Rolling Stone: Hey, who wants to read 6,000 words about how gosh darn terrific this Obama guy is? 

On the heels of  an an interview so fawning it might as well have been bylined by Bambi in Rolling Stone’s October 15 issue, the magazine is now publishing a 6,000 word defense of his “truly historic presidency” in its October 28 issue. Because really, who can get enough of how amazing this guy is?:

But if the passions of Obama’s base have been deflated by the compromises he made to secure historic gains like the Recovery Act, health care reform and Wall Street regulation, that gloom cannot obscure the essential point: This president has delivered more sweeping, progressive change in 20 months than the previous two Democratic administrations did in 12 years. “When you look at what will last in history,” historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells Rolling Stone, “Obama has more notches on the presidential belt.”

In fact, when the history of this administration is written, Obama’s opening act is likely to be judged as more impressive than any president’s — Democrat or Republican — since the mid-1960s. “If you’re looking at the first-two-year legislative record,” says Ornstein, “you really don’t have any rivals since Lyndon Johnson — and that includes Ronald Reagan.”

If wrecking the health insurance industry, gutting Medicare, 9.6 percent unemployment and record Wall Street salaries even as profits are down count as big progressive victories, then I guess that makes me of those Obama antagonists that wants the president to fail.

I am, however, mystified about how a magazine, which is for reasons unknown, is still sporadically capable of churning out some great reporting, seems hellbent on sacrificing any shred of credibility it has left by going so deep in the tank for a foundering president. Just a few months ago, Rolling Stone wrote a terrific piece on the Gulf oil spill that raked the Obama administration over the coals for their handling of the situation. And bizarrely, it was written by the same guy who also wrote the lexical tongue bath quoted above. But I guess this is just one reason why Rolling Stone hasn’t been culturally relevant for the last 15 years or so.

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Mark Hemingway

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