Sherrod: President Obama plays media critic (again)

President Obama is back playing media critic -- a role he often assumes whenever his administration stumbles.

I wrote about the wretched performance of the press in relationship to the doctored tape of Shirley Sherrod as early as Tuesday morning. Read Tuesday pieces from me here and here.


We have plenty of real media critics; we don't need self-serving, second-rate media analysis from the president. What we need from the Oval Office is leadership and standards that don't change with the winds of public opinion.

Think how differently the Sherrod story would have played if the White House wouldn't have ordered her dismissal on the basis of one doctored videotape at a right-wing website.

Here's President Obama from an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" Friday spinning and playing media and culture critic.

Really, for all the partisan attacks and fingerpointing now going on among the ideologue gangs, just think how differently things would have gone if Monday afternoon instead of demanding Sherrod's resignation (before anyone appeared on Fox News calling for it), the president's team had said they want to authenticate the tape and investigate the matter before taking any action? Isn't that what anyone would expect their bosses to do?

But not this White House, and now President Obama wants to use it as a another one of those teachable moments -- with him as teacher-in-chief, of course.

"If there's a lesson to be drawn from this episode, it's that rather than us jumping to conclusions and pointing fingers at each other, we should all look inward and try to examine what's in our own hearts and, as a consequence," the president told Elisabeth Leamy, of ABC News, "I think we will continue to make progress," he said.

Spare me the the lesson about media and culture, Mr. President, please.

You know, I can't help but think of Harry Truman. For all his issues with the press, he took the blame for his mistakes and didn't try to scapegoat anyone else for them.

But here is our president today blaming Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the media: "He jumped the gun, partly because we now live in this media culture where something goes up on YouTube or a blog and everybody scrambles,"

Yes, everybody including the president.