I’m not a Bill Keller hater, I think he turned the NYT around after Howell Raines ran it into the ground, but I find it surprising that he understands the American political/media landscape so poorly:
It is partly a failure of presidential communications that Republicans have succeeded in parodying each of his accomplishments, turning “stimulus” into an expletive, portraying “Obamacare” as socialized medicine and attacking the Dodd-Frank financial reform as an assault on capitalism.
It’s not just that he has failed to own his successes. He has in a sense failed to define himself. He is one of our more elusive presidents, not deeply rooted in any place or movement. David Remnick’s biography called Obama a shape-shifter. At the fringes, that makes him vulnerable to conspiratorial slanders: he is a socialist, a foreign imposter, a jihadist, an adherent of black liberation theology. To a less paranoid audience, his affect comes across as aloofness or ambivalence.
Obama is described as a soshulist, a foreign imposter, a jihadist, an adherent of black liberation theology. Clinton was described as a soshulist, a redneck imposter, a mass murderer. Al Gore was described as a soshulist, a phony hypocritical imposter. John Kerry was described as a soshulist, a fake war hero imposter. I don’t have the same energy, but you an do the same with Howard Dean, Michael Dukakis….And lest we forget, to less paranoid audiences Clinton’s, Gore’s, Kerry’s, Dean’s and Dukakis’s affects were found too weepy, too aloof, too aloof, too angry, and too aloof, respectively.
The right-wing media machine will not accept any Democratic presidential candidate as legitimate. Full stop.
This just isn’t that complicated.
It’s a cliche to say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, but what would you call seeing the same thing over and over again and coming up with a different explanation each time?
A necessary talent for a blathering pundit.
Villago Delenda Est
Absolutely all that needs to be said.
No Democrat can be the legitimate President, in the eyes of not only the Rethuglicans, but the corporatist media as well.
They are monarchists. The sort of people we fought a fucking revolution over two centuries ago to rid ourselves of.
But as John pointed out Keller is still too much of a coward to admit he was wrong on Iraq. And the NYT is still in a dead heat with the WaPo in the race to the bottom of the bird cage.
Was Ralph Nader not available for a quote?
Well la de la . Maybe if he had writers who didn’t constantly reinforce the negative republican lying points and if he stopped the wingnut opinion writers from making up bald face lies, it might help people get the true picture. The republicans can only make false accusations and perform demonization of the presidents policies if those statements are made public and how do statements reach the public well duh by the media s= who is printing and broadcasting republican talking points? the media of which he is a part so take the fucking beam from your own eye first asshole.
I think that there is a difference between Clinton and Obama.
Despite all the brickbats, Clinton fought back, and articulated his positions eloquently, and at least for the liberals, he came across as a victim of the conservative thuggery.
Obama keeps largely silent amid all the attacks and rarely states his positions forcefully, and mostly talks from the position deeply afflicted by the fallacy of the mean, thus leading even liberals to wonder if he is really on their side.
If only he were in a position to do something about that. I mean, it’s really a shame how the Republican establishment FORCED the New York Times to adopt right-wing framing of those things. Truly.
Anyone else as sick of all these people as I am? And I mean ALL these people, everyone in the country, except for present company.
I literally spend all my free time reading about ancient Greece and reading Balloon Juice. It’s all I can take.
The Ancient Randonneur
Nice! A little Elvis Costello before noon. My hat is off you DougJ. Maybe Keller really is just an impostor?
@Villago Delenda Est:
You’re not my dad, are you? He said these exact sentences yesterday in a phone conversation.
And DougJ, don’t forget: too feminine/too ball-buster bitchy in the case of Clinton, H.
what would you call seeing the same thing over and over again and coming up with a different explanation each time?
Cris (without an H)
In what sense? In the “completely removed from reality” sense? Is any single part of this passage true?
Coming soon to a theater near you: Obambi: The Diary of a Chicago Thug Politician. Watch as the Kenyan Soc!alist Party infiltrates heartland America and destroys the American Dream via the covert operations of an ineffectual preznit.
They don’t even make sense; they just throw crap and wait for the NYT to run with it. Absolutely enraging when I think about it.
Well the answer is obvious. You call it Liberal Media Bias!
