Jonah Goldberg

Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, may be a genius. No doubt it has gotten boring saying Obama's opponents are racist. Now the press can treat his critics as homophobes, even the ones holding the same position on gay marriage that Obama (publicly) held for the last decade -- until last week.

The Obama campaign's rationalization for the president's decision to drop what most knew was a calculated political lie is that it would "fire up" his base among rich liberal donors and college students. It did that.

But it also fired up his base in the press corps, enabling writers to rekindle their obsession with the "historic" nature of the Obama presidency.

As the London Telegraph blogger Tim Stanley writes, everything the president does is cast as part of history. The president could go "seal-clubbing and much of the media would see it as a new epoch for winter sports. 'Barack Obama Becomes the First President to Kill Six Seals in Under One Minute,' the New York Times would proudly report."

It's worth noting that there's little evidence -- yet -- that Obama's decision will actually help him with voters, voters who are increasingly less deferential to campaigns from traditional media outlets. (Indeed, the latest CBS News/New York Times poll has Romney gaining and shows that two-thirds of Americans believe Obama's gay marriage announcement was politically motivated.)

Still, it never hurts to have good press. In football, they sometimes refer to the cheerleading and noise from the fans as the "12th man" on the (normally 11-man) team. The media are revving themselves up to be Obama's 12th man, and the time is coming for Romney to call them on it, with passion.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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