today's technology [...] has made it possible for us to get our news and information from a growing range of sources. We can pick and choose not only our preferred type of media, but also our preferred perspective. And while that exposes us to an unprecedented array of opinions, analysis, and points of view, it also makes it that much more important that we're all operating on a common baseline of facts. It makes it that much more important that journalists out there seek only the truth.

And I don't have to tell you that. Some of you are seasoned veterans who have been on the political beat for decades; others here tonight began their careers as bloggers not long ago. But I think it's fair to say that every single reporter in this room believes deeply in the enterprise of journalism. Every one of you, even the most cynical among you, understands and cherishes the function of a free press and the preservation of our system of government and of our way of life.

And I want you to know that for all the jokes and the occasional gripes, I cherish that work, as well.

And finally, this weekend's graduation speech at Hampton University:

[M]eanwhile, you're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter. And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it's putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.

Class of 2010, this is a period of breathtaking change, like few others in our history. We can't stop these changes, but we can channel them, we can shape them, we can adapt to them. [...]

So, allowing you to compete in the global economy is the first way your education can prepare you. But it can also prepare you as citizens. With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, and on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all; to know what to believe; to figure out who's telling the truth and who's not. Let's face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I've had some experience in that regard.

Taken together, the message here is clear, clever, and wrong. The boom in opinionated, interconnected media is a challenge to our very democracy (it isn't). News needs to be hermetically sealed from opinion (it doesn't). The primary purpose of media consumption should be empowerment (if there was a primary purpose for media consumption, I sure as hell wouldn't trust a president to identify it). And the most dangerous purveyor of untruths is the 24/7 echo chamber (I for one am much more exercised about taxpayer-financed lies backed by lethal government force).

While hypocritical (given the president's own slippery relationship with the truth) this critique is strategically clever. For those still inclined to believe it, the message reinforces Obama's fading image as a truth-telling, above-it-all academic (see the Michigan speech in particular for a bunch of we need to get beyond the tired debate about big-vs.-small-government claptrap). And for the straight-journalism types this is a soothing tongue-bath from the Sensible Centrist in Chief that reinforces their own self-pity/importance and gives them even more motivation to go after the real lying liars: The ones who noisily and hyperbolically oppose the policies of the most powerful man on earth.

Back when George W. Bush was president, much hay was made at the fact that 43 didn't see the working press as particularly representative of the American people, and instead tailored his media communicatin' (at least somewhat) to the right-of-center mediasphere (or if you prefer, the non-Reality Based Community). Now that Obama is essentially using the same divide-and-conquer strategy, only backing a different side this time, it will be interesting to see if any journalism chin-strokers do anything but applaud.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "Now that Obama is essentially using the same divide-and-conquer strategy, only backing a different side this time, it will be interesting to see if any journalism chin-strokers do anything but applaud."

    I think you mean "Now that Obama is using exactly the same divide-and-conquer strategy, ...." The entire Obama press operation is explicitly modeled on the Bush machine.

  • Matt Welch||

    You think? How so?

  • Alan Vanneman||

    During the primary campaign, and after, Obama was basically off-limits to the press. All of his staff were drilled to stay on-message--no leaks, no exclusives, no scoops. It was a totally anal-retentive shop.

    If Hillary's campaign hadn't been in such spectacular disarray, I think reporters would have picked more on Obama. But the guy is a liberal journalist's wet dream anyway--a black guy who makes Harvard Law Review. Isn't it a little intimidating to interview a guy who's both smarter than you and black?

    I think Bush "proved" that if you don't fuck up, you don't need the press. And if you do fuck up, going to the press won't help you. You don't need press conferences when you're up, and they can't help you when you're down. So who needs them?

  • The Gobbler||

    " Isn't it a little intimidating to interview a guy who's both smarter than you..."

    [citation needed]

    Because the guy ISN'T smart. I have NEVER ONCE heard him say anything remotely intelligent.

  • Occidental College||

    We have no comment on this assertion.

  • ed||

    To be fair, the "movie critic extraordinaire" was referring to journalists being not very smart, or at least not as smart as the Chief, which is a low bar to begin with.

  • ||

    Journalists only think they're smart because they spend so much time with government officials, especially the elected ones.

  • Coeus||

    You gotta understand, saying things which are actually intelligent is the fastest way to turn off the majority of the american populace. It's smarter to not act smart.

  • Coeus||

    In other words, he's a shamless tool, but he's not stupid.

  • ||

    Me neither ... but please enjoy this clip YET ANOTHER TIME!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMo0WlSvrIY

  • Richard Condon||

    I have warned you before sir, as have many of my literary contemporaries, of the egregious and shameless nature of your missives. This premise is so familiar to me. Have you no shame? This must grievance must be redressed!

  • Tman||

    Can you name me a single moment when the mainstream press was in any way whatsoever supportive of Bush?

    You could argue some post 9/11 praises, but they were all couched in the conspiratorial "we still don't trust him anyway" tone.

    How can you argue that Obama either needed to or did model his press operation after Bush? The two press operations could not have possibly been more different.

