Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Uh oh, Obama

The supposedly Obama-loving mainstream media might be turning on its favorite world leader. Could this be the start of a trend damaging to the second-term prez?

Uh oh, Obama


Is the mainstream media's long-viewed coddling of the incumbent president starting to turn into a squeeze?

You know the stance of the political right: Barack Obama is a media darling and the left-leaning, okay, liberal press treats him with affection never extended to George W. Bush.

Well, we're seeing some evidence that major players at major news outlets are boring in on the former law professor and his administration, including his former Secretary of State and apparently-designated successor.

Take, for example, MSNBC's always reliable Obama-backer, Chris Matthews.

He went off on Benghazi during his "Harball" broadcast Monday evening. He hammered away at the fact that we still don't know why Benghazi happened the way it did.

"How come this is shrouded in mystery? What I can't understand is all these months later we're still trying to figure out what happened," Matthews shouted.

"Where were the people that could have come or that tried to get there within however many hours it took to save the lives of the people still living. Where were they and why couldn't they do it? I'm going to ask that question until I get an answer," he said.

I think he's talking to you, Hillary.

Then there's The Washington Post's Dana Milbank. His Tuesday column is headlined "What did President Obama know and when did he know it?" He takes off after questions surrounding bugging the phones of international allies, failure of the HealthCare.gov website, IRS trageting of right-wing groups, Justice Department subeonas to reporters and more.

In all cases, the White House claims Obama was unaware of such flops and transgressions until learning about them from news reports.

Milbank closes his column with this: "On one level, it would be reassuring — and much more credible — if the White House admitted that Obama is more in the loop than he has let on. On another level, it would be disconcerting: Is it better that he didn’t know about his administration’s missteps — or that he knew about them and didn’t stop them?"

Maybe the president and his men and women have better answers than we've heard so far. Or maybe mainstream media hugging is becoming a thing of the past.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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