WaPo TV Critic Complains West Point Speech Puts 'Bright Young President in a Dark New Light'

Media liberals are proving that all their praise for Obama’s eloquence and charisma depends on how liberal Obama sounds. Look no further than Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales, who swooned this spring after presidential prime-time appearances that Obama was "still every inch ‘President Wonderful’" and clearly could wear a button reading "Smartest kid in class," saw Obama going to the Dark Side by adding troops in Afghanistan. Ick, Shales wrote on Wednesday, how Bush-like. He began:

Would you buy a used war from this man? Americans might be seeing their bright, young president in a dark, new light this morning after watching his televised speech Tuesday night centering on escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

Shales complained that Obama’s speech sounded "awfully similar" (emphasize the "awfully") to Bush’s speeches on Iraq. Therefore, his confidence in his own charisma is overrated:

Obama is said to have great confidence in his popularity and in the degree to which the electorate loves him. Some supporters as well as detractors must be wondering, after watching the West Point performance, whether he's overestimating that affection -- and whether he's due for the proverbial rude awakening.

He should have said Obama has great confidence in the "degree to which the press loves him." Shales concluded the piece:

Perhaps Dec. 1, 2009, will become known as the night the Obama honeymoon ended decisively -- largely because a great communicator placed too much faith in his own powers of persuasion and his celebrated mastery of a medium.

With Ronald Reagan, the media always thought of Reagan's charisma as some sort of black magic completely unrelated to his conservative message. Clearly, in Obama's case, ideology is intimately related to his charm with the ink-stained wretches. The more moderate Obama sounds, the less charismatic he becomes.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis