Fawning media embarrasses itself

The media out outdoing each other in an escalating battle of fawning. Reuters makes a strong bid for the gold, with a piece suggesting that Obama is simply too handsome to caricature.

New US President Barack Obama is too good-looking to provide inspiration for cartoons in the same way former president George W Bush served as fodder for some of their most biting commentary, a caricaturist says.

"It's never a gift for a caricaturist to draw a handsome man," said Pierre Kroll, from Belgium, which prides itself on its comic book culture, including Tintin.

Never mind that Obama is quite sensitive about his jug ears. Besotted members of the media claque find in him an Adonis beyond any possible aesthetic shortcomings. If such mindless adulation helps him overcome the wounds of the playgrounds of his youth, perhaps it is a good thing. But the fact that a global news agency is willing to publish such drivel without even a giggle or hint of sarcasm, undermines their already faltering credibility. Schoolgirl crushes look ridiculous even to schoolgirls after a couple of years have passed.

Not to be outdone, AP publishes a picture of the sun rising behind the White House, and headlines "The morning sunrise beams by the White House as President Barack Obama starts his first [sic] on the job."

Steve Gilbert, who spotted both gushes, notes that nobody can recall similar pictures published when Bush first took office.

Even in the heyday of the USSR, Pravda and Izvestia demonstrated more restraint in fulsome praise of the political leadership. One has to visit North Korea to find worse.