Watching the crowd of reporters nearly swooning today during Barack Obama’s press conference is beyond sickening. It is bad enough that Barack Obama is spewing lies and bullshit (but that’s what many politicians do). What is really appalling is that the reporters so willingly revel in his lies. This is like a crowd of rabbis cheering on Joseph Goebbels. (Okay, that may be a tad extreme, but you get my point.)
Let me take you back to a great piece by Jack Shafer in Politico last year:
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. . . .
How do we hate Obama’s treatment of the press? Let me count the ways. Under his administration, the U.S. government has set a new record for withholding Freedom of Information Act requests, according to a recent Associated Press investigation. . . .
Obama’s “Insider Threat Program” has turned employees across the government—from the Peace Corps to the Social Security Administration to the Department of Agriculture—into information-squelching snitches. If this isn’t Trumpian behavior, I don’t know what is.
“Obama hates the press,” New York Times national security reporter James Risen said not long ago, “and he hates leaks.” AP Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee has decried the “day-to-day intimidation of sources” by the Obama administration, judging it worse than the Bush administration on that score. And in a 2013 piece, POLITICO’s Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen documented Obama’s mastery of “limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.” . . .
As ProPublica has reported, at the same time the Obama administration has been paying lip service to protecting whistleblowers, it has pursued national security leaks to the press with a vehemence unmatched by any previous administration, using the Espionage Act to prosecutewhistleblowers who leak to journalists more times than all previous administrations combined. Obama holds infrequent news conferences, and he wastes reporters’ time by refraining from answering questions with any candor.
I encourage you to read the full piece. I found only one moment of pleasure in listening to Obama’s sanctimonious, self-serving, delusional comments about journalism–when he said this was his last press conference I’m thrilled that we will be rid of him come Friday. Too bad the press has been so accommodating of someone so inimical to a genuinely free press.