Friday, May 4, 2012

Real journalism is a threat to Politico

Politico is concern-trolling again (EDIT: that would have implied they'd ever stopped) with this story about a new biography of Obama. The takeaway?
The success of “Dreams” has given Obama nearly complete control of his own life narrative, an appealing tale that has been the foundation of his political success. But Maraniss’s biography threatens that narrative by questioning it: Was Obama’s journey entirely spiritual and intellectual? Or was it also grounded in the lower realms of ambition and calculation?
Look, Glenn: I realize that working for Internetpravda on the Potomac has dulled your instincts about what your job is, but out here in the reality-based community, 08's enthusiasm and 12's grudging support for Obama isn't based upon uncritical swallowing of his self-crafted backstory. It's based on a perception that Obama's values mirror in many ways our own, and the knowledge that the coalition he heads is much less bad for the vast majority of Americans than the Republican opposition. (Also: the "grudging" part of "grudging support" is frequently the result of us seeing that the president's values aren't always in line with where we think they ought to be.) It's the beltway media, with Politico in the lead, that spends every day running copypasta from the White House and the party offices, and I think that Politico might just feel a little threatened by the effrontery of a journalist like Maraniss writing a mostly-positive book which seeks "real insight" into a story that, I think everyone can agree, is not your everyday son-of-robber-baron-buys-senate-seat Horatio Alger political novel. Meanwhile, the rest of us out here paying attention are effronted by this drive-by insinuation that Obama's success is just a fraying sweater waiting for the Smashing Pumpkins to give it a good pull.

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