After being bombarded with spin, stonewalling and lies, it doesn't take long for a journalist to become a cynic. Skepticism grows along with a thick skin and a demeanor where one needs to ask the tough questions. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. If not the journalist, then whom?
In my column yesterday questioning the merit of President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize after only nine months in office, I wrote that neither Obama nor the White House staff knew he had been nominated, "as far as we can tell."
At least one reader took offense, claiming I was a hack making a cheap shot and comparing me with Glenn Beck. Fine. My first reaction was putting me and Beck in the same sentence is an oxymoron.
The cynic in me made me do it. It's not as though I don't believe the White House surprise. Rather, I find it incredulous Obama's staff was clueless. Someone or group nominated the president. Word gets around, usually.
My suspicion -- and, yes, it comes from out of left field -- is it came from someone/group associated or on the fringe of Obama's presidential campaign committee. There's nothing wrong or sinister about that. I would like to know.
I could be wrong, but I don't think the Nobel committee releases the names of those who nominate candidates. But, that doesn't prevent the supporters to come forth on their own.
Why do I make a mini issue about this? It goes to motive and transparency. Let's assume it was the president's campaign people for the sake of argument. I say more power to them for they successfully extended their man to the most prestigious award on earth although I maintain it was a calculated gamble since Obama was only in office 13 days before the Feb. 1 filing deadline.
The problem I have is I can't conceive anyone or group totally independent from the political spectrum of the Obama advocacy family entering his name on a lark or sincere desire. These happenings don't occur in a vacuum.
The Nobel committee made the award on the precept Obama has changed world opinion for peace and climate change compared to what they considered the unilateral war-mongering Bush administration. Nobel judges hope the award will continue Obama's momentum to accomplish the goals he has set out to meet so far by his words.
In this context, the Obama nominators held a royal straight flush playing into that mind-set. If that nomination came from the Obama people, they deserve the chutzpah award of the century.
Just to set the record straight, my column yesterday was my way of honestly complimenting Obama for receiving the award. I'm happy he won and proud he is a fellow American and the award gives him the political stature, clout and momentum to achieve the goals he has set out to accomplish.
But I remain a cynic. We observed how he took seemingly forever to close the deal in the primaries before finally defeating Hillary Clinton for the nomination. As president, we are waiting for him to seal the deal on health care and climate change legislation. The list keeps on growing as the political process plays out its snails-pace path.
Obama is a Cy Young starting pitcher but as a closer he's still working in the minors.