Newsweek has once again gone over the top in their support of Barack Obama, but at least the cover reflects that Obama's popularity is collapsing. It's called the "The Making of a Terrorist-Coddling, Warmongering, Wall Street-Loving, Socialistic, Godless, Muslim President." There's an asterisk that leads to the note "who isn't actually any of these things."
Perhaps to be true to their fanboy image, they should just leave that Obama photo on their logo every week. Liberals hate the cover already. Take Michael Shaw on The Huffington Post: "So, the question is, how much more is this desperate-to-stay-in-business "news" publication going to pander to the haters and the far-right crazies as we hurtle through the mid-term sprint?"
The cover story by Jonathan Alter comes with the whining subhead "Obama’s enemies have painted him as an alien threat. Can he fight the flight from facts?"
His enemies—and even some of his ostensible allies—have been busy for three years painting Obama as some kind of alien threat. His name, race, exotic upbringing, and determination to reach out to moderate Muslims have given those who would delegitimize him a fresh palette of dark colors. The caricatures are almost comical, as the president himself recognizes. “Some folks say, ‘Well, you know, he’s not as cool as he was,’?” Obama said at a May fundraiser in California. “?‘When they had all the posters around and everything.’ Now I’ve got a Hitler mustache on the posters. That’s quite a change.”
Our maddening times demand that the truth be forthrightly stated at the outset, and not just that the president has nothing in common with the führer beyond the possession of a dog. The outlandish stories about Barack Hussein Obama are simply false: he wasn’t born outside the United States (the tabloid “proof” has been debunked as a crude forgery); he has never been a Muslim (he was raised by an atheist and became a practicing Christian in his 20s); his policies are not “socialist” (he explicitly rejected advice to nationalize the banks and wants the government out of General Motors and Chrysler as quickly as possible); he is not a “warmonger” (he promised in 2008 to withdraw from Iraq and escalate in Afghanistan and has done so); he is neither a coddler of terrorists (he has already ordered the killing of more “high value” Qaeda targets in 18 months than his predecessor did in eight years), nor a coddler of Wall Street (his financial-reform package, while watered down, was the most vigorous since the New Deal), nor an enemy of American business (he and the Chamber of Commerce favor tax credits for small business that were stymied by the GOP to deprive him of a victory). And that’s just the short list of lies.
Please remember the last president, George W. Bush, when the topic is dictator and Muslim-radical analogies, and remember what Alter and his Newsweek-lings wrote and said:
"We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War....If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974." -- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter in a "Web-exclusive commentary" posted on December 19, 2005 on the Newsweek website.
"In the words of one of his [Ayatollah Sistani’s] aides, ‘the representation of our Sunni brethren in the coming government must be effective, regardless of the results of the elections.’ As an Iraqi politician said to me, ‘There are currently two Grand Ayatollahs running Iraq: Sistani and Bush. Most of us feel that Sistani is the more rational.’" -- Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria in a column published in the magazine’s January 24, 2005 edition."[Russia’s Vladimir Putin is] the only one of those leaders who goes in there [the G8 summit] with a commanding popularity among his own people, because he is perceived to be an effective dictator. What we have in this country is a dictator who’s ineffective." -- Newsweek contributing editor Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, July 15, 2006.
Earlier this year, it was Alter who said on the Keith Olbermann show that the Republicans were terrorist-enablers for suggesting President Obama was weak.
I wish they would look into their souls a little bit, is that if they convey over and over again that the president of the United States is weak, what does that do? It emboldens the terrorists. And I don`t say that lightly. But think of -- think of terrorists overseas and -- or at home, who might be plotting an attack. If they think that the president is weak, which he is not. He`s manifestly not. He's killed twice as many of them [as Bush].
Guess who Newsweek blamed most for Big Lie Politics? Fox News, of course, which has taken the hate into the mainstream:
The blame for this extends from Fox News and the Republican leadership, to the peculiar psychology of resentment in public opinion, to the ham-handed political response of the Obama White House. Whatever the cause, if smash-mouth tactics are validated by huge GOP gains in the midterm elections, then Big Lie politics may be with us for good.
In some ways, it has always been with us, going back to the 18th-century calumny of James Callender against John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. More recently, the Rev. Jerry Falwell sponsored a film that falsely accused President Clinton of ordering murders and dealing drugs.
What’s changed about politics as a contact sport is the reach of the lies. With the exception of Father Charles Coughlin, the anti-Semitic “radio priest” of the 1930s, reactionaries haven’t generally had big audiences. But now the cranks who once could do little more than write ranting letters to the editor on the red ribbons of their typewriters (loaded with exclamation points and in all caps, of course) can spread their venom virally, with the help of right-wing billionaires underwriting their organizations. And while the cable network they watch, Fox News, might not actively promote the idea that the president is a foreign-born Muslim, it does little to knock it down. Fox often covers Obama’s place of birth and religion more as matters of opinion than of fact.
Translation: Fox News may not spread lies all the time, but they're clearly not doing enough to please the White House by sounding exactly like Newsweek. Again, this is a terrible standard for Alter to claim for Newsweek. It's quite easy to recall how Newsweek would do anything to smear a Republican. In 1991, Alter and Clift endorsed a Kitty Kelley standard of truth for Republican presidents: if a mere fraction of anonymously sourced nastiness about the Reagans was true, the Reagans were a historical nightmare:
"If privacy ends where hypocrisy begins, Kitty Kelley's steamy expose of Nancy Reagan is a contribution to contemporary history." -- Newsweek Washington reporter Eleanor Clift, April 15.
"If even a small fraction of the material amassed and borrowed here turns out to be true, Ronald Reagan and his wife had to be among the most hypocritical people ever to live in the White House. Anyone who vaguely followed the events of his administration already knew that. But millions of others still don't. While Kitty Kelley's sensationalism may undermine their ability to find and believe the truth, her popularity may encourage them to explore more of the real history of that era without her." -- Newsweek media reporter Jonathan Alter, April 22 issue.
In short, the idea that Newsweek has any ground at all to stand on in the "flight from facts" narrative, or "smearing a president" narrative, is ludicrous. Look at the facts. Newsweek's take on the facts is transparently partisan. Any objective media watcher would say it's at least as partisan as Alter thinks Fox News is.