Slate editor calls Obama speech style 'fascistic'
While the speaking style of Barack Obama has been called inspirational by many observers, a top editor for a major opinion leading publication in Washington issued a serious criticism of the senator's public persona last Friday. The deputy editor of a major online magazine spent time in a weekly podcast explaining how the style of Senator Barack Obama shares much in common with the speech of fascist dictators like Benito Mussolini.
"That's slightly fascistic," David Plotz, the deputy editor at Slate.com said in the magazine's weekly podcast when one of his fellow editors brought up Obama's style. "That's a very, like, let's rally the nation. I don't want to be rallied."
After his fellow Slate editors lightly gibed him for his statement, he continued the point:
My brother who is an academic wrote this wonderful book about crowds, and crowd theory. And one of the sort of lessons that he's always imparted to me is just that crowds are terrifying. Crowds are horrifying for the most part because they have a will of their own, and they act independently of rationality. And I think that Obama relies hugely on that. That's not to say, I don't, I still support him, but I don't like that fascistic, I like him not for the fascistic elements of his candidacy, which I think are profound.
Earlier, Plotz had acknowledged that he has not, in fact, attended any Obama speeches.
Plotz also appeared to imply that while he was worried about Obama's supposed penchant for "fascistic speech," he was less concerned with civil liberties issues broadly. As co-podcaster and Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon discussed the controversy over the reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and President Bush's program of warrantless wiretapping, Plotz made it demonstrably clear that he was bored by the discussion.
"I forgot my BlackBerry," he joked.
The full podcast can be listened to at the Slate website.