Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Obama and the media feeding frenzy

Citizen Staff Writer

One of my favorite scenes in movie history is from “Jaws.” It’s when Robert Shaw describes the shark feeding frenzy after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in World War II. “And, you know, the thing about a shark . . . he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living . . . until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white.”


This is what Barack Obama is dealing with now with the media and it’s what Jeremiah Wright doesn’t get. I watched his full speech to the NAACP recently and it was truly amazing. The guy is clearly a genius and his presentation was seamless and unimpeachable, and that’s saying something because he incorporated about 144 moving parts. Watching Wright made it is easy to understand why Obama sat in the pew all these years. Wright is a big mind and a great orator and his tongue has a sharp edge.

But at this point, in all things Wright and Obama, the press doesn’t care. And it wouldn’t have cared if it were Hillary or McCain (who’ll find out soon enough). The press just wants to draw blood. So it will pick apart anything and everything to find something bad about Obama.

Every national politician in the past 30 years has complained about this, so he’s not being treated unfairly. I still think the press is making too little out the race card but . . .

It’s not about right or wrong, whether Obama should be held accountable for his preacher’s remarks or how he phrased his own. The press doesn’t deal in justice. It deals in karma. Obama rode above the choppy seas that almost drowned Clinton and now, he’s going to be battered for a while about whatever is available. John McCain may be getting away with murder for now but the press will find him at some point and make his life hell for a while. It won’t be about something big. It will be about something small.

Right now the press is in one of those moods in which it has lifeless eyes. How do you beat it? Get out of the news cycle, stop worrying about stories and change the narrative. The narrative now wonders about the very nature of Barack Obama. He’s got to pick a moment and reveal himself, stop being snippy and show his character. Then the narrative is how Obama did that and what it means to America.

Candidates should not think of the national media as the filter through which information is passed. The media is, in fact, the taskmaster that presents the challenges and judges how leaders perform. Is that what the Founders had in mind? Nope. It’s just how it goes.


• For more blogs, go to www.tucsoncitizen.com/blogs.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service