Hyperbole vs. Hyperbole

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) recently caught a lot of flak from liberals over his assertion that the Obama Administration is “one of the most corrupt administrations ever.”  It goes without saying that Rep. Issa was using a bit of hyperbole to illustrate a rock solid point, namely that in spite of Obama’s promises to purge the influence of lobbyists from his administration, it remains chock-full of special interest and lobbyist domination.

Earlier this week, in an amusing effort to defend the Obama Administration from such charges, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter declared during an MSNBC round table discussion that “there is zero evidence” of corruption in the Obama Administration.  Perhaps in his haste to answer hyperbole with more hyperbole, Alter forgot the definition of corruption: “dishonest exploitation of power for personal gain.”  Fortunately, the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney was more than happy to set Alter straight (video courtesy of Newsbusters.org):

(The expression on Alter’s face as the video freezes at the end is absolutely priceless.)

The larger point that Carney establishes during the conversation is that the mainstream media apparently considers Obama’s campaign promises to end corruption and lobbyist influence to be de facto truth, and consequently has scratched “corruption” off the list of things that it plans to investigate at the White House.

A similar observation can be made in the area of science and scientific research.  President Obama specifically promised during his inaugural speech that his administration would “restore science to its rightful place” — an obvious dig at the Bush Administration’s open skepticism about global warming science, and President Bush’s adamant refusal to allow Federal dollars to be used for harvesting and experimentation on embryonic stem cells.  Naturally, the Obama Administration’s absolute integrity with regard to scientific research also became de facto truth among the mainstream media.

That facade collapsed a couple of months ago with the release of a report that accused the Obama Administration of “downplaying scientific findings, misrepresenting data and most recently misconstruing the opinions of experts” in order to enact a series of policy initiatives based on last summer’s Deep Horizon oil spill.  The report itself is pretty damning, but check out the opening paragraph:

The oil spill that damaged the Gulf of Mexico’s reefs and wetlands is
also threatening to stain the Obama administration’s reputation for
relying on science to guide policy
. (emphasis added)

Reputation?  Based on what, exactly?  A campaign promise?  

And so once again, the myth of Barack Obama — specifically his transcendent, almost other-worldly level of moral superiority (or perhaps “moral elitism” would be more accurate) which was somehow to be magically imparted throughout his entire Administration– has been busted by reality.  Virtually the entire character of Barack Obama that was built up during his extraordinary Presidential campaign now seems to be little more than one hyperbole after another: a gifted intellect, a healer, a light-bearer, he will deliver us, he will change us, our planet will begin to heal, etc.

If it takes some good old fashioned hyperbole from Republicans to slap the mainstream media across the face and force them to look at all of the hyperbolic claims about Barack Obama that they have blindly accepted as truth, then please … bring it on. 

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