Obamateurism of the Day

Noel Sheppard brings us today’s Obamateurism, after Noel listened to Barack Obama offer the following advice to Michigan graduates:

Today’s twenty-four/seven echo chamber amplifies the most inflammatory soundbites louder and faster than ever before. It has also, however, given us unprecedented choice. Whereas most Americans used to get their news from the same three networks over dinner or a few influential papers on Sunday morning, we now have the option to get our information from any number of blogs or websites or cable news shows. And this can have both a good and bad development for our democracy.

For if we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we will become more polarized, more set in our ways. That will only reinforce and even deepen the political divides in this country. But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs, perhaps we can begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from.

Now this requires us to agree on a certain set of facts to debate from; that is why we need a vibrant and thriving news business that is separate from opinion makers and talking heads. That’s why we need an educated citizenry that uses hard evidence and not just assertion. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Still, if you’re somebody who only reads the editorial page of The New York Times, try glancing at the page of The Wall Street Journal once in awhile. If you’re a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website. It may make your blood boil; your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship. It’s essential for our democracy.


Noel can hardly believe his ears:

Is THAT why he basically boycotted Fox News during his campaign, has largely boycotted it since being elected, and has had numerous members of his Administration INCLUDING HIMSELF bad-mouth the network as not being a news organization?

Noel lists several links from Newsbusters, but you can find a few from Hot Air, too. It would be nice to think that Obama learned from his little war on Fox News, but the griping over the Bret Baier interview suggests otherwise. This is just another case of Obama’s do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do advice.

On the other hand, kudos to the HuffPo, and I’m not being sarcastic. They may not be my cup of tea, but getting a presidential shout-out will look good on the masthead.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/05/01/obama-2010-grads-limbaugh-and-beck-fans-check-out-huffington-post#ixzz0n1GuPM00

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.


Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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