Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No, but thanks for asking

Back for another round, it's the third-day version of the story built on a single clause in a mediocre graduation speech!

While knowledge is power, the information age could be too much of a good thing. That's the message some heard in President Obama's weekend commencement speech in which he bemoaned (Keep an eye on that "some," but don't look too hard for the end of the sentence; it isn't there in the original either.)

Speaking at Hampton University in Virginia, the president raised alarms when he said "information becomes a distraction, a diversion" that is putting "pressure on our country and on our democracy." (Likewise the "raised alarms.")

The president suggested less is more when it comes to absorbing news content and urged graduates to take a skeptical eye toward news from blogs, cable television and radio as well as modern gadgets like iPods and PlayStations.

That's kind of, strictly speaking, a lie (go read the thing yourself if you haven't had your fill of graduation addresses this month). So perhaps it's appropriate that we turn to Brent Bozell to fill in for the "some" in the lede:

... But coming from a commander-in-chief known for his fondness for technology and skill at employing it to his political advantage, Obama's comments were seen as more than just a president's lament that the Kindle could someday replace the hardcover.

"Nobody (has) used the media more masterfully" than Obama, said Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center. "Now he turns against certain elements of it because he doesn't need them anymore, he thinks."

That's the context that sets up the real point. Having exhausted the "you LIE!" angle, the Fair 'n' Balanced Network turns its attention back to the War On Fox, though not without some glitches:

Targeting cable, radio and blogs has become somewhat of a political sport of the Obama administration.

The president in February, as the health care debate was in a crescendo, urged Democratic senators to "turn off" their televisions. He singled out CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and blogs, urging lawmakers to get out of the "echo chamber." That was after the administration spent several weeks in the fall criticizing Fox News.

Last September, the president also used a string of major network and cable interviews to scold the media for playing up "outrageous" political comments.

Another odd moment came in March, when an e-mail sent to Senate staffers warned them not to visit The Drudge Report out of concern for a virus. At the time, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., alleged that "somebody" was intentionally trying to "discourage" people from visiting the Web site, which is highly influential in shaping daily news coverage.

Interesting. Most people count the Senate as part of the "legislative" branch, rather than as part of the administration. Even more interesting -- OK, my office computer caught a really nasty virus in March, and the nice IT folks who spent a day cleaning it mentioned that evildoers are getting really good at sneaking their output into parts of legitimate sites. Having kept up with Inhofe's dark mutterings, I asked if the poor computer could have been bitten at the Drudge site. They said, more or less: Can't tell, wouldn't rule it out. So I've taken that bit of free-speech paranoia in a slightly more nuanced context since then.

Free-speech paranoia, after all, is the point of today's little exercise. This clause isn't a top story on the third day because it's the moral equivalent of "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." It's there because if you have nothing to fear, you aren't trying hard enough:

Hitler controlled the news...Why not Obama? Is Obama's copy of Mein Kampf signed by the author?

Perhaps it is getting uncomfortable for Obama to constantly be caught in his lies by an informed America??? Is that why he stopped doing real press conferences or town halls?

What Osamabama meant by "information is a distraction" is that any information that does not come from their approved lamestream media zombies is a distraction to the lies he tells trying to transform America into just another weak European-style welfare state.

Of course he is afraid of knowledge and information because that is the same thing that Hitler tried to pull. Hitler would be proud of obama because surpressing knowlege and information keeps the liberals in power.

Great week to start teaching journalism history, isn't it? Did I tell you I love my job?



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