[20 January 2009]
Will Wilkinson is freaked out by the Obama adulation:
It’s really just too much to take. The American media lives for politics, and so what the American public gets is completely grotesque. Selected exchange:
Meredith Viera: I think the hardest thing is not getting emotional, because it’s such an emotional morning. You just want to laugh, you want to cry. It’s so moving. It hits you that you’ll probably never see anything like this again.
Peggy Noonan (I think): I keep thinking of the old poem, the end of the old poem about the end of the French Revolution: “Bliss was it then to be alive. To be young was very heaven.” So many young people here. It’s very moving for them.
Viera: I’m not young but I’m blissful, that’s for sure.
It’s all like this. They can’t help themselves, apparently. But it’s also pretty clear that they really do see their job as mediating and engineering our emotional response, as manufacturing our consent.
True enough. They really do see it that way. And it’s not some conspiracy made up by paranoid leftists fulminating about the culture industry. It’s especially obvious today how much contrarian strength it requires to think against the current. You end up feeling as though you are lumped among the “cynics” on the “wrong side of history.”
Incidentally, this is how it felt also during the build up to the Iraq war, when very little of what was reported in the mainstream media seemed to have any relation to reality, and sober analysis of the situation was regarded as virtually treasonous.