I read today that Tavis Smiley, in an appearance on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe”, said (and I’m paraphrasing) that the media has a responsibility to make Obama a “Great President”.
I’m sorry Tavis, but wrong. At least not the news media.
It’s the news media’s job to report the news. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less. I think I mentioned a while back that a Rassmussen poll taken during the Presidential Campaign indicated that more than 70 percent of the people polled said reporters wrote stories that were more favorable to the candidate they wanted to win. Now, apparently, at least Tavis Smiley thinks reporters should write stories that are favorable to President Obama in order to make him a “Great President”.
It seems to me that Presidents should be great or not on their own merits. Who’s to say which Presidents should be singled out for favorable media treatment so that they can be “Great”. If John McCain had been elected, would it be the media’s charge to make him a great president, or would he be left to be great or not on his own recognizance? Certainly the media didn’t see fit to make George Bush a “Great President”. Nor should they. But they should also not make an effort to undermine his Presidency. It seems like a simple thing, but the news media should report the news … accurately, factually, and without bias. It shouldn’t take someone like me to point that out to anyone.
Just as a little background, Tavis was a host on BET, then on NPR with “The Tavis Smiley Show”. I’ve forgotten now what was the spat that caused him not to renew his contract with NPR, but I do recall it was over money, and he didn’t think NPR was doing enough to promote him. He’s now hosting a PBS television show, and I’m sure working on other projects.
So no, Tavis. The “Media” has absolutely no responsibility to make Barak Obama a “great” President. Mr. Obama should be allowed to find his own greatness. Many think he’s great already, simply for having won the election. If I were President Obama, I’d be insulted that you think I needed the media’s help to be great.