Was the Times describing A-Jad, or Obama?

Without a trace -- not even one pixel -- of irony, the editor of the New York Times Monday accused Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of being a "shrewd and ruthless front man" for a political elite, the same charge that has been leveled against the Times' beloved Barack Obama.

The full quote

"Mr. Ahmadinejad is the shrewd and ruthless front man for a clerical, military and political elite that is more unified and emboldened than at any time since the 1979 revolution."

Replace a couple of categories--media instead of clerical, labor in place of military-and the time frame--the 1980 Reagan revolution instead of the 1979 revolution--and Keller's analysis provides a spot-on description of the role Barack Obama fills for the Times and other elites in this country.  

That Keller would make his observation, inviting this subsequent comparison, lays bare a further truth: the media either are so insular that they are unaware of criticisms of their boostership, or are totally dismissive of the many folks who level it: the very definition of elitism.

Keller's observation came in a 'News Analysis' piece co-authored with Michael Slackman, one of several articles carrying Keller's byline from Tehran. It is more than a little unusual for the editor of the New York Times to travel abroad to personally cover a foreign election. That Keller did so reflects the enormous investment the Times and other elites have in Barack Obama. Keller's personal involvement committed what little is left of the Times' once-proud reputation to the election--more specifically, to reporting a supposed 'Obama effect.' 

It can be argued that, if the U.S. plays any role at all, an election in the Middle East more properly reflects the effects of the last eight year of Bush administration policies, rather than a single speech by Obama. Nonetheless, the legacy media has claimed such an Obama effect following elections in Lebanon.

Afterwards, Keller and other media elites promptly turned their attention to the upcoming Iranian election, ready to proclaim the Big O the real winner there. Their disappointment when it didn't happen--at least, not immediately--is palpable.

Keller's analysis begins with a joke which pre-supposes that Ahmadinejad has lice, and references taunts calling the Iranian leader a "monkey" and a "midget." The tone of the piece is personally hostile, an ad hominem attack that the Times has recently reserved for ... well, basically, only those involved in the Bush administration. 

While it is encouraging that the Times has finally acknowledged the ominous nature of the Iranian leader, it is disappointing that it took them so long. And one doubts that they would have even done so without the need to promote their own 'front man.'

Just as Keller, legitimately, questions the validity of the Iranian election--and one must hope that the initial questionable results are overturned--the public must question the legitimacy of the Times', and other media outlets', coverage of anything Obama. In an era in which administration officials can threaten to use the White House press corps to "destroy" those who would stand against its policies, the real danger that the media's partisanship for Obama lies in the public doubt, distrust and cynicism it engenders.
Without a trace -- not even one pixel -- of irony, the editor of the New York Times Monday accused Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of being a "shrewd and ruthless front man" for a political elite, the same charge that has been leveled against the Times' beloved Barack Obama.

The full quote

"Mr. Ahmadinejad is the shrewd and ruthless front man for a clerical, military and political elite that is more unified and emboldened than at any time since the 1979 revolution."

Replace a couple of categories--media instead of clerical, labor in place of military-and the time frame--the 1980 Reagan revolution instead of the 1979 revolution--and Keller's analysis provides a spot-on description of the role Barack Obama fills for the Times and other elites in this country.  

That Keller would make his observation, inviting this subsequent comparison, lays bare a further truth: the media either are so insular that they are unaware of criticisms of their boostership, or are totally dismissive of the many folks who level it: the very definition of elitism.

Keller's observation came in a 'News Analysis' piece co-authored with Michael Slackman, one of several articles carrying Keller's byline from Tehran. It is more than a little unusual for the editor of the New York Times to travel abroad to personally cover a foreign election. That Keller did so reflects the enormous investment the Times and other elites have in Barack Obama. Keller's personal involvement committed what little is left of the Times' once-proud reputation to the election--more specifically, to reporting a supposed 'Obama effect.' 

It can be argued that, if the U.S. plays any role at all, an election in the Middle East more properly reflects the effects of the last eight year of Bush administration policies, rather than a single speech by Obama. Nonetheless, the legacy media has claimed such an Obama effect following elections in Lebanon.

Afterwards, Keller and other media elites promptly turned their attention to the upcoming Iranian election, ready to proclaim the Big O the real winner there. Their disappointment when it didn't happen--at least, not immediately--is palpable.

Keller's analysis begins with a joke which pre-supposes that Ahmadinejad has lice, and references taunts calling the Iranian leader a "monkey" and a "midget." The tone of the piece is personally hostile, an ad hominem attack that the Times has recently reserved for ... well, basically, only those involved in the Bush administration. 

While it is encouraging that the Times has finally acknowledged the ominous nature of the Iranian leader, it is disappointing that it took them so long. And one doubts that they would have even done so without the need to promote their own 'front man.'

Just as Keller, legitimately, questions the validity of the Iranian election--and one must hope that the initial questionable results are overturned--the public must question the legitimacy of the Times', and other media outlets', coverage of anything Obama. In an era in which administration officials can threaten to use the White House press corps to "destroy" those who would stand against its policies, the real danger that the media's partisanship for Obama lies in the public doubt, distrust and cynicism it engenders.