Those of us who follow the news closely often forget that probably 80% of the adult population (seen as 85% some time ago, but likely lower than that thanks to New Media and the Tea Party movement) is relatively disengaged. They are, at best, passive consumers of news who either legitimately don’t have the time to do their own independent research, or don’t care to.
If we had a responsible establishment press dedicated to informing the public in a fair and balanced way, this would not necessarily be a big problem. But we don’t, and it is.
In 2011, passive news consumers were extremely ill served, as the leftist legacy media seemed to almost completely abandon any pretense of objectivity or fairness left over from its disgraceful collective performance in 2010.
Why did this happen? Beyond the normal factors, 2011 saw White House thuggery directed at a press corps already inclined to reflexively parrot its positions reach previously unseen heights.
To name just three examples:
- In March, Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers, sent to cover a fundraiser involving Vice President Joe Biden and Florida Senator Bill Nelson, was confined in a closet “to keep him from mingling with high-powered guests.” Sentinel editors “dropped the story.”
- In April, the White House banished San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci “for using a video camera to capture an event.” The paper was “threatened with more punishment if they reported on it.” Chronicle Editor at Large Phil Bronstein called the White House’s subsequent attempt to deny it all “a pants-on-fire moment.” Press coverage elsewhere was scant.
- In May, the White House Press Office “refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser” because it objected “to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed.” The shutout was virtually ignored.
Nothing has changed. In December, a Washington Post item noted that “when a reporter gets something wrong or is perceived as being too aggressive, the pushback is often swift and sometimes at top volume” (including heavy doses of profanity). What do you guys expect when you just sit there and take it — something you would never do under a conservative or Republican administration?
It’s reasonable to believe that the constant threats of White House pushback and especially of access denial significantly drove this year’s extraordinarily negligent coverage of the administration’s scandals, corruption, policy failures, and misleading statements. What follows are just ten out of dozens of this year’s worst examples of media malfeasance. Except for the final two, which are clearly this year’s most egregious, they are in no particular order. In most cases, there was no press coverage, or no further coverage, of the items cited.
For the list of Obamas' Top 10 Media Fuck-ups, go here.
Personally I think his biggest fuck-up was ever appearing on camera in the first place.