Monday, March 10, 2008

A Comic Book

Rolling Stone endorsed Barack Obama in its most recent issue.

I can't say I'm surprised. Ever since Rolling Stone's political "experts" took to the airwaves before Super Tuesday as the new breed of hip campaign commentators—including the arrogant Matt Taibbi (seen recently bashing Hillary Clinton on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher") —it's been obvious where their support lies. A magazine that loves to idolize the gods and goddesses of rock 'n roll, RS treated their presidential endorsement with the same seriousness of a concert review.

The magazine's cover presents a drawing of Obama, lit from behind like the Son of God. Titles read, "A New Hope," "Inside his People-Powered Revolution," and "The Candidate and the Call of History."

In addition to the hyperbole, the depth of RS's analysis amounts to little more than piles and piles of naive statements like the following:

Although Obama declined to attack her personally for her vote for the war in Iraq, he did call it, devastatingly enough, a clear demonstration of her so-called experience and "judgment." He has also spoken forcefully about the need to break the grip of lobbyists — at a time when Clinton is the largest recipient of drug-company donations of anyone in Congress. Clinton could not address this issue at all, and neither will John McCain, who is equally a player in Washington's lobbyist culture.

If Rolling Stone were really trying to prove themselves as a serious source for campaign news and opinion in the upcoming election they would have acknowledged that one of the main thrusts of Obama's campaign is to attack Hillary for her vote on the war. In addition, they would have announced their endorsement of Obama at the same time that The New York Times or The LA Times did, earlier in the campaign process when seeing strengths in a candidate before the rest of the world did showed intuition and boldness. Instead, repeating the same old points, waiting until the rest of the pack has weighed in, and turning this important election into a glitzy, "This Week's Hottest!", tabloid event, Rolling Stone fumbles precisely where they wanted to show off.

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