    Come to think of it, aside from the obvious political differences (and minus the similarities), the tone and decorum of this administration compared to the Bush admin are equally different.

    Can you imagine A.) Bush joking about using Predator drones to shoot people looking at his daughters and B.) if he did say this would the press have laughed hilariously at it?

    The New York Times would've had to print a special edition just to cover all the aspects of their indignation.

  • ||

    Ever hear of Judith Miller?

  • MlR||

    I wonder, when are you people going to realize that Judith Miller began going down the Iraqi WMD rabbit hole while Clinton was bombing Iraq off and on?

    It had nothing to do with Bush.

  • ||

    I have no problem about the Predator Drones part of the joke. I have massive issues with the fact that his daughters are little girls. They are not even teenagers. Thus the joke is weird, gross, not classy, and definitely the product of Comedy Central. After all, the "joke" consists in men seeing little girls as sexual objects / attractive. It is sick; and perhaps the worst part about it, is they are his girls that he objectified. Not funny. If they were teenagers, I would not care. But this was not cool. His kids are not even in puberty! Okay... done, but I am surprised that most people only see this "funny" within the prism of the drone attacks when it hinges on child sexual predators.

  • Tman||

    I don't have a problem with the joke either, just the mind numbingly insane hypocrisy of how the media laughed along with the joke when Obama said it, but would've had a near seizure had Bush said it.

  • ||

    I concur ;-) More importantly, I knew your point, but was too busy at that time to comment on it. What can I say? It just bothers me that people do not see the perverse nature of said joke. I accidentally walked into a place where O'Reilly was on (not a fan of "The Factor") and he and Miller were saying it was funny - people were crazy to see a problem with it. However the basis of conversation was built on the drones and not the real nasty aspect of the joke.

    But going to the media. Yes, as usual they gave him a pass on the nature of the joke (from all sides), which is completely typical. If it were not from the "rogue" media such a comment would never have been addressed or mentioned to the extent that it is. Hence, of course Obama wants to marginalize all other forums of news as not based in truth, because it is not controlled by his fans. Heck, the MSM would be a lot more willing to sink their teeth into many things BO has done, if were any other president. Remember the email set up on whitehouse.gov to report those articulating "misinformation" about the health care bill in all shapes and forms? If any other president pulled that stunt (on a US taxpayer site no less) the media would have pounced with a fury.

    The true irony about the press and the Obama administration is that they are treated worse than all other recent presidents. They know it too, but they pander to him still. It reminds me of an abusive relationship where the female is well aware of how much they are used, but refuses to do anything about it, and thus more abuse comes about. Very sad. But maybe, maybe they will rise up and do their job. I am not betting on it. However, they do have their pride, and they do have issues with how much they are used and scoffed at by him and his Gibblet.

  • cynical||

    He found that joke in some notes Dubya stashed away and didn't notice how inappropriate it was. At least he cut the one about Girls Gone Wild.

  • ||

    Cynical: the jokes were written by Comedy Central...He was just reading it. And you know what, I find it funny that you compared it to "Dubya" when he is not in any way connected with this, and "Dubya"'s girls were in college when he was president so if there was a joke about them being wild girls (or even the drone joke), it has no merit on my premise. Sorry, but it was crude, objectifying (pedophile wise), and offensive. Obviously, you see this point because you opted out to "turn the table" (in your mind at least), but regardless of how much you like President Obama, you should just admit to the fact that it was not classy, humiliating for his girls, and disparaging to men - - who wear chastity rings no less! The whole thing is just so low .... But you get that or else you would have attacked full on instead of creating a vapor target.

  • ||

    The entire Obama press operation is explicitly modeled on the Bush machine.

    With the possible exception of hiring male prostitutes to lob Obama softball questions while posing as journalists...

  • The Cronkster||

    The entire White House Press Corps is currently populated with male and female prostitutes, but they only have one client.

  • ||

    Hey, we're not prostitutes, we're groupies! Big difference.

  • kinnath||

    He said that any love was good love; so I took what I could get.

  • Marc||

    Yes, I took what I could get.

  • rrr||

    And he looked at me with those multi-cultural eyes and said, "You ain't seen nothing yet. Here's something your children's children ain't never gonna forget."

  • Adam||

    Indeed. Prostitutes at least get paid.

  • kinnath||

    The cremation container/casket containing the body is then placed in the cremation chamber from the end. The cremation chamber, sometimes referred to as the retort, is lined with fire resistant bricks on the walls and ceiling. The floor is made from a special masonry compound formulated specifically to withstand extremely high temperatures. Once the body is in, the chamber door, which is about a half a foot thick, is closed either by hand or in some cases a switch as many of the newer models have automated doors.

    The crematory operator then starts the machine which normally goes through a warm up cycle before the main burning begins. After the machine is warmed up, the main burner ignites starting the process of incinerating the body. Temperatures within the chamber often reach the 1800°F - 2000°F range. The burners within a cremator are fueled by either natural gas or propane.

