Here it is--ABC making sure Barack Obama knows how he can win re=election and save the nation from disaster, both at the same time--and they will be there to help.
You may have heard there's this storm on the east coast, Sandy. A "Mega Super Storm" is what ABC News has called it. Complete with disaster music, new motion graphics and the Extreme Weather Team on the ground. Few storms live up to the media hype, and let's hope this one follows that predictable track.
This column is not about the seriousness of the storm, but about ABC and the politics of disaster and how the network is both advising the president, and creating his template for success.
The media has its ammo, a picture provided by the Obama administration of him on the phone in the Oval Office with the Director of FEMA supposedly discussing storm coverage. I guess since Obama can't golf in 100 mph winds, he'll have to stay inside. Also, where is the picture (or video) of Obama watching terrorists attack and kill Americans in Libya? That's news we could use.
Back to ABC News, witness this set-up discussion Sunday morning between Dan Harris and George Stephanopoulos.
Dan (liberal question asker): "If you're the president, how do you manage campaigning, because his job is truly on the line here, with governing and managing perhaps a large disaster?"
George (Clinton alumnus): "You show you're in touch and that's why the president has already put out photos of him talking to the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and he's also returning to the White House tomorrow afternoon already cancelling some events. The biggest problem for the president now, if he makes any mishandling of this storm it could affect the final days of this race more than any other factor."
Interpreted, what they're saying is: "Dear Leader, at least make it look like you're doing your job so that we can show everybody how brilliant you are and how you have saved America from this disaster. You just do what we say, we will take care of the rest."
Of course, this is all a set-up and is easily manipulated. You find out how effective true leaders are by how they react when they are outside the glare of the spotlight.
We have the perfect example, and ABC has virtually ignored it.
Anybody at ABC heard of the terrorist attack on Benghazi? Oh ya, you've done the story (a :15 reader by the anchor in the B-block,) but have you bothered to connect this directly to the White House as an example of how Barack Obama is as a leader? No, you have not.
Obama watched for hours on video as Americans were attacked and killed at a US Consulate. He could have sent in help and did not. Then he knowingly lied about the cause of the terrorist attack. He sent others to lie about the terrorist attack, then he took off on Air Force One to Las Vegas for a campaign event.
If you want to see "mishandling," George--try Benghazi on for size.
Instead, you now feed your viewers a template that will be used to try to save his failed presidency in the final days of this election.
Besides, if Benghazi has taught us one thing, if the president does "mishandle this storm," you in the Activist Old Media will not report it.
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