As we've noted time and again, the Style section of the Washington Post has been reliably gaga over President Obama and liberal-friendly causes and campaigns. Today's Style page was no exception, with its front page dominated by an Obama for America photo that has been widely retweeted on Twitter and "liked" on Facebook.
"Snapshot of an equal, modern marriage," gushes the headline. "Loving image of Obamas is embraced by social media," added a subheader for Philip Kennicott's "Critic's Notebook" feature. "Who is embracing whom in that photograph of the Obamas that went viral on election night?" Kennicott asked in his lead sentence, laying the groundwork for a gushy item on how the Obamas exemplify a perfectly equal marital union, unlike, apparently, stodgy traditionalist, Republican first couples of yore (emphasis mine):
On the first Sunday of Advent, The Washington Post devoted two stories on the front of its Arts section to revisiting last year's controversy over a gay-left exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery that starred a video with ants crawling on the crucifix of Jesus. The "Hide/Seek" propaganda assembly is now on display at the Brooklyn Museum, and Post critic Philip Kennicott thinks the "right-wing Catholic ire" is already so yesterday: "the pace of cultural change on gay and lesbian issues is so rapid that even a year may have transformed the dynamics."
Whereas last year, museum bureaucrat Wayne Clough removing the ants-on-Jesus video was "a dark day for the Smithsonian, a successful, coordinated attack on free speech," Kennicott is still championing the gay-left curators and their vision of what they now call "the inherent queerness of America." They can't stand the idea that conservatives get to have any say at all.
"To passerby" the Occupy D.C. protest at McPherson Square "is a jumble of tents and blue tarps," but to the Washington Post's Philip Kennicott, the Occupiers "have 'activated' the urban core," with "a living exercise in do-it-yourself (or DIY) urbanism, a trendy movement that strives to engage ordinary people in a hands-on approach to shaping and claiming public space."
And that's just the tip of the iceberg as Kennicott and his comrades commandeered 3.5 pages of the Style section to puff up the left-wing squatters' camp.
On Sunday, the Lord’s Day, The Washington Post knows how to bow to its god, too: political correctness. In Sunday’s Arts section, critic Philip Kennicott announces these maxims. 1) The Western art world and art history is overwhelmingly gay; 2) The level of tolerance for any conservative dissent from this overwhelming gayness is now zero; and 3) While “homophobia” has yet to banned from society, it certainly should be forbidden in the art world. Kennicott began by announcing a “reckoning in the winds” for practitioners of “overt bigotry” in America:
There may be a reckoning in the winds. Attitudes about gays and lesbians, and about same-sex marriage in particular, are now changing so fast that American culture is suffering from cognitive dissonance: still prone to habits of homophobia while simultaneously aware that overt bigotry is no longer acceptable in much of the public square.
Washington Post art critic Philip Kennicott couldn't bring himself in a Tuesday essay to dwell on the evil of Osama bin Laden. He committed a "single morning of destruction," but he was really so much more fascinating than that. He killed a few thousand people, to be sure. But on the bright side, his actions led to the Kennedy Center's "Arabesque" festival and he was "very good for book clubs" as he "shifted the horizons of our curiosity" into the appreciation of literary stars in Afghanistan, Turkey and Iran.
Kennicott's ending: "To assert order and reclaim the power of the state, Obama had to embody it in a way that recalled the regal precedents on which the American presidency is based. A primitive story line required a primitive ending, one great man taking down another."
It was two days before Christmas, and some Washingtonians were still complaining that images mocking Jesus had been removed from the National Portrait Gallery. On the top of the front of the Style section on Thursday, Washington Post art critic Philip Kennicott called for the head of Smithsonian secretary Wayne Clough: "the best option for undoing the damage remains the resignation of the man who made the decision." Somehow, the 11-second video was so inconsequential it should not have been removed -- but once removed, it suddenly became an enormous disaster:
Clough's defense of a decision that will almost certainly mark the nadir of his tenure has been limited to internal memos. By withdrawing from the public debate about what has been tactically, strategically and historically a disaster for the institution, he has called into question whether he shares the fundamental values of openness and engagement that should define the Smithsonian.
Once again, the Post talks in misleading code. "Openness" does not mean debate. It means that the capital must be open for the Gay Agenda to sprawl across the museum and for no one to dare to question it, even as it assaults ancient religions. "Engagement" does not mean a discussion, but a conquest. The People should engage with Art and come away transformed to the progressive ideology.
