Waxing Poetic about Obama

The achievement of Senator Barack Obama, who's widely reported to have clinched the Democratic nomination for president, demanded some memorable words, and Channel 4 morning anchor Tom Mustin (pictured) was ready, willing and able to supply them. On a June 4 broadcast, he said, "It's a historic day in American history." That's the equivalent of declaring, "It's a mighty blue day for the color blue" -- and besides, the really historic day was the one when the event actually happened, not the one that followed. After all, Franklin Roosevelt didn't make a speech declaring December 8, 1941 to be the day that would live in infamy.

Granted, Mustin wasn't the only journalist whose Obama commentary seemed to have been vetted by the Department of Redundancy Department. A June 4 CNN piece on the topic begins, "Barack Obama made history Tuesday night when he became the first African-American in U.S. history to clinch a major party's presidential nomination."

Clearly, in the history of history, few historical events have been so historically historical. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts