A better man would be embarrassed — but shame has never been his strong point.
Former President Barack Obama posted yet another undeserved accolade on Saturday when the Television Academy announced he’d won an Emmy for “Outstanding Narrator” for an episode of a series he and his wife produced for Netflix.
And, naturally, the establishment media outlets were agog at the man’s ostensible success — while another man was clearly the real topic of conversation.
“Barack Obama is halfway to an EGOT,” gushed The Associated Press, a once-respected news gathering organization that long ago traded in its notebooks for kneepads when it comes to the 44th president.
(The acronym was a reference to the four major awards of the American entertainment world: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.)
The AP version of the story was picked up by all the usual suspects: CBS, ABC, The New York Times, and so forth, implying full approval from the lords of the nation’s media outlets (as well as an apparent disinclination to have full staffs working on Saturday).
Twitter, likewise, was chock-a-block with pictures of the beaming Obama and congratulatory messages hailing the one-time Illinois senator’s latest success and criticizing his successor.
And almost nowhere was there a word asking why, exactly, Obama has been blessed with such extraordinary adulation, though some of the Twitter posts made it crystal clear.
The reason, as most realistic Americans know, has nothing to do with his so-called narrative skills. It has nothing to do with his resume, or his dismal record in the White House presiding over an administration in retreat abroad and intent on abusing its own citizens at home.
(Ask the populations of the Middle East cursed with living under the murderous rule of the Islamic State group — the “caliphate” of killers Obama infamously branded the “jayvee team” of terrorism, about Obama’s qualifications, or conservative Americans targeted by the likes of Lois Lerner at the IRS how rosy the Obama years were.)
When now-former President Donald Trump took office, employing a strategy of basically doing everything the opposite of Obama, the country and the world changed radically — and indisputably for the better.
To name just a few: The Islamic State group was destroyed; the U.S. economy was roaring; Israel began to reach apparently real accords with heretofore implacably hostile foes; American energy production made the country independent at last from countries abroad, friendly or otherwise. The list could go on.
Democrats have spent the past two years trying to make Americans forget that. The Emmys ceremony was one more opportunity.
Obama’s Emmy win — for narrating a look at the national parks of the world — was a political message from the nation’s cultural elite, on the eve of midterm elections that will determine the future of President Joe Biden’s remaining years in office.
In any so-called “competition” that involves a Democrat of Obama’s stature (only Bill Clinton might command a fonder audience among the faithful), but especially one in a politically fraught moment like the one Biden’s disastrous tenure has created, the liberal establishment is going to throw its weight onto the scales, making the outcome a foregone conclusion.
Obama’s narration of “Our Great National Parks” may well have been the single best oration since Churchill saved Western civilization with the force of the English language (it’s extremely doubtful enough Americans watched it for there to be any kind of consensus on the subject), but that has nothing to do with Obama’s Emmy.
As even a cursory glance at social media on Sunday showed, the reaction of liberals was primarily about how the Obama win was really a loss for You Know Who:
Obama winning an Emmy is gotta make Trump jealous. .
— Meanwhile (@TessBrich) September 4, 2022
Trump has been desperate for an #Emmy for his whole life and Obama just casually won one. ?
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) September 4, 2022
Saw news that Former President Barack Obama is the first President to win a competitive Emmy Award for narrating “Our Great National Parks” which aired on Netflix. I know of another former president who is surely having a cow right about now.
— Stella Beat (@StellaBeat) September 4, 2022
Even Obama fans would have to agree he’s led a life of shameless self-promotion. He’d published not just one but two autobiographies before he even became the president and naturally has published a third since. Trump critics can obviously say the same, but being a showman has been part of Trump’s public persona going back to the 1970s. No one ever thought of giving him a halo for it.
Obama, meanwhile, long ago proved he’s no shrinking violet when it comes to soaking up unearned publicity, yet makes a pretense of humility that the mainstream media never puncture.
This is the man, after all, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for doing literally nothing — the whole world knew that it was more a Nobel committee judgment on former President George W. Bush than anything Obama had even thought of yet. (Obama had been in office for all of eight months when the Nobel was announced in October 2009. No serious person could take that seriously.)
He’s a man who’s won Grammys for reading out loud those two vainglorious autobiographies.
He’s a man who won the biggest prize of all — the presidency of the United States — and spent eight years diminishing both the office and the country it serves. Living proof that he never deserved it.
So, shame is not his strong point. Which just makes Saturday’s award even more of a disgrace.
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