Tag Archives: Chris Cillizza

The Obama Administration, the Mainstream Media and the Death of Journalism

It’s nothing new to point out that the mainstream media has placed itself as the tool of the Obama Administration. However, over the past 24 hours, that contention has taken on a truly frightening meaning. Bluntly, it seems that there are countless examples of the media regurgitating whatever the Obama Administration spoon feeds it, and passing it off as journalism. It’s gone beyond the point of even considering fact-checking, and “news” has become almost purely opinions pieces – not “straight journalism.”

DonkeyHotey (CC)

While examples of this abound, the focus here will be on the mainstream media hijacking the narrative to place this administration in a good light, and it will include a true opinion piece – not something that’s being schlepped as real news. The Fix from the Washington Post passed along a lovely example of this wonderland mentality that really doesn’t have a firm grasp on reality. Now, to be fair, this item was probably started before the events in the Middle East, and just maybe, Chris Cillizza might change his tune a little bit once the actual political fallout from these events come home to roost, so to speak. But, as of this morning, his contention is that Mitt Romney is panicking, and he dutifully offered some comments from some Republicans on this. Of course, it should go without saying that the Romney camp should examine this article for some of the finer points, and maybe make some minor adjustments accordingly. There are some worthwhile points made in this article. However, they are definitely overshadowed by Cillizza’s regurgitating of the Obama camp narrative that has been permeating the mainstream media.

Like the assertion that Romney made a mistake by calling the Obama administration on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo tweeting apologies to Muslims before, during, and after the attack there. It’s been observed, repeatedly, that if it was a Republican in the White House (George W. Bush, for example), the press would have been all over him for this. That is absolutely true. But where is the press now? Well, they’re buying the quasi-retraction from the Obama administration, and focusing on Romney, calling him an alarmist, or worse. Or they’re complaining about him breaking the 9/11 promise, and talking politics – but please don’t mention that the Obama camp was active from point one, fundraising, soliciting for volunteers, sending out surrogates, and sniping against the Romney camp on Twitter. But, back to the utter failure of the media, where were the questions on that Obama retraction? If that statement was “unauthorized”, who’s really in charge? Or was this statement merely an extension of an already established position of this administration? Either way, what Romney did or didn’t say isn’t the story here. The story is in that Embassy and in this administration.

And to keep things even here, even the right-wing media missed this one. Sure, it might feel good to say that someone in the Obama administration deserves to be fired, but that doesn’t change the fact that the real story lies somewhere much higher than that one staffer. Again, where are the questions about who is really in charge here? On one hand it’s said that this president is leading from behind, a perfect example of this falls in the laps of the conservative media, and all they can come up with is that a relatively low-level diplomatic corps employee deserves to get canned? Talk about a lost opportunity!

But, back to Cillizza’s wishful musings. Other than giving the Romney camp a mini-roadmap for fixing some issues in their campaign, what does this piece say? Given the number of words devoted to the whole Libya issue, it wouldn’t be out of the question to suggest that the administration doesn’t want anyone focusing on what’s actually happening now, when it comes to a response to the incident. After reading, and re-reading Romney’s statement, the only problem is this:

America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We’ll defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion.

There is no doubt that is Romney’s opinion on the matter, however it is unlikely that the Obama administration agrees. Romney should have avoided talking about reaction by the government at all, since he’s not in a position to cause any action himself at this time. As it is, Marines apparently will not be permitted to use live ammo in Egypt, and while there are ships going to the region, it is unclear if there are any plans of action by the U.S. military. That in itself should be making headlines nationwide, but given the mainstream media’s love affair with Obama, that’s unlikely. Another item that should be getting the attention of journalists is the fact that Obama yet again walked away from taking questions from the press. Romney didn’t, but instead of being happy with the opportunity to get questions answered, the mainstream media found it necessary to conspire against him. Or so they thought, because it could easily be argued that Romney handled the questions very well, especially considering the fact that the journalists were ganging up on him. It was particularly heartening to hear his refusal to even consider hypothetical questions, and if his replies to their questions this time are any indication, it is fair to guess that the mainstream media will be crying regularly that he refuses to answer anything on national security, except in a very broad sense. Also, don’t expect any of the journalists to point out that Romney might have learned not to do that from Obama himself. They do try to forget his campaign promises of 2008 on Afghanistan and Gitmo, after all.

So, instead of having journalists and the press act as watchdogs over the government, we are left with the “Obama Administration State Media.” And that is the death of journalism in this nation. When journalists stop questioning our leaders meaningfully, and start acting as little more than mouthpieces for politicians, it is no longer a free press. It is no different than the state-controlled media in regions like the Middle East. Perhaps we all need to mull over the sad irony of that.

