Is Obama Too Hot, Too Cold … or Just Right?

To illustrate what he deems corporate media’s “arbitrary and often contradictory standards set for Barack Obama as a black candidate,” Tapped blogger Adam Serwer (9/26/08) quotes a New York TimesPolitical Memo” by Patrick Healy that complains the candidate “is sometimes out of sync with the visceral anger of Americans who are losing their jobs and homes” because “his tone and volume, body language, facial expressions and words convey a certain distance from the ache that many voters feel.” After noting that “this analysis is contradicted by all available polling information,” Serwer asserts that “race is the very reason this article was written”:

This is an example of journalism reinforcing the very trends it purports to examine. It’s what can be called “Goldilocks Racism”–¬Ěthe idea that black people are always too hot or too cold and only white people can be just right. If Obama were showing a great deal of populist anger on the stump, we would be treated to reams of analysis about how he is “too hot,” regardless of what the polls said.
We’ve been down this road before. In the beginning of the campaign, Obama was too professorial. Later, there was too much high-flying rhetoric. Is he too smart? Is he a lightweight? Too black? Not black enough?… This isn’t a problem with Obama; this is a problem with us.

See the FAIR publication Extra! Update: Endorsing a Different Standard (4/08) by Isabel Macdonald