Since the early days of Barack Obama’s run for the presidency, you know, right after he became Senator Obama in 2006, he’s been slighting the media in ways small and large. And since 2006 the media has been complaining about his sleights. Even this week the Old Media has been found whining about getting the back of Obama’s hand. And yet, that same media, treated like an abused wife, comes back for more with love in their eyes.
Obama has ignored reporters, he’s refused to engage in friendly patter, he’s remained aloof and distant, he’s banned some, had folks in his administration ban others, he’s blocked them, he’s excluded them in favor of his own “reporters,” he’s smart-mouthed them and given them short shrift, and he’s done his level best to so control the message that the press corps ends up having less access than they have had with other presidents.
And yet, the media is so pliant and subservient to The One and family that even wife Michelle recently thanked the in-the-tank media for its constant “helping” of the Obamas.
Still, the media has complained of the treatment they’ve received at Obama’s hands. This week we see the carping emanating from Politico’s On the Media blog. As it happens, Obama stiffed the White House Press Corps once again as far as many reporters are concerned.
The journalists were annoyed that Obama gave a speech in the East Room but treated it under the accepted rules as if it were a speech emanating from the Oval Office. The reason this is a big deal is because the speeches made in the Oval Office are limited press access.
Consequently, Obama limited the press access to this particular speech and excluded many of the journalists from the full press pool for the speech. As the AP complained, “Some reporters complained that this amounted to less access and that there was little chance of distraction in the East Room, the largest room in the building. The White House refused to change the ground rules.”
So, once again we see Obama trying to limit press access as much as possible to the consternation of the press. As I said, though, this has not been the only time the press has whined about access to Obama or how he treated them.
- In Sept. of 2008, Time Magazine felt that Obama’s aloofness might not make him such a good leader (seems they were right, too).
- In August of 2008 Obama’s campaign tried to shut down a Chicago WGN radio show.
- In October of 2008, the LA Times worried that Obama was so aloof from the press during the campaign that journalists never got to know the candidate.
- By December of 2008, Obama had been so distant from the press that CNN began complaining that “we barely know” Obama.
- In Jan. 2009 the Chicago Sun-Times was shut out by President Obama.
- Also in January of 2009 the Associated Press was complaining that Obama ruled the media with an iron fist.
- In May of 2009, ABCs Jake Tapper reported that Obama shut out the press and used his own “reporters” at one time.
- Obama also slighted members of the press during his 2009 Christmas party.
- In May of 2010, the press had become annoyed that Obama was avoiding the press and not having a “real press conference” in months.
- In March of 2011, VP Biden’s staff, taking a cue from their bosses boss, locked a journalist in a closet to keep him from reporting on the doings at a dinner party.
There have been others, of course, but this will suffice to show a pattern.
Yet despite all this mistreatment, the folks in the Old Media wag their tail whenever Obama’s calls for them. Now, imagine how perpetually agitated they’d be if Obama were a Republican president treating them as Obama has? They’d be slipping in barbs and attacks in every story, of course. It would be a never ending tale of woe. Worse, the press would be extrapolating about how bad a president it would be, how un-American, how hateful of transparency and openness that such a president would be. And yet, they constantly give Obama a pass with but a little whining.
Ah, but we don’t want to ruin the slavish devotion the press has for their Obammessiah, do we?