I once listened to a wise old man tell of his reaction to a Washington Post article in which the author spent the entire column bemoaning all that was wrong with the world. After having finished the column, the man stated he believed the article’s author had spent the week “sucking on pickles”.

The MSM, in general, is populated by Pickle Suckers. They spend their time looking for the worst of the worst to write, talk, or speak about because – in the end – the reporter’s axiom rings true: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

Yesterday, the Associated Press – obviously lacking any real news to report – saw fit to fill its bandwidth quota with a declaration that “Everything seemingly is spinning out of control”. In it, authors Alan Fram and Eileen Putnam take the reader on a whirlwind tour of Katrina ravaged New Orleans and flood soaked Iowa and Missouri. The United States is gripped in a malaise fueled despair reminiscent of the Carter years. Want to get away? Your dollar is worthless and it costs too much to fly anyway.

No, you won’t find any solace in sports or TV. Between steroids and the writer’s strike there’s nothing worth watching. What is the conclusion of Fram & Putnam? Well, its not a rosy one:

Why the vulnerability? After all, this is the 21st century, not a more primitive past when little in life was assured. Surely people know how to fix problems now.

Maybe. And maybe this is what the 21st century will be about — a great unraveling of some things long taken for granted.

Fram & Putnam aren’t alone in their love of Pickle Juice. Last week ABCNews’ Sarah Namias opened up her column with this question:

Are we living in the last century of our civilization? Is it possible that all of our technology, knowledge and wealth cannot save us from ourselves? Could our society actually be heading towards collapse?

Is there no optimism at all in today’s media? Even the predictions of 1900 were not this dire and pessimistic.

Yes, dear reader, we’re all going to die. Most of us will be pushing up daisies well before the end of this century. ABC will broadcast Earth 2100 in September – just in time to convince voters the world will literally end if they put another Republican in the Oval Office this fall.

America looks to her President for leadership in troubled times. There’s a big difference between a candidacy built on empty rhetoric and one built on tested leadership. Ronald Reagan won two terms in the Oval because he made people feel good about America after the Carter debacle. Reagan made people believe America was the shining city on the hill – the example the rest of the world could aspire to.

I don’t get that vibe from Obama. I believe, as he looks out over America’s fruited plain, he sees through much the same lens as the pickle sucking MSM correspondents. He sees a country that eats too much, drives the wrong cars, and lives in better houses than it needs. Life is too good for too few.

Obama’s answer to this problem is not to improve life for the masses, but rather to worsen the life of those for whom life is better. Rather than increase wealth he will redistribute poverty. His plan for progress is to have America take a gigantic step backwards so the rest of the world can feel better about itself.

America needs a leader, not an empty suit that looks, acts, and is lost once the teleprompter goes dark. Spare me the pickle juice cocktail, Mr. Obama. I’ll stick to Guaraná.