President Obama has been no friend to the real press. He’s been very friendly to the propaganda press, MSNBC people, Jon Stewart, and other folks who can be counted on to keep the White House narrative going generally.
Those whose business is real news have been systematically shunned if not targeted. Some, including “liberal” journalists have called Obama the worst president ever for press freedom. Susan Page at The USA Today said that the Obama administration was most dangerous to media in history. Page often guest hosts The Diane Rehm Show on NPR so she is anything but a “right wing” hack. James Risen at the New York Times has said similar things about Obama.
According to Reporters Without Borders the USA is now 49th in the world in terms of press freedom.
So Mr. President, do spare us.
The last person in the world who should be lecturing journalists on how to do journalism is President Barack Obama. Yet there Obama was Monday night at a journalism award ceremony, yodeling banalities about the role of a press in a free society, moaning over the dangers posed by “he said/she said” reporting, and—to the delight of the assembled audience—attacking Donald Trump in every way but name. The press-heavy crowd, convened by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to give the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting to Alec MacGillis, clapped at Obama’s 30-minute address, encouraging his best Trump-baiting lines about “free media” and the dangers of “false equivalence.”
What they should have done is bombard Obama with rotten fruit or ripped him with raspberries for his hypocrisy…
…What makes Obama’s speech so unstomachable is the way he praises reporters at an award ceremony by calling their work “indispensable,” “incredible,” “worth honoring” and essential to democracy while simultaneously blocking honest press queries with all the formidable energies of his office. You’d expect this sort of contradictory behavior from Trump, whom Obama savaged (by implication) repeatedly in the speech. At one point, Obama complains about an unnamed politician (I think you can guess who) receiving billions in free media, and bemoans the fact that no “serious accountability” comes with it. But hasn’t Obama been doing the same grift from a different location for the past seven to arrange the same deal for himself?