Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why Does The US Media Do This?

Digby has picked up on a theme which has always puzzled me in American politics:

In case you were wondering, the consensus on all the Sunday gasbag shows is that Obama is an abject failure because of his radical leftist ideology and that his only hope of even maintaining the presidency, much less winning a second term is to take a sharp turn to the right and enact the Republican agenda. Several commentators, including such luminaries as political cross dresser Matthew Dowd on ABC, insisted that the first thing the president has to do is pick a huge fight with the Democrats to show the country that he isn't one of them. Cokie said he should have asked John McCain from the beginning what he was allowed to do.

The historians and expert political observers on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show all agreed that Obama is no Reagan, a president who never governed ideologically and always worked across party lines. Oh, and he needs to be a president or a prime minister, but nobody could agree on exactly what that means except that he should try to be more like Scott Brown, the white Barack Obama, except without all the liberalism.
Thankfully, I am exposed to very little American television, but from even the little I have seen, I am always struck by the fact that Obama must prove his credentials by kicking his base in the teeth to show that he can stand up to the left, whilst Republican presidents are excused all kinds of behaviour on the grounds that they must always appease their base.

It's a bias which the US media appear to be unaware that they are even indulging in.

Why must Bush appease his base and Obama ignore his?

And why do I hear so much about the "extreme left" and the "far left" and never hear the US media speak of the right wing equivalent?

There does seem to be an ideological bias in US political reporting which automatically assumes that right wing politics are the political centre.

Click here for Digby's post.

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