    It generally takes about 1-1/2 to 2 hours for a body to be completely reduced to just the bone fragments by cremation. Some cremation furnaces, especially the older ones, may require a little more time.

  • ||

    That seems like it's a waste of valuable fuel. Why not just strip the bastard naked and toss him in the ocean or leave him in a forest for the bugs to consume?

    At the same time we are the smartest and dumbest species.

  • OO=====D||

    I live for your kisses!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yes, the Obama administration has no need to hire media prostitutes when it's surrounds by sluts.

  • ||

    With the possible exception of hiring male prostitutes to lob Obama softball questions while posing as journalists...

    No, Bush did that too.

  • ||

    Then Dubya must have been into BSDM

  • Samuel Clemens||

    I do declare, suh, that your vapid and hollow conjecturin' reminds me of the style a one Jane Austen, and I deplored her literarah mediocritah! Your shinbone so I may crack your skull with suh, if you please would be so kind?

  • ||

    It seems that just like herpes, Obama will not go away. Right, Alan?

  • Barack Obama||

    Let me be clear, I didn't come up with this method, but I damn sure like it, and I know that my supporters are stupid enough to let me get away with it because they only think in terms of Blue and Red.

    Jumanji!

  • ||

    From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now... 16 years old!

  • ||

    Really, Allen should remake that flick, using the U.S. instead of a fictional Central American nation.

  • ||

    I love that movie! My husband and I quote it all the time.

  • 2010 Voter||

    We can't stop these changes, but we can channel them, we can shape them, we can adapt to them.

    Oh, I'm pretty sure we can stop some of these changes.

  • Cass Sunstein||

    Oh, you may think you're doing that on your own. Sure you are.

  • 2010 Voter||

    I will choose free won't.

  • ||

    As a side note Matt, Obama claimed during those speeches not to know how to use an i-phone, mp3 player or I-pad. I remember how the media excoriated Bush I for not knowing how to use an ATM or what a price scanner at a super market. But our most "tech savy" President claims not to know how to use an MP3 player and no one bothers to notice.

    Ultimately, Obama is exactly what everyone who was paying attention during the election thought he was; a whinney, self absorbed, empty suit. His sense of self absorbtion and entitlement is just mind boggling.

  • Queen Elizabeth II||

    It is worth pointing out that the rapscallion gave me an I-Pod when he was invited to Buckingham Palace. And the slimy git had the nerve to pre-load it with his speeches.

  • Stupid People and Blacks||

    Ultimately, Obama is exactly what everyone who was paying attention during the election thought he was; a whinney, self absorbed, empty suit.

    Well, not everyone thought that's what he was.

  • Pip||

    What a redundant screen name.

  • White Guilt||

    Nah, it's not.

  • ||

    surprise, surprise.

    ignorant and racist.

    or is that redundant as well?

  • David Brooks||

    What about the nice pants?

  • ||

    And the price scanner thing was a bum rap, because he was shown a new advanced model that could read torn or damaged bar codes.

  • kinnath||

    I remember that.

  • ||

    And the guys who wrote the articles weren't even there, and based it on a short press pool report.

    And in any case, it's practically in a politician's job description to look impressed while the local businessman/union member/trade show representative/inventor/restaurateur/whatever shows off their whiz-bang item, no matter how bored you secretly are.

  • Michigan Lives||

    Exactly. But recall that every Republican president (and politician for that matter) is dumb, retrograde, out-of-touch, callous, and/or mean, while every Democrat is a remarkable intellect, noble, well-intentioned, and usually downright cool. Go back to Teddy Roosevelt and this narrative holds, without interruption (only a softening for the moderate Eisenhower).

    And to think, he blamed the degradation of the media and decline of "honest, unbiased reporting" on blogs and MP3 players. He ought to start being honest himself occassionally. It might inspire the odd journalist here and there.

  • ||

    As a side note Matt, Obama claimed during those speeches not to know how to use an i-phone, mp3 player or I-pad.

    That's called "self-depricating humor", John. Jeez.

  • ||

    You vill laff at ze Supreme Leader's jokes, kulak.

  • ||

    Yeah, that was standard sitcom stuff, the incompetent husband. I still find it unseemly in a president to portray himself as the type who mixes soap flakes into his pancakes, not to mention, crapping on the tech boom even for a lame joke is probably a poor strategy just at the moment.

  • ||

    I really love the sense of perspective on display here at H&R.

  • kinnath||

    Embalming, in most modern cultures, is the art and science of temporarily preserving human remains to forestall decomposition and to make them suitable for public display at a funeral. The four goals of embalming are thus sanitization, conservation, presentation and preservation (or restoration) of a corpse to achieve this effect. Embalming has a very long and cross-cultural history, with many cultures giving the embalming processes a greater religious meaning.

  • ||

    While funny, even this feeds his monstrous ego. The thinnest gruel of attention is greedily lapped at my this loathsome creature.

  • &||

    Remember, tomorrow is Ignore-A-Troll Tuesday®. Silence is golden.

