Monday, April 26, 2010

Obama -- unloved

As is typical, Financial Times' columnist Clive Crook has written an interesting piece on the American political scene.

This time, Mr. Crook examines how and why President Obama is accomplishing much but generating little public support at the same time.

We can offer a variety of reasons to explain why Mr. Obama and his party are not basking in strong and widespread popular support, but for purposes of this message I think one is most important -- conservative media.

The comparisons between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama have been overdone. But, again, for this post, we'll accept that they exist and have some merit. If you are old enough to remember, you'll know that Mr. Reagan swept into office largely because of national dissatisfaction with the previous president and the ideas his party represented.

He also used his oratorical skills to control a political message, and the national media adopted a generally favorable attitude toward what he was doing.

However, Mr. Reagan never had a blaring, consistent and biased cable "news" network seeking to undermine almost everything he did. He also didn't have to deal with bloviators on talk radio who did more to distort the national political conversation than they did to enhance it.

And that brings us to FOX News, conservative talk radio and, of course, let's not forget the Internet. All three have allowed a constant drumbeat of anti-Obama, anti-Democratic Party messages to remain prevalent in the national consciousness. Consider the potent rhetoric emanating from those media, and you have an important ingredient into understanding why the president is accomplishing much and his party is benefiting little.

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