Media whores, celebrity government and declining U.S. influence

Sol W. Sanders  

America’s prostituted mainline media and supercilious celebrity culture are helping to facilitate the Obama administration’s destruction of U.S. government credibility.

The impression is growing that President Obama’s pomposity on strategy and policy are hollow rhetoric despite their ballyhooing by a kept press, increasingly unconvincing to his domestic audience and to the U.S.’ friends and enemies abroad. That will limit Washington’s ability to manage the continuing domestic economic crisis with its high rate of unemployment and further erodes what President Obama already has sought to curtail, Washington’s still critical international role.

Actor Kevin Spacey at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, April 27. /Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The media, with its annual Washington garish gala this past weekend, is increasingly unable to distinguish between its appetite for starring roles and its traditional legitimate reportage. Nowhere was that more apparent than in The New York Times now failed campaign to try to sell the administration’s line that the Boston Marathon Bombings had no relationship to international Muslim jihadist terrorism. It was matched by National Public Radio’s’ equally fervent propaganda to ascribe Sequester cutbacks as beyond the Obama administration’s power to accommodate a still increasing if curtailed budget.

The various aspects of the Obama administration growing credibility debacle are disparate but widespread:

Energy having failed with its strategy of higher prices and huge subsidies to stampede the economy into new and yet unproved so-called alternate sources of energy, the Administration’s fanatical Environmental Protection Agency appointees wage a war against the economy.

The EPA is still trying to limit the exploitation of natural gas resources with its economies and lower pollution levels. The long sought target of energy self-sufficiency – which would break the grip of politically unstable Mideast producers – is being sabotaged. The possibility of Canadian oil and gas exports through Texas refineries is blocked by delaying permission for the Keystone XL, despite sacrificing jobs for Mr. Obama’s own trade union constituency.

All this perverted policy impacts on peace and stability with the huge surpluses which have poured into the coffers of the Persian Gulf states often used to finance state and private terrorism.


The across-the-board slash, initially endorsed and signed by the President, was to have forced the hand of the Congress and the executive into new efficiencies. But President Obama attempts to use it to war on benefits to the American taxpayer in an effort to discredit the Republicans and win next year’s congressional elections. He has had the audacity to refuse a Republican initiative for legislation – which many constitutionalists argue unnecessary – to readjust expenditures. Now, faced with public outcry over plane delays, the White House has accepted legislation which permits the Federal Aviation Agency – again playing the Obama game – to juggle internal funds so airport towers will not be undermanned.


The Administration hung back from action to stop the slaughter of innocents by the Basher Assad regime, thus increasingly turning over the rebellion to Muslim Jihadists – many recruited abroad and promising to return for terrorism in Europe and America. Then President Obama drew his so-called red line against chemical weapons. Whether to test the U.S.’ intent, or simply following in his murderous strategy, there is growing proof Assad has done just that. Sec. Chuck Hagel, turning on a dime, suddenly endorsed longstanding Israeli and European claims of their use, but the red line has turned pink. The President waffles on what he, again, announced was bedrock policy.


Returning last week as a gift offering an Iranian expatriate who flagrantly violated sanctions, President Obama continues to importune Teheran. He touts a diplomatic campaign to halt its weapons of mass destruction program. But all sides agree the sanctions are not working, in no small part because of the various exceptions the Administration has given various trading partners instead of pursuing financial tools which Washington has used in the past for sanctions enforcement. There is every reason to believe Tehran is progressing toward a nuclear weapon, which would not only become a threat to Israel, but would reinforce the mullahs’ efforts to become the hegemonic power in the Middle East controlling Mideast oil for the world economy outside the U.S.


Having announced with great fanfare a “pivot” – naming specific times and elements of U.S. declining naval forces to be shifted to East and South Asia – the Obama Administration again waffled. It refuses to commit on the specific issues associated with such an arbitrary transfer of power in a totally volatile and unpredictable international strategic environment. For example, the Obama Administration has taken an ambiguous position in regard to the contest for the East China Sea islands between China and Japan, acknowledging Japanese long-time administration (after their return by the U.S.) with Okinawa following World War II, announcing Washington takes no position on their sovereignty. Despite bombastic statements refuting Beijing’s South China Sea claims, it has not been able to halt Beijing’s beginning oil drilling in the area.


Whatever the origins of President Obama’s refusal to name radical Muslim terrorism for what it is, an outgrowth of one particular religious environment, his campaign to minimize the enormity of the problem and its wide-scale international network is crippling law enforcement.

Attorney-General Eric H. Holder, Jr.’s conflicted and highly politicized administration crossed up its own Federal Bureau of Investigation’s attempt to elicit additional information from the surviving younger Boston Marathon Bomber which might have led to increasing evidence of a much wider international plot.

The President insists, against the expressed legislative will of the Congress, to try to abandon Guantanamo as a repository for prisoners of war in the continuing war on terrorism. His refusal to acknowledge the American public’s preference rather than incarceration in U.S. prisons has now ended in a new scandal of maladministration and a hunger strike by some of the world’s most dangerous murderers.


With the deadline of implementation or a sought for implementation of much of the touted medical legislation scheduled for Jan. 1, 2014, there is increasing prospect of near chaos ahead. None of the promised goals of the legislation have been achieved – freedom to select providers, lower insurance costs, complicated arrangement for covering the uninsured, etc. – are all in jeopardy. Most importantly, new fees and taxes loaded on small entrepreneurs is crippling the economy where most new employment originates. Furthermore, the opposition to the Obama initiative is now chaotic with some diehards demanding complete repeal and others seeking to amend the legislation which have already taken affect. The President, himself, blithely ignores the situation.

Over all this hangs a miasma of intellectual confusion, engendered by an increasingly ill-equipped and politically prejudiced academic community which dominates much of what passes for public discussion of national issues.

That incisive social critic, Patrick Moynihan, warned us a generation ago that U.S. society is “… said to be on the lookout for poor fellows getting a bum rap. But …there are circumstances in which society will choose not to notice behavior that would be otherwise controlled, or disapproved, or even punished. … what we in the United States have been doing of late. I proffer the thesis that, over the past generation … the amount of deviant behavior in American society has increased beyond the levels the community can ‘afford to recognize’ and that, accordingly, we have been re-defining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard. …”

What Moinyihan described has gone so far that convicted, terrorist murderers, who cost the lives of innocents and law enforcers, are now given honor in our most prestigious universities. Terrorists Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Kathy Boudin have become members of the faculties at leading universities. Ayers, a friend of the President, his told The New York Times on the ironic date of Sept. 11, 2001 that “I feel we didn’t do enough … (there’s) a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance.”

Can there be a more definitive indictment of the current intellectual climate that surrounds this Administration and permeates the so-called U.S. elite?

Sol W. Sanders, ([email protected]), is a contributing editor for and and blogs at