Well I’m learning
With a good dog and some trees
Out of touch with the breakdown of this century — Joni Mitchell
That’s my goal in life: good dog, some trees, out of touch…
It’s not that complicated but if a major political party hasn’t realized that by now and at least started to formulate some effective pushback then this meme will continue ad infinitum. Democrats just don’t stand up for their accomplishments and don’t communicate well to the American people.
“liberals” would do well to put aside their fantasies and remember what Clinton’s relationship with “liberals” was really like.
likewise, they should drop their fantasy Obama and start listening to what he actually proposes and the kinds of things he says when talking directly to voters.
in both cases, they will likely be shocked at how far from reality they’ve wandered.
Edward I and Balloon Juice, but yeah.
Oh, he understands it all right. It’s just that accurately describing what’s going on would require him to admit his own organization’s culpability in the process. Admitting that it’s a Republican effort to delegitimize any Democratic President would require admitting that the press plays along. That ain’t happening.
It’s just a rephrasing of that tired old chestnut “Why are the democrats so bad at messaging, and why are the republicans so good at it?”
Well DUH! It’s because the Goopers are adept at lying about anything. It’s in their DNA. And they have a complicit corporate media apparatus to “catapult the propaganda”.
“He has in a sense failed to define himself. He is one of our more elusive presidents, not deeply rooted in any place or movement.”
I have to echo Cris. What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
Keller is partly right. The Dems do a poor job of trumpeting their accomplishments. The 2010 election didn’t need to be as ugly as it turned out to be if more Dems weren’t running away from their records and instead explained the advantages of HCR. Getting rid of DADT makes many heads explode on the right. Stopping the hemorrhaging of jobs, extending unemployment, and the nuclear weapons treaty with Russia were big deals but nobody is reminding the public of this fact. Taken together, the totality of these accomplishments do help to define the leadership.
Cris (without an H)
Thank you. The Nader movement didn’t just come out of nowhere. The Yugoslav war, free trade agreements, DADT… we were firebaggin’ before FDL existed. And our priorities were ultimately as misplaced then as the baggers’ are now.
And remember (gregor) that one reason Clinton “came across as a victim of the conservative thuggery” is because he was brought before a grand jury and then impeached by the conservative thugs. Obama is taking a lot of shit from his opponents, but it hasn’t reached anywhere near that level of harassment. Yet.
In other words he fails to “market himself properly” by reducing every policy, point of view and personal trait to a five-second sound-bite. This is something I admire about him, and it was one of the reasons I voted for him.
Contrast Bush “The Decider”, who swore to get Osama Bin Laden “Dead or Alive”, who boldly strutted, codpiece thrust out, in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner. These things didn’t happen, but by God the man defined himself.
The man who got his administration to swear loyalty oaths to “the president” rather than the constitution, whose followers obsessively referred to him as “Commander in Chief”: now *there* was a president who knew how to define himself.
@MBunge: I would have guessed it was meant to suggest “Rootless Cosmopolitanism”, but that’s code for a different group.
I see the GOPers are attacking Obama’s plan to tax millionaires with their usual “anyone who wants to pay more taxes to the IRS can just write a check” thing. I actually saw Jonathan Capehart (sp?) all but call Obama a hypocrite because he said he could have paid the Clinton-level tax instead of taking advantage of the Bush tax cut.
I mean, Jesus Christ on a Saltine. That’s the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard and they bring it up EVERY DAMN TIME.
This is what always gets me about Obama supporters. If you suppose, as you do, that liberals were fooled by Obama leading to them choosing him over Hillary Clinton, is it your contention that Obama didn’t know exactly what he was doing?
If he did, the I’d have to say ‘Ha! Ha! I fooled you!’ is a fairly lousy re-election slogan.
In any case during Obama’s Presidential campaign days he supported the public option and was against the individual mandate. I forget, which one did we end up with?
Just talk about his fucking policies, you fucking fuckstick, and stop trying to analyze his “affect” and his elusive sense of self. What has he done, and what does he say he wants to do, and who would benefit, and how? That’s what this whole “journalism” concept is supposed to be about. Informing people. Not this bullshit meta-meta-theater and how well the meta-performers meta-perform it.
The one supported by more senators. Fucking Constitution, how does it work?
