Confronting a huge yet ignored lesson of Election 2012 — the Obama media’s enduring power.
Most observers of the 2008 presidential campaign — even including some liberals after the fact — were shocked and appalled by the media’s pro-Barack Obama sycophancy. Unfortunately, the intentional and unintentional advocacy of the media on behalf of Obama was even worse in 2012.
There are many reasons why the conservative movement failed to achieve electoral success this year, but perhaps one of the most significant is the enduring power and influence of the left-dominated “mainstream” media. The 2012 cycle demonstrated that left-wing journalists have far more sway on Americans’ opinions than many conservatives have been willing to admit.
While the right’s ability to access mass audiences has increased substantially in recent decades with the advent of talk radio, cable television, and the Internet, its audience reach is still tiny compared to the hundreds of millions who consume news generated by the liberal mainstream media.
It is true that the audience share of these supposedly objective outlets has decreased in recent years, but that hardly means they have lost their ability to persuade people, especially with working journalists now ever more willing to throw their self-styled proclamations of objectivity to the wind.
It was one thing for the press to refuse to vet Senator Obama after he threw his name into the ring in February 2007, largely ignoring his astonishingly weak record as both a state and U.S. senator while refusing to properly expose his connections to domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, his real estate dealings with the felonious Tony Rezko, and his many years sitting in the pews listening to the America-hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
It was also total malpractice the way the media blamed 2008’s financial collapse on George W. Bush and Republicans while completely ignoring the two pieces of legislation that directly caused the housing and credit bubbles — the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 — both signed into law by Bill Clinton, as well as the Community Reinvestment Act’s federally mandated lowering of lending standards.
But it’s quite another thing how the press behaved once the man they aided and abetted during the campaign was sworn in. From that point, many in the media appeared to believe it was their job to assist him in advancing his agenda even if that involved their providing false information to the public or not bothering to report administration failures along the way.
Consider that within days of Obama’s election, MSNBC host Chris Matthews made his intentions clear stating he believed it was his duty to aid the new president:
“I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work […] Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country.”
Within months of the new president’s inauguration, a fine example of the press’s complicity was demonstrated by how it initially ignored opponents of Obama — a.k.a. the Tea Party — and then dishonestly depicted its members as racists.
When a different, administration-backed movement emerged in 2011 advocating policies in line with the current White House resident, its members were fawned and gushed over as the violence and lawlessness that took place at their rallies went unreported.
At the same time as the Republican presidential nomination process was beginning, the media felt it was their responsibility to eviscerate and attack all the candidates.
Recall that after sexual harassment allegations were made against Herman Cain by Politico last November, ABC, CBS, and NBC ran more stories about this in the ensuing seven days than they did about Obama’s connections to Ayers, Dorhn, Rezko, and Wright throughout the entire 2008 campaign.
But the most repugnant behavior by the media was yet to come.
In January, the White House released a new edict concerning companies — including religious organizations — being required to provide free contraceptives to their employees even if it violated their religious beliefs. Prior to this, there had been absolutely no discussion of birth control from Republican presidential candidates. Yet this set off a firestorm of media attacks on Republicans and their so-called “War on Women.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?