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Michael Russnow Headshot

Obama Promised Change -- Change from Bush and Cheney: So Why Do the Media Foment Faux Controversy?

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I'm getting a little -- make that a lot -- annoyed at the well-paid pundits around the TV dial, who continue to poke holes at Obama for surrounding himself with a lot of people who've served in previous Democratic administrations.

Their rationale is that Obama promised a new order and that his taking counsel from many whose names are very familiar means he has somehow fibbed or at best is backtracking on pledges made to the American people.

I've written before how the media seem intent on doing whatever they must to justify the huge salaries many of them enjoy -- especially those in the stables of the broadcast networks and the major cable news services. They're on the air almost daily and have to say something to avoid the ever increasing presumption that maybe they're not all that necessary. So, they pump up McCain after the third debate when it's clear he pretty much imploded. They inflate Palin after her bout with Joe Biden, because she was able to string coherent sentences together. They just as venally and perhaps unfairly tear her to shreds using unnamed McCain campaign workers as their sources.

And now they try to taint Obama by implying he has reneged at least in part on his change philosophy. Yet, according to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, change is defined as "To make radically different. The act, process or result of changing."

To my mind, Obama wants to radically disassociate this country from the habits and policies of the past eight years. To put into place acts, processes and results far different from those we have experienced under the administration of George W. Bush.

To accomplish this, he has surrounded himself with people who are familiar with how to make that happen. Many were part of the Clinton administration, which left us with high employment and a huge economic surplus. Obama never delineated his definition of change to mean that he wanted no one to join him who had ever served in Washington or government at all. This is why it was rubbish when the media deflated Obama's choice of the highly qualified Joe Biden by suggesting that the selection was hardly an indication of change. All this while they pointed to the real "change" exemplified by the inexperienced Sarah Palin, a pick which made no sense at all irrespective of your political views.

Obama wants change in our economy so that there are more employed, more people don't lose their homes and investments remain secure for the future. Obama wants change in our health care system so that everyone is covered or has a chance to have reasonable options with efficiencies built into the medical care conundrum. He wants a change in our foreign policy, first and foremost to get us out of the morass in Iraq. He wants to bring a sense of equilibrium to Afghanistan so that we can get out of that mess, too. And he wants to restore the esteem and respect we had among the world democracies. His election has already achieved this last point in striking numbers.

To effect these goals he needs people who have been tested, who know the territory and who have proven for the most part that they can deliver positive results as they have in past administrations. True, everything didn't go swimmingly in all instances, such as health care and equality for our gay brothers and sisters. However, in direct comparison I believe most would be relieved to have the kind of personnel in place just prior to when Bush took office than the sort of greedy and insensitive people with whom the current president and vice president have surrounded themselves over the past two terms.

Change is coming no thanks to many in the media, who, perhaps looking at the gloomy economic forecasts, are more concerned at being downsized themselves. That's why I believe they keep yapping along in the hope of keeping their inflated paychecks, getting tenured university professorships and securing lucrative book deals.

Change is coming to our society, but I'd also like to see a bit of change in the media's behavior to one that is not so transparently self-motivated.