The mystery Obama—the hollow receptacle of out-sized fantasies left and right—is not a creation of his own making, political chameleon though he may well be. It emanates instead from a journalistic community that no longer in any way fulfills its designated function, that no longer even attempts the fair presentation of facts and current events aimed at helping the American electorate make up its mind according to its own lights. Rather, left-wing outlets like the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, and the like have now devoted themselves to fashioning an image of the world they think their audiences ought to believe in—that they may guide us toward voting as they think we should. They have fallen prey to that ideological corruption that sees lies as a kind of virtue, as a noble deception in service to a greater good. …

No other modern president could have associated so intimately with lowlifes like Wright and Ayers and the now-imprisoned Tony Rezko and not had those associations exposed in every detail. No other president could have made the radical remarks he’s made—about wealth redistribution, religion, and the federal government’s alleged ill-treatment of blacks—and not had them headlined all over for weeks. No other could have presided over such a crippled economy and such universal failures at war and in foreign policy and escaped almost without mainstream blame.

The Obama of the imagination is the media’s Obama. Out of their fascination with the color of his skin and their mindless awe at his windy teleprompted rhetoric, they constructed a man of stature and accomplishment. Now, with the White House on the line, they’re waging an ongoing battle against the undeniable evidence that he has never been, in fact, that man. The result in these quadrennial autumn days has been media coverage of a fantasy election, an election in the news that may bear no relation whatsoever to the election as it is.