What happened to my New York Post? My curmudgeonly, reactionary New York Post that enjoys eating liberals for breakfast and spewing outrage? I am confused by pages 2 and 3 in which most of the layout is taken up with a photo of Barack Obama greeting his audience of 200,000 in Berlin. (The picture appears if you click on the slideshow in the online version of the article, but it does not nearly have the massive impact of the print version. Spend the 50 cents or take a quick sneak peek at the newsstand.) The photo is absolutely breathtaking, but perplexing because it’s in the Post. The Daily News didn’t even put Obama’s speech on its front page this morning.
The Post‘s page one shows a smiling, waving Obama in front of the Siegessäule statue that film dorks will always equate with the Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire and Faraway, So Close! The headline declares Obama “WUNDERBAM” for drawing a “mile-deep crowd” in Berlin. Page 2 is merely a sea of faces, while page 3 has an article about the “200,000 rootin’ Teutons in Berlin.” Charles Hurt’s piece quotes heavily from Obama’s speech and only finally lobs a few weak jabs with John McCain’s criticism of his rival’s “premature victory lap” overseas and a Fox News (see, synergy!) poll that finds that Obama’s trip is not really affecting American voters opinions of him. It’s in the opinion section, however, where things really get perplexing.
Kirsten Powers, one of Fox News’s token Dems, has a column today all about how chaotic the McCain campaign is with its message. She basically advises McCain to stop whining about the media’s love affair with Obama and to take a few pages from Hillary Clinton’s playbook on how to actually hit Obama where it hurts. This makes sense in the Post universe. But then, columnist Rich Lowry has another piece that argues pretty much the same thing.
Is down, up? Right, left? Or maybe it’s that McCain has been making so many missteps that even his supporters have to step in? As Lowry puts it in the lead of his piece, “Politically, John McCain should be a candidate for voluntary committal — he’s a danger to himself.” Where’s the outrage about Obama’s “victory lap?” The closest they seemed to come was yesterday’s editorial in which they advised Obama to be properly humble during his moment in Berlin. This world of nuance frightens and confuses me.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 25, 2008