@Cris (without an H):
It took the Republicans until well into Bill Clinton’s second term to impeach him, and then only over a matter of infidelity that Hillary had already dealt with. They had high hopes for Troopergate and then the Whitewater “scandal” investigation, but both turned up bupkes.
Obama doesn’t seem likely to face anything similar, given his apparent lack of previous. But the Republican Party is surreptitiously searching high and low for something, anything, even a non-thing if they get desperate enough, to justify impeaching Obama for, I know it. I wonder what they will come up with.
@ppcli: Have you seen the current cover of New York Magazine?
Short Bus Bully
… And I think we’re done here. Well said.
“Politics of personal destruction” is pretty tough to defend against. ‘Cause saying “No, I am not an islamosexual Kenyan usurper” makes Joe Blow think you’re hiding something, not that Republicans and their media toads are full of shit.
Repeat after me: The GOP is an insurrectionist party. The GOP no longer has any real political value. The GOP must be fought to extinction.
They have no viable solutions to any of our current problems (we’ve tried them all: They’ve all failed). They do not care about anyone who isn’t a billionaire or a multinational corporation. And it’s gotten bad enough that they are now the chief obstacle to the continued survival of the Republic in the 21s century.
The GOP has seriously screwed up our economy, our media, our political system, our credit rating, our national security, and our scientific standing in the world. They need to go the way of the Whigs.
Anyone defending the GOP at this point, on any point, is either a traitor or a fool.
(Whew. I feel much better now).
Fooled them? Jesus fuck, I thought only grown ups were allowed to vote. How fucking stupid are these emo baggers? Obama never tried to fool anyone during the election. He was always pretty straightforward about his policies and his politics for enacting them. Then a bunch of morons decided no, he can’t really mean what he’s explicitly saying.
Short Bus Bully
Re-reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” and Balloon Juice. Occasionally check on TPM but the rest of the punditocracy can go fuck themselves.
So you’re telling me that what really happened is that Obama pushed as hard as he could but lost on the Public Option? That he feels as bad about it as we do?
The whole point of the OpEd DougJ cites, and it is an OpEd not a journalistic news piece, is that people don’t really know what Obama stands for. Hard to just report the facts, when nobody really knows the facts.
Democrats stand for A! Republicans stand for B! Obama stands for AB! Or is it BA? Or maybe BAB?
@Southern Beale: Stupid never stopped the GOP from any argument they wanted to make.
Remember the election debacle in 2000, when they spent weeks harping on how “Bush won more COUNTIES” than Gore? Which might have been meaningful if inanimate, hypothetical constructs could, you know, VOTE. Didn’t stop them from throwing up maps of big, uninhabited areas colored in red, as if empty acres were all entitled to the franchise, just like it says in the constitoshun.
@FlipYrWhig: They make it almost too easy, don’t they?
@Southern Beale: The level of IGM, FU that argument reaches reinforces one of the unstated consequences of the “let charity cover those in need” ideal.
We have DECADES of proof that a pure charity-based social safety net is full of fail. The same people that will IGM, FU the government are going to lift a finger to help “those people” out? They want the moral high ground to ignore the poor, not help them. And they are angry that they can’t just come out and say it, really.
Okay. Now that you’ve got that out, please explain to me why is it you’re angry with people who have buyer’s remorse and are now saying that perhaps Obama’s not our guy?
In any case, so the campaign was about YES WE CAN persue centrist incremental policies that always respect the opinions and rantings of the right.
And your comment about only adults being allowed to vote? C’mon, you’re defending a President who stole his campaign theme from Bob the Builder. Mmmkay?
I don’t know. During the health care debate he was largely absent from public view. During the debt ceiling debate he never directly threatened a veto and called out the Republican shenanigans. Even the current proposals have often been prefaced with ‘this is what the Republicans want’. To me that comes from a position of weakness. Why doesn’t he say that I am proposing this, this , and this, because this will be best for the people. That’s it. No need to bring up pleas to the other side to oh please accept my proposal.
May be this is all decorative and not substantive stuff. But Obama supporters seem to expect everyone to be as attentive to the substance of his proclamations as they are. That may work for the diehard fans, but for the casual participants in the political debates that most people including the liberals are that is a bit too much to expect.
Cris (without an H)
cleek was talking about Bill Clinton, dumbass. Where the fuck did you get that nonsense you’re ascribing?
