It is not just that Obama surrogate Rep. George Miller denounced the Clinton campaign for bringing up Wright when talking to superdelegates as trying to "work the low road." You expect that from a campaign. Or that Andrew Sullivan called Hillary's commenting on Wright "a new low." You expect that from Andrew Sullivan.
But from the mainstream media? As National Review's Byron York has pointed out, when Clinton supporter Lanny Davis said on CNN that it is "legitimate" for her to have remarked "that she personally would not put up with somebody who says that 9/11 are chickens who come home to roost" or the kind of "generic comments (Wright) made about white America," Anderson Cooper, the show's host and alleged moderator, interjected that since "we all know what the (Wright) comments were," he found it "amazing" and "funny" that Davis should "feel the need to repeat them over and over again."
Davis protested, "It's appropriate." Time magazine's Joe Klein promptly smacked Davis down with "Lanny, Lanny, you're spreading the -- you're spreading the poison right now," and then suggested that an "honorable person" would "stay away from this stuff."
Amazing. We've gone beyond moral equivalence to moral inversion. It is now dishonorable to even make note of Wright's bigotry and ask how any man -- let alone a man on the threshold of the presidency -- could associate himself for 20 years with the purveyor of such hate.
Watching such a display, you get a full appreciation of Hillary's challenge. The mainstream media are back in the tank. The "Saturday Night Live" skits parodying media obsequiousness toward Obama, followed closely by the revelation of the Wright tapes, temporarily forced the media to subject Obama to normal scrutiny. But after the "speech" and Tuzla, they have reverted to form as protectors of the myth of Obama.
The hagiographic treatment of a newly emerged Democratic leader is a recurring theme in American journalism. At the dawning of the age of Clinton 15 years ago, the cover of The New York Times Magazine featured a woman dressed entirely in white. The heading read: "Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Politics of Virtue."
Inside, under the title "Saint Hillary," the late Michael Kelly wrote a brilliantly detached, coolly ironic deconstruction of his celestial subject. Saint Obama awaits his Michael Kelly.
Charles Krauthammer is a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner, 1984 National Magazine Award winner, and a columnist for The Washington Post since 1985.
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