Skip to comments.The U.S. Media: Another Casualty of Benghazi
Posted on 09/13/2012 11:07:26 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
As a former ambassador and a native Spanish-speaker, I receive many requests from Spanish-language media in the U.S. when foreign policy or a global event requires explanation. The attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts in North Africa this week were no exception.
Since, like most Americans, I was saddened though not surprised at the senseless deaths of four more U.S. citizens at the hands of terrorists, I gladly accepted the invitations from the Hispanic media in various corners of the U.S. to comment. I was not prepared, however, for the singleminded focus of the questions: They were not as interested in the tragedy itself, or the causes of the violence in the region, or the need to protect our Foreign Service Officers as they were by the political impact of the event on the Romney campaign! They focused not so much on the persistence of extremism in Muslim countries, or the apparently surprising resurgence of anti-Americanism in a country, Libya, that we had helped to liberate from oppression barely months ago. No, the questions on such an unhappy and bewildering day focused instead on whether Mitt Romney had made a mistake in commenting prematurely and in bad taste on the events in North Africa, therefore injecting politics into the national tragedy.
Then I saw on television the (September 12) press conference in Florida by Governor Romney where practically all the questions put to the candidate were on his statement the night before criticizing Obama, not on his view on the region, his foreign-policy plans, or his views on how to reduce tensions in the area. This similarity in media questions is not an accident: It is another example of how the Democrats dictate the media agenda.
Why do the media pass on tough foreign-policy questions to a president that came into office saying that he would end U.S. conflicts with four of the most brutal and anti-American dictatorships in the world Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela by simply sitting down with the respective despots but instead proceeded to either ignore or appease each one of them? How did that novel personal diplomacy with Chavez, Castro, Ahmadinejad, and Kim work out for you, Mr. President? Are democracy and freedom better off today in North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela than four years ago?
It is an insult to our intelligence for this administration to criticize Mitt Romney for stating the obvious: that the initial statement made public by the U.S., as a mob attacked our embassy in Cairo, was not a condemnation of the attackers but an apology for U.S. freedom of speech.
As obnoxious as the anti-Mohammed video may be, millions of Americans have died since 1775 to preserve the sacred right to the freedom of speech. Extremists who kill women for not wearing a veil or men for trying to change the way they pray to the same God do not have grounds on which to stand to criticize the U.S. Moreover, the implication in the embassys statement that anti-American terrorists in the Middle East need excuses to kill Americans or to attack U.S. embassies is pathetic.
The embassys statement was so bad that even the Obama White House was forced to remove it from official embassy websites only 16 hours after it was posted, but not before the White House and the press had pilloried the Republican candidate that dared to point out to his fellow American the sheer audacity of the statement itself.
We have marveled at how clever this administration has been at manipulating the media. But it really has not been that shrewd: The media have been seduced willingly, because they are still enamored of Obama. Are there no professional journalists left in the mainstream media who see the connection between the steady decline of their professions prestige and profits on one hand and on the other the ease with which they jettison their vaunted objectivity when writing or broadcasting about this administration?
In the absence of professionals, are there no adults who worry about the disappearance of newspapers or news programming from prestige papers or networks? Are there no supervisors? What about the owners of these outlets? As a citizen, and as someone who begins each day with one liberal and one centrist newspaper, and foreign and out-of-town journals online, and who truly enjoys the stain of ink on his hands and the discovery of an occasional unexpected jewel of reporting when turning a page, I am saddened by the decline of journalism. It may be a cliché, but clichés survive for a reason: a free press is one basic element of a democracy. Those irresponsible, biased reporters who put their ideology above their professional responsibility are helping to undermine this great democracy, not just to terminate their occupation.
Otto J. Reich is former Ambassador of the United States to Venezuela and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs.
One of the things I loved the most about Sarah Palin is that she understood how truly tied to the enemy they were.
With each passing day, the media goes to greater and greater lengths to protect Obama. To someone with even a remotely critical eye, it’s embarrassing shameful to see.
I shudder to think that a large number of Americans will adopt the media’s position that all of this is the fault of the filmmakers, rather than by America’s enemies emboldened by Obama’s weakness and Islamist sympathies.
The 'media' are the fifth column enemy of The Republic. They work for the enemy now in power ruling over America. Guillotines from orbit ... 'it's the only way to be sure.'
Good question, Otto. The obvious answer is: NO.
The MSM are the most powerful political force in America, and they know it.
The MSM are NOT the propaganda wing of Obama’s Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party is the political wing of the MSM.
Reich nails it here. I have a brother who was a member of the Young Republicans and actively campaigned for Goldwater back int the 60’s. He then went off to journalism school. His political outlook and objectivity morphed into a very narrow world view.
No matter how much evidence you show him, he cannot see his political world view as bias inducing. These guys think they could be Satan worshipers and yet still write objectively for Christianity Today. It’s a combination of extreme conceit coupled with a very pure form of narcissism. It’s why they so easily identify with libtards.
I believe it was that great conservative Republican Al Gore who explained how Bill Clinton looked at things. It was something like.....
“You and I see a car wreck and we think ‘Oh no!’ Bill Clinton sees a car wreck and thinks ‘How can I get political advantage from this?’”
That’s how the Democrats see things.
Otto, it is not manipulation. It is telling them and they going along willingly. I honestly believe if he told them to commit suicide, they would do so without hesitation.
Been thinking that myself...
I do not believe that the media is “enamored” of Obama. They are ENAMORED and SLAVISHLY devoted to any and all persons, idea, philosophies, and aims of the far left.
The name at the top could well be any name, with roots from anywhere and the feelings would be the same.
The American Media has lost ALL respect and has proven the case against its current existence.
When we KNOW, in advance, what the opinion of any denizen of the MSM on any subject, why should we bother with them.
In my opinion, if Mitt Romney mentioned that the views of the Bavarian Alps was breathtaking, the headlines at 11PM would trumpet that “Romney repeats Hitler quote.”
It’s the American Idol press. They are gay porn row edgy and smash mouth sassy. Smart - not so much.
What's wrong with the MSM? Are they committing industry wide suicide on purpose? People 'trust' the press about as much as they trust used car salesmen. Is that what they want?