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.”
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.