Loose Canons

Obama’s Media-Contrived Courage

We know who's side the media are on -- but does Mitt Romney?

By 5.14.12

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If you want to gauge how the presidential campaign is going, all you need to do is strap sphygmomanometers to the arms of a few New York Times editorial writers, Washington Post reporters, and MSNBC hosts. The higher their average blood pressure, the lower Obama has sunk in the polls.

Yes, they're at it again. Or I should say, "still." The Obama media -- the Gatekeeper Media who try to control what people know based on what fits their narrative -- are proving almost daily that they're not in the news business. They are in the business of political activism, aimed solely at getting their guy another four years in the White House.

Obama's admission of the obvious fact he'd previously denied -- his support for same-sex marriage -- is now being ballyhooed as proof of his great political courage. Really? As Brit Hume pointed out yesterday on "Fox News Sunday," Obama's position on gay marriage didn't evolve: it revolved. In 1996, Obama said he was for it. In the 2008 campaign, he said he opposed it but also opposed the California referendum banning it. In office, his Department of Justice has refused to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage -- as Obama did in 2008 -- as a union of a man and a woman. Now he says he supports gay marriage.

Instantly, that became the biggest media story of the week, second only to the story about Mitt Romney bullying a presumed homosexual who attended the same exclusive prep school Romney did in the 1960s. The two stories are entirely instructive, as is the media's timing.

In fact, Obama had no choice in announcing his position. Good Ol' Joe Biden, who has never had an unexpressed thought, said on "Meet the Press" eight days ago that he was "comfortable" with gay marriage. Cornered, and under intense pressure by the homosexual lobby to motivate the (insignificant) homosexual voting block that was already with him, Obama endorsed same-sex marriage five days later. To the media, that's proof of his political heroism.

Jay Leno got it right. Obama said his position on same-sex marriage had "evolved." What a coincidence, said Leno, that he had completed his evolution just in time for a multi-million dollar fundraiser in Hollywood. That, to the media, is heroism. We eagerly await the announcements from endangered Senate Democrats such as Missouri's Claire McCaskill supporting their president's position. That would be akin to the heroism of Japanese samurai who committed ritual seppuku.

The media would have us believe that it was another coincidence that in the five-day gap between the Biden and Obama statements, the Washington Post published a story about Romney cutting the hair of a possibly homosexual fellow high school student while others held him down. The incident occurred in 1965 and, we are to believe, is proof of Romney's homophobia and a demonstration of his mean-spirited character.

Romney apologized. "I don't remember that incident," he said. "And I'll tell you I certainly don't believe that I ... thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s, so that was not the case."

Romney's nervously delivered apology could have been a moment of political courage eclipsing Obama's. He could have said that he supports both the Defense of Marriage Act and, more importantly, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. He could have said that his position was much like Obama's 2008 position, and that he was sticking to it. But he didn't. His lack of confidence will goad the media to attack his weakness when, in truth, he isn't weak (at least on that issue).

Two weeks ago, there was a one-day story about what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said was Obama's "compression" of people in his first campaign autobiography, "Dreams from My Father." The New York girlfriend Obama wrote about in that book didn't exist. As Obama wrote in the introduction, "For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people I've known, and some events appear out of precise chronology." In short, the book is a work of fiction that intentionally conceals Obama's actions, choice of friends, and beliefs.

The Romney high school incident happened 47 years ago. Like everything a presidential candidate has done, whenever he did it, it's fair game for reporters. But where are the stories of Obama's high school and college years? Where are the media investigating Obama's statements in his books?

The people who voted for Obama in 2008 knew virtually nothing about him, and know little more now. Where are his college transcripts, his friends and girlfriends, and whatever he wrote for the Harvard Law Review? No one has seen the transcripts or the writing, no one has sought out and interviewed his high school and college friends and girlfriends. We know almost nothing about Obama's early years except what Obama himself has written. Even his later years -- sitting in Jeremiah Wright's church, listening to the anti-American racist nutcase -- remain uninvestigated and unreported. What did Obama think, listening to Wright for two decades? Why didn't he leave that church for another if he strongly disagreed with Wright?

In the minds of the Gatekeeper Media, we aren't entitled to know about Obama's character, what he said or believed, or what he did before he began his 2008 campaign. The Gatekeepers -- ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers -- don't want to investigate for fear of what they might find. They're intent on re-electing Obama and will, as they have in the past, simply decline to report on those stories.

When Newt Gingrich railed against the Gatekeeper Media in two primary debates, he struck a deep chord with Americans. According to a Rasmussen Poll released on June 15, 2010, "Sixty-six percent (66%) of U.S. voters describe themselves as at least somewhat angry at the media, including 33% who are Very Angry." Romney needs to reach deep down and find the courage to take on the Gatekeeper Media. They're going to do everything in their power to defeat him, so there's no reason to play their game.

Romney should begin at the long-promised event in which Gingrich will enthusiastically endorse him. Gingrich will say nothing new, but Romney should take the opportunity to praise Gingrich's courage in taking on the media. Romney should say that the media's bias is a matter of culture, not conspiracy.

He should quote the statement about five years ago by Washington Post editor Marie Arana who said, "The elephant in the newsroom is our narrowness.... If you work here, you must be one of us. You must be liberal, progressive, a Democrat. I've been in communal gatherings at the Post, watching election returns, and have been flabbergasted to see my colleagues cheer unabashedly for the Democratic candidates." And he should challenge them to report the stories they now bury, especially about Obama's past.

It's an opportunity for Romney to make the media a campaign issue. If he did, he could significantly boost his chances, and those of other Republicans, in November. It would take a courage that no Republican other than Gingrich has had. The anger at the press measured by that old Rasmussen poll hasn't diminished; it's grown and will continue to grow in the coming months as the Gatekeeper Media splash every real or imagined Romney misstep across the airwaves and front pages, ignoring whatever could hurt their candidate.

Make no mistake, Gov. Romney: Obama is their guy and you are their enemy. They will act accordingly. Will you? 

 

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About the Author
Jed Babbin served as a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush. He is the author of several bestselling books including Inside the Asylum and In the Words of Our Enemies. He is coauthor (with Herbert London) of the new book The BDS War Against Israel. You can follow him on Twitter@jedbabbin.