Any hope that the full-blown love affair the old-guard media has with President Obama might cool off for their coverage of the 2012 presidential election vanished long about lunchtime Tuesday.
That was when Mr. Obama appeared once again in their midst at the annual Associated Press luncheon. He sauntered out onto the stage all smiles and full of jokes as if it were one of those celebrity roasts where everybody is witty and they are all friends and just joshing around.
But for the assembled “news” hounds — the most vaunted gathering of news executives from across the country — it was all very serious swooning. They were like a bunch of dogs in heat.
Dean Singleton, chairman of the AP board, introduced Mr. Obama. No, actually, it was more like he proposed to him. Sang him an icky love song in which he reminisced about all their hot dates and then pledged his undying love forever.
The only way you know that the White House didn’t actually write the introduction, as it often does when the president speaks, is simply that Mr. Singleton’s Valentine essay was so over-the-top fawning that even White House probably was embarrassed — if that is possible.
He began by sweetly recalling their first encounter, when Mr. Obama was just a junior senator and invited to the august luncheon to share “his vision for America.” Mr. Singleton recalled their first lover’s quarrel over mispronouncing Mr. Obama’s name and “his genteel way” of correcting him.
“Today,” he continued, “There is no mistaking his name, and even I can’t mess up: It is Mr. President!”
Marilyn Monroe never uttered the word so lustily.
The “news” hound in heat was not done, however.
“President Obama made history as the first minority to be elected president,” he oozed. “Even many who opposed his election felt proud of our country as he took the oath of office.”
Then, apparently reading directly from one of the Obama campaign’s teleprompters, Mr. Singleton proceeded to absolve him of any blame for the current financial crisis.
“As president, he inherited the headwinds of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. He pushed through Congress the biggest economic recovery plan in history and led a government reorganization of two of the Big Three American auto manufacturers to save them from oblivion.”
Seriously? This from the leader of what is supposed to be the most basic, unbiased, straightforward news reporting organization in the country?
But Mr. Singleton was still not finished.
He gushed over Mr. Obama’s signature “of the most comprehensive health care legislation in history.”
All of this heroism and courage and success by Mr. Obama and he is still not appreciated by Republicans. “Really,” he wondered aloud, “Who would want this job in the first place.”
Before consummating the relationship with a leg-tingling handshake on stage and expressing his “honor” to be in the presence of Mr. Obama, Mr. Singleton issued a warning about the coming presidential election.
“We thought the 2008 White House race was rough and tumble,” he said. “The 2012 race makes it look like bumper cars by comparison as our country has become even more polarized.”
Well, is it any wonder we are so “polarized” considering how America’s “news” hounds — our most trusted guardians of fairness and truth — have gone completely into heat and jumped into bed with Mr. Obama?
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.