NBC Unfiltered: The 'Real Obama' Appeals to His Progressive Base
Kyle Becker | On 21, Jan 2013
A casual Brian Williams and glowing Andrea Mitchell discussed the president’s second inaugural address and the admission came out that Barack Obama used the speech to appeal to his progressive base. The NBC anchor Mitchell gushed gleefully “this was Barack Obama being Barack Obama.”
It is important to get this contradiction in the mainstream media narrative on the record; because it shows that when the constraints of re-election have been removed, the president did not reject the leftism needed to win over activists during the campaign, but rather the lip service given to moderates and independents to shoehorn them into voting for his re-election.
Incidentally, NBC is the same media corporation that took issue with the candidate Obama being described as “the most liberal senator” in 2007. Throughout the candidate’s first campaign, numerous publications referred to the future president as “moderate,” “centrist,” “post-racial,” and “post-partisan.”
An article by Politico titled “Obama’s steady centrism,” published on July 19th, 2008, is fairly indicative:
But all this outrage ignores the obvious: Throughout his career, Obama has consistently framed himself as a post-partisan centrist. He’s been a bridge-builder all his life, first between black and white, and now between left and right. It’s a formula for victory in a country that’s essentially center-right.
The president was cast by the mainstream media as the definition of ‘moderation’ and ‘centrism’ from the onset, even while mainstream media stalwarts like Tom Brokaw of NBC Nightly News and Charlie Rose of PBS wondered aloud on air shortly before the 2008 election about not really knowing who Barack Obama was.
This is the same political figure, after all, who at the 2004 Democratic National Convention played on people’s sensibilities to unite for the good of the nation, intoning the following:
“The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. [...] We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”
If anyone can locate this Barack Obama in the present-day discourse, then he’s looking harder than most. Even as the president called for an end to name-calling in his inaugural address, it is as if people have no idea that this is the same man who said nothing when a left-wing Super PAC blamed Romney for a man’s wife dying of cancer. And this is the man who comforted a distraught Sandra Fluke after being called a “slut,” even as he took a million dollar donation from Bill Maher, who is infamous for referring to Sarah Palin by an even worse epithet.
But moving away from the optics into his record, the president passed a $814 billion stimulus bill, bailed out banks and car corporations, pursued cap-and-trade, racked up trillion dollar deficits, and rammed Obamacare past a defiant public majority; meanwhile, the media insisted that the middle class working people rising up against the radical agenda were simply right-wing extremists.
The truth is that the media and the Democrat Party redefined what constituted ‘extremism’ by labeling their opponents ‘extreme’ and repeated the charges in their media echo chamber over and over again until they stuck. It turns out that calling Obama ‘moderate’ was just a ruse; the real Barack Obama was a progressive all along, just like his base.
The Fox News anchor Brit Hume ties this all up, “The president clearly is a man of the left, and after today, his few departures from its orthodoxy should fool no one.”
So, as far as any and all publications or blogs being brandished as “right-wing” merely for disagreeing with the president on civil liberties, the economy, or national security, the widely acknowledged left-wing media ally NBC flaunted it openly: the real Barack Obama used the biggest stage of his second term to appeal directly to his progressive base.
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @rogue1776