NYT photo by Stephen Crowley
It's 2012 and the PrObamedia are back, not that they ever left, of course. But now, as Mitt Romney emerges as the main obstacle between the PrObamedia and their collectivist heart's desire -- Obama, Term II -- their work gets serious. I hereby initiate an occasional feature, the PrObamedia Sweepstakes, to recognize the hard work and dedication it takes to get the bottom of the tank.
Yesterday, was "Buffet Rule" Day for Obama in Florida, where, as the non-prObamedia Washington Times led off, the President wedged a campaign-style presidential speech in between two $10,000/plate campaign fundraisers, where, funny thing, he neglected to mention the millionaire-taxing Buffet Rule, at least at the first fund-raiser (no word on No. 2). Meanwhile, thanks for the campaign ride on Air Force One, taxpayers. The New York Times, on the other hand, very obediently colored inside the lines, highlighting the Obama Message of the Day, the "Buffet Rule" as Obama delivered it in a "rousing speech" at a university, leaving all distractions -- the days' fundraisers, mixed messages -- to the final paragraph of the story.
Do we have a contender?
The "Buffet Rule," the so-called millionaire's tax (and it only takes $1 million to qualify, Mom and Pop Business Owners), is Obama's new way of talking about spreading the wealth without reminding people of Joe the Plumber. Or, as the NYT's Jackie Calmes summed up:
At bottom, Mr. Obama seeks to talk about the still-weak economy and job creation in a way that plays to Mr. Romney’s weaknesses, and Republicans’ generally, and underplays his own political liabilities at a time of continued high unemployment and gas prices.
It's Obama's weak economy, job creation, high unemployment and gas prices -- where do "Mr. Romney's weaknesses, and Republicans' generally" come in? Then again, Calmes is reporting what Obama "seeks to" do. Obama seeks to portray a political picture and Calmes is conveying that picture to readers. Is she high and dry? Nope. She sinks in the tank is with the phrase "plays to Romney's weaknesses" which promotes as consensus the notion that Romeny has weaknesses in this Obama-created context. Mental conditioning can be subtle stuff.
The next example is more concrete. Obama, as noted above, had a busy days of fundraising, putting the touch on some local "Buffets" in Florida even as he neglected to inform them of the message of the day -- the Buffet Rule. Calmes metioned the fundraisers in the 21st and final paragraph.
Mr. Obama’s speech was billed as official business — and thus his trip was partly billed to taxpayers — yet it was sandwiched between his appearances at political fund-raisers, including with donors who would be hit by the tax increase. The speech, too, seemed like a campaign rally with Mr. Obama in rolled-up shirt-sleeves and shouting at times, and his audience — full of the young voters whose support he seeks again — shouting back his slogan, “Yes we can!” and “Four more years!”
Give the NYT' Jackie Calmes one PrObamedia point for Last-Graph Discretion.
Calmes also didn't inform readers of two points noted by the Washington Times' Dave Boyer: 1) the fundraiser price tag, $10,000/plate (or was it $15,000? The Wash Times reports both pricetags); and 2) that at Fundraiser No. 1, the president omitted his message of the day, the Buffet Rule, which targets those same donors.
Give the NYT another prObamedia point for Details, Details Omission.
But, as in all sweepstakes, a winner can come from anywhere. Calmes herself gives credit where credit is due, reporting:
On a White House conference call with reporters, one asked administration officials why they did not simply call it the Romney Rule, given the political overtones.
Now, maybe Reporter X, impelled by a cynicism born of too many stage-managed White House conference calls, was actually trying to elicit an illuminating answer from the White House, but I seriously (and cynically) doubt it. My hunch is this question was asked with a heart in sync with the Buffet Rule, and a pen ready to go to class- war. I think this mindset is what passes for an inquiring mind in the PrObamedia.
In other words, we have a winner: Anonymous, a reporter who long ago ceded his patch of the Fifth Estate to White House O-verlords.