All you need to see is the picture of a beaming President Barack Obama included in USA Today’s print assessment of the president’s three-year anniversary
to know which way the story is slanted.
Or, just take a gander at the glowing, inaccurate headline:
Obama at Three-Year Mark: Big Wins, Much Undone
Gosh, Obama is so great, but even the greatest need a smidge more time to save the world.
The lede in reporter Richard Wolf's story strikes a better balance, describing a presidency marked by a “mixed record of historic achievements and unfulfilled promises.”
Then, we hit the DNC talking points – hard.
Obama’s accomplishments include “jolting the economy,” which is news to the millions of people either unemployed or who have given up on finding new work. And do “jolts” normally cause the unemployment rates to go up and the deficit to skyrocket?
His other accomplishments? The deeply unpopular health care legislation, ending the Iraq War (no thanks to the surge which he derided but help make Iraq stable) and killing bin Laden – Obama’s one unexpurgated triumph.
The article goes so far as to take Obama's biggest problem - a stagnant economy - and transform it into a delayed positive as if David Axelrod himself were furiously hammering away on that trusty USA Today
describes a political atmosphere today that's even more divisive than what Obama met upon assuming office, but it neglects the reasons why it became so bitter. No mention of the Cornhusker Kickback which helped Obama shove through the health care bill, Obama's class warfare rhetoric or the cutting language Obama used to smite his political opponents when he deems fit to meet with them.
Nope, nope and nope. Instead, we get the notion that Obama is the Great Compromiser, much to the dismay of his friends.
"Obama has been forced to compromise on some goals and delay others, disappointing his political base without winning over his opponents,” the story says, adding how Obama has “turned from stimulating the economy to focusing on budget deficits.
Some focus. We still haven't heard anything about how the Administration ballooned the budget. Instead, we get the false notion that Obama is now seized with the mission of reducing it.
Wolf then uses some liberal groups to attack Obama from the Left, although late in the story we do get a deficit mention. Again, the liberal talking points ride to the rescue.
Obama came into office vowing to halve the annual budget deficit in his first term, but that won’t happen unless taxes are allowed to rise on the wealthy.
What about cutting the size of government or lowering taxes to stimulate the economy even more than the vaunted Obama “jolt?” Is this a news story or an opinion piece? Does the reporter even care what the difference is between the two?
The story saves the funniest quote for last. (Note: The online version of the story adds a few paragraphs.)
“There’s no question he’s run a very competent foreign policy,” says Aaron David Miller, a Middle East Expert at the Woodrow Wilson International School for Scholars.
So alienating and insulting our closest friends (Great Britain, Israel), placating enemies (Iran), not lifting a finger to stop Iran from finishing its nuclear program or to support Iranian citizens speaking out against a brutal regime and giving a physical reset button given to Russia that bungled the translation for “reset” are signs of a sterling foreign policy?
The only saving grace with this thoroughly biased piece of "reporting" is that it landed on A5, and not the front page above the fold.