Media suddenly critical of 'messiah' references
After years of fostering the narrative of President Obama as a messiah, members of the media now seem to have developed a sudden aversion to attributing divine attributes to the leader of the free world.
For years after Obama’s election, establishment media described Obama often with soaring language, sometimes in photographs capturing him in a halo.
But now they seem alarmed by the claim that the GOP thinks President-elect Donald Trump is Jesus.
The issue began when Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus and Co-Chair Sharon Day sent out a statement celebrating Christmas, as the party has done for many years.
Part of the statement read: “Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.”
Some immediately seized on the phrase “new King” to suggest that since Trump was the new president, the passage was a reference to him, and the RNC was comparing Trump to Jesus Christ.
BuzzFeed wrote: “The combination of the words ‘this Christmas’ and ‘a new King’ had people wondering whether the GOP was comparing Donald Trump to, well, Jesus.”
The article then went on to quote several people, including John Weaver, a top aide to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said: “Dear RNC: We don’t have a ‘new King.’ What the hell is wrong with you people?”
Dan Rather even strongly suggested the RNC was committing blasphemy. In a Christmas post on his Facebook page Rather wrote, “I am sorry to break the Christmas spirit, but a colleague brought the issue of GOP Chairman Reince Priebus’ Christmas message to my attention and, even on a holiday – news is news.”
Rather then went on to quote the so-called controversial part of the tweet before attempting to sound fair and objective by noting “RNC spokesman and incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the reference had nothing to do with Trump. ‘Christ is the King in the Christian faith.'”
However, he then finished by saying, “I am just not sure how one would explain the word ‘new’ in the quote,” suggesting he was skeptical of the RNC’s claims.
Spicer expressed disgust for the way the story was being portrayed in the mainstream media, tweeting: “Christ is the King. He was born today so we could be saved. Its sad & disappointing you are politicizing such a holy day.”
It was another story when Obama was a newly elected president.
WND reported in 2009 that artist Matthew J. Clark hosted a parade through the streets of Des Moines, Iowa, that featured a statue of newly inaugurated Obama being led on a donkey with palm fronds and a “Secret Service” escort. The imagery was plainly a reference to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Fred Love, a reporter for Lee Enterprises whose account was published by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, reported on the event.
“Progressing slowly down Locust and holding up traffic was a rubbery Barack Obama sculpture saddled on the back of a donkey,” Love writes. “A pair of black SUVs led the procession and two more trailed behind, Secret Service-style. A couple of the SUVs were decked out with tiny American flags.”
Love continued, “A few men led the Donkey down the street and a woman made her way along the sidewalk, keeping up with the procession and handing out palm branches to the few perplexed onlookers who had gathered on the sidewalks to see what the fuss was about.”
During Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, calendars for sale outside of the Democratic National Convention were even more direct by claiming one of the most famous Bible verses is a reference to Obama.
The calendar, by James Hickman, titled “Keep the Dream,” featured monthly photos of Obama and his family. However, the August 2013 photo featured a picture of what is supposedly the president’s birth certificate along with quoting John 3:16.
Other well-known members of the media were just as direct in their feelings about the president.
In a broadcast appearance with Piers Morgan, Barbara Walters admitted that the media regarded Obama as the “next messiah.”
“He made so many promises,” she said, The Blaze reported. “We thought that he was going to be – I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime, but – the next messiah. And the whole Obamacare or whatever you want to call it, that Affordable Health Act, it just hasn’t worked for him and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.”
While many in the media seemed to be skeptical of the RNC’s explanation for the email, they had no such compunction when Obama made a similar “verbal gaffe.”
The website obamaformessiah.com notes that Obama, in reference to Morgan Freeman portraying God in the film “Bruce Almighty,” said, “This guy was president before I was. … This guy was God before I was.”
Despite the wording, no one in the mainstream media apparently took the time to contact the White House or DNC to ask for a comment on whether this meant Obama believed he was God.
The site contains other quotes by well-known media figures.
“This is bigger than Kennedy. … This is the New Testament.” … I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event.” — Chris Matthews
“Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate.. … He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh. … Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves.” — Ezra Klein