All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama's Traveling Medicine Show Storms Berlin

Barack Obama's reception in Berlin, Germany proves that Germans can be as laizzes faire as Americans when it comes to analyzing the contents of a political speech. I keep asking myself and my friends why people can't see that the Obama Show is just a put-up job. The whole thing is one big fake American Idol Gong Show. It’s the little things like how could 200,000 German-speaking teenagers, Obama entourage members and young European socialists manage to know when to applaud in a speech given in English with no translation. A speech given in a German-speaking country, and filled with American colloquial phrases, which are likely to be misunderstood by people who only learn American English in books. The answer is that the rally is staged. Obama attends a free concert with two of Germany's most popular groups designed to attract lots of young people who show up to hear the music. Obama entourage members and supporters strategically plant themselves near news crew cameras and microphones. At predetermined phrases in Obama's speech, which is always written and never extemporaneous, entourage members and supporters scream, applaud and whistle loudly so it sounds as if the whole stadium is cheering, when in fact is is spread out little pockets of people in the vicinity of the cameras and microphones. The results are an impression that the place is going crazy over Obama when in fact most of them just came to hear the music. Such are the techniques of the Traveling Medicine Show. It is an art from our romantic past when a salesman could ride from town to town in search of those who could be convinced that the elixir of change would make them better only to discover that when the effects wears off they are still themselves. Being a citizen of the world sounds fine after a bottle of Obama’s Magic Change Elixir, but is that the kind of man we want as President of the United States?