  • Ska||

    But I was looking to make cremains encrusted branzino. I guess I can wait till Wednesday.

  • ||

    sense of perspective = failure to find Barry dreamy

  • OO=====D||

    Dan T. looked at the tub of Betamethasone-clotrimazole Dipropionate cream on the dresser. The embarrassment he felt when the pharmacist handed him the prescription medicine was nothing compared to the fiery itch that gripped his scrotum like a bear trap. If only he had said no when Lonewacko offered up the pleasures of his mother in exchange for burrito money. As he removed the cap he began to wonder if maybe the source of the itching wasn't from the chain-smoking octogenarian, but rather from the son she bore. The lack of uncertainty was quickly replaced with the feeling if deep regret. "Why?" he asked himself as he squeezed a generous dollop of the crotch cream into his hand. "Why did I ever agree to a three-way?'

  • Dr. Gonzo||

    My attorney suggested taking a small portion from the little blue bottle in his medical bag. Just a taste, he said.

  • OO=====D||

    I live for your kisses!

  • TXLimey||

    Self-deprecating humor is meant to be based in the actual flaws and foibles of the individual. For all of the ink that has been spilled on how "tech-savvy" Obama is, it's startling disingenuous for him to start pulling the "Aw shucks, these new-fangled gadgets are beyond me" routine. It's meant to make him come of as humble, but when done this way comes off as supremely cynical instead.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Remember during the campaign when the press was writing about what kind of music was on Obama's iPod? And it was, like, the exact kind of awesome music that you listen to and respect!

  • ||

    Since he doesn't know how to use it, maybe he just had the ear pods plugged into his jugears because he thought it made him look cool.

    Seems to have worked.

  • ||

    Since he doesn't know how to use it, maybe he just had the ear pods plugged into his jugears because he thought it made him look cool.

    Seems to have worked.

  • Barack Obama||

    You have NO idea how tough that is when you have no flaws! I had to go with SOMETHING...

  • ||

    Don't assume that the Golden Calf was being disingenuous. I don't know about high tech, but when it comes to low tech his affirmative action glide path becomes somewhat apparent.

    This from GQ: "We stopped at a picturesque redbrick general store—“America’s oldest”—to photograph Obama and his family as they bought sandwiches and fudge and played with a puppy. As Obama stood at the counter paying, he looked quizzically at a display of trailer-hitch covers dressed in the guise of moose and turkeys. Turning to the phalanx of cameramen and reporters, Obama bravely wondered, “Who knows what a hitch ball is? This is a hitch-ball cover. We don’t know what a hitch ball is. Anybody know?” A cameraman politely explained that it’s the silver thing on the back of a truck used to tow a trailer. “Oh, I see,” Obama said, looking as if he was doing a mental calculation about whether this was one of those moments the press would use to make it seem like he’s out of touch. It wasn’t exactly President George H. W. Bush marveling over a checkout scanner, but still."

    I recall seeing this incident on the tube at the time and thinking that it might sink his candidacy. Strangely enough, I have not been able to find it anywhere on the web. I wonder why :-)

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    In an odd way, this does offer some proof to those who would say that Obama is stupid. He's not stupid because he doesn't know what a hitch ball is. He's stupid because he was a presidential candidate, traveling with journalists reporting on his campaign, with a big part of his campaign rhetoric based on how smart he is, and he stood there and admitted that he didn't know what something is--something that, by the way, is common enough that a display of accessories for that something would be up by the register as an impulse buy item.

  • Invisible Finger||

    That's called "self-depricating humor", John. Jeez.

    Yes, we know.

    He can't operate the devices and yet has great perspective and wisdom on how they're used.

    Obama, the world's dumbest sage.

  • troll sidekick||

    No, we know that the President doesn't make fun of himself, only of other people. I heard it here!

  • Jamie Kelly||

    Previous theories allowed atoms to vibrate at any frequency, leading to incorrect predictions that they could radiate infinite amounts of energy - a problem known as the ultraviolet catastrophe.

    In 1900, Max Planck solved this problem by assuming atoms can vibrate only at specific, or quantised, frequencies. Then, in 1905, Einstein cracked the mystery of the photoelectric effect, whereby light falling on metal releases electrons of specific energies. The existing theory of light as waves failed to explain the effect, but Einstein provided a neat solution by suggesting light came in discrete packages of energy called photons - a brain wave that won him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921.

  • Chicken George||

    Seriously, what happened to this magazine?

    It moved to D.C. and hired Sullivan. What did you expect?

  • ||

    I'm still asking, "Seriously, what happened to Sullivan?"

  • SIV||

    Don't forget the "World's Laziest Econo-blogger".

  • Xeones||

    But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs

    How about you take your own advice, Mr. President.

  • Steve Smith||

    OBAMA LIED !!!! OBAMA LIED !!!!

    Jeez, Matt, your tendency to exaggerate has become more inflated than the ERA of the Angels' rotation.

  • ||

    STEVE SMITH NOT EXAGGERATE! STEVE PENIS THE SIZE OF EMPIRE STATE BUILDING! STEVE NOT COMPENSATE! ARRGGHH!

  • FAA/TSA||

    Mr. Smith, before you doth protest more, may we remind you that we do have your security body scan?

  • Steve Smith||

    You and I are going to have a great 'ol time on the Reason Cruise, little buddy.

  • Chevy Mechanic||

    Mr. Smith, we're done with the oil change on your Corvette.

  • Matt Welch||

    Citation needed. For the first assertion, anyway.

  • FAA/TSA||

    We have his proof right here Mr. Welch. Perhaps you remember the last body scan you walked through? And if you would make that cashier's check out to C.A.S.H please.....

  • Jamie Kelly||

    The researchers coupled x-ray scattering data with molecular-dynamics simulations to study supercooled gold-silicon droplets on a silicon substrate, a system that is used to grow Si nanowires. Surprising results emerged when they heated the AuSi alloy above 676 K: As it cooled, the Si atoms leached onto the substrate and, as the figure shows, rearranged its surface atoms into pentagonal clusters. The alloy’s atoms near the interface mimicked the substrate’s surface structure (see inset), but the resulting local order did not promote crystallization in the droplets, which froze at 513 K, about 120 K below the freezing temperature for the AuSi alloy. Apparently, the pentagonal geometry inhibits freezing because it is not conducive to crystal packing. That finding suggests that substrates with such atomic structures offer a simpler method of maintaining and observing the supercooling process than such techniques as magnetically levitating or otherwise suspending the liquid droplet.

  • -||

    I hope you are using a sock when you jerk off.

  • ||

    it will be interesting to see if any journalism chin-strokers do anything but applaud

    Just applauding, I see.

  • ||

    Man emerges from one-party bubble city run by all-powerful autocrat, decries democracy.

  • lunchstealer||

    Hey! TNR ripped off Balko's handle!

    And yeah, blaming partisan media is a winning strategy.

  • ||

    With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, and on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all; to know what to believe; to figure out who's telling the truth and who's not.


    Trust me Barry, it ain't all that difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff in the 21st century.

    Let's face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I've had some experience in that regard.


    The following is a complete list of presidential candiates who didn't have experience with unjustified accusations that gained traction with some of the citizenry.

    • George Washington.

  • Jamie Kelly||

    +365

  • ||

    "Let's face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I've had some experience in that regard."

    1) Community organizer is a real job that qualifies one for the presidency
    2) My preacher says the Jooish devils rule the world
    3) I can totally reverse all our foreign policy in the first year and make us totally safe
    4) We can totally take over health care and yet your plan won't change a bit

    Those are the first 4 that come to my mind.

  • ||

    4a) And it will lower the deficit.

  • P B||

    5) Net spending cut
    6) More transparency
    7) Restore science to its "proper" place

  • 29InNet||

    8) I absolutely love the White Sox. (My favorite player? Uh, um, uh, Walter Payton...)

  • ||

    9) Close Gitmo in a year.

  • ed||

    That NYT Magazine cover photo looks like an early '60s Jackie Gleason LP I own. And it makes me want to have a cigarette. And I don't even smoke.

  • Xeones||

    STEVE SMITH SECRETLY WANT DO MAXIMUM CUDDLES WITH MATT! IS MOST TWO MALES CAN POSSIBLY CUDDLE.

  • lunchstealer||

    Also, did TNR go here to get their cover art?

  • ||

    You me'd the link.

  • ||

    Your egomania knows no bounds, does it. You probably think that everything is about you. Don't you. Don't you. WHY DO I HAVE CARLY SIMON STUCK IN MY HEAD?!?

  • ||

    THIS IS ALL MY GIFT!

  • SugarFree's Nanny||

    SugarFree...SugarFree! Up here SugarFree! It's all for you SugarFree!

    (sickening sound of neck snapping and body expels a Dan T post mortem)

  • ||

    Best. Birthday. Party. Ever.

  • ||

    "Anticipation?"

  • Cool Cal||

    I think those who claim (it seems primarily liberals these days) the halcyon days of impartial ivory tower news gathering are guilty of the same historic myopia that certain Libertarians and Conservatives tend to fall into when waxing nostalgic about the good ole days of the Gilded Age or post-revolutionary USA. When Andrew Sullivan claims that Fox is America's Pravda, the presumption being a precedent of journalistic impartiality, he seems to forget that America's first and only papers were state owned scandal rags whose sole purposes were to smear the opposition.

  • Jamie Kelly||

    I like boobs. Big boobs.

  • Pip||

    Then you must love Dan T.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    The staccato burst of hagiographic Obama magazine covers are truly sickening to behold.

  • Jamie Kelly||

    I'd wipe my ass with the Rolling Stone cover, but I'd probably get the cum of RS editors all over my asshole.

  • ||

    The next time someone burps out a complaint about us calling the MSM in the bag for Obama, I'm going to feed them these jpegs one by one.

  • ||

    Obama thus far as been a pretty solid President so it only makes sense that the media would report as such.

  • ||

    If you're going to spoof ShitBrains, at least make it believable.

  • Dead Pashtun Wedding Party||

    Four more years! Four more years!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Well, Dan did get something right... Obama is, indeed, solid. Otherwise, he'd be gaseous.

  • ||

    Thanks for the visual.

  • ||

    Jamie's more right than he knows. The cover of that special edition was printed entirely with ink based on RS staff spunk that they spilled into the printing press the night of his election. When they began to run low, Steve and Dan "stimulated" their prostates until they had enough. If you can get a hold of that edition you can tell by the smell if you have a first run or not.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, but they shouldn't have used "A New Hope" as a title. So far, Obama's presidency is more like "Phantom Menace", only suckier.

  • kinnath||

    If he convinces the Senate to disolve itself, I'm going to have mixed feelings.

  • ||

    Proposing a new Internet law, in the form of Godwin's Law (Dave's Law?) - as the length of the comment thread increases, the probability of a completely appropriate and totally hilarious Star Wars reference approaches one.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Ackbar's Law.

  • ||

    It's a TRAP

  • ||

    For those still inclined to believe it, the message reinforces Obama's fading image as a truth-telling, above-it-all academic

    It's funny, but I have reached the point where my default assumption is that every single word which comes out of his mouth is untrue.

  • Pip||

    ^ THIS

  • ||

    "Let me be clear...."

  • ||

    "It's funny, but I have reached the point where my default assumption is that every single word which comes out of his mouth is untrue."

    Sincerely not wanting to be critical, nonetheless, this realization is at least four years tardy.

  • ||

    Don't know where to put this, but Gordon Brown has apparently stepped down as leader of Labour, supposedly as the Sacrificial Lamb-in-Chief to help along talks with the Lib-Dems.

    Interesting.

  • marlok||

    My favorite part came when Robert Gibbs told the press that they scored an "A" for their first year's worth of coverage. Wouldn't any journalist worth a damn immediately go barf after that? These people are supposed to be making things difficult for the people in charge, and they get pats on their heads for keeping in line.
    Can't wait for the old media to finally collapse (latest to fall: Newsweek), although I would have preferred it to be because of their rampant dishonesty and undying support for Democratic party leaders, instead of their failure to adapt to the internet-era.

  • ||

    "although I would have preferred it to be because of their rampant dishonesty and undying support for Democratic party leaders, instead of their failure to adapt to the internet-era."

    Overloading the smaller side of the political divide with media outlets IS a failure to adapt to the internet era.

  • amie-Jay elly-Kay||

    You ought to work in a building filled with people who would consider it an honor to get an "A" from this lying sack of fuck we call our "president."
    I do work in such a place. And I have to ward off the temptations to mow down the fuckers with semiautomatic gunfire, crush and snort my Ritalin, or wrap my cock in copper wire and stick it in a light socket.

  • Joe Biden||

    What's the address? Anyone I know? Can I get there by train?

  • Janet Napolitano||

    Coming right up!

  • Steve Smith||

    STEVE SMITH HAVE MUCH COPPER WIRE! WILL HELP WRAP!

  • ||

    I work in such a place too and you said it so perfectly !! I'm considering sueing the federal government for what this pos has done to my mental health.

  • ||

    No worries brother, just take a peek at the 5 year stock chart for the New York Times

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ta?.....;a=&c=

    The market tells all.

  • Captain Kanuck||

    You guys sure know how to pick'm. (...and please don't point out our trained monkey Steven Harper, he's clearly a US plant).

  • ||

    I grew up thinking Canada was refuge for slackers, pot heads, and cheese eating surrender monkeys. These days I'm not so sure.

  • ||

    No, they still are. Add energy sucking, whining, anti-business entitlement grasping and lazy to that. But hey they will not go the way of Greece...big bro to the south will always pay the defense bill and keep buying their stuff...85% of it anyway.

  • Warty||

    The Agitator? Radley's the only The Agitator, and he'll fucking just as soon break your knuckles as look as you.

  • ||

    Radley broke my knuckles by looking at me.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Now, I don't know a lot of things about a lot of things, but I'm fairly certain that New Republic cover image is racist.

  • ||

    In the words of the incomparable Xeones:

    Yo, fuck the Atlantic.

    I'm so glad I didn't renew my subscription. That magazine took one of the worst nose-dives ever. They keep sending me free issues to "show me what I'm missing." Apparently I'm missing the boundless genius of Sandra Tsing-Loh and the oh-so-important foodie dogma about why I must pay around $10000 to eat wild North American salmon three hundred feet away from the water where it's caught in order to properly experience it.

  • Russ 2000||

    It's the Atlantic. I expect the snobbery, it's the lameness of the articles that did me in. Used to have long-from articles by Mark Bowden and James Fallows, now the long articles are half the length and merely opinion pieces written by I'm-too-smart-to-leave-the-office-for-actual-research idiots like Matthew Yglesias who can't even write entertainingly.

  • Michael||

    And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.

    Did anyone catch the truly telling portion of this statement, or are we still all stuck on ha-ha-he-make-self-depreciating-funny?

  • Michael||

    I'm sure that Dan T. will offer up some supporting evidence of how technology makes us all dumber in absence of guidance from our benevolent leaders. Come on, Dan. You spotted the humor in the first part. I'm sure you could explain the second part as well.

  • Warty||

    Information is slavery. Nice.

  • Unfrozen Caveman President||

    Thank you! Thank you very much, thank you! First of all, let me say how happy I am to be your President! [ applause ] You know.. thank you.. I don't really understand your Congress, or your system of checks and balances.. because, as I said during the campaign - I'm just a caveman! I fell on some ice, and later got thawed out by scientists. Your world of iPods and XBoxes frightens and confuses me! But there is one thing I do know - we must do everything in our power to tranform this country!

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    This is the best reference in this thread. Well done.

  • Tony||

    we need to get beyond the tired debate about big-vs.-small-government claptrap

    Uh, the claptrap IS the big-vs.-small rhetoric. That is, it will be until someone, somewhere explains exactly what we're supposed to cut. Until then it's just boilerplate nonsense that sounds good to people. If Obama succeeds in changing the terms of debate in this country so that we're not mired in this stale rhetorical distraction then that will be a huge accomplishment for fiscal and political sanity.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Defense.
    Phase out Social Security.
    Health Care.
    Public-Sector Jobs, through downsizing and buyouts.

    There, does that help you any?

  • T||

    boilerplate nonsense that sounds good to people

    See also: Obama, Barack, speeches of.

  • ||

    That is, it will be until someone, somewhere explains exactly what we're supposed to cut.

    Social Security.
    Medicare.
    Medicaid.
    Yet to be implemented insurance subsidies.
    Farm Subsidies.

    Help any?

  • Tony||

    Easy for you to say. So to preserve the lifestyles of the uber-rich, we need to go to a system wherein your access to healthcare and other necessities is dependent on whether you can pay for it out of pocket.

    Wouldn't it be more efficient just to execute the poor and elderly as undesirables?

  • Danno||

    "Preserve the lifestyles of the uber-rich."

    No, how about resurrect the concept of personal responsibility, financial discipline, and fairness. Yes, FAIRNESS.

    Wouldn't it be more efficient (and maybe more personally rewarding) to take only what you earn, AND decide for yourself who and how much to give?

    Government sucks at philanthropy.

  • Tony||

    Responsibility, financial discipline, and fairness. And rainbows and kitty cats!

    Government may or may not be better a administer of social safety nets, but it's the only guarantor of social justice, meaning equitable access and universality.

  • ||

    Tony, you entitled, greedy, little cunt, when we go through our inevitable debt crisis and end up with hyperinflation, I hope you lose your life savings, your job, and die in a ditch somewhere. And then while you're lying in the ditch, you can contemplate whether only "the rich" were affected by the economic collapse.

  • Tony||

    Um, the rich have done fairly well, I'd never say that. It's that they see tennis courts and pools from their windows and not the vast poverty their benefactors in government have exacerbated.

  • ||

    You are a complete idiot to see the economy as rich vs poor. The REALITY if you would care to STFU and just open your eyes a peep, is that the economy relies on us... the ones who are neither rich nor poor, us in the middle. We are the ones who get up every day, go to work, support our families, pay the mortgage, make health insurance a priority rather than buy that new SUV, pay the bills, get the kids teeth fixed, buy Christmas gifts in July to kind of spread it out, rarely eat out and occasionally take the kids to the movies. We, the unrich, the unpoor, we who pay our taxes...every day. We who actually love our lives and are willing to help out anyone who is willing to show some initiative in helping themselves. If you think we are the "vast poverty" then you are suffering from nothing more than the usual politics of envy because you do not drive a Bentley and love to whine about it. Get over yourself and get a job.

  • ||

    Well said!

  • Danno||

    All of the above.

  • ||

    In a "beware of your sources/danger of the echo chamber" speech, he did get something right. I am confident he wasn't talking about MSM, so we'll call it a bloop single on a checked swing: "For if we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we become more polarized, more set in our ways."

  • ||

    You know, I surf the web much of the day trying to determine the tone and direction of the country.

    With tired eyes and a weary brain, I have to say...I love you guys. Thanks for the laughs.

  • Jamie Kelly||

    Oh fuck you.

  • ||

    :)

  • ||

    I should be King of the World: I don't even know what I-pods and I-pads are, much less how to use them.

    If there are civilized humans in 100 years, they'll look back at 1970-2010 as a sort of golden age. Enjoy it while you can, folks.

  • Danno||

    Basically Obama is saying more media choices and media competition is a bad thing. Why is anyone surprised?

    Obama would love to return to an era of 3 TV networks and a handful of news magazines...all controlled by like-minded liberals of course.

  • ||

    The only news/information outlets that Obama doesn't like are the ones he can not control by spoon feeding his agenda to a bunch of love sick, liberal reporters.

  • ||

    These speeches are meant to signal an assault on any posture or activity opposing the regime. This assault is ahead of the "elections," and its aim is to ensure they do not occur, at least not in any way worthy of the name.

