If you haven't been drowned in network news coverage of Barack Obama finally going overseas on a whistle-stop tour of foreign capitals this week, and even stopping at a couple of military bases, you probably have the good sense to be living in a cave very high up in the mountains.
Unfortunately, for the rest of us, it is once again, all Obama, all the time. You can channel surf all you want but it is nearly impossible to escape some breathless network newscaster talking about his "unprecedented" overseas visit!
Are these people serious? Do they not have lives? Or are they on the take?
Does anyone know what John McCain is doing right now? Do you? No, I didn't think so.
Correct me if I am wrong here, but isn't the broadcast media supposed to give equal time to political candidates? Please, explain to me how this guy finally getting off his duff to take an incredibly brief, way, way, way behind the lines, in-the-rear- with-the-gear, look at military operations overseas is NEWS!
That he is trying to reverse the public's opinion of him as a shoot-from-the-hip know-nothing is worth mentioning in a brief in the political segment, but hardly worth 24-hour coverage of his every movement by a virtual army of network news personnel.
One commentator, when asked if this trip really was going to change anyone's mind, and if its brevity could suddenly make him conversant on any of the relevant issues, replied that "simply seeing him on television meeting with leaders" is going to be a huge deal for the voters!
I see. Jeez, I saw him three-freaking-dozen times today already and I don't feel a bit different about him. I feel as though I have been repeatedly driving through the busiest intersection in the biggest city in the land and seen his photo on a billboard every time - and muttered something unprintable on each cycle.
"The world is watching this trip," was the report from another newscaster. Yeah, cause we can't find anyone broadcasting anything else except for this. I have to go to the old movie channel to find anything worth watching.
But seriously, doesn't this meet the definition of an in-kind donation from the networks? Obama is getting millions of dollars of free publicity on this, and since he has no status in our government's foreign relations structure, and can't make or deliver on any promises, there is nothing to this but a campaign ploy.
Isn't it just a bit suspicious that it comes in the summer doldrums when it takes a lot of money to keep your campaign before the voters, and coincidentally at a time when Obama is having money problems?
The broadcast media is supposed to give second by second equal time to all candidates running for the same office. I would love to see the comparison of McCain's time in the coming week compared to Obama's.
Another newscaster reported that "Any misstep (on Obama's trip) would make it hard to recover, but if he does well it could be a big stepping stone to a win in November."
What???? A one-week blow through of a dozen countries suddenly makes him a foreign policy and military expert?
Any college kid who bicycled or hitchhiked across Europe and stayed in hostels in different countries is already far more capable than Obama, and this little jaunt on the taxpayer's dime isn't going to change a thing. You realize that we are paying a big chunk of this don't you?
If Obama really wanted this to be anything other than a campaign scam, he would write a 50 page essay titled "What I did on my summer vacation," and submit it to a panel of high school teachers for review.
The truth is Obama has been running his mouth non-stop about what he would and would not do as Commander-in-Chief and has been so far off the mark on both Iraq and Afghanistan that he isn't even on the same target range. Spending a few hours taking our commanders away from their jobs so he can get some photo ops is both unnecessary and counterproductive.
Let the military fight. That is what they do best and they are doing it well. If Obama needs an image makeover, he should hire a PR firm.
I hate to wish our lives away, but I sure hope there is more to this week than wall-to-wall Obama gushing, otherwise we may as well just stay in bed. McCain's legal advisers should be taking a very close look at the amount of air time his opponent receives and how much of it can justifiably be defined as "News."
Meanwhile, I need something else to do this week that will give true meaning to my life.
Hey, there's a Mad Men marathon on AMC this weekend! Thank You Lord. Finally, some quality programming.
Saturday, July 19, 2008