Skip to comments.The Four-Year Honeymoon (Will the press ever give Obama tough coverage?)
Posted on 01/05/2013 4:34:57 PM PST by Kaslin
President Obama never disappoints. When the monthly unemployment rate fails to drop, forget it. Whats important is the number of jobs created. But when the rate actually does drop, forget the growth (or lack of it) in jobs. Its the rate that matters. And dont blame Obama for the persistence of slow economic growth and high joblessness. Thats the new normal. As for the millions of dropouts from the job market, thats no big deal, hardly worth more than a passing mention.
Full credit is due Obama for his role in the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. He was cleverly leading from behind. But the killing of the American ambassador to Libya and three others in Benghazithe president bears no responsibility for that. Perish the thought.
Meanwhile, in the months before his reelection in November, Obama doled out government favors to Democratic interest groups like unions, Hispanics, teachers, and single women. This may have looked like shameless exploitation of his high office, but it really was unusually skillful politicking by a master of the game.
My drift here ought to be obvious. Im referring to the way the media treat Obama. Its not always adoring. Its intermittently fair and even-handed. But overall, whats distinctive about the press coverage of Obama is the absence of fault-finding, criticism, and dogged questioning. And when Obama makes excuses, as he often does, the media tend to echo them.
No president in my lifetime has been covered so favorably and so gingerly. Never has the press corps been so unwilling to pursue stories that might cast the president in an unflattering light. As a group, the media pride themselves on taking an adversarial approach to politicians and government officials. But in Obamas case, the press acts like a helpmate.
Along with that, the media seem fearful of offending Obama. This is a new phenomenon in presidential coverage. To my recollection, Obama is the first president to instill coverage anxiety, conscious or unconscious.
Compare Obamas coverage with that of President George W. Bush. The difference is startling. There was no fear of affronting Bush. He faced relentless scrutiny of his tactics in the war on terror: wiretaps, renditions, Guantánamo, the Patriot Act. The media raised questions about his motives, the constitutionality of his policies, and his brainpower. White House press conferences became tense and hostile events when national security issues were broached.
Obamas adoption of these same policies has drawn minimal attention, much less the kind of media wrath that Bush endured. Last week, for example, Obama signed a bill extending the use of warrentless wiretapping to gather intelligence on Americas enemies. Bush was harshly criticized by the media on this very issue. Obama got a pass.
Bush was also hassled for so-called signing statements citing provisions of a bill he might not enforce. Charlie Savage, then of the Boston Globe, won a Pulitzer Prize for his revelations about Bushs practice. And, not surprisingly, Obama promised not to do signing statements. Yet he has continued the practice, eliciting some coverage, but none of the outrage that was directed at Bush.
In his efforts to combat terrorism, Bush was accused of exceeding presidential authority. But Obama has made recess appointments when the Senate wasnt in recess and rewritten parts of immigration and welfare law by executive order, clearly stretching his authority beyond constitutional limits. The press praised the immigration change and winked at the others.
It doesnt take much imagination to come up with actions that would have aroused the press if committed by Bush, but didnt with Obama. The list is long. Both the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal and the Benghazi killings would have led to months of stories, investigative reports, and outraged commentary. But the media proved to be largely incurious in Obamas case.
Hurricane Sandy created damage in the billions in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. The role of Obama and his administration in handling the emergency was scarcely addressed. Its doubtful Bush would have been let off so easily. He certainly wasnt in 2005 after Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast.
What if Bush had claimed in speech after speech that Democrats who opposed his policies were putting party before country? The media response to an insinuation that Democrats were unpatriotic would have been along the lines of, How dare the president make such a dastardly claim! But repeated mentions of party before country by Obama have been treated as perfectly acceptable.
And what if Bush had insisted on selective enforcement of federal immigration law and refused to defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton? Or if the Bush White House had leaked highly classified national security intelligence to make the president look good? The press would have been in high dudgeon and rightly so. But Obama, guilty on both counts, received media immunity.
Broken promises are the least of Obamas shortcomings. But the press corps loves to zing presidents for reneging on campaign vows. Obama, as I recall, promised a press conference a month, an immigration bill his first year in office, regular meetings with leaders of both parties in Congress, and unprecedented transparency throughout his administration. He kept none of them, prompting media near-silence.
Might the treatment of Obama harden in his second term? Im moderately hopeful. I suspect a few in the media are privately embarrassed by the oh-so-soft coverage and would like to apply some accountability to the Obama presidency. If they do, theyll discover Obama disappoints like other presidents and perhaps more often.
Watching the press go gaga over Obamalamadingdong reminded me of what I read in history about the Russian media on Stalin and what happened in China and also North Korea. It’s exactly the same thing.
Intermittenly means occasionally and he is right in that
I thought this was an interesting observation, and I think it's true. They're actually afraid of him.
Part of it, of course, is the fear of saying anything negative about anybody with any African heritage, but I think they're also afraid individually of attracting negative attention from him.
He doesn't treat any of them very well - they are actually not allowed to sit in the same part of the plane, even though Bush and all other presidents used to let the press come and hang out with them while traveling, and he has incredibly few press conferences. Also, he was supposedly angered by what he perceived as questioning from one or two of them (back in the days when he had press conferences where they were allowed to ask questions that weren't pre-arranged and pre-approved) and eliminated them from the list of participants. I guess they're lucky that's all he did.
But I think they are afraid of him.
Scu&bags will not criticize fellow scu&bags.
The ironic thing is it is against the presses best interest to promote communism and their boy Obama. Stalin didn’t need a big press corps. In contrast to our “free press” the Stalinist propaganda wing probably had thousands of fewer press agents.
Only when they run out or 0bammabrand anal lip balm.
Imagine if Bush had blamed everything that went on under his watch on Congress.
I’ve never seen anything like it. We’ve got a president that is, in effect, a dictator and the press seem fine with it. The next 4 years are going to be a dangerous downward spiral for freedom, liberty and American ideals.
As non-conservative a president as Romney would have been, it beats having zero in the position because we would have kept Romney’s feet to the fire, as would have the press. Romney wouldn’t have gotten away with anything.
With zero in office, there is no press. It’s a fan club. And any objections we raise about him are either ignored or tossed aside with the claim of “racism”.
Thanks, again, to all of those who couldn’t vote for Romney. Enjoy the next four years of world adoration of zero.
Nice, too bad MSM types don’t read here more often.
I just laugh at people now and tell em conversations over or rather it’s been aborted by obtuse idiocy.
“The Four-Year Honeymoon (Will the press ever give Obama tough coverage?)”
Mr. Barnes, if you are stupid enough to be asking this question, you simply don’t deserve the position in which you’re currently employed.
No use wasting my time to read your writing...
The media has no gag reflex.
Who has challenged ‘The Media’ over their fawning regard for obozo? Unlike the president, members of the media NEVER subject themselves to a press conference. They never have to answer for their actions. Fred sits on panels on live TV, but I don’t recall him ever saying “you’re talking rubbish” to his co-panelists.