Press Secretary Jay Carney had a discussion with CBS News’ Major Garrett at George Washington University on April 17th. A major topic of discussion was whether it was appropriate for the sitting president to do an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show during the 2012 election. They concluded that it was, because it would allow President Obama to reach a younger crowd of voters (y’know, those voters who normally only get their news through satirical hosts who appear between episodes of South Park and Key and Peele).
Jay Carney also offered the revelation that “Probably the most substantive, challenging interview Barack Obama had in the election year was with the anchor of The Daily Show.”
I don’t believe Jay Carney is aware of the gravity of that statement. It is a slap in the face to some of the most fundamental media standards that have been maintained throughout American history–at least, until our current President took office. Almost every president in the past fifty years was scrutinized by the media over some challenge to their executive decisions, their stances on certain topics, or allegations that ran the gamut from adultery and political coverups to the bombing of civilians.
Despite this historic trend of harsh scrutiny, today’s mainstream media (except, in some cases, Fox News) has failed to give any controversy raised against President Obama comparable weight. For some reason, his sins are all overlooked.
Take, for example, the massive “if you like your plan, you can keep it” lie. People are upset with Obamacare because it had a botched rollout and an unreliable website, but this is merely evidence that a gargantuan, centrally-planned bureaucracy isn’t capable of operating efficiently. What should be more concerning is that one of its central supporting arguments was based on an outright lie. President Obama looked into the eyes of 300 million Americans and told them that lie twenty-three times.
Imagine for a second how you would react if you heard that, over in Russia, civilians were upset that one of Vladimir Putin’s government programs didn’t resemble what was promised. As an American citizen, you wouldn’t be surprised by Putin’s actions because, well, he’s Vladimir Putin. You would also likely feel upset for the Russian citizens who have to put up with Putin’s delinquency.
The previous analogy is exactly what is happening in our own country under Obamacare, but our people don’t seem to care all that much. According to the most recent Gallup polling data, President Obama’s job approval rating currently sits at 43%, ten less than the average for U.S. presidents. Yet, in the in the second April after reelection, he scores above both George W. bush (at 36%) and Richard Nixon (26%). Both of these two presidents were Republicans facing media opposition, and at least one of them served in the midst of a very liberal-leaning media environment.
It makes one wonder what President Obama’s job approval ratings would look like if he actually had to answer difficult questions. Would his current sub-par image look worse? Both logic and common sense suggest it would, but it is almost impossible to convince people they’ve been duped by a politician. This is even more difficult when the people still get a daily stream of softball journalism.
The fact that Jay Carny can say with seriousness that The Daily Show offered one of the hardest interviews the President ever had demonstrates just how soft the media has gotten in recent history. Their subservience is the modern day equivalent of fascistic media subjugation by an imperial ruler who hides his faults in plain sight. The one difference is that, while an imperial ruler forces the media to support him, America’s mainstream media has done so by choice.