Intentionally or not, Monday on Morning Joe, Time’s Mark Halperin revealed to the world how the American media’s pro-Obama bias will in part be to blame for any coming government shutdown. When asked if President Obama had an incentive to negotiate with the GOP, Halperin explained that, “The White House does not have much incentive. They think the trends are going to go in their direction at the end of the week, or early next week at the latest; because again, the press is largely sympathetic to their arguments on this.”
In short: The government is going to shut down because Obama knows the media has his back and therefore feels no pressure to enter into negotiations that might avert a shutdown. In fact, Obama is apparently okay letting the government shut down because he knows the media won’t make him pay a political price for it.
So what we have here is the media’s pro-Obama bias as a big factor in a potential shutdown.
As we have seen all year, when it comes to settled laws on issues such as gun control, voter ID, and immigration, the media are big believers in the kind of “civil bipartisan compromise” that results in changing those laws — as long as all that “civil bipartisan compromise” comes from the GOP.
But the media have completely abandoned their championing of “civil bipartisan compromise” with respect to this budget crisis, and as a result, Obama knows he has the media on his side and is therefore comfortable in his position not to negotiate. And Obama’s refusal to compromise is hurtling America towards a government shutdown.
What we have here is a situation wherein media bias is helping to inflame a crisis. In other words, were the media acting responsibly, objectively, and professionallly, this would actually decrease the chances of a shutdown. Obviously, though, the media wants its cake and to eat it too. The media are behaving in a way that increases the chances of a shutdown and then the media will blame the GOP for what the media helped cause.
Now we also know why Obama felt so secure golfing during this weekend’s shutdown crisis, instead of rolling up his sleeves like a leader to make a deal. Why not? He knows the media won’t blame him for anything, including shutting down the government.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC