armchair cultural observation since 1995

Elsewhere: Obama-press war is on

Whether or not you believe Hilary Clinton, John McCain or Sarah Palin’s claim that the mainstream media was “in the tank” for Obama, a battle between the soon-to-be 44th President and the fourth estate is more or less inevitable, according to a piece in Slate.com by Jack Shafer.

The press corps works to hold the president accountable for what he does and extra hard to hold him accountable for what he does not do, a territory so vast and encompassing that foraging journalists assigned to the beat can never hunger for a story. Everything and nothing become fixings.

Even before Barack Obama swears to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution on Jan. 20, the press corps—which has failed to make anything it has thrown at him stick (Wright, Rezko, Ayers, voting “present,” his FISA, the surge, guns, capital punishment, and campaign finance flip-flops)—will finally start extracting maximum punishment.

The opening salvo in that war may have already been fired over Obama’s selection of his chief of staff, a move that prompted the New York Times to ask: politics as usual? or fresh start?

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