One thing that makes the cult of Obama difficult to dissect is the method of its dissemination. The technology of campaign propaganda has advanced to such a degree that the concept of campaign-trail “journalism” is now indistinguishable from corporate PR. The wall that once separated campaign staff from the press corps has broken down completely; those paid by the candidate and those covering him might as well be two different shifts on the same factory ship, working together to bring the world frozen fish patties by the ton. On the shimmering 757 that Obama uses to jet around the country, reporters have plastered the press section in the rear of the plane with cheery, offbeat photographs of themselves captured with campaign staffers in various goofy scenes (clowning with boom poles, quaffing beers, drooling while asleep on buses). The collage seems lifted straight from a high school yearbook; the press might as well have titled it “Our Cool Campaign.”
Taibbi contends that “journalists have been reduced to” “the level of indentured field hands at a Russian monastery” and that “with such a castrated press corps in tow, Obama doesn’t have to work very hard to ‘sell’ his message.”
And Taibbi sometimes, kind of, sort of, seems to almost include himself among Obama’s gelded field hands…
Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.