The News Squashers
NBC's David Gregory isn't always a news reporter. As we're seeing with increasing frequency on that network, he's squashing stories. Call him an unreporter. On Sunday's "Meet the Press," he showed the extent to which he'll vaporize any suggestion that Team Obama failed to offer adequate protection from terrorists at our consulate in Benghazi.
Businesswoman Carly Fiorina slammed Obama's Libya response: "That attack went on for seven hours...[with the] Secretary of Defense saying he denied requests for help over that seven hours." Gregory cut her off: "We'll get to Libya a little bit later." Surprise: It never came up again.
It sounded a lot like 1999, when Gregory squashed RNC spokesman Cliff May on MSNBC as he tried to mention Juanita Broaddrick's rape charges against Bill Clinton. Or the obsequious 2008 moment when then-CNN anchor John Roberts promised Obama in an interview he would create a "Reverend Wright-Free Zone."
Too many in the "news" media think of themselves as a deputized PR Secret Service for Obama, just as they did for Clinton. They reject the concept of nonpartisanship. In their view, one side is credible, the other not. Why balance social service with greed? Tolerance with hate? Justice with oppression? There is right, and there is wrong, and there ought not to be a middle ground in enlightened journalism. There is only the light of truth.
It follows that they use their influence to protect the White House, to preserve the president's "political viability within the system," as they say. If, God forbid, Republicans win the presidency, these same "journalists" are justified in brawling and mauling to derail the GOP agenda. In fact, they're called to do so. It is, after all, the public's Right to Know.
Look across the Sunday shows that aired on the networks with nine days to go in the campaign. On most, there was a total avoidance of any scrutiny for Obama.
On ABC's "This Week," Newt Gingrich noted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's refusal to send assistance to Benghazi and ripped into Obama: "He's canceling trips over the hurricane. He did not cancel his trips over Benghazi." George Stephanopoulos moved on to another campaign question.
On CBS's "Face the Nation," Bob Schieffer asked John McCain about the hurricane, and which party might get hurt by it.
McCain squeezed in Libya in his answer: "This tragedy turned into a debacle, and massive cover-up or massive incompetence in Libya is having an effect on the voter because of their view of the commander-in-chief. And it is now the worst cover-up or incompetence that I have ever observed in my life." Schieffer moved on.
Perhaps the worst performance in this sorry flock of sheep came from CNN's Candy Crowley. She'd enabled Obama's Libya lies by supporting him with a mangled "fact check" in the second debate, and learned nothing from the ensuing criticism — or just refused to alter her position. She failed to ask Obama spinner David Axelrod anything about Libya. She punted. Then when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus arrived, she focused on GOP "gaffes," like Richard Mourdock sticking up for the humanity of a baby conceived in rape.
Crowley couldn't ask about Libya damage for Democrats, but she pounded Priebus about damage to those anti-woman Republicans: "Does it hurt the party image to have these issues out there in a way that makes the party or that is portrayed as making the party look unbending and, you know, anti-woman, as is described in the Obama ad?"
Notice how the media bashing of Mourdock and Todd Akin so perfectly matches the messaging of Obama's advertising?
Priebus stated the obvious — no party has a monopoly on gaffes — but the network news squashers specialize in ignoring the obvious. Obama and Biden can say the most foolish or obnoxious things, and the networks skip them. None of them, even Crowley, found it "anti-woman" when Arizona's Democratic Senate candidate Richard Carmona joked during a debate that his male moderator was "prettier" than Crowley.
Shameless Crowley just moved on to another alleged Republican "outrage." John Sununu implied that Colin Powell endorsed Obama in demonstration of racial solidarity.
On "Fox News Sunday," Brit Hume denounced the Libya squashers. "One of the problems we're having here is that it has fallen to this news organization, Fox News, and a couple of others to do all the heavy lifting on this story. The mainstream organs of the media that would be after this like a pack of hounds if this were a Republican president have been remarkably reticent."
In squashing Obama's failures for partisan reasons, these journalists share in the disgrace that Obama earned by coming clean instead of covering up. They share the cover-up. If their man is defeated as a result of his horrific record, these media guardians should share in that defeat as well.