One thing that was weird about the 2011 demands for “stories” and “narratives” is that they came largely from journalists or other professional writers–that is, from people who make a living by telling stories. You would think a journalist who sees the need for a narrative would do his job and write one instead of leaving it to the politicians.
This time around, Obama seems to have taken a cue from his 2011 critics. Whereas in 2011 he waited until August and September to start giving dreadful, overhyped speeches “on the economy,” this time he started in July. Accordingly, this time he and his 2011 critics are on the same page. What’s striking is how boring that page is to read–or, to put it another way, how bad most contemporary journalists are at telling a story.
“President Obama said reporters praise his economic proposals as ‘great’ and tell him they are ‘all good ideas,’ ” TheHill.com notes in a report on yesterday’s speech. No doubt the guys at the Korean Central News Agency say similar things about Kim Jong-un’s ideas, although one is more inclined to question the latter’s sincerity as opposed to their intelligence.
The problem with the story that Obama and his press sycophants tell is that it is so boring and stupid. It reduces the president and his supporters to stick-figure caricatures of good and evil. (We almost said comic-book characters, but that would be unfair to comic books.) We could fill a column with examples every day, but here are a few that have come across our desk just in the past 24 hours…