Media Malpractice


Clark Whelton at City Journal:

Death by Media

Revelations concerning Benghazi, the IRS, and government probing of the Associated Press make it increasingly clear that Barack Obama was led astray by his friends in the media. They intended no harm to the president, needless to say. But by withholding the criticism that prods public officials into doing a better job, by choosing not to print negative stories and commentaries about the Obama administration, the press corps tempted the president and his staff with visions of invincibility. The pro-Obama news crew—with a boost from the Nobel Peace Prize committee—confirmed the president’s exalted view of himself. They are in part responsible for encouraging Obama to think that he could tamper with the truth about Benghazi and get away with it.

Through two presidential campaigns and Obama’s first term, mainstream editors, editorial writers, and journalists served as de facto auxiliaries for the White House press office. Certain that they were serving a noble cause, they soft-pedaled bad news about the economy and ignored or played down the president’s gaffes. Aided by one-liners from late-night talk-show hosts, they attacked and ridiculed Fox News or any reporter, radio commentator, writer, or blogger not riding Obama’s bandwagon. They hounded and harassed Sarah Palin—author Joe McGinnis even moved next door to her home—determined to destroy someone they perceived as a threat to Obama’s power. They rode shotgun as Obamacare made its way through Congress. And they led the chorus of derision that greeted early reports of political corruption inside the IRS.

Last September, when Mitt Romney raised questions about Benghazi, the mainstream media accused the Republican presidential challenger of “politicizing” the issue. Taking their leads from Democratic press releases, they kept the spotlight on Romney’s supposed missteps, giving the Obama administration time to camouflage a murderous terror attack as a spontaneous riot. And with each alibi they provided, with each news story they slanted to assist Obama at the polls, they deprived the president of the honest feedback that public officials may not want but desperately need. A biased press corps steadily pushed the president closer to the precipice where he now precariously stands.

In the morning, those who have engaged in whorish behavior—or in this case, those rewarded with invitations to insider Washington parties and access to private e-mail lists—are somehow astonished by a lack of respect. Members of the media, including Associated Press reporters, after favoring and flattering Obama for years, were stunned to discover that Obama’s Department of Justice was treating them like tarts and had targeted the AP with secret subpoenas.

The end of the affair is always painful and poignant. Unaccustomed to sunlight, fleeing suspicions of malfeasance and outright criminality, the Obama administration is pleading guilty to incompetence and ignorance. Benghazi? Hey, who knew the Libyans to whom we had been secretly running guns would turn them on us? We didn’t want to make things worse by calling the cops. Besides, we knew the media would let the story die. The IRS? Shock. Outrage. Never heard of the place.

An independent press is a compass, a vital part of the American system of checks and balances. It can provide the ship of state with mid-course corrections. But a compass that swings any way the helmsman wants is worse than useless. It points the way to disaster.

When I first started working retail security the district manager told me his theory. He said about 15% of people are pathologically honest. They won’t steal no matter what. These are the people that turn in cash they find on the ground and walk back into the store to return money when they realize they were given too much change.

Then there are another 15% who are the exact opposite. They are basically a crime waiting to happen. You can try to catch them and do things to make it hard for them to get away with it, but you can’t stop them.

That leaves about 70% of the people. They are basically honest but might give into temptation if you make it too easy for them. So you watch them. And you let them know you’re watching. Because if they know someone’s watching they will stay honest.

We have nothing to fear from a press that is overzealous when it comes to investigating those who hold power. The danger comes from a press that abdicates its responsibility and becomes a cheerleading squad for the administration.


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97 Responses to Media Malpractice

  1. 1539days says:

    It’s not exactly instant Karma, but what’s happening to the media is a direct result of their permissiveness over the last five years. As for the administration, a fish rots from the head. These scandals show a White House as thin-skinned, petty and unrestrained as its leadership. Obama was so blinded by rage at being challenged by the Tea Party, he did something that a more reasonable person would never allow because he could temporarily get away with it.

