Netflix debuts its Obama Manifesto


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Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto By Armond White

Posted By Ruth King on August 23rd, 2019

The media celebrate the arrival of the new ministers of propaganda.

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit.

Reviews of American Factory, a doc by indie veterans Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, were not reliable accounts of the film’s quality. Its lack of focus following a Chinese manufacturer’s takeover of a former General Motors plant in Ohio — a move that fails to relieve working-class anxieties but, instead, predicts job-market doom — didn’t faze flacks and reviewers. The media class saw Reichert and Bognar’s facile, generalized survey as a chance to take on President Trump’s trade policy; many jettisoned film critique to try their hand at economic and moral analysis instead.

Those in power have usurped the old bromide “speaking truth to power.” They now speak rhetoric to the masses.

This deliberate misinterpretation of American Factory was, in fact, amplification of the political design that, no doubt, was always part of Netflix’s game plan when it signed Barack and Michelle Obama jointly to an impresario contract. (The monetary figure remains undisclosed, but the timing of Netflix’s offer corresponded with the Obamas’ well-publicized $65 million publishing agreements, proof of the media industry’s enthusiastic support of the former White House occupants in their role as cultural influencers.)


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I think we knew what was coming. He's inserting himself into the public discourse via an alternate broadcast medium. He just can't stay out of things like the former presidents did. He's such a narcissist, he can't help himself. You think people would learn how to move on with their lives but he can't. I think one thing that raked him was Trump rolling back everything he enacted. It caused him to want to assert himself again. Just can't stop.