We have seen it all the last two years: Weeping journalists on election night; a journalist openly promising to help make Obama successful (“Yeah, it is my job.”); film takes of journalists cheering an Obama speech; the savaging of Sarah Palin and the hands-off treatment of Biden; soft-ball interviews and long puff-pieces on Obama as the young cool crusader;comparisons to JFK’s Camelot, and on and on.
In the 3rd book of his history, Thucydides has some insightful thoughts about destroying institutions in times of zealotry—and then regretting their absence when there is a need for refuge for them. The mainstream press should have learned that lesson, once they blew up their credibility in the past election by morphing into the Team Obama press agency.
There will come a time in the year ahead when either Obama’s unexamined past will come back to haunt him, or his inexperience and tentativeness in foreign affairs will be embarrassingly apparent, or his European-socialist agenda for domestic programs simply won’t work. And as public opinion falls, what will MSNBC, the New York Times, the editors of Newsweek, a Chris Matthews or the anchors at the major networks say?
Not much—since they will have one of two non-choices: (1) either they will begin scrambling to offer supposed disinterested criticism, which will be met with the public’s, “Why should we begin believing you now?” or “Why didn’t you tell this before?”, or (2), They can continue as state-sanctioned megaphones of the Obama administration in the manner that they did during the campaign. They will lose either way and remain without credibility.
In short, we live now in the Age of Post-Journalism. All that was before is now over, as this generation of journalists voluntarily destroyed the hallowed notion of objectivity and they will have no idea quite how to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.