Commentary Magazine


Morning in America?!

The top headline on CNN’s website this morning declared last night’s presidential address before Congress “Morning in America.”  Indeed, despite President Barack Obama’s commitment to increase the scope of government considerably, CNN’s Alan Silverleib saw something Reaganesque in the speech: namely, its “defiantly optimistic tone.”  And so the gushing pours forth: “It is morning in America again,” Silverleib writes, “A new day has dawned.”

One has to wonder exactly which America Silverleib is examining.  My guess: Silverleib wasn’t looking at the America in which the stock market has dropped 8.5 percent since President Obama took office, including 1.1 percent the day immediately following Obama’s supposedly hopeful oration.

Rather, Silverleib was probably watching the version of America that CNN — his employer — likes to show.  Of course, this is the America in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi preemptively applauds the president’s every line, jumping around like a desperate cheerleader.  It’s also the America in which fawning congressmen line up for the President’s autograph as if he were a celebrity, as opposed to a colleague.

But, most importantly, CNN’s America is the one where “analysts” descend into blatant partisanship.  In this vein, check out David Gergen’s sycophancy:

The first half of the speech was FDR fighting for the New Deal. And the second half was Lyndon Johnson fighting for the Great Society. And we have never seen those two presidents rolled together in quite this way before.

And his biased questions:

I would be interested of what our team thinks about this — I thought it was almost pitch-perfect, in terms of listening to the and responding to the different audiences, coming out with the confidence, reassuring people.

And Gergen’s profoundly uncomfortable metaphors:

But I thought in terms of talking to the country at large, ambitious, inspiring. I just think it’s going to be politically one of the most helpful things he’ll do. It’s a wonderful forum for him. It’s an emotional warm bath.

So, in short, I’m not surprised that Alan Silverleib believes that it’s “Morning in America.”  I just wish that he’d channel surf once in a while to get a more complete view of things.