Nothing’s funnier than the media whining about how Obama treats them. What the media does not seem to understand is that Obama treats them this way for one simple reason: because he can. Obama knows the media will never do anything to damage him politically. That assurance gives the president enormous latitude when it comes to how he does anything and everything, including how he handles the press.
These complaints are nothing new. But they have increased since Obama’s reelection. What we have here is a pathetic case of Battered Media Syndrome: “I love you; why do you treat me so bad?”
Capitalizing on the possibilities of the digital age, the Obama White House is generating its own content like no president before, and refining its media strategies in the second term in hopes of telling a more compelling story than in the first.
At the same time, it is limiting press access in ways that past administrations wouldn’t have dared, and the president is answering to the public in more controlled settings than his predecessors. It’s raising new questions about what’s lost when the White House tries to make an end run around the media, functioning, in effect, as its own news agency.
Mike McCurry, who served as press secretary to President Bill Clinton, sees an inclination by the Obama White House to “self-publish,” coupled with tactics “I never would have dreamed of in terms of restricting access” for independent news organizations.
“What gets lost are those revealing moments when the president’s held accountable by the representatives of the public who are there in the form of the media,” says McCurry.
As you can see, the AP tries to blame Obama circumventing the fourth estate on the White House’s considerable skills at using new technology. But that is just hooey.
If the media put pressure on Obama and made him pay a political price for doing this, he would have to stop. Moreover, all it would take is the media ganging up on the White House for a week or so to make this circumvention into a political liability.
The media won’t do that, though, because they will never, ever do anything that will in any way harm this president.
From the moment Obama declared his intent to run for the White House, the media has acted as his Palace Guard. Whether it was Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, the BP oil spill, the failed economy, or Libya, Obama knows the media have his back.
In turn, quite foolishly, the media apparently believe that if they treat Obama like something precious, he should treat them well.
But no one respects a desperately needy lapdog obnoxiously eager to please its master — most especially The Master.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC