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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 25, 2008 / 24 Menachem-Av 5768

Why Won't the Mainstream Media Question the Obama Narrative?

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Once upon a time, the two parties' national conventions chose presidential nominees. Now, they are television shows that try to establish a narrative, one that links the long-since-determined nominee's life story with the ongoing history of the nation, one that shows how this one man is perfectly positioned to lead America to a better future. The hope is that the nominees will get a bounce in the polls.


And they usually do. Gallup Poll data show that nominees got a 5 percent or better bounce from 14 of the 16 national conventions between 1976 and 2004. And that's even for nominees who in retrospect seem less than inspiring. In 1988, Democrats presented Michael Dukakis as the son of immigrants who produced the Massachusetts miracle; Republicans presented George H. W. Bush as the pioneer who went to Texas and was now ready to take on another mission. Both got 11 percent bounces. The biggest of all — 30 percent — went to Bill Clinton, "the man from Hope," in 1992, helped by Ross Perot's withdrawal on the day of his acceptance speech. The notable exceptions came in 2004, when a polarized electorate gave George W. Bush only a 4 percent bounce, and John Kerry — "reporting for duty" — actually lost ground.


There is a difference between the two parties, however. The Democrats can usually depend on the mainstream media to accept their narratives uncritically, while the Republicans can expect them to punch holes in their story lines. In 1988, the media didn't note that Dukakis was less an earthy ethnic than a reformer in the Massachusetts Puritan tradition, but they were eager to point to the senior Bush's aristocratic eastern background.


The narrative of this year's Democratic National Convention can be forecast with some assurance. It will emphasize Barack Obama's roots in Kansas more than Kenya or even Hawaii; it will portray him as a leader from a new generation eager to cast off the partisanship of the past decade; it will hail him as a symbol that America has risen above past prejudices and can once again stand proud in the world. His acceptance speech in Invesco Field will invite comparison with the other two Democratic nominees who spoke in stadiums, Franklin Roosevelt in Philadelphia's Franklin Field in 1936 and John Kennedy in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1960.


Pretty thin. An interesting question is whether mainstream media have any appetite for undermining this undeniably attractive narrative. Of "the whole Obama narrative," one reporter told the New Republic's Gabriel Sherman, "like all stories, it's not entirely true." Obama's record of reaching across party lines is, as his own answer to Rick Warren's recent Saddleback Civil Forum question showed, pretty thin. His paper trail is surprisingly thin, too: He has left no papers from his Illinois Senate days; he hasn't listed his law firm clients or provided more than one page of medical records; the papers of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which he chaired and in which the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers was heavily involved, were suddenly closed to National Review's Stanley Kurtz by the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois. Mainstream media, with the conspicuous exception of ABC News's George Stephanopoulos, have shown little curiosity about Obama's connection with Ayers. It will also be interesting to see if there is much coverage of Obama's 2003 vote in Illinois against protecting infants born alive in attempted abortions, now that his campaign has conceded that the bill was virtually identical to one that passed the U.S. Senate 98 to 0 in 2001.


Obama backers dismiss attempts to undermine his narrative as distractions or as racism, beyond the bounds of reasonable discourse. Most of the mainstream media tend to agree. William Ayers is no more likely to appear at the convention than the disgraced John Edwards. But other media have a voice. Obama will probably get a nice bounce out of his convention. But it's not clear whether his narrative can be sustained in the weeks and months ahead.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




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