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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/22/09

THE OBAMATHON HAS BEGUN: How Long Will The Honeymoon Last?

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THE OBAMATHON HAS BEGUN: How Long Will The Honeymoon Last?

 

By Danny Schechter

 

Every President has a honeymoon but Barack Obama’s won’t last long, probably because the real world won’t give him a pass. The markets showed their lack of sentimentality by dropping sharply on inauguration day. The Repugs are looking to knock off a Cabinet nominee, and do anything they can to show they are still a force to be dealt with

 

In truth,  indeed they are. 48% of the country did not support Obama. He knows that and hence his symbolic attempts to neutralize his opponents with smiles and civility, a preacher at the ceremony, and a few Cabinet positions. Will that assuage the hard right “movement activists,” the Limbaugh ditto heads or the Hannity hard heads?

 

I doubt it, but for now, they are on the defensive. Bill Clinton says he thinks the days of ideology are waning, that the polarization of the past will go away because the right has to become more pragmatic to return to power.

 

I don’t buy his consensus of the center viewpoint for several reasons.

 

The right radio heads and Foxoids don’t go venomous because they believe their rants. They do it to build audience among disaffected wingers and whiners. It’s a marketing tactic, not necessary an act of conviction. Posturing fuels controversy; controversy builds anger and audience. They need this strategy to stay in business, just as tabloid journalism needs sensation and trivia to sell newspapers or build ratings.

 

So, don’t bank on an abandonment of “childish things,” as Barack Obama characterized the political wars in his inaugural speech. The haters don’t hate losing as much as they hate declines in revenues. It is a business, an industry that needs to sell as much as tell. That’s why Ann Coulter is always taking provocative and outrageous stances. That gets her on the air and sells books. She tries to look hot, but its hot buttons she looks for.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.
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