The one Clinton supported. So he sure fooled you didn’t he? If only you could take your vote back and vote for Hillary Clinton, I’m sure all of your dreams and desires would have come true.
@kwAwk: “So you’re telling me that what really happened is that Obama pushed as hard as he could but lost on the Public Option?”
Obama got health care reform passed. Bill Clinton tried and failed. Two generations of Democrats tried and failed. Could Obama have gotten a public option if he’d really, really, really tried? Perhaps. The available evidence, however, suggests that pushing as hard as he could for a public option would more likely have doomed the whole effort.
Or to put it more bluntly, the moves Obama made to neutralize political and insurance industry opposition to health care reform were vital to getting it passed. Take away those moves and there’s very little reason to think it would have gotten done.
Proof of the difficulty in getting a man to see something when his paycheck depends on him not seeing it.
@cleek: SUch a good point. I’ve been thinking about this quote, lately: “If left to my own devices, I’d spend all my time pointing out that he’s weaker than bus-station chili. But the man is so constantly subjected to such hideous and unfair abuse that I wind up standing up for him on the general principle that some fairness should be applied. Besides, no one but a fool or a Republican ever took him for a liberal.” –Molly Ivins, on… Clinton.
Nobody gives a shit about Obama’s feelings. Nobody.
And that’s a million times more than care about yours.
True, but I think there may be a larger issue here. One of the reasons behind passing comprehensive healthcare reform was to help lower the growth rate of healthcare costs in the future.
The main way of accomplishing this was the public option. Obama’s plan pretty much ignores costs while it does achieve the great accomplishment of providing for universal access.
This failure to control costs will give the right ammunition in the next 10+ years to attack the healthcare reform and say ‘See! Government failed just like we told you it would!’
Getting costs down first would have made it easier to justify universal coverage. Getting universal coverage while allowing costs to spiral up will only undermine itself.
Obama’s plan puts the cart before the horse. That’s my opinion anyways.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@something fabulous: I’ve been thinking about this quote “Give em a light and they’ll follow it anywhere”
Of all the Mikes in this thread, you certainly are the angriest.
Barack Obama in November of 2007:
And that is why the same old Washington textbook campaigns just won’t do in this election. That’s why not answering questions because we are afraid our answers won’t be popular just won’t do. That’s why telling the American people what we think they want to hear instead of telling the American people what they need to hear just won’t do. Triangulating and poll-driven positions because we’re worried about what Mitt or Rudy might say about us just won’t do. If we are really serious about winning this election, Democrats, we can’t live in fear of losing it.
This party — the party of Jefferson and Jackson, of Roosevelt and Kennedy — has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we led, not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction; when we summoned the entire nation to a common purpose — a higher purpose. And I run for the Presidency of the United States of America because that’s the party America needs us to be right now.
I can’t understand how anyone would have expected him to be more liberal than a Clinton??? What idiots!
Okay then. What ARE Obama’s convictions.
Obviously they weren’t the ones laid out in the Democratic Platform.
A person will not want to understand something that their lively hood depends on them not understanding.
The Times can, literally, not afford to go away from their current business model. If they turned to “hard journalism” and only printing editorials that had some basis in reality, they’d be out of business, quickly.
Think about how much The Times circulation would decrease if they stopped the “horse race” coverage of elections, “some people say”, “both sides do it” and “one side says X, the other side says Y, we’ll leave it up to you to decide the truth”.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@RareSanity: never seen you in the daylight!
The Republic of Stupidity
My money’s down on “Willful ignorance”…
No, it wasn’t. The insurance exchanges are not in any way the major component of health care reform, and a public option on the insurance exchanges was never in any way the major component of health care reform cost control. A public option insurance plan would do nothing, not one thing, to control health care costs. It might reduce insurance costs, as to the group of people who are uninsured and will be purchasing an individual policy on an exchange.
Medicare is a giant single-payer program and health care costs, in Medicare, have gone up and up and up. They’ve gone up and up because there are no health care cost controls in Medicare. Congress wrote some legislation (three times) where they have the power to control costs in Medicare, but they won’t use it, because it’s politically risky.
This is Obama’s argument on why he wants to control health care costs in Medicare, by the way.
