As only he can do — sounding polite and reasonable while building a devastatingly critical case — Fred Barnes lights into the establishment media for its lily-livered lapdog act while not just kissing or licking, but slobbering over, Barack Obama’s ring. He won’t say it, but the case he lays out makes it clear that the media vis-a-vis Obama approaches the position Nina Burleigh offered vis-a-vis Bill Clinton. (Google it.)
One sample Barnes paragraph (among many):
Compare Obama’s coverage with that of President George W. Bush. The difference is startling. There was no fear of affronting Bush. He faced relentless scrutiny of his tactics in the war on terror: wiretaps, renditions, Guantánamo, the Patriot Act. The media raised questions about his motives, the constitutionality of his policies, and his brainpower. White House press conferences became tense and hostile events when national security issues were broached.
Obama’s adoption of these same policies has drawn minimal attention, much less the kind of media wrath that Bush endured. Last week, for example, Obama signed a bill extending the use of warrentless wiretapping to gather intelligence on America’s enemies. Bush was harshly criticized by the media on this very issue. Obama got a pass.
It really has been a shameful performance by the media. One might even say (read Barnes’ treatment of this issue) that the media has deliberately been putting “party before country.” But that might not really be true. I think a lot of the establishment media don’t know the difference.