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The Man Who Never Was

A Commentary by Tony Blankley

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The mainstream media have gone over the line and are now straight-out propagandists for the Obama campaign.

While they have been liberal and blinkered in their worldview for decades, in 2007-08, for the first time, the major media consciously are covering for one candidate for president and consciously are knifing the other. This is no longer journalism; it is simply propaganda. (The American left-wing version of the Volkischer Beobachter cannot be far behind.)

And as a result, we are less than seven weeks away from possibly electing a president who has not been thoroughly or even halfway honestly presented to the country by our watchdogs -- the press. The image of Obama that the press has presented to the public is not a fair approximation of the real man. They consciously have ignored whole years of his life and have shown a lack of curiosity about such gaps, which bespeaks a lack of journalistic instinct.

Thus, the public image of Obama is of a "man who never was."

I take that phrase from a 1956 movie about a real-life World War II British intelligence operation to trick the Germans into thinking the Allies were going to invade Greece rather than Sicily in 1943. Operation Mincemeat involved the acquisition of a human corpse dressed as "Major William Martin, R.M.," which was put into the sea near Spain. Attached to the corpse was a briefcase containing fake letters suggesting that the Allied attack would be against Sardinia and Greece.

To make the operation credible, British intelligence concocted a fictional life for the corpse, creating a letter from a lover and tickets to a London theater -- all the details of a life, but not the actual life of the dead young man whose corpse was being used. So, too, the man the media have presented to the nation as Obama is not the real man.

The mainstream media ruthlessly and endlessly repeat any McCain gaffes while ignoring Obama gaffes. You have to go to weird little Web sites to see all the stammering and stuttering that Obama needs before getting out a sentence fragment or two. But all you see on the networks is an eventually clear sentence from Obama. You don't see Obama's ludicrous gaffe that Iran is a tiny country and no threat to us. Nor his 57 American states gaffe. Nor his forgetting, if he ever knew, that Russia has a veto in the U.N. Nor his whining and puerile "come on" when he is being challenged. This is the kind of editing one would expect from Goebbels' disciples, not Cronkite's.

More appalling, a skit on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last weekend suggested that Gov. Palin's husband had sex with his own daughters.

That show was written with the assistance of Al Franken, Democratic Party candidate in Minnesota for the U.S. Senate. Talk about incest.

But worse than all the unfair and distorted reporting and image projecting are the shocking gaps in Obama's life that are not reported at all. The major media simply have not reported on Obama's two years at New York's Columbia University, where, among other things, he lived a mere quarter-mile from former terrorist Bill Ayers. Later, they both ended up as neighbors and associates in Chicago. Obama denies more than a passing relationship with Ayers. Should the media be curious? In only two weeks, the media have focused on all the colleges Gov. Palin has attended, her husband's driving habits 20 years ago, and the close criticism of the political opponents Gov. Palin had when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

But in two years, they haven't bothered to see how close Obama was with the terrorist Ayers.

Nor have the media paid any serious attention to Obama's rise in Chicago politics. How did honest Obama rise in the famously sordid Chicago political machine with the full support of Boss Daley? Despite the great -- and unflattering -- details on Obama's Chicago years presented in David Freddoso's new book on Obama, the mainstream media continue to ignore both the facts and the book. It took a British publication, The Economist, to give Freddoso's book a review with fair comment.

The public image of Obama as an idealistic, post-race, post-partisan, well-spoken and honest young man with the wisdom and courage befitting a great national leader is a confection spun by a willing conspiracy of Obama, his publicist (David Axelrod) and most of the senior editors, producers and reporters of the national media.

Perhaps that is why the National Journal's respected correspondent Stuart Taylor wrote, "The media can no longer be trusted to provide accurate and fair campaign reporting and analysis."

That conspiracy not only has Photoshopped out all of Obama's imperfections (and dirtied up his opponent McCain's image) but also has put most of his questionable history down the memory hole.

The public will be voting based on the idealized image of the man who never was. If he wins, however, we will be governed by the sunken, cynical man Obama really is. One can only hope that the senior journalists will be judged as harshly for their professional misconduct as Wall Street's leaders currently are for their failings.

Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

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