Barack Obama has, throughout what there is of his political career, always understood the power of the media in politics and shaping public opinion.
I am who the media says I am. I say what they say I say. I become who they say I’ve become.
— Barack Obama
The Audacity of Hope (2006)
That’s all well and good. It shows a certain pragmatic wisdom that is often lacking in American politicians. The problem is that, as the POTUS, Obama and his regime have decided to become the media, replacing the free press with their own staff.
Reality Show President: White House TV
As Reason TV so aptly describes, Obama has not only become a media mogul of sorts, he became one of America’s best known Reality Television celebrities, with the carefully scripted but oh-so-real looking image that is less even than a caricature of the person or office in question.
“The White House has effectively become a broadcast company,” says Michael Shaw, publisher of Bagnewsnotes.com, a site dedicated to the analysis of news images. Shaw explains how strategically composed photos, taken by official White House photographers, travel from social media sites that are controlled by the administration to the front pages of newspapers around the world.
The press publishes the official White House photographs because independent photographers and videographers are increasingly barred from covering the president. This practice has diminished the power of the independent media as an exclusive distribution channel while empowering official photographers such as Pete Souza, who are on the presidential payroll.
And so, says Shaw, the public has been fed a steady diet of whatever kind of president the news cycle demands. When conspiracy theorists questioned Obama’s patriotism, we saw images of Obama the American everyman. To celebrate the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ 1955 refusal to move to the back of a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, we saw Obama reenact her famous image. Time and again, we see Obama striking poses out of John F. Kennedy’s repertoire. The official White House photographers have created a presidential identity for every conceivable occasion—as long as the image is flattering, and almost always, larger than life.
This would be both sad and laughable if it wasn’t both scarily effective and yet another nail in the coffin of America’s constitution, which demands a free press. Nor is it in any way wrong for the Obama Regime to try to get their crafted image of the President out there. The issue is that they’re stifling and supplanting the free press in order to do so. Down that road, and not very far at all, lies tyranny.