Obama Aims for a More Perfect Union, But Will the Media Fall Short of Perfection?

Barack Obama wrote his speech on race in America himself. He worked on it for a couple of days, and stayed up until 2 a.m. Tuesday to finish it. The senator conceded on “Nightline” that he couldn’t predict how the address would be perceived: “You know, you throw a rock into a pond and those ripples will go out. We don’t know where those ripples will go. I have no idea how this plays out politically.”

It’s always the awkward catch, isn’t it? How a political event “plays” ultimately dictates whether it was a good move or a bad one. Time’s Joe Klein described Obama’s remarks as “the best speech about race I’ve ever heard delivered by an American politician,” but immediately wondered whether the media would be judicious in its coverage. “I hope our colleagues over at the networks give Obama his due,” Klein said.

Right off the bat, shortly after the speech ended, it looked like the media was going to blow it. The lead headline on MSNBC’s website read, “Obama: Racial anger is ‘real.’” On CNN.com, it read, “Obama: Constitution stained by ’sin of slavery.’” Shortly thereafter, Fox News ran an edited soundbite to make it appear as if Obama was attacking his grandmother.

I’m pleased to note, however, that news outlets got more responsible as the day went on. The NYT ran a news-analysis piece this morning that seemed to appreciate the significance of the event.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.