WaPo’s Useless Racism Analysis

Obama lost around 40% of the vote in primaries held in Kentucky, Arkansas and West Virginia.  Of course, The Washington Compost posted a story providing useless and utterly inane analysis surrounding the reasons why the president did so poorly as the incumbent candidate.  Chris Cillizza wrote:

that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Appalachia and portions of the South — particularly those states without large African American populations — have long been hostile to President Obama.

There are any number of data points that make that point plainly.

During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign, Obama lost Kentucky by 35 points and West Virginia by 41(!) points to then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton even though both states voted late enough in the process that it was already clear Obama would be the nominee.

In the 2008 general election, only five states voted more Republican than they had four years earlier. Those five states were: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. (In Oklahoma and West Virginia, Obama and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry got the same percentage of the vote but Obama got less raw votes.)

And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s an amazing graphic courtesy of the New York Times that shows the counties that voted more Republican in 2008 than they did in 2004.

I’ll save you some time with the link:

However, it may surprise some liberals that a significant amount of Democrats have conservative leanings, especially in the region Mr. Cillizza is referring to in this post.  Furthermore, Cillizza quotes

Tom Cole, a Republican House Member, dismissed the idea of race as a major factor in opposition to Obama out of hand.

Said Cole:

Obama fares poorly in states like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas because he has nothing in common with them. They are rural, he is urban. They are populist, he is elitist. And in case anyone hadn’t noticed, they are conservative while he is liberal. That isn’t just true of Republicans in these states. It is true of Democrats as well.

Well, there you have it Chris.  I can say the same for my home state of Pennsylvania, which is aptly described as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Alabama in-between concerning the political disposition of its electorate.  In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 1.2 million, the PA GOP were able to clinch eleven more courthouses, thus controlling fifty-one  of the sixty-seven counties.  That is up from 40 in 2007.  As Executive Director Mike Barley noted:

Nine of these wins occurred in “blue” counties where Democrats have a registration advantage – Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Elk, Lawrence, Mercer, Monroe and Westmoreland…in all of these counties we witnessed Republicans, Independents and even Democrats rejecting Democratic candidates, their big government agenda and President Obama, proving that great Republican candidates can compete and win even in the Democratic counties in the Commonwealth. The story lines are even more intriguing when looking at each race county-by-county and case-by-case. Consider Westmoreland County, where Democrats out-register Republicans 53% to 38%, yet Republicans won the courthouse for the first time in more than 50 years, winning two commissioners and sweeping all of the row offices… in these cases, we see conservative “Reagan Democrats” coming out in droves for Republican candidates. While each county in Pennsylvania is unique, a universal distaste for President Obama’s failed policies was found everywhere and Republicans were successful in large part because we related the ongoing national debates surrounding spending and taxes to issues at the local level.

These rather embarrassing results for the president is not attributed to his race, but his failed record and liberal policies that are destroying the socio-economic health of the country.  The American people are saying “no thanks” to the president’s agenda.  What’s more amusing about Mr. Cillizza’s piece is when he admits that race cannot be gauged in any shape or form.

simply labeling the 42 percent of Kentuckians who supported “uncommitted” over Obama or the 41 percent of Arkansas who backed Tennessee lawyer John Wolfe over the incumbent as “racists” is a major oversimplification.

Untangling or decoupling how people feel about Obama’s race from how they feel about the policies he has pursued in office and his general beliefs about the size and necessity of government is impossible. No poll or election result can divine voters’ motivations.

So why insinuate that racism was a possibility?  Yes, there are some people in America who are racist and will not vote for Obama because of his African-American roots.  However, this is not a new revelation.  And for most of them to be located in the southern and appalachian regions; I’m stunned! Although I’m sure you can find, regrettably, plenty of like minded individuals all over the country.  Think Boston in the 1970s when local schools were desegregated which led to the forced busing fiasco.

In all, for liberals, it is almost unbelievable that people don’t support the president.  It is unbelievable that people don’t support his policies and his far left vision for America.  If you’re against him, you must be racist. That’s their default position to silence the opposition.  However, as demonstrated in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, voters, especially the blue dog, conservative wing of the Democratic Party are beginning to sour on Barry for his failure to get America back on track.  Unemployment has remained above 8% for over thirty-eight months, the national debt has increased by $ 5 trillion dollars, and we’ve ran our third consecutive trillion dollar deficit under this administration. These aren’t things that drive the faithful to the polls.  His record is dismal and the people are calling him out on it. It really isn’t that difficult left wingers.  A study session isn’t needed for everything.