On his MSNBC show this morning, NBC’s senior White House correspondent, Chuck Todd, reported that Republican senator Lindsey Graham had been successful in his quest to see White House emails concerning Libya. As leverage, Graham threatened to hold up the nomination of John Brennan, who’s slated to take over the C.I.A., if the emails weren’t released.
According to Todd, there are also memos related to Libya the GOP would like to see. Thus far, the White House hasn’t budged on those.
Good for Graham, but why in the hell is he having to muscle the White House for documents related to Libya? Moreover, why is the media reporting as a bystander on a senator demanding documents instead of demanding the documents themselves?
This is how far the media has fallen. When it comes to anything involving the transparency of the Obama White House, Democrats in general, or the federal government, the media either assumes the role of bystander — as they are here — or assumes the role of Palace Guard, as we’ve seen throughout the vetting of Chuck Hagel.
Earlier this week, Politico whined like a bunch of unhappy old women about how Barack Obama manipulates the media like some grand puppet master. But it’s not New Media or technology that makes this possible. It’s that Obama knows he has nothing to fear from the media. Because Politico and the rest have all acted like a stable of yippy, please-love-me poodles since Obama arrived on the national stage, he has no respect for them; he takes them for granted
But all they can do in response is rationalize and further demean themselves as though they’re suffering Battered Media Syndrome: C’mon, baby, tell me what I did wrong. I’m sorry. I know it’s my fault for not being able to grasp your greatness.
And what’s the result? Lindsey Graham having to do what Chuck Todd and the rest of the media would never dream of doing: pressuring the White House over the issue of transparency.
Here’s an idea, Media: If you want respect from Barack Obama, make him fear you by holding him accountable. This isn’t rocket science. If he respects you, he’ll treat you better. If it’s you creating a media firestorm demanding these documents, instead of a senator — trust me, the president will start to take you seriously.
P.S. Pause for a moment — just one moment — and think about how insane it is that the media knows these emails and memos are out there and is doing absolutely nothing to pressure our government to obtain them. The media loves to joke about what’s happening on Earth 2, but that’s where we’re living.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC