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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 4, 2013/ 26 Tammuz, 5773

The press and Dr. Faustus

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the old Dr. Faustus story, a young scholar bargains away his soul to the devil for promises of obtaining almost anything he wants.

The American media has done much the same thing with the Obama administration. In return for empowering a fellow liberal, the press gave up its traditional adversarial relationship with the president.

But after five years of basking in a shared progressive agenda, the tab for such ecstasy has come due, and now the media is lamenting that it has lost its soul.

At first, the loss of independence seemed like a minor sacrifice. In 2008, MSNBC's Chris Matthews sounded almost titillated by an Obama speech, exclaiming, "My, I felt this thrill going up my leg." Earlier, New York Times columnist David Brooks had fixated on Obama's leg rather than his own: "I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant, and I'm thinking, a) he's going to be president, and b) he'll be a very good president."

For worshiper and former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas, Obama was divine: "Obama's standing above the country, above the world, he's sort of God." TV pundit and presidential historian Michael Beschloss ranked the newly elected Barack Obama as "the smartest guy ever to become president."

For a press that had exposed Watergate, Iran-Contra and the Monica Lewinsky affair, and had torn apart George W. Bush over everything from the Iraq War to Hurricane Katrina, this hero worship seemed obsessive. The late liberal reporter Michael Hastings summed up a typical private session between President Obama and the press during the 2012 campaign: "Everyone, myself included, swooned. Swooned! Head over heels. One or two might have even lost their minds. ... We were all, on some level, deeply obsessed with Obama, crushing hard."

Sometimes the media and Obama were one big happy family -- literally. The siblings of the presidents of ABC an CBS News both are higher-ups in the Obama administration. The White House press secretary's wife is a correspondent for ABC's "Good Morning America."



When Obama's chief political aide, David Axelrod, went to work for MSNBC, Obama joked, "... a nice change of pace, because MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod." Nor was Obama shy about rubbing in his subjects' hero worship: "My job is to be president; your job is to keep me humble. Frankly, I think I'm doing my job better." In Africa recently, Obama advised his traveling press corps to "behave," then compared them unfavorably with the more polite and compliant media of an increasingly authoritarian South Africa.

Four hundred reporters even formed their own off-the-record shared email chat group, JournoList, to strategize attacks against Obama's political opponents. AttackWatch.com (paid for by Obama for America) read like some sort of secret-police operation, asking readers to report any criticism of Obama, as it compiled "Attack files" in blaring black and red headers.

When President Obama kept open Guantanamo Bay or expanded the Bush war on terror, he was described as "anguished" and "torn" as he broke his earlier promises. Bad news like unemployment spikes or flat GDP growth was customarily editorialized with adverbs like "unexpectedly" -- as if Obama's setbacks surely were aberrant and would quickly subside. In one of the 2012 presidential debates, the moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley, was so exasperated that Obama seemed to need help that she jumped in to challenge Mitt Romney.

Obama rightly assumed that when the Benghazi scandal surfaced during the 2012 campaign, the press would largely ignore it. Likewise, he knew that the politicization of the IRS would not warrant headline news. Ditto Fast and Furious and the NSA mess.

But then a Faustian thing happened. This year it was also revealed that the Obama administration had monitored the communications of Associated Press reporters on the suspicion that they were publishing leaks. For the first time, outrage arose: Liberal presidents were not, in Nixonian fashion, supposed to go after liberal reporters.

The Obama administration did not object to AP reporters leaking classified information per se. Indeed, it had leaked the most intimate details of the cyber war against Iran, the drone protocols and the bin Laden raid to pet reporters like the New York Times' David Sanger and David Ignatius of the Washington Post. The election-year "exclusive" revelations of both usually portrayed Obama as an underappreciated, muscular command in chief.

The crime instead was that AP was freelancing and might publish leaks that were not always flattering. Since long ago the media had made a pact, it was natural that the Obama administration assumed it had a right to monitor what it had bought.

In one version of the tale, Dr. Faustus at least got 24 years of freebies before being hauled off to Hell. Our poor media did not even get five years of adulation before Obama called in their souls.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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