Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Hey, if you could design three stories to encompass the whole of your coverage of one forgettable high school graduation speech, could you do better than:

Man Needed Medical Attention During Obama Graduation Speech

Student Nods Off During Obama Speech

... and, of course, Exhibit A up there, which is the one Fox actually originated and the one we should take a brief look at -- because that's awfully prominent play for a spot news story that, from all appearances, might just as well have been written three days ahead of time:

Don't point fingers. Don't make excuses. Don't pass the buck.

That was the advice President Obama gave to a graduating high school class in Michigan Monday night -- advice that sent off an irony alert among Republicans who accuse the president of having "spent his tenure" doing exactly that.

Obama offered his guidance during the commencement speech at Kalamazoo Central High School.

,,, He told the students that "pointing fingers" and "blaming parents" and everyone else in their lives is not the road to follow.

Senate Republicans reacted quickly to the speech, sending out a "best-of" list of instances in which Obama was "looking around for someone to blame." The quotes showed Obama using Bush as a scapegoat for everything from the deficit to America's image abroad.

In the general-to-specific way that news works, this is where you provide a few of "the quotes," rather than describing what they do. And indeed, by the conventions of news, that's what the hed is promising. When a hed gives you subject, verb and object (Dewey defeats Truman, Navy had word, Sox thrash Bankees), the story is supposed to fill in the details. Instead:

Obama over the past 17 months has selectively blamed the Bush administration for the big problems he now faces.

One of the president's favorite rhetorical devices is the figurative "mop" he uses to clean up what he says were the mistakes of his predecessor.

"I don't mind cleaning up the mess that some other folks made. That's what I signed up to do," he said at a Democratic fundraiser last October.

Obama even chalked up Republican Sen. Scott Brown's upset victory in the Massachusetts special election to Bush-directed outrage in January.

"The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office," Obama said in an interview with ABC News. "People are angry, and they're frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."

And that's the entirety of it -- suggesting that rather than being a standard A-slags-B story of political give and take, this is a story about Fox's prepared response to the speech. Wonder why this story has drawn (at this writing) 991 comments? Well, for the past six months, the "blame game" has been one of Fox's favorite fantasy themes, and today is no exception:

After spending his entire Presidency and even prior to that blaming Bush for everything he could possibly think of, he now has the audacity to stand up before a crowd and lecture them on taking responsibility! This man is a joke!! If it were not so disgusting it would be comical.

Now, if we could just get him to take his own advice, the blamer in chief may start acting like a commander in chief.

Everyone know what type of leader President Obama is, he's the "DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO" type of NARCISIST who really believe that everything he does is OK in his mind.

OBAMA is funny is he going to quit blaming BUSH for everything and learn to take responsibility for the things he's doing.. A sad case of do as I say NOT as I DO.

Maybe our Teleprompter in Chief should sign up for "Blame-aholics Anonymous"

I hope they laughed in both his faces. He's not called Oblame-a for nothing.

I don't want to suggest that the world needs more coverage of high school graduation speeches (certainly not the sort of reverential pap that's on offer down at the Freep). But the mask doesn't have to slip too far before it becomes clear that Fox is a wholly owned lackey of the dead-end wing of the Republican Party, and from the editor's perspective, that's worth noting.



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