I have told you in the past:
When the paper disagrees with criticism of a [politician], it is portrayed as an attack by political opponents. When the paper agrees with the criticism, the criticism becomes a mysterious and disembodied (but ever-growing) entity. Doubts grow. Criticism emerges.
Which way do you think the L.A. Times is portraying Republican criticism of Obama?
You guessed it! In an article titled Republicans step up criticism of Obama, the paper says:
Republicans signaled Sunday that they would not be daunted by President Obama’s soaring approval ratings, criticizing his proposed $825-billion economic stimulus plan, his strategy for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his decision to exempt a top-ranking Pentagon appointee from new ethics rules.
Some of the sharpest criticism came from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the party’s challenger to Obama in the election and the recipient of aggressive outreach as part of the new president’s efforts to forge an image of bipartisanship.
That damned ingrate McCain!
Obama honored McCain on the eve of last week’s inauguration with a bipartisan candlelight dinner, and he has solicited his former rival’s advice on top appointments. McCain has returned the favor by pressing fellow Republicans to speedily confirm Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
But Sunday, McCain had few kind words for Obama’s initial moves as president. He called it “disingenuous” for the White House to impose new rules to limit the influence of lobbyists but immediately claim an exemption for William Lynn III, the nominee to be deputy Defense secretary, who has lobbied on behalf of defense contractor Raytheon Co.
Note how deftly that was done. The paper manages to tell you that Obama has reneged on a promise to ban lobbyists from the White House — but who’s the bad guy? Somehow, it’s John McCain. Obama tried to reach out to him, we are told, and McCain showed his gratitude by calling Obama “disingenuous.” The fact that Obama was disingenuous isn’t the point, you see. It’s all about how McCain and other Republicans are big jerks who are ignoring Obama’s bipartisan gestures.
Nicely done, L.A. Times. Nicely done. Obama will be happy to see this article. You can feel proud.