  2. Lulu says:

    Obama is the “bad boy” of presidents. He was edgy, cool, and abusive. He banishes anyone who didn’t stoke his ego, keep in line, and cater to his whims. His charm is false, his intelligence is cruel, and his personality disorders innumerable. The press like all of the girls and women (men too but less so) are drawn to the excitement of being manipulated and humiliated. After the thousandth episode of threats, sneering putdowns, and being shoved down the stairs, some of these abuse junkies are start getting a clue. The Obama girlfriends (and boy friends) in the media have proven to everyone just how little they value themselves and how easy it is to go on without them.

    There is a reason this slice of America loves the occasional poorly written S&M novel and is so attracted to Obama. When you have no professional or personal boundaries, nor a spine to demand them, you get treated like crap. Next we will hear that they thought they could change him and that they thought he had some good qualities. Sheesh. The exciting rush is over and now they have to think of a way to get rid of the bad boy. He isn’t fun or exciting anymore and increasingly recognized as a creep and liar. Breaking up with a bad boy is dangerous to do. And grandpa told you he was a POS.

  3. votermom says:

  4. driguana says:

    Socialism explained….by Abbot and Costello….

  5. yttik says:

    I really don’t blame Obama for everything that’s happened. He’s really not some evil genius or anything. He’s just an incompetent, self absorbed narcissist. I blame the media, the Obots, the Dem party, the voters.These are the people who put him in power, who covered up for him, who continue to perpetuate a lie on the entire country.

    • votermom says:

      He’s a natural crook that was handed the keys to the kingdom.

    • fif says:

      I think it’s both. This article suggests it’s the press’ job to provide oversight and transparency, and that is absolutely (and tragically) true. But that does not absolve Obama from responsibility re: his own choices, lack of principles and grandiosity. The press allowed and even fueled it – but he is the one who came in with those tendencies in the first place. It’s a sickening collaboration.

    • Constance says:

      I still don’t think Obama has a plan other than self promotion. I don’t think he is brilliant. He seems more like a puppet who really knows nothing but who is it that pulls the strings? Corporate leaders? Media owners?

  6. votermom says:

    Your daily iowahawk

  7. votermom says:

    via iowa hawk

    How JFK secretly ADMIRED Hitler: Explosive book reveals former President’s praise for the Nazis as he travelled through Germany before Second World War
    A new book reveals President Kennedy was a secret admirer of the Nazis
    Embarrassingly close t visit being paid to Berlin next month by Obama
    Comes one week before 50th anniversary commemorations of JFK’s memorable ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech pledging US solidarity with Europe

  8. votermom says:

    Hope that this means the GOP will kill the amnesty bill

  9. Lulu says:,0,1895918.story
    The bigs aren’t afraid of Broncobama anymore. UnitedHealth, Aetna and Cigna opt out of California insurance exchange (the largest one). Failure of Obamacare is now much closer to complete. No insurers equal no exchanges. No exchanges equal no conduit to compel compliance. No compliance equals no Obamacare. What are they going to use to bully the insurance companies? The castrated IRS? The ramifications of misrule are incalculable.

  10. votermom says:

    This sounds eerily like Michael Z Williamson’s scifi future earth, under UN world govt, where soldiers don’t dare go out in public in uniform.

  11. votermom says:

    I thought this was snark, but actually that is the ostensible reason – protests sparked by police killing a man holding his wife hostage in their apart. with a machete. From the article you don’t read about the hostage, nor the cultural/ethnic group the rioting “youth” belong to

  12. yttik says:

    “…That leaves about 70% of the people. They are basically honest but might give into temptation if you make it too easy for them. So you watch them….”

    There’s another element woven in there somewhere, the people who are so resentful about all the cameras, the security, the bureaucracy of it all, that they steal for revenge. It’s kind of like being falsely accused of racism all the time, after a while people are like, “racist, I’ll show you racist,” and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

    It’s a balancing act, but if you treat people like they’re all potential crooks, many will rise to your expectations.

