The Star Tribune's Rohan Preston reviews the musical Wicked, opening in Minneapolis this past week:
the darkly comic musical by Stephen Schwartz (music and lyrics) and Winnie Holzman (book) has overt references from our political discourse, including "regime change" in Oz. And good witch Glinda is Sarah Palin-like in her sense of herself and her mangling of the language.
Kind of a limp effort there. "Sense of herself" is vague, bordering on meaningless. Allegations of "mangling the language" are factually incorrect as a criticism of Palin. Even her most virulent critics did not claim that she was Bush-like in her rhetoric. She was a closed-minded scourge. She was Stalinesque. She was the Wicked Witch of Wasilla. (How did a liberal journalist reviewing "Wicked" miss that one?) Yet, the girl is a gifted speaker (a former TV journalist no less!) -- never a language mangler.
Of course, being a liberal journalist, Preston has to take smug shots at Republicans, even in a forum not dedicated to politics. That's the way he sees the world and he cannot control himself. The editors and publishers of this monopoly newspaper don't care, or don't know how to, create a product that doesn't go out of its way to alienate 44% of its potential audience.
Fine. This we are accustomed to. But this weak, perfunctory libel is a new development. And I think a positive result of the new Obama nation.
Liberals in the press, secure in their ability to have fellow travelers in power, will have less need to be vicious and hyperbolic when degrading the reputations of their political foes. Yes, they will still have the need to take shots at Republicans, even from the non-political beats. That's part of who they are. But, instead of desperately trying to scare people away from even considering voting for those demon Republicans, from a position of power they can be more pitying and condescending in nature and have a lighter touch in stamping out dissent.
I just have to say, for the expected four years of moderately less intense assaults on our character in the press, thank you Barrack Obama. This is change we can believe in.