Almost verbatim. Replace “health care reform” with Medicare and you just recited his argument on why controlling health care costs within Medicare is both progressive and protective of the program.
The Times lately has seemed to be on a jihad against Obama — today’s headline — “Obama plan mixes cuts and taxes. Foes see Class Warfare.”
A couple of days ago, it was “Obama losing Base.”
Not to mention the execrable Dowd, who even when going after Perry has to include an emasculating aside about Obama.
It’s funny how people like Keller are able to preside over a media outlet which keeps churning out page after page of he said/she said “journalism”, and then shrug and say: “I can’t imagine why Democrats can’t get people to see the facts.”
Yeah, Bill, it’s a mystery, alright.
Certified Mutant Enemy
“Defining oneself” should not necessarily be considered a virtue (Hitler was pretty good at defining himself, for example).
Getting costs down is very difficult without taking away the profit motive.
Very few of the principals in the health care business have either the incentive or the means to control costs.
@kwAwk: I don’t know whether you’re stupid or a troll. You always hijack every thread with your nonsense. What is a Democratic Platform? How many senators have you helped to elect who supports fully a ‘Democratic Platform’? Do you know how your government functions? What do understand to means the US government? Are Senators Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Bill Casey, Jim Webb Democrats, who support the Democratic Platform? You always piss me off!
It looks like the NYT is a follower; whichever way the wind blows.
Media are like birds on a wire. When one comes, they all come. When one leaves, they all leave.
One of the reasons Obama can’t be nailed down is that he’s being, you know, *the President*, and has a lot of different things to do.
Sure, if he were a Republicans, he’d be easy to pin down. “We must cut taxes, and slash government spending and destroy regulations that protect our idiotic citizenry from our holy job creators.”
But since he’s actually interested in *governing*, he has to do a lot of different things.
If Obama can control health care costs in the two single-payer programs (Medicare and Medicaid), and Medicaid is vastly expanded under PPACA, remember, is that good or bad for universal health care?
If health care costs start to come down (or stop rising at the same rate, which is the real best-case) in the two giant public programs, isn’t that a good argument for why the two public programs are essential, and should be maintained and/or expanded? Because that’s what they’re betting on.
Certified Mutant Enemy
@Villago Delenda Est:
It didn’t help that when St. Ronald Reagan was elected, the so called liberal media claimed there was no way a Democrat could ever again be elected President. The media never forgave Bill Clinton for proving them wrong.
I think you’re mistaken. Medicare has some of the lowest payment rates of all insurance and has lower administrative costs.
That’s exactly right, none of the principals in the heathcare business have either the incentive…to control costs.
The only people that do have the incentive are the consumers or those who pay for it. If you take out the profit motive in insurance it will allow for costs to go down. If profits are justified as a percentage of amounts spent on healthcare, then higher profits can be justified by higher spending on healthcare.
The right says that only individuals can control healthcare costs by consuming less. The left says the non-profit government can control costs by making better decisions about what is the proper course of treatment and the proper reimbursement for those procedures.
We “ended up” with the one that had the votes to (barely) pass.
@Raven (formerly stuckinred):
Finally finished a 6 month long, nightmare of a project, that would only allow me to skim posts during the day.
Which sucked because there were so many people that were wrong…
I vote for both. His understanding and arguments are too poor to bother with.
Of course it has lower administrative costs, and it has lower payment rates because it’s HUGE, and covers the entire segment of the population that actually uses massive amounts of health care. Congress over-rides their own cost controls in Medicare every year. They’ve been doing that since at least 1994. That’s the whole point of the independent advisory board in the PPACA. Because Congress is incapable of controlling health care costs in Medicare.
It can’t go up every year, in perpetuity. That won’t work. It won’t work politically, and it won’t work if the goal is to control health care costs.
I just think you have to reconcile this circle that you’ve made. You insist the way to sell a single-payer program is to show it controls health care costs, and when Obama makes that argument on Medicare, he’s an apostate who is defaming Medicare. He’s simply making your argument using the single-payer program that exists.
@kwAwk: “The main way of accomplishing this was the public option.”
Again. There is no evidence that passing a public option was even remotely possible. All the available evidence suggests making a public option a high priority would only have made it less likely to pass ANY health care reform.
When someone makes a decision and they fail, it’s entirely appropriate to criticize them. When they make a decision and they succeed, continuing to criticize that decision make you look like someone who doesn’t really know what you’re talking about.
Paul in KY
@kwAwk: As far as presidents go, Mr. Obama is the only one we have. As far as Democratic candidates for President in 2012 go, Mr. Obama is the only one we will have. As far as not having a crazy fascist, back-to-the-19th-century Republican as our President from 2013 – 2016 goes, Mr. Obama is our only hope.
You need to look on the bright side of things. Certainly, when you talk in public, you need to be supporting Pres. Obama. Otherwise (a Repub win in 2012), we will all be fucked.
Paul in KY
@lacp: That’s why I think laughter & derision is the best comeback for crazy accusations like that.
You must come back with something. Don’t be like John Kerry & not deign to respond due to the ‘uncouthness’ of the crazy accusation.
Every time I hear this now I laugh my ass off, mostly because I have a better understanding of how the IRS works now. If a citizen writes a check, and the check is greater than their tax liability, the IRS has to send it back. Legally. You can’t just donate to the IRS.
@ppcli: So, basically what you’re saying is: bullshit wins, reality loses.
This is what’s wrong with this country. We’ve become a nation of bullshit. Our economy is all bullshit. Our science, schools, and even universities are loaded with corporate-funded, science-denying bullshit. Our media spews total bullshit all day long. Our politicians are full of shit.
Michael Moore said it most politely in 2003: “we live in fictitious times”, but I have to say George Carlin put it most clearly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtK_YsVInw8
By the way, what caused the fall of the Soviet Union is when everyone finally realized that everyone supposedly in charge was actually totally full of shit. It took a few decades for the system to finally collapse completely, but it was walking dead at that point. We’re there now.
@MikeJ: No, not yet. I’ll keep an eye out. Does it have a pic of Obama and an announcement that he won’t negotiate with bad faith actors anymore (or something). If so, I’ve seen it on their webpage.
If you want to know what effective cost control in a single payer program might look like, look at Vermont. It’s in there. They didn’t commit to single payer w/out a mechanism to control what it was going to cost them to pay the claims.
I think it’s great. They actually grappled with the problem. They didn’t dodge it.
Then tell me how I get a law like that through a Congress that regularly over-rides their own laws to dodge cost control in Medicare. A Congress where Republicans and “business-friendly” Democrats are actively working to subvert, over-turn, and demonize the cost controls in the PPACA.
I also raised an eyebrow about that. Is there no Republican Central Command-Approved talking point too stupid for the Times to want to give prominent play to it, for spurious “balance”?
He wasn’t just wrong on Iraq; he turned the paper into a house pro-war propaganda operation.
I know, I know, that’s what big media does every single time an administration begins ramping up to a major war, but these are still real things being done by supposedly real journalists.
@Certified Mutant Enemy:
Hitler? Never heard of ’em.
Patrick O’Brian and Balloon Juice, but yeah.
Keller? Bill Keller? Why isn’t Bill Keller sitting in a bathtub with the water turning red after all the damage he did?
@MBunge: I think it is sophisticated way of saying that he is not a “real” American.
Othering of Obama, NYT style
i’ve never said Obama “fooled” anyone.
the firebaggers have fooled themselves into believing their fantasies are reality, however. their fantasy Obama, the one they rail against day after day, is not the real Obama. they’ve invented motivations, policies, procedures, circumstances, etc. for their fantasy Obama – and those motivations, policies, etc. are always negative and they always support the narrative Obama-is-evil narrative. and they’re always bogus.
Wow. I’ve made quite an impression taking over every thread.
Truth be told I may post in one out of every 20 threads, perhaps there is another kwAwk out there you’re confusing me with? There’s a lot of us running around. kwAwk is a very popular boys name these days.
In any case why do you all seem to be having such a problem telling what Obama’s core beliefs are? What does he stand for?
I’m a hater of people who aren’t Bill Keller haters. This the guy who said calling water-boarding torture is “political correctness.
Here’s a nice rule of thumb: Whenever you read a commentary about a politician who has “not defined himself”, stop reading and move on.
For someone in the media, who shapes and defines “narrative” to claim that someone they are reporting and commenting on has not “defined himself” is a foolish statement that reeks of hypocricy.