Jess Folks

by digby

Jamison Foser has a good column this week about the Village media's obsessive desire to help the Republicans depict Barack Obama as some sort of exotic freak that "regular people" (according to Chris Matthews) can't relate to. He points out that they insist on this despite ample evidence in the polling that says "regular people" relate to him just fine.

It's infuriating to watch these gasbags presume to speak for Real Americans on this matter in the first place. I know that Brian Williams loves to shop at Target, but I still think they might, on the whole, be a little bit removed from the cares of the average American, seeing as they are multi-millionaires and all --- just like their favorite maverick flyboy, the fabulously wealthy everyman St. John McCain.

Foser points out that no matter how many times they fail to make this case, they just keep on trying:

Like cliquish teens, the D.C. pundit class is all too happy to make up a reason why you should dislike a candidate if a real reason fails to present itself. They told you again and again that Al Gore was a liar, lying about things he had said in order to do so. They attributed a bogus quote about NASCAR to John Kerry in order to portray him as a stiff. And Barack Obama ... they're desperate to find a reason why people don't like Obama (even though they do). The bowling thing didn't stick as well as they had hoped, and it's probably safe to assume that, Chris Matthews' best efforts notwithstanding, Barack Obama's orange juice consumption is unlikely to spark much of a backlash against his candidacy. So this week they took a new one out for a spin, arguing that Obama's undoing will be that he is uptight and cannot take a joke because his campaign criticized a magazine cover that depicted him as a terrorist.

He contrasts that with another media flap from a week or so ago:

Just two weeks ago, the very same Washington media elite was in an uproar, visibly offended that Wesley Clark had said that John McCain was a war hero, but that heroism didn't qualify him for the presidency. They were offended and outraged that Clark hadn't been quite enthusiastic enough in professing his admiration for McCain's heroism. And now, when a national magazine runs a cover depicting Barack Obama as a flag-burning disciple of Osama bin Laden, they tell him to lighten up. Get a sense of humor, buddy - the cover may have depicted you as a terrorist, but at least it didn't say you are a hero whose heroism nevertheless doesn't necessarily qualify you to be president. That would be an outrage!

David Sirota also wrote an interesting and informative column this week about the ridiculous Village obsession with "running to the center," what Michael Kinsley called "the fundamental move of politics, like the basic steps of the fox-trot." Sirota points out that "the center," as defined by the political establishment, is something that bears no relationship to what the majority of Americans profess to want, which would seem to be the truly fundamental move of politics --- winning the election.

The media atrocities are piling up in the cycle just as they always do. We see them in real time, we document them and it just goes on. One of these days we're going to have to figure out a way to derail the engine of this quadrennial train wreck before it leaves the station. But not this time. It just chugs along, doing its thing, turning politics into some bizarre spectacle that bears as much relationship to leadership and governance as an episode of Fear Factor.