The raucous sound of applause for President Obama when he spoke at the White House Correspondents Dinner underlined what could be the news media's motto: "You had us at hello." They shamelessly cheered and screamed even louder when he only half-joked, "I am Barack Obama. Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me."
The public should wonder: Are the media too personally infatuated with this president? A recent video even showed the White House press corps standing up in homage when President Obama entered the briefing room -- a definite, emotional break with the normal, disinterested stay-seated routine for that room. Any sense of detachment is utterly missing, even in their body language.
In the media's own mythology, they are the constant, unbending defenders of democracy who "speak truth to power" and refuse to act as a "stenographer" for the power elite. In the unfolding reality, our national press has become one giant ... poodle to this president.
Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center has finished a new report titled "Cheerleaders for the Revolution," examining the network TV coverage of Obama during his first 100 days. The results are pathetic. What we're seeing aren't reporters. They are walking, talking press releases.
President Obama is very rapidly transforming American government into a European socialist model, and the study found that no network used the word "socialist" to describe Obama's plans. So is he a far-leftist? No. A leftist? No. They couldn't even call him a "liberal" as he took over banks and car companies, started firing CEOs and micromanaging bankruptcies to enable his campaign funders in the auto-worker unions.
Truth is the first casualty of their affections. Take the Obama budget. It carries an astounding price tag of $3.5 trillion, with an expected deficit of $1.75 trillion, or half the entire budget. Under Obama's budget plans, the national debt would explode to more than $20 trillion by 2019, the Congressional Budget Office determined. But in the four days leading up to Obama's putative State of the Union speech, as he organized fatuous "fiscal responsibility" events, the obsequious network evening newscasts painted the president more as a deficit fighter 83 percent of the time. Only in 17 percent of the soundbites was he painted as a big spender.