The Obama media blackout
Let’s see if we can unravel one of the great mysteries of the Obama Administration. The latest invocations of the Incompetence Defense from President Obama, Eric Holder, and now the departing Acting IRS Commissioner (hilariously described by the Associated Press as “ousted,” even though he’s leaving exactly when he was originally scheduled to depart, in June) hold that all of these super-genius leaders found out about various outrages by watching the news, along with the rest of us. They have no idea what their subordinates do every day, until it blows up into a huge scandal on the evening news, and that’s why they should be left in charge of everything.
Obama said it about the IRS scandal. Although he now claims to be angry about it, he didn’t say a single word about these outrageous abuses of power until a reporter specifically asked him about it during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, four days after the news broke. “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this,” the President claimed. “I think it was on Friday.”
Aren’t there people who are supposed to brief the President on important events? Do those people still have their jobs today? If so, why? Besides rushing out to comment on his own initiative, rather than waiting until the topic was raised by the press at a completely unrelated media event, wouldn’t a truly concerned President demand the resignation of the staffers who failed him so utterly that he had to learn about the worst scandal of his Presidency by watching TV or reading a newspaper?
Then we heard Attorney General Eric Holder claim the White House only learned about the Associated Press phone scandal by reading the newspapers:
When asked about the suspicious “lobbying” efforts of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to squeeze money for ObamaCare “education” from the same insurance companies she regulates, Holder replied, “I think you might be referring to what I only read about in the newspapers involving what HHS is doing with implementation of the Act. I don’t know whether or not… what funds are being used or whether that letter would apply to that effort. I just don’t know.” So he only learns about Administration misadventures by reading the newspapers, too.
And now the outgoing Acting IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller – who will remain on the job until the previously scheduled end of his temporary assignment in June, even though the President falsely portrayed him as sacked over the scandal – said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee that he learned crucial details about the case by reading them “in the newspaper.”
Good heavens, it seems as if an awful lot of high-ranking people in this Administration learn about their own departments from the papers and evening news broadcasts! And they’re totally out of the loop on everything. They live in a state of perpetual astonishment, picking up important information from the news only days before they have to give press conferences or testify before Congress.
Maybe that’s because Barack Obama relentlessly demonizes the only major media outlet that routinely reports on such things: Fox News. No sooner had he been sworn into his second term than he blasted the network as an obstacle against bipartisan compromise. “I think what we really have to do is change some of the incentive structures so that people feel liberated to pursue some common ground,” said the President. “One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.”
He’s described them as a “television station entirely devoted to attacking my Administration.” When his spokesman Jay Carney was asked earlier this week why Obama hadn’t spoken with the Attorney General about the AP phone scandal, Carney sneered, “Imagine the story on Fox if that happened.”
As far back as 2009, the Obama Administration described Fox News as a “wing of the Republican Party.” Then-White House communications director Anita Dunn said of Fox, “They take their talking points, put them on the air, take the opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”
Here’s a twofer from 2009, where Obama attacked both Fox News and the Tea Party: “So, when you see – those of you who are watching certain news channels that on which I’m not very popular and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”
Gosh, I wonder where the IRS ever got the idea to persecute those “folks waving tea bags around?”
There are plenty more examples. Obama and his top people whine about Fox News incessantly. But if they were watching Fox instead of the Obama-approved networks that work so hard to bury stories inconvenient to President Boyfriend, maybe these buffoons would know more about the Administration’s failures, and sooner.