Like a lot of places, there was a good bit of post-election flag hoisting in my neighborhood, including a rather large one one my wife bought for the occasion.
This morning the N&O decided to take a look at what they call a resurgence of patriotism among the left. It's a rather formulaic story — couple of quotes from people who are now flying flags, couple of out-of-state professors explaining how we feel about the country back to us and, of course, a couple of paragraphs echoing right wing talking points from the campaign.
Though many Republicans -- including President Bush and Sen. John McCain -- have hailed the election of the first African-American president as a watershed moment in which Americans should take pride, others view the outburst of patriotism with feelings that range from chagrin to bewilderment. They find it ironic that Obama has inspired such feelings.
After all, they say, he's the same man who refused to wear a flag pin in his lapel, whose longtime spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, had chanted, "God damn America," and whose wife, Michelle, had said during the campaign: "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country."
As one might guess, the authors — or the editor that required these graphs — do not quote anyone saying these things.
Ordinarily, I really like the work of one of these journalists.
This story, though, is not among her best work.
It is also another worrisome example of how political coverage has devolved and how easy it is for an uncritical media to allow the heated rhetoric of a campaign to become part of mainstream dialog.