    This is not a President speaking, this is a Leader for Life who will not tolerate opposition and intends to rule the world for as long as he wishes to do that.

    The specific announcement inside the general announcement of assault on opposition of any kind is the heads-up that Apple, MSFT and Sony are the next take over targets, following autos, energy, health care, education, finance and, just this past week, ISPs (c.f. FCC announcement).

    All of these prongs of the blitzkrieg to abolish the Constitution of the United States ("transformation" of America they call it, quite openly) aim to moot elections this year and ever again and also to establish the pretext for martial law if that, in their judgement, becomes necessary. And they suspect it will be.

    Besides realizing that nothing this individual says should be believed, it is also the part of wisdom to realize that every single thing he and his gang accuse opponents of being and doing are their being and their doing, their projections on others of their own intent and activities, and all behind cascades of delusive pretenses.

    There are not going to be elections this year or any time soon.

  • ||

    Sorta spooky when an admin with the likes of Cass Sunstein talks repeatedly about media bias. Is he telegraphing his punches here?

    Surely at this point he can't be so blind to have not noticed that the favorable media narratives for health care, TP racism, AZ naziism are not only not working but may be losing him and his party VOTES?? (Triple negative is a negative!)

    How do you reclaim votes from people you have insulted?

  • nbrown||

    It's easy. Obama is trying to establish the moral underpinnings of a new Fairness Doctrine. Look for it post-November 2010.

  • htr||

    I think Obama's general point is valid: it is increasingly hard to have civil and substantive discussion or debate about important public problems. Suppose a congressional candidate says, "At some point we are going to have talk about raising the retirement age for social security or slightly increasing payroll taxes or cut benefiting for wealthy individuals or some combination of these and other possibilities." You can easily imagine the reaction from the right AND left. Worse still, there won't be a reasoned discussion of why these alternatives might be good or bad. We can have this kind of exchange on parts of the web and in many organizations such as colleges and universities. But in the political arena? Never! Sadly, of course, that's where it's most needed. I think Obama's general point is so true as to be obvious.

  • ||

    NYTimes headlines:

    George W. Bush Cures Cancer, Millions of Healthcare Jobs at Risk

    Obama Wipes His Own Arse, Independent Voters & Kimberly-Clark Employees Back on the Wagon

  • ||

    Obama is the epitome of the first "real" American political experience for most of us: Electing a Class President.

    Let's see:
    1. Not the smartest
    2. Not the best student
    3. Promises and platitudes
    4. Vote for me, buddy!

    Yep, that's our Prez! Can we put Cheney at a desk next to his to cheat off of ... at least on Iran? PLEASE???

  • ||

    "information becomes a distraction". A distraction from what??? His endless speeches and tiresome bullying? His pointless whining and blaming? His annoying habit of TelePrompTer speeches that now sound like so much the last one? His mishandling of US foreign policy to a shameful degree, eg. bullying = negotiations; bowing and apologizing will make him look like a negotiator ? This President is a mess yet the MSM continues to laud him. If it were not for internet media and especially blogs, we would all be uninformed.

  • whoframedrudy||

    Translation: "listen up, my left-wing media slut battalion. You need to learn the difference between spinning at my command and lying on my behalf. Honestly, I've known junkies more believable than you guys. You've lost credibility with independents, they've tuned you out so you're no good to me anymore. I'm bleeding Independents. They're not that stupid. So let me make this perfectly clear: When the rent boy says 'I love you, big daddy' the Republican Senator knows it's a lie. But the Senator still gets what he paid for. Capice? You hear me, Paul Krugman? Spin, don't lie. I've got the Left in my pocket so stop pitching to those dummies. I need you to tweak your hustle so some independents might start listening to you again, my lovable bunch of owned skanks. Now get out of here. Go do as you're told."

  • ||

    An answer to President Obama's concerns:
    "A power to limit speech on the ground that truth has not yet prevailed and is not likely to prevail implies the power to declare truth. At some point the government must be able to say (as Indianapolis has said): 'We know what the truth is, yet a free exchange of speech has not driven out falsity, so that we must now prohibit falsity.' If the government may declare the truth, why wait for the failure of speech? Under the First Amendment, however, there is no such thing as a false idea, Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 339, 94 S.Ct. 2997, 3006, 41 L.Ed.2d 789 (1974), so the government may not restrict speech on the ground that in a free exchange truth is not yet dominant."

    American Booksellers Ass'n, Inc. v. Hudnut 771 F.2d 323, 330 -331 (7th Cir. 1985)(Easterbrook, J., writing for the majority)

  • christian louboutin||

    Today's 24/7 echo-chamber amplifies the most inflammatory soundbites louder and faster than ever before.

  • louboutin||

    At some point the government must be able to say (as Indianapolis has said): 'We know what the truth is, yet a free exchange of speech has not driven out falsity, so that we must now prohibit falsity.

  • 篮球鞋||

    I like it very much, thank you
    custom jerseys
    cheap custom jerseys

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement