2009-10-09

Obama's Saving Private Ryan Moment

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When I read that Barack Obama was this year's recipient of the Nobel Peace Price, I actually started laughing. Since I'm sure most of you either had a similar reaction or just rolled your eyes at the 's news, I thought I'd pass along the following roundup of what people who get paid for their opinions had to say (Peace Prize Reax I, II , and III).


Here's How I Score It:


- Most accurate, George Packer:

President Obama should thank the Nobel committee and ask them to hold on to the Peace Prize for a couple more years...This seems like a prize for Europeans, not Americans, and I worry that at home it will damage him politically by reinforcing the notion that he is—and will be—a world icon rather than a successful President. I don’t mind him being the former, but I most want him to be the latter. Not even a Rookie of the Year is ready to be elected to the Hall of Fame. I’m afraid this prize will be bad for Obama. For political reasons and on the merits, he should quote Shakespeare to the Nobel committee: “As you shall prove me, praise me.”


- Most dismissive of the Nobel Prize in general, The Corner:
Here is a list of Nobel Peace Prize winners since 1980. There are some worthy recipients — Lech Walesa, Shirin Ebadi, Mohammed Yunus. But most Nobel Peace Peace prizes go to conventional left-wing types popular with European elites — Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Mikhail Gorbachev. Before they break out the champagne at the White House, they may want to pause over the fact that Obama now shares this honor with Mohammed el-Baradei, Yasser Arafat, and flagrant liar Rigoberta Menchu Tum.

- Most partisan, the DNC
The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize.

- My personal favorite, TigerHawk:
“YO OBAMA, I’M GONNA LET YOU FINISH, BUT I JUST WANNA SAY THAT MARTIN LUTHER KING JR WAS THE BEST NOBEL PRIZE WINNER OF ALL TIME.”

And just in case you want my official reaction, here it is: "Earn it."

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UPDATE #1: In the comments, Clayton pointed out that my quote from the Corner wasn't "fair", and after going back and reading their post I actually agreed. So to keep things fair, I removed the original reference and quoted them in full.

UPDATE #2: Here's Obama's take:
"Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations," he said at the White House. "To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize."

5 comments:

Leah on 9/10/09 said...

Aren't you supposed to earn it first? :) You are right. I rolled my eyes.

Mike on 9/10/09 said...

You would think so. And my thought was that, similar to the movie, this wasn't something Obama asked for, but yet it is something he now must earn.

Clayton on 10/10/09 said...

Laughed out loud on the Dart when I read this. I actually read it on the Corner, and I believe you were just quoting them for effect, but it wasn't fair to say that the main take from the Corner was to compare Obama to Yasser Arafat. Not even close to fair. Not sure how many people read it, but I gotta defend the Corner, as I love it and donate money to it (full disclosure).

The Corner is very much opinion journalism, for which it often takes shots (in an unequaled way as its contemporaries on the left, may I add - but that's a whole another discussion). However, opinion journalism (in my opinion, at least) is the new journalism, as you at least get to see the author's political underwear and you don't have to be tricked by intentions veiled behind unbiased-ness (e.g. New York Times, Washington Post, etc., etc., etc.).

The way I see it, if a journalist covers issues all of the time, he will develop opinions. Neutrality is a much harder thing to attain than is often claimed by our journalists. I am not neutral either. I am a conservative and a severe skeptic of politicians. All politicians. But particularly the politicians that I sense to be elitist. I believe they want to take away my freedom and rigidly dictate how I should live, while not believing the rules apply to them. God knows how I should live, but he still gave me free will. These people should, too. Nancy Pelosi is one of these people.

Back on track: I actually thought the funniest thing the Corner had today was how they were speculating that by voting Obama now, the Nobel Committee was actually setting Obama up to be the first person to win the Nobel Prize twice! You heard it first at the Corner!
!

Mike on 10/10/09 said...

Clayton,
As always, thanks for the comment, and thanks for the heads up about the quote from The Corner as well. Turns out it was not a fair representation of their post, and it has been updated accordingly.

I'd have to disagree though that The Corner (or opinion journalists in general) take unequal shots from anyone. That's just the nature of new media to which you seem to view in a positive light (as do I). We all just notice it more when it's "our guy" that starts taking the shots.

And like you, I bring my own biases to the table which I try to air here as transparently as I can. Thankfully, whenever I fail to live up to that standard, there's an occasional comment calling me out. That's one of the reasons why I love blogging.

On a side note, your comment mentioned a) contributing money to The National Review b) referred to the evils of elitists c) worried that "freedom" was at stake d) referenced God and e) personally called out Nancy Pelosi. So if you ever need someone to vouch for your conservative bonafides, just send me an email.

Keep the comments coming!

Clayton on 11/10/09 said...

Yeah I got pretty Joe-conservative on you there but I really do think a lot of these politicians want to rule us from on high - in a the first adjective to describe fidel castro is brilliant (instead of monsterous) sort of way. Hope you get what I am saying... I'm tired of typing on an iPhone.

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