FLORIDA, July 19, 2012 — Why is Edward Klein’s book titled The Amateur?
President Obama has made a career out of being a political and legal operative. Taking this into account, can he honestly be called an “amateur”?
Today, established media sources, such as the alphabet networks and many major newspapers, are in serious decline. Cable news channels and the Internet, meanwhile, are increasingly popular. What does the future hold for our country’s media structure?
Joseph F. Cotto: Why is your book titled The Amateur? Agree with the President’s policies or not, he has essentially made a career out of being a political and legal operative. Taking this into account, can he honestly be called an “amateur”?
Edward Klein: Many people think that the president is more of an ideologue than an amateur. I argue in my book that he is both—a toxic mix of amateurism and ideology. While he is far more liberal than the American population at large, he is also by temperament and psychology ill suited to govern.
He does not reach out and seek solutions that would be acceptable to both the Republicans and Democrats in Congress. He relies almost entirely on a small group of Chicago operatives inside the White House, because he is not comfortable dealing with anyone who does not see things his way.
The hallmark of a rank political amateur is the unwillingness to listen to wise and experienced men and women who say things that the president does not want to hear. He only listens to those who confirm his belief in expensive big government programs.
Cotto: The American media is at a crossroads. Today, established sources, such as the alphabet networks and more than a few major newspapers, are in serious decline. Cable news channels and the Internet, meanwhile, are increasingly popular. What do you think the future holds for our country’s media structure?
Klein: I am deeply concerned about what has happened to the mainstream media. For instance, I did a three-hour tape recorded interview with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, in which he revealed that Barack Obama’s best friend, Eric Whitaker, sought to silence him during the 2008 election by offering him money to remain silent. I have released the entire three-hour tape, and yet not a single mainstream media outlet has picked up that story.
This is yet another example of how the mainstream media is in the tank for Barack Obama. Our American democracy depends on an informed public, and it is the duty of the media to perform that role. It has, however abdicated its responsibility, which bodes ill for the future of our democracy.
Cotto: Now that our discussion is at its end, many readers are probably wondering how it was that you came to be such a prominent author and journalist. Tell us a bit about your life and career.
Klein: I began my career in journalism as a copy boy for the New York Daily News. I then spent a year as a reporter in Brooklyn for the now-defunct New York World Telegram and Sun. After graduating from the University of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, I traveled to Japan, where I became a foreign correspondent for United Press International.
When I returned to the United States, I became foreign editor of Newsweek, then assistant managing editor of Newsweek. From Newsweek, I moved to The New York Times, where I became editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine. During my editorship of the Times Magazine, it won the first Pulitzer Prize in its history.
Since leaving The Times, I have been a contributing editor with both Parade and Vanity Fair magazines. I have also published eight nonfiction books, all of which have been on The New York Times Best Seller List.
So, can Barack Obama really be thought of as an amateur?
In many of the ways which Edward Klein points out, the answer is yes. However, when it comes to riling emotions and reading carefully scripted speeches, the President seems nothing short of a seasoned professional.
President Obama is not a hardline socialist, crypto-communist, or tool of international conspiracy. He is a typical inner-city machine politician who advanced to an office far beyond his experience level.
The most radical of his rhetoric is uttered during election season; exactly when the far-left must be motivated to support a comparatively moderate Democratic candidate. When the president does not have his base to worry about, he governs in a manner that is most beneficial for the interests which supported him last time around.
The movers and shakers on Wall Street are not up for a Grand People’s Revolution.
The question of whether President Obama is up to his job must be answered by each of us. Klein has his view, you have yours. Thankfully, we live in a country where this diversity of thought is valued.
America the Beautiful, indeed.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.