In what the Washington Post calls The Fix (Political News and Analysis,) Chris Cillizza writes what may be the sickest piece of journalism I’ve read in…well…hours.
Cillizza asks the most pertinent question: How is Swine Flu affecting Barack Obama? And is the deadly disease a distraction? I’m not kidding. Read it in its entirety here but here’s some lowlights:
With less than 24 hours before President Obama celebrates his 100th day in office, the wall-to-wall coverage of the swine flu threatens to swamp efforts out of the White House to frame the president’s accomplishments…
While the White House has argued for much of the last several weeks that they pay little attention to phony measuring sticks like the 100 days — White House senior adviser David Axelrod famously referred to Wednesday as a “Hallmark holiday” — there is clear evidence that the administration is seeking to capitalize on the attention being paid to the day by the media.
Obama is scheduled to attend a town hall meeting in St. Louis, Mo. (a critical swing state in 2008 and likely again in 2012) Wednesday morning and then jet back to Washington that evening for the third prime-time press conference of his presidency.
All of that activity is aimed at one thing: ensuring that the White House’s preferred message on what the first 100 days means is the one that most Americans consume on Wednesday…
Given the attention being paid to the swine flu, it’s hard to imagine that by Wednesday the nation will be interested in anything else but whether there are any more than the 40 known cases of the disease in the United States and what if anything can be done to stop is spread…
All of that is not to say that the swine flu has destroyed what would have been a banner week for the Obama administration. In every crisis there is opportunity — to paraphrase White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel — and that is of course true with the swine flu…
The swine flu offers Obama and his senior team the chance to prove that even amid an economic recession, two foreign wars and a debate over whether to prosecute CIA officials involved in harsh interrogation practices, he (and they) can handle a worldwide heath crisis.
“I don’t think it hurts at all,” said Democratic consultant Phil Singer of the swine flu. “Instead of being a retrospective on the last 100 days, the President can use the milestone to demonstrate his leadership skills in real time.”
What is wrong with these people? Are they so brainwashed by Obama that they must view every news story through the prism of Obama?
Hey guys, Obama is the President. The swine flu is not a distraction. It’s his job.
So far, we’ve seen North Korea firing a missile, Iran’s nuke building, pirates taking American hostages, and the recession all labeled distractions by the media which has so completely lost all pretense of objectivity this past year.
Hey news organizations, people are actually getting kind of scared about this swine flu. And guess what? They didn’t give a rats … over the first 100 days anyway. That was always a media creation and nothing more.
Yesterday, a report came out saying that newspaper circulation took another big hit this year, even deeper than they thought. The Audit Bureau of Circulations said Monday that average sales of newspapers declined 7.1 percent in the October-March period from the same six-month span in 2007-2008. This story is why.