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Jewish World Review
Sept. 6, 2011
/ 7 Elul, 5771
Back to the Future
On MSNBC the other night we got a glimpse of the future, a sneak peek into what we can expect from some liberal journalists as the campaign for president heats up. Let's just say the future, unfortunately, looks a lot like the past.
Our tour guide was liberal journalist and author Richard Wolffe, who was the White House correspondent for Newsweek and is now an MSNBC contributor. He's always been a big fan of Barack Obama, a loyal member of the president's base, but this time he outdid himself. Asked about the dust-up over what night President Obama would be allowed to speak to a joint session of Congress the president wanted to speak Wednesday, the same day as a Republican presidential debate; House Speaker John Boehner said, no, try Thursday Wolffe said this:
"The interesting question is: What is it about this president that has stripped away the veneer of respect that normally accompanies the office of the president? Why do Republicans think this president is un-presidential and should dare to request this kind of thing? It strikes me that it could be the economic times, it could be that he won so big in 2008 or it could be, let's face it, the color of his skin."
Before we get to the ugly, unsubstantiated, reckless accusation of racism, let's first consider Wolffe's supposed concern about "respect" for the office of the president. As Peter Wehner put it in a piece for Commentary magazine, "Funny, but I don't recall the 'veneer of respect that normally accompanies the office of the president' when the chief executive was a man named George W. Bush. During the Bush presidency, for example, George W. Bush was referred to by leading members of the Democratic Party as a 'moral coward' (Vice President Al Gore), as a 'loser' and a 'liar' who had 'betrayed his country' (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid), and who 'week after week after week after week Ö told lie after lie after lie after lie' (Senator Edward Kennedy). But in a remarkable feat of self-control, Wolffe was able to keep his moral outrage in check."
Yes, Wolffe is now an opinion journalist and opinion journalists are entitled to their opinions. But this kind of "analysis" reminds me of Chris Matthews' embarrassing line about how he got a thrill running up his leg when he heard Barack Obama speak. This is not political analysis. This is a man crush. And both Matthews and Wolffe have it though this is not unusual for people who work at Obama Media Headquarters, also known as MSNBC.
But it's the last part of Wolffe's commentary that goes beyond embarrassing to truly pathetic the part about race. There is no reason to believe that Boehner refused permission to Mr. Obama because of "the color of his skin," as Wolffe suggests. And Wolffe doesn't even bother to offer any proof to back up his accusation. He simply says, "Let's face it, the color of his skin" as if he's doing nothing more than stating the obvious.
It may be obvious to Richard Wolffe and his fellow liberals who need to see racism at every turn in order to feel morally superior to those hateful conservatives. But we've seen this movie before. Anyone who disagrees with Mr. Obama about almost anything runs the risk of having some liberal journalist call him a racist. It's getting way beyond tiresome.
To make such a charge, absent anything vaguely resembling proof, is, as Peter Wehner says, "slanderous." Expect a lot more slander from journalists and other liberals as we move toward Election Day 2012 especially if President Obama's prospects for re-election look dim.
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JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports.
He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.
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© 2011, Bernard Goldberg