The Washington Post keeps adding to its sympathetic portrayal of the radical-left gay artist whose work was removed from the National Portrait Gallery for putting ants on a crucifix, mocking Jesus Christ. Three days ago, The Post's Style section lamented on the front of the Style section about how the "pesky ant video refuses to die." But on Friday morning, a huge (8 by 8) black-and-white photo of artist David Wojnarowicz graced an essay by critic Philip Kennicott. The essay (and four more photographs) covered the entire back page of Style. The headline was "The 'Fire' man: David Wojnarowicz, censored by the Smithsonian, sounded an alarm in dire times."
Kennicott championed the artist as he railed against the cruelty of Reagan conservatives and the Catholic Church: "Not simply a cry of anguish or protest, Wojnarowicz's work captures the contradiction, speed and phantasmagoria of a time when it was reasonable to assume that all the political and social progress gay people had achieved in the 1960s and '70s was being revoked - against the surreal, Reagan-era backdrop of Morning in America, and a feel-good surge of American nostalgia and triumphalism."
On Friday, Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday merged her review of Iron Man 2 with a leftist documentary on convicted conservative lobbyist Jack Abramoff. This strange mix led to Hornaday recklessly suggesting that Abramoff and former Rep. Tom DeLay may rehabilitate their careers when they should have been "killed off." Is that a metaphor? Not if you're holding a sign at a Tea Party rally. Here's how Hornaday concluded:
Abramoff is due to be released from prison later this year. With his trial for breaking Texas campaign finance laws still pending, DeLay went dancing on TV, presumably until he's either convicted or free to make his political comeback. [Former DeLay aide Michael] Scanlon has pleaded guilty but has yet to be sentenced, evidently in order to testify against anyone who might still be indicted. As every decent comic book villain knows, if the good guys don't succeed in completely killing you off, you can be counted on to show up again in the sequel.
Hornaday made a series of strange Iron Man/Abramoff analogies before the kill-them-off ending:
An article in Thursday’s Washington Post lashed out at the viral Obama-as-the-Joker posters, attacking them as promoting "coded," "racially charged" images. Art critic Philip Kennicott smeared the images, which have been showing up in Los Angeles, as flat-out bigoted: "The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can't be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he's black." [Emphasis added]
In the August Style 6 piece, Kennicott provided this incendiary take on the poster campaign: "Obama, like the Joker and like the racial stereotype of the black man, carries within him an unknowable, volatile and dangerous marker of urban violence, which could erupt at any time." The Post writer did acknowledge that a similar image deriding Bush as the villainous character appeared in the Vanity Fair in 2008. But he spun this Joker poster as somehow worse:
Tom Shales wasn’t alone in praising Obama in the Washington Post today. Art critic Philip Kennicott acted embarrassed that the Smithsonian's American history museum would already put on an exhibit honoring Barack Obama’s inauguration at the 100-day mark, even if they had a good reason:
The Smithsonian hasn't mounted an exhibit like this, for a sitting president, in recent memory, if ever. And it's not doing it because it's historic -- George W. Bush's first election, which hung in the balance for weeks, was also historic -- the Smithsonian is doing it because Obama has the peculiar, hard-to-define but easy-to-spot power of the superstar.
Obama trumps Reagan in image management, Kennicott declared:
We've come a long way since the press was wowed by President Ronald Reagan's carefully constructed images. Although there were images of photographers photographing him, the ideal Reagan image eliminated the photographer in an effort to create a transparent, perfect window on the spectacle of power. Today, the presence of the photographer is celebrated. Obama is the cynosure of all lenses.
Just as segregation in the South “blunted the force of moral outrage against the Nazis” during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Washington Post arts critic Philip Kennicott contended in a Saturday lead “Style” section piece on a new exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on the 1936 games, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have also undermined arguments against Chinese political repression before the Olympic games there this summer.
Deep into his May 10 treatise, “Playing With Fire: U.S. Holocaust Museum Revisits Fascist Iconography of 1936 Games and Beyond,” Kennicott asserted:
It's impossible to walk through the current exhibition without feeling a repetition syndrome. Just as Jim Crow laws blunted the force of moral outrage against the Nazis, the specter of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo has blunted the force of arguments about Chinese political repression.