Fred Barnes, writing for the Weekly Standard seems to think the MSM’s extreme pro-Obama bias has ended up hurting our beloved “Naked Emperor” in Obama’s Enablers:
As a rule, the press is the scourge of presidents. They’re expected to endure unending scrutiny, mistrust, and badgering—plus hostility if they’re Republicans—by a hectoring herd of reporters and commentators in the mainstream media. But there’s an exception to the rule: President Obama.
It’s counterintuitive, but Obama has been hurt by the media’s leniency. Both his presidency and reelection prospects have suffered. He’s grown lazy and complacent. The media have encouraged him to believe his speeches are irresistible political catnip, though they aren’t. His overreliance on words hasn’t helped.
The kind of media pressure that can cause a president to sharpen his game, act with urgency, or take bolder steps—that has never been applied to Obama. If it had, I suspect he’d be a more effective, disciplined, energetic, and popular president today. Ronald Reagan is a good role model in this regard. When the media attacked him over gaffes in the 1980 campaign, “Reagan responded like all competitive men by working to improve himself,” says Reagan historian Craig Shirley. “Experience taught him to be better and try harder.” He took this lesson into the White House.
I don’t want to exaggerate the media’s baneful influence on Obama. It’s hardly the main reason for his decline. It’s a secondary reason, and it continues to have an impact.
Well, I would say that as a rule, since around 1980, the MSM’s “unending scrutiny, mistrust, and badgering” has almost entirely been directed at Republican Presidents. Reagan, Bush senior and Bush Jr were constantly pounded by the media. I distinctly remember feeling awful for Bush Sr. after he got sick at the Japanese State Dinner. And I was shocked at how unfair the ensuing uproar was:
Yes, it was treated like it was “public meltdown”, (like there was some great personal failing involved) not that he had just very unfortunately fell ill in public. Nausea is obviously not something you can control, yet they mercilessly made fun of him anyway. And this happened back when there was not as much conservative media to push back their unfair narratives.
The MSM mostly looked the other way during Clinton years whether it was any of the numerous “Gates” that plagued his administration, or something minor like Clinton being seen merrily yukking it up at Ron Brown’s funeral, then quickly biting his lip and wiping a tear away when he spotted the TV cameras.
They circled the wagons for their man — especially during Lewinsky-gate. Clinton was almost as dishonest as Obama – I say almost because no one will ever be able to hold a candle to Obama when it comes to lying to the American people.
(You know, there’s a reason why the left screeched that George Bush was a liar for eight long years. They know that their own guys are pathological liars, and they’re actually okay with that when it’s their own guys. When Republicans hold power, they project their own sides’ pathologies onto them, thinking conservatives are the same way. We see this over and over and over and over again. It actually explains all those charges of “reich-wing” fascism, through the years, too. We see what happens when they’re in charge, and it ain’t pretty.)
The thing about the media bias for Obama is that it has never before been this blatant, this uniform, or this extreme. It’s not just that the MSM doesn’t pressure their hero — they actively bury stories that are damaging to him, while viciously going after his enemies. And they unquestioningly parrot his talking points. That’s pretty darn helpful, there’s no getting around it. Most people still blame Bush for Obama’s crappy economy. That’s thanks to Obama’s praetorian guard.
In Washington, the plight of the jobless has been underplayed, and not only by the media. The White House has promised for two years to “pivot” to an agenda stressing job creation, but still hasn’t made the turn. On his three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Obama seemed oblivious to the depth of the unemployment trauma.
“Private sector job growth is good,” he said in Alpha, Illinois. In reality, it’s bad and getting worse. “The economy is now growing again,” he said. Barely. Obama said trade deals and patent reform would promote hiring, if only Congress would approve them. But it’s the president who has delayed the trade treaties, and both houses of Congress have passed patent reform measures.
The media routinely give Obama a pass on such stuff. On the tour, Obama insisted, as he has many times before, that he saved the nation from a “Great Depression.” So far as I know, the press has never challenged this dubious claim. But it is belied by the fact the recession came to an official end in June 2009, months before Obama’s policies could have played more than a minimal role.
Ask yourself this: If unemployment were treated by the media today as the top national issue, as it was in 1982 and 1983 when Reagan was president, would Obama be dawdling? Not likely. The jobless rate then was only slightly higher than it is now. But in those days, the press focused relentlessly on the jobless.
The premise here, unless I’m mistaken, is that the “dawdling” president would do more to make things better if only he were challenged more by his friends in the media. But this is Marxist ideologue, Obama we’re talking about, and he isn’t dawdling - he has been quite actively destroying the economy since day one of his tenure. Let’s look at the evidence: Besides the non-stop spend-a-thon, his administration has been pummeling businesses with burdensome regulations, moratoriums, absurd NLRB demands, and looming tax increases. His desire to pick winners and losers is leading to the destruction of entire industries.
These aren’t the actions of someone who’s trying to “create jobs” in a free, capitalistic economy.
If you look at what Obama is doing as Cloward Piven on steroids, only then it begins to make sense. Can anyone really be this incompetent?
Barack Obama has spent the last 1,000+ days defying reason and choosing policy directions that seem nonsensical to the rational mind: a failed stimulus package; ObamaCare; growing the deficit to astronomical proportions; and cynically portraying wealth as immoral. Now, when cuts are the only fix to a budgetary balloon about to burst, a seemingly illogical President digs in and demands additional phantom dollars to spend on a system that is collapsing under the weight of unmanageable debt.
It’s hard to figure out the method to the President’s obvious madness, because based on Obama’s approval rating, if the election were held today even Pee Wee Herman could replace Obama behind the Resolute Desk. Maybe the “method” isn’t “mad” in the least!
Could it be that Barack Obama is purposely pressuring the system in a premeditated effort to foster a major crisis? One that would demand extraordinary measures to control by a President who could then mete out basic sustenance to Americans who would agree to anything to regain some sense of normalcy. And in the process successfully usher in the “socially just” system Barack Obama has dreamed of all his life.
While radical Alinsky/Cloward-Piven disciple Obama appears to be clueless and detached, it may be a ploy; he may actually be focused and engaged as he purposely pursues an Alinsky-inspired course of action to force the system to “live up” to its own rules. Obama’s ultimate goal of once-and-for-all discrediting the capitalist system and replacing America’s foundational economic and social tenets with a broad-based socialist one headed by progressive Marxists like himself, is actually within reach.
As Obama pushes and prods the US economy and instigates social unrest, it could be that he believes a Cloward-Piven-style utopia resides just beyond the horizon — a progressive panacea where an election-free, classless society, thankful for a simple crust of bread, looks to Barack Obama to keep the peace by remaining in power indefinitely.
Obama is leading the organized left’s charge to fundamentally transform America.
This is what Obama’s enablers are enabling.
More thoughts from:
Joy McCann of The Conservatory