Several conservative commenters in recent days have noted that, four years ago, there was a flurry of newspaper editorials calling for a more restrained inaugural, saying a huge national party was inappropriate in a time of war. It took a while but, as Steve Benen notes, those stories are coming out now. He cites, for example, a piece by AP‘s Matt Apuzzo with the lede, “Unemployment is up. The stock market is down. Let’s party.”
What this demonstrates, yet again, is the cyclical nature of news analysis. We have naturally recurring stories (elections, inaugurations, censuses, and so forth) and there’s only so many things that can be said about them.
Is Obama getting more favorable treatment than Bush did eight years ago? Sure. Reporters, especially those at major organizations, are left-of-center and they seem to particularly like Obama. The “first black president” meme is also powerful. At the same time, though, the easiest way to stand out from the crowd is to be contrarian. So we’ll see plenty of stories kwetching about Obama’s extravagence, too.
AP Photo by Shizuo Kambayashi