Investors Business Daily clearly is not (as I am not) part of the group in the headline:
CBS News’ Nancy Cordes pointed out to the president that his campaign “suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of Bain Capital.” And she pointed out that “your campaign and the White House have declined to condemn an ad by one of your top supporters that links Mr. Romney to a woman’s death from cancer.”
So far, so good. But then the president threw some intimidation Cordes’ way.
“I’m not sure all those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate,” he said. “For example, nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.”
False. Here are the exact words of Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter last month:
“Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony,” Cutter suggested to reporters, “or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments.”
It was Obama’s campaign that chose to use the “F” word. Is the president practicing some kind of Clintonesque wordplay? Accusing someone of “either” committing a felony or lying is not accusing him of a felony?
The press corps should have pounced right then and there. Instead, it let Obama ramble on about “the overall trajectory of our campaign.”
On the outrageous ad accusing Romney of the cancer death of the wife of a laid-off steel worker, the work of Obama super-PAC Priorities USA Action run by former White House aides, Obama claimed, “I think it ran once.”
Again, the reporters fell down on the job. None pointed out that the commercial ran repeatedly — and at no charge to the Obama campaign — on numerous cable news channels covering the controversy it ignited.
Add to this the fact that Obama has broken precedent compared to previous presidents by choosing by name the tiny handful of favored reporters who get to ask questions. This raises the issue of what point there is in having so many dozens of reporters present in the White House briefing room at all.
On top of all that, as White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler reported on Tuesday, the administration has been manipulating local TV news reporters, arranging what subjects they are allowed to ask. And no doubt threatening not to give them the interview otherwise.
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto adds:
Nixon was famously paranoid, which didn’t mean his adversaries, including in the media, weren’t out to get him. By contrast, journalists are generally favorably disposed to Obama. “The media is very susceptible to doing what the Obama campaign wants,” The Weekly Standard quotes Time’s Mark Halperin as having observed the other day. (As we’ve noted in the past, that’s very much true of Halperin himself.)
How could Obama be so out of touch? The Taranto Principle–the theory that approving coverage from liberal journalists encourages self-defeating behavior by liberal politicians–would not seem to apply here, at least not directly. Even admiring journalists have taken note (sometimes admiringly) of the nastiness and divisiveness of Obama’s re-election campaign. The New York Times reported a couple of weeks ago that the president “is an avid consumer of political news and commentary” in the form of newspapers and magazines, so he can’t actually be unaware that some people think his campaign is divisive. …
Obama’s “critique” of the media takes the Taranto Principle to a new level. He is not only taken in when liberal journalists give him unrealistically favorable coverage but insulated when they give him realistically unfavorable coverage.
The media has always, at least in my lifetime, treated Republicans harder than Democrats. U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R–Missouri) is being raked over the coals for his utterly stupid observations on whether a female victim of sexual assault can be made pregnant. Vice President Biden makes utterly stupid and racist comments, and the media criticizes him not.
Thomas Jefferson famously said that if the choice were between no government and no newspapers, he would choose the former. I would say that if the choice were between the media’s criticizing all politicians, even to the point of unfairness, or none, I would choose the former.