Over President's Day weekend, President Barack Obama took off for a mini-vacation in Florida. There, he participated in golf lessons with professional coach Butch Harmon -- Harmon normally charges $1,000 per hour, and Obama spent 8 hours with him -- and then he took to the links with disgraced golf icon Tiger Woods. The press was not allowed to cover any of this first-hand.
And that made them fighting mad. Politico's Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen commented, "Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House." But VandeHei and Allen said that Obama's media mastery had nothing to do with the drool-cup-carrying media itself. Instead, Obama's just that good: "The mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting)..."
Of course, none of those strategems would work if our media were more interested in investigating this administration's policies than checking out Barry's swing. But they're not. Which is why Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel will undoubtedly be waved through by the Senate Democrats, despite ample evidence of his anti-Israeli sentiment, weakness on defense and anti-Semitism.
While the conservative media continue to vet Hagel -- each day, new reports emerge about Hagel's despicable perspective on Israel (he reportedly called it an incipient "apartheid state," thinks that Israel engages in war crimes and allegedly worries that Israel controls the State Department) -- the liberal media plays defense. Instead of focusing on Hagel's shortcomings as a nominee, the media attacks conservatives for caring about Hagel at all.
Thus, we hear incessantly about how it is "unprecedented" for Republicans to filibuster Hagel -- even though Democrats filibustered President Bush's nominees for the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. Chuck Hagel, then a senator, said that it was worthwhile to hold Bush U.N. Ambassador nominee John Bolton until all available information was made public about Bolton.
We hear about how it is unthinkable for Republicans to request records about Chuck Hagel's foreign cash streams -- even though Hillary Clinton turned over those records and so did Henry Kissinger. The media was all too happy to cry foul when Mitt Romney didn't turn over enough tax returns to satisfy them. But when Chuck Hagel refuses to turn over speeches and financial records, the media says Republicans are nuts for even asking.
The media was worth five points to Barack Obama during the last election cycle. They do his bidding, and then complain when he treats them like doormats. Unfortunately, because the media refuses to do its job, the rest of America gets treated like Obama's doormat, too.
Photo courtesy Flickr/Steve Jurveston