Media bias is not just a “problem” or an “annoyance.” It is a fundamental challenge to the political health and future of America.
The Obama-Media Love Affair
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From early on in the Obama Presidency, it was apparent that the mainstream media were virtually an arm of the Democratic Party. At the White House Correspondents dinner back in May 2009, the President openly joked: “I am Barack Obama…most of you covered me…all of you voted for me.” They laughed with glee at the open secret that the mainstream media are biased in favor of the President.
In a terrific piece in The Weekly Standard, executive editor Fred Barnes sums it up well when he says that “No president in my lifetime has been covered so favorably and so gingerly.” In what Barnes calls “The Four-Year Honeymoon,” he says that “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.”
In the first press conference after the November 2012 election, the President took a question from reporter Christi Parsons. Before she was able to ask her question, the President said: “Christi was there when I was running for state senate…so Christi and I go back a ways.” To which Parsons fawningly replied, “I’ve never seen you lose.”
So it comes as no surprise that in virtually every controversy and every policy debate during the Obama Presidency, the mainstream media have covered for Barack Obama. The hypocrisy, however, is striking when compared to the coverage given to George W. Bush, and that duplicity was recently described in painful detail by Barnes:
It doesn’t take much imagination to come up with actions that would have aroused the press if committed by Bush, but didn’t 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 Obama’s 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. It’s doubtful Bush would have been let off so easily. He certainly wasn’t 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.
We might have thrown in Obama’s less-than-transparent past, his radical influences, and other potential scandals. But Barnes made a strong case for this disturbing reality.
At the recent AIM conference, ObamaNation: A Day of Truth, Pat Caddell described the mainstream media as “the enemy of the American people” because they now decide “what truth…you may know as an American, and what truth you are not allowed to know.” Indeed, media bias is not just a “problem” or an “annoyance.” It is a fundamental challenge to the political health and future of America.