Sunday, August 28, 2011

OBAMA AND THE MEDIA

A few days ago we wrote on the bias of the liberal media.  Tonight we bring a variation on the theme.  Two different journalists, writing for two extremely distinguished publications give their opinion on "Obama and The Media."  Both Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, and Jim Geraghty, who writes the Campaign Spot on National Review Online have written excellent articles which we feature in this posting of Two Sisters From The Right.  The articles are incisive and eloquent.

TWO SISTERS



Obama’s Enablers
Meet the mainstream media


As a rule, the press is the scourge of presidents. They’re expected to endure unending scrutiny, mistrust, and badgering—plus hostility if they’re Republicans—by a hectoring herd of reporters and commentators in the mainstream media. But there’s an exception to the rule: President Obama.
Illustration by Gary Locke
National Review Online
It’s counterintuitive, but Obama has been hurt by the media’s leniency. Both his presidency and reelection prospects have suffered. He’s grown lazy and complacent. The media have encouraged him to believe his speeches are irresistible political catnip, though they aren’t. His overreliance on words hasn’t helped.
The kind of media pressure that can cause a president to sharpen his game, act with urgency, or take bolder steps—that has never been applied to Obama. If it had, I suspect he’d be a more effective, disciplined, energetic, and popular president today.

Ronald Reagan is a good role model in this regard. When the media attacked him over gaffes in the 1980 campaign, “Reagan responded like all competitive men by working to improve himself,” says Reagan historian Craig Shirley. “Experience taught him to be better and try harder.” He took this lesson into the White House.

I don’t want to exaggerate the media’s baneful influence on Obama. It’s hardly the main reason for his decline. It’s a secondary reason, and it continues to have an impact.

Absent pushing and prodding by the press, the Obama presidency has atrophied. His speeches are defensive and repetitive and filled with excuses. He passes the buck. With persistently high unemployment and a weak economy, Obama recently declared, in effect, “I have a plan. See you after my vacation.” The press doesn’t goad him to lead.

On the contrary, the media have condoned Obama’s avoidance of leadership. It started when he let Nancy Pelosi draft the $800 billion stimulus and continued when congressional Democrats put together the health care, cap and trade, and financial industry reform bills...More>>

© Copyright 2011 The Weekly Standard LLC

_____________________


Expect the ‘Unexpectedly’
In the Obama years, bad news has always surprised the media.
by Jim Geraghty 

It is the most common adverb of the Obama years: “unexpectedly.”

● “Sales of U.S. previously owned homes unexpectedly dropped in July,” reported Bloomberg.

● “Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region unexpectedly contracted in August by the most in more than two years as orders plunged and factories shed workers,”reported Bloomberg Businessweek.

● “Consumer spending unexpectedly fell in June,” reported Reuters.

● “Dismal economic data on Thursday pointed to an unexpectedly abrupt slowdown in manufacturing and a pickup in inflation,” reported the New York Times’ business page.

This is just in the past week; hundreds of articles each month note that some new bit of economic data is contrary to the expectations of experts. But the term is starting to become an object of ridicule within the conservative blogosphere as the country endures its third year of hard economic times under President Obama.

Three years after a financial crisis, unemployment has hit painful highs, GDP growth has been sluggish at best, and some predict a “double dip” recession. During this period, the Obama administration and its allies have repeatedly made bold promises about imminent prosperity — from an infamous chart that projected that the stimulus would keep unemployment rate below 8 percent, to the administration’s “Recovery Summer” tour of 2010, to Nancy Pelosi’s prediction that passing Obamacare would create 400,000 jobs “almost immediately,” to the president’s prediction that we would enjoy 3.1 percent growth this year and 4.1 percent growth in 2012 and beyond....More>>

© National Review Online 2011.

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