Obama Gay Marriage Rollout, The media — pretty much all of them — just got “played,” by the Obama campaign. And they don’t even realize it yet. What we just witnessed, for roughly the past four days, was not a “breaking story” or even an “evolution” of any sort. What we just witnessed, capped this morning by President Barack Obama’s statement of support for g*y marriage, was nothing more than the introduction of a new (political) product. It was a “new and improved” product rollout — nothing more, nothing less.
Before I begin to back that statement up, a personal note. This column is an odd one for me to write, for several reasons. The first is I don’t usually like to jump into the fray of “snap judgments” on breaking news stories, preferring to let the dust settle a bit before commenting. The second is (believe it or not) I was already going to write about this today — although the conclusions I would have drawn would have been far different (and mostly wrong), if, say, Obama had released his g*y marriage support an hour after I had published what I was going to write. Third, I’m not really going to address the core issue itself — g*y marriage support — because I’m totally focused on the political/media nexus instead. Lastly, I’m about to use an argument that I never really bought into back when it was a popular argument to make (circa 2008-2009).
During Obama’s last campaign, and during about his first year in office, there were those on the Left who would tell you (whenever there was news about Obama doing something inexplicable) not to worry, because he was playing “multi-dimensional chess” while his lesser opponents were desperately trying to play checkers. Obama was the mastermind, the master game-player, in this construct. I never fully bought into this argument, although it was a common one heard back then.
But this time, it’s hard to see it any other way. The Obama campaign team just brilliantly snookered the entire media universe — right, left, and center — into generating a news frenzy days before a major campaign announcement was rolled out. Imagine, if you will, that none of the past week had happened, and Obama said the same thing today. Well, it would have been a story, but it wouldn’t have been a week-long story, perhaps. That’s the difference, and that’s why Obama’s team scored a big coup in the media world.
Their timing, I have to admit, was as close to perfect as can be imagined. Last week, there was a story making the rounds about a Romney national security advisor who had quit/been booted from the Romney team. The reason? He was g*y. The hardline social conservatives had forced Mitt to kick him out — that’s the way the story played in the media (admittedly, this was a wonky and small-bore story that few who don’t obsess over politics even noticed). The issue had just about died down at the end of last week, though. (Huffington Post)