  13. lyn says:

    Obama was bad news from day one.

  14. votermom says:

    Today’s Google doodle is awesome, was submitted by a Wisconsin teen,2817,2419346,00.asp

  15. DeniseVB says:

    Yes We Can ! Abolish the IRS and income taxes 🙂 Good article on the Fair Tax ….

    Benefits the low and middle class the most.

    • votermom says:

      Either Fair Tax or Flat Tax, anything that does away with, or drastically downsized the IRS is good.
      I’m not sold on the “prebate” concept though.

      • DeniseVB says:

        I think prebate is the safety net for the working poor ? The comments are interesting at the Forbes article, I think the anti-fair tax people work at the IRS 😀

        • elliesmom says:

          I have no problem with an exemption for the working poor for life’s necessities, but if they’re buying a wide screen TV, they can pay the same tax I do.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Or their Caddilac Escalades. I know this sounds classist, but do see many high end SUVs in low income housing areas. Priorities ?

        • Lulu says:

          Or tax accountants or tax prep shops. As for prebates the working poor have to wait for tax refunds now so they can wait for tax rebates too. If that is onerous make it filed quarterly. I think a value added tax with exempt items based upon consumption if looking more attractive with our rigged tax system.

    • yttik says:

      I don’t know what the solution is, but having this tax system that is so complicated you need computer software to figure it out, and you never really know if you’ve entered every piece of data correctly, and you know you’re going to be guilty until you can prove yourself innocent, is a bloody nightmare. Not to mention there’s the constant threat of jail or having your assets seized, and if you need any help trying to figure it all out, you’re forced to stand in line and wait for a mindless bureaucrat who really doesn’t give a crap and is protected from responsibility even if they give you incorrect info.

      If you have a job and work for somebody, taxes are relatively simple, but if you’re a small business, Lord help you.

      • DeniseVB says:

        It’s why I don’t claim charitable contributions while lots of my friends claim at least $100 per bag donated to organizations. Our tax guy told us if we ever got audited, we better have the original sales receipts handy. Just easier not to worry about.

        A lot of people who don’t like fair tax are usually the people who don’t pay taxes anyhow …. but even drug dealers need toilet paper 😀

        • Lulu says:

          Sales taxing the hell out of non-necessities and conspicuous consumption is looking more and more attractive.

  16. votermom says:

    DHS will be granted sweeping discretionary powers in Gang of *s immigration bill

  17. votermom says:

    OFA promoting #iMarch & #immigrationreform today to pressure congress to pass the amnesty bill

  18. wmcb says:

    More on the IRS abuses, should have been a huge story but of course the media wasn’t interested.

    So Congress, in 2011, enacted a tax credit for adoptive families, in order to encourage and help finding all those “unwanted children” a home. In 2012, the IRS requested “additional info” from 90% of those families, and went on to actually audit SIXTY FUCKING NINE PERCENT of them.

    That’s insane. In what universe do you need to audit almost 70% of ALL adoptive families? That cannot happen by accident. Someone planned and directed that. Why?

    I swear to God, all those years I poo-pooed the extreme paranoids who insisted the Left was intent on destroying families and the natural social/cultural fabric and making us all meek politically correct drones of Big Brother are coming back to haunt me. As someone in an earlier thread said – it appears perhaps I wasn’t paranoid enough.

  19. votermom says:

  20. votermom says:

    Steven Crowder compares Jesus & Muhammad

  21. foxyladi14 says:

    Peaceful Orilly 🙄

  22. votermom says:

  23. HELENK says:

    lois lerner waived right of fifth her statement . will be recalled by Issa

  24. HELENK says:

    the press forgot an old truth.

  25. HELENK says:

    somebody that could tie backtrack’s scandals together. john brennan. involved in the benghazi scandal, and the AP scandal,

  26. votermom says:

  27. votermom says:
    Anti-Muslim reprisals after Woolwich attack
    English Defence League in street battles with police in Woolwich and mosques attacked in apparent acts of revenge

  28. votermom says:

    • DeniseVB says:

      It their union, different rules ?

      • Lulu says:

        The union president is in cahoots with Obama. She let management minders intimidate and censor what employees told the IG investigators in the tax exempt unit. It came out in the hearing yesterday. The IG was surprised or feigned it. This union counter-demonstrated at Tea Party rallies with her in the front. She also met with Broncobama in the WH. It is similar to the mafia taking over the teamsters.

  29. HELENK says:

    why would the DOJ give the tapes to a newspaper?

    why did the newspaper decide not to publish them?

    • leslie says:

      The Tribune proration also owns the LATimes, the same paper that has the tapes from the Said benefit dinner attended by the Obamas back in the day. Those tapes have also Never been made public. Also . . . This is the corporation that disclosed the SEALED divorce records of Jack and Gerry Ryan when Bronco was running for the US Senate in 2006.

    • Constance says:

      Here is the problem I have with the focus on the illegal alien situation. We citizens have actual problems that the government is doing nothing about. Like being forced to buy expensive health coverage we might not need or want and that can still selectively leave out reproductive health coverage which is the only reason most young women seek out medical health. Why should young women be forced to subsidize the care of a bunch of old men’s prostate issues or subsidize viagra? The “too big to fail” banks are still screwing citizens and still keeping our economy walking a tight rope. Many people are unemployed who would prefer to work. We have huge national debt that gets worse daily. So why should the issues of illegal aliens get prioritized to the top of the list? I know many new college graduates who can’t find work, more than 30% of our citizens don’t graduate from High School so why do we need to import either skilled or unskilled laborers? This is BS!

  30. cynic says:

    Can we declare it Tinfoil Hat Thursday? You can’t even make this stuff up.

    2 FBI Agents Involved in Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s Arrest “FALL” Out of Helicopter and Die

    • swanspirit says:

      I am going to ask my son about this , he was a rappelling instructor , while he was in the service , and to my knowledge , he never lost anyone .

    • Constance says:

      OK I am a tinfoil hatter, I admit it. However I don’t think you need to be a tinfoil hatter to find this more than strange. So who could have benefited from knocking off these guys?

      • cynic says:

        Perhaps instead of benefitting, it’s ‘quieting’ the ones that know the facts. Again, it’s tinfoil time here again.

        It’s like the Seal Team 6 who were killed in Afghanistan. Or, how about the nurse that was on duty at one of the hospitals, when the victims of the Aurora Theater shooting were brought in. This nurse talked to Obama, and then drown, while on vacation in Iowa, shortly after that.

        Lots of consequences here, folks. Should we start a list?

        • DeniseVB says:

          It’s what happens when you don’t tell the truth, conspiracy theories are born. I think it was Woody Allen who said “if you tell the truth all the time, you don’t have to remember anything”.

          Tragic accidents are always suspicious when they involve highly trained specialists, and yes, way too many coinky-dinks. 😦

  31. HELENK says:

    the tea party started a revolution in Boston Harbor against great odds.

    looks like the tea party has done it again against IRS

    • Constance says:

      Way to go Tea Party! I should look these people up and join the local group. It’s pretty much total hell living in Seattle surrounded by libtards. I am not even a Republican as I believe both parties are corrupt and neither serves my best interest but in Seattle being an Independent is enough to make you suspicious.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Constance, I’ve met many “former Dems” at tea party rallies, I believe Gallup said the Demo was 41% Dem/Indie. I remember my first rally, really, really nice people. Not at all wing-nutty like they’re portrayed, at least not wearing it on their sleeve, like the dancing vaginas …. lol.

  32. votermom says:

    New open thread to play in.

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