How Journalists Give Obama A Pass: Part 285746342
Maybe I’m old-school, but when I was a kid I learned that journalism, at its most basic level, was to provide the five W’s (and one H): Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. The media, at least when it comes to Obama, leaves out the “Why” part, a lot. Like, consistently. Almost as if there’s a reason to leave it out.
Here’s a case in point:
The other day Jay Carney said (and the professional stenographers collectively called “The White House Press Corps” reported*) that any deal to avoid the fiscal cliff had to include tax rate hikes. Not just additional revenues but rate hikes, specifically. Aside from one example*, I didn’t see anyone else in the stenographer pool press Carney on the “Why?” question.
It would be easy: “Why do we have to increase tax rates? Why is that absolutely necessary?” Then they could throw in some other W’s like, “What is the economic theory behind this necessity to increase tax rates? Keynes wouldn’t advocate such a thing. Where is the economic case for rate hikes when the economy is only growing around 2% annually?”
But no, the stenographer corps* simply jots the comments down and nods along. I pressed some of them on Twitter and received no response. All I did was ask them if anyone asked Carney why the rate hikes were absolutely mandatory for any deal. They chose to ignore the question.
Here’s another example:
Today, Obama held a meeting of CEO’s and made some remarks to the press. Of the stream of provable lies that spewed from the podium, one was that, according to Obama, there was no way to raise enough revenue by simply eliminating loopholes, etc. Once again, the case was being made that tax rate hikes had to be part of the deal. Had to.
Now, you would think that journalists reporting on this event and the President’s remarks would think to themselves, “Why?” But you’d be wrong. You’d also think that when presented with video of Obama contradicting the very comment he had made, a journalist, and especially one who had just tweeted / reported Obama’s comments to his thousands of followers, would welcome the opportunity to show that the President was contradicting earlier pronouncements. I mean, isn’t that what a journalist is supposed to do? Question authority?
Here’s the video:
Can’t get a much clearer example of a contradiction than that, right?
The Fiscal Cliff is arguably the biggest story in the news today. The President and his staff are making the case, on a daily basis, that tax rate hikes must be part of a deal. They must be. Now you, as a journalist, are presented with video of Obama saying that revenue can, in fact, be raised without raising tax rates and you fail to provide that context to your audience?
One defense a journalist in this position could take is to say they never saw the video. But, that doesn’t fly when the journalist acknowledges they saw the video… and refuses to inform his audience anyway. Like NBC’s Mike O’Brien did, when I commented that I thought it was weird that he (and Mark Knoller, who had also tweeted Obama’s remarks) wouldn’t show video of Obama saying the exact opposite last year.
You want to know why 53% of the American public is poised to blame Republicans for going over the fiscal cliff? You want to know why 53% of the American public still blames Bush for the recession caused by the housing bubble Bush had almost nothing to do with? The above is why. Journalists have failed to do their jobs. Their jobs used to be to provide the information that leads to the public making informed decisions. Today their job seems to be to repeat whatever moves the Left’s agenda forward.
And they get really snippy when you prove that they’re doing it.
During the campaign, Romney joked that his job was to present a clear vision for the future and the media’s job was to prevent anyone from hearing it.
He was right.
*Jake Tapper was the only one who pressed Carney about the tax rate hike nonsense which is why he remains the only mainstream media journalist in the country I actually respect. And that’s sad.