Home > politics, stupidity > Deifying Obama or Exposing His Weaknesses?

Deifying Obama or Exposing His Weaknesses?

Monday, November 22, 2010, 18:03 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s a charge that has been made before: conservatives claiming that the so-called “mainstream media” (i.e. decades-established news media outlets, as opposed to the emerging new/electronic media) have subtly painted candidate/President Obama as somehow greater than mere mortals. I’m not talking about official campaign or White House photos, which are often staged to make the subject look impressive (like shooting from below, so the subject appears as a towering, powerful figure). Those images are produced by people whose job it is to make the subject look good. No, I’m talking about the media doctoring images to create the impression of something supernatural.

For example, there was this picture (link was bad – fixed now) from the New York Times (which no longer has the photo online):

Obama cross

And let’s not forget two Rolling Stone covers, one with a sort of glowing “aura” about Obama, the other showing his head encircled with a halo that could be some sort of seal but has the mag’s own question around the edge:

Obama Rolling Stone glow cover   Obama Rolling Stone halo cover

If all that isn’t enough, how about this work by an Italian artist:

Obama Christ

For those not fluent in Italian (here’s me, raising my hand), Google translates the text as follows (emphasis mine):

The effigy of Obama on the Cross is making the rounds of the blogosphere. The work of Angelo Cruciani, now on display at the Galleria Voghera 11, is a mixture of the two icons: Jesus Christ and Barack Obama “erected as a symbol of the new martyr for humanity, which carries the cross as the weight of expectations placed on him. A bit exaggerated perhaps, and as such is intended to create a stir. “The Hope can be a Cross” will be on display at the exhibition “Land of Hope & Glory”, which joins the project “The Butcher Boy Ronald Reloaded” by Max Papeschi, where, among other works, a Mickey Mouse outfit by the Nazis. Perhaps to point out that the theories of Marc Eliot in his essay “The Black Prince of Hollywood” portrays the entrepreneur as a man obsessed by anti cartoonist, alcoholic and a friend of J. Edgar Hoover, FBI informant with a mandate to disclose the names of Communist infiltration in Hollywood.

(Here I feel compelled to point out three major differences between Jesus and Barack: Jesus wasn’t a narcissist, Jesus was humble, and Jesus knew what he was doing. But I digress.)

As if all that isn’t entertaining enough, now Newsweek, the weekly magazine you might have heard was deemed to be worth a dollar (not per issue but for the whole enterprise) has created an Obama cover that can only be described as ridiculous. Purporting to show Obama juggling the multitude of issues that burden today’s President (as if Presidents five or 15 or 50 years ago didn’t lots of problems too), the image looks suspicious to some Indian-Americans as a representation of Obama as an important Hindu god. And just in case the imagery doesn’t click for you (Hinduism is, after all, a minority religion here in the United States), they tell you what it’s supposed to represent: Obama as “God of All Things.” Riiiight.

Obama God of All Things

Are there any other obtuse Obama defenders out there who still want to tell me that nobody has tried to deify this guy? (For those who still do, you can find these and many other examples at the satirical blog Is Obama the Messiah?)

Besides the image itself, of course, I want to address the magazine’s contention that “the modern Presidency may be too much for one person to handle.” It wasn’t too much for one person until we elected someone with no experience running anything who hyped himself for so long that even he started to believe it. Go back to electing someone who has actually governed a state, run a company, or otherwise had a job involving executive responsibility and he or she will do just fine, with the help and counsel of the cabinet members and advisors upon which all Presidents rely for support. In other words, the office isn’t too much for one person; it’s just too much for the wrong person.

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Categories: politics, stupidity
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