PRINT January 2009


Barack Obama

ORDINARY PEOPLE GET THE NEWS, they don’t make it. Mediacs report, repeat, spin, repeat, and pummel non-ordinaries with self-serving rhetorical questions, and, except for dead people and “undecideds,” or the living dead, Americans are addicted. Media junkies, by definition, can’t stop: They need more of that blah-blah powder. Obama himself, the public recently learned, had to go cold turkey off his BlackBerry—and the world sympathized. He too needs instantaneity, to be connected, like most twenty-first-century characters.

Once the dramatic presidential race reached its historic conclusion, the news was suddenly less tantalizing. Instant by instant, the yawning gap widened. O’Reilly, Matthews, Olbermann, Blitzer, et al. chewed over Obama’s cabinet picks, happily eviscerating Hillary Clinton again, but their hyperbole only exacerbated the emptiness left at election’s end.

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