If President Obama was the darling of that so-called liberal media, he is certainly its biggest enemy today.
Instead, he’s basically a lame duck pariah who now has the full attention of every broadcast analyst, Internet blogger and newspaper columnist, editorial board and newsroom in America in the worst possible way.
Fox News and MSNBC ideologically? What issue of the day will have the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times skipping through a grassy meadow hand in hand?
That would be the way the 44th president of the United States and his administration are ripping apart the principles and pages of the First Amendment to the Constitution, stripping away the protections and powers of a free media and turning reporters who want to expose truths into criminals and co-conspirators.
As much as people assume the media is in love with Obama, he has had a love-hate relationship with the press since he was first elected, being cagey with access and playing hardball with reporters and news outlets that he felt wronged him.
The recent invasive action by the Department of Justice over tracking down the source of leaks to the media, though, raises the stakes. This is no longer mere annoyance, but persecution and revenge.
Last week, it was learned that DOJ had secretly gathered months of phone records for about seven Associated Press journalists using multiple phones to find the leak responsible for sourcing a story about a terror plot foiled by the CIA.
Then, a Fox News reporter was labeled a “co-conspirator” in a criminal leak case DOJ was building against a defense contractor who was the source for a piece about North Korea’s nuclear testing plans.
This is a boring collection of news stories for anyone other than political junkies and members of the media, yet the ramifications are so wide-ranging. Obama’s White House and the DOJ are setting precedence that will take years to undo, both in hard results and in a rebranded general mistrust of the government by the media.
Although all the major news agencies are swinging for the fences this week against Obama’s lob ball, the truth is, it was only a matter of time before something big happened that revealed just how much Obama reviles the media and how the media has been laying in wait to whack him.
The New York Times and the Washington Post, even Fox News and “The Daily Show” have turned out some mighty meaty and entertaining, if not crushing, words against the White House this week.
But the most stinging criticism comes from journalism think tank, the Poynter Institute, in a piece written all the way back in February. Talk about calling your shot.
More than a handful of angry jabs, Poynter Online writer Andrew Beaujon ran through a history of Obama’s tensest moments with reporters, and all of them happened after the reporters veered from script, from White House talking points or when they pressed him on issues he didn’t want to talk about.
“The Washington Post landed its last on-the-record meeting with the president nearly four years ago, as did the Wall Street Journal; the New York Times last got to him in the fall of 2010. The Boston Globe has never had an interview while Obama was in office, nor has the Los Angeles Times, according to the Nexis database and the newspapers. Even Obama’s hometown papers, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, have been stiffed,” Beaujon relates.
What is truly scary is that a man who has pushed gun control, universal health care and immigration reform, who has “evolved” on gay marriage rights and who basically assumes a very progressive, moderate-to-liberal agenda, views the media through a dictator’s eyes.
We can only go by his actions, but his actions show that he is either attempting to quietly undo the First Amendment or is loudly acting as if it doesn’t exist. When he does that, well, how exactly can he pretend to have any respect or regard for the other nine amendments to Bill of Rights.