The Right Opinion

No 'Playing Gotcha' With Obama

By L. Brent Bozell · Jan. 30, 2013

Did you see that hard-hitting report on “60 Minutes” Sunday, the one that charged that one of our nation's most famous leaders and role models is a shameless liar, a ruthless intimidator and even “incinerator” of enemies, a man who operates like the Mafia?

No, that wasn't the interview with Barack Obama alongside Hillary Clinton. It was an interview later in the same show about the drug-enhanced bicyclist Lance Armstrong. That's CBS News for you – a guy who pedals a bike through France is hammered as if he is the most powerful man in the world, while the most powerful man is treated like a lovable celebrity – because that is precisely how they feel.

The agenda of “60 Minutes” should remind viewers that CBS CEO Les Moonves attended a glitzy Obama/DNC fundraiser in Beverly Hills last June, where he admitted the obvious: “Ultimately, journalism has changed … partisanship is very much a part of journalism now.”

Steve Kroft, who's been minding the Batcave as Obama's journalistic butler on “60 Minutes” for six years now, was also perfectly obvious about his servility, both during the recorded Obama-and-Hillary interview and in a later chat with CNN. He began his interview on CBS by telling the audience that this segment was Obama's idea. One wonders if Obama has something like a bell or a dog whistle for Kroft. Since when do politicians set segments for “hard-hitting” “60-Minutes”?

Kroft told CNN's Piers Morgan that Obama likes the show because it's a long-form interview, and it's highly rated. But he also admitted, “I think he knows that we're not going Morgan avoided the obvious follow-up question, to play gotcha with him, that we're not going to go out of our way to make him look bad or stupid.”

“60 Minutes” used to be synonymous with “gotcha,” and it certainly was when it broke the Abu Ghraib story to hurt Bush in 2004, and when Dan Rather flaunted fake Texas Air National Guard documents to hurt Bush months later. In the 2008 election cycle, “60 Minutes” asked John McCain why he would “let the Wall Street executives sail away on their yachts and leave this (bailout) on the American taxpayer?” They hammered Romney about avoiding military service – and his five sons avoiding military service. Kroft has never asked Obama about his failure to serve in the military, and he certainly never asked about whether he had premarital sex with his wife, which Mike Wallace threw at Romney.

But this was Barack and Hillary Show, and it focused on that wondrous relationship. “How would you characterize your relationship right now?” He asked Hillary: “What did he promise you? And has he kept the promises?” He asked the president: “Has she had much influence in this administration?” He asked them both: “What do you think the biggest success has been, foreign policy success, of the first term?”

When Kroft turned to “specifics” on Benghazi, he wanted to know about her testimony before the House and Senate. “You had a very long day. Also, how is your health?” After setting that sympathetic tone, he asked one specific question. “Do you feel guilty in any way, at a personal level? Do you blame yourself that you didn't know or that you should have known?”

Which official who lost a public servant in a terrorist attack would not express regret, that they wish they could have done something more to prevent it? It was a softball that opened the door for Hillary to profess it was “a great personal loss,” but not really her fault.

During the hearings, Team Obama was sharply criticized for blatantly lying and blaming the Benghazi attacks on a video, spurring Hillary to yell at Sen. Ron Johnson, “What difference does it make?” It begged for the famed Mike Wallace incredulity thrust: “What difference did it make?!”

Nothing. Apparently Hillary's flagrant non-answer was somehow a great answer. She's a Clinton. Lying always gets them out of a jam because the compliant liberal media will never call them out. To borrow a phrase from Bill, “maintaining their political viability within the system” is always their first priority. The same can be said for their media enablers.

At the end of the Lance Armstrong-bashing segment, his accuser, Trevor Tygart of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, suggested this was Armstrong's plan: “Cheat your way to the top, and if you get too big and too popular and too powerful, if you do it that well, you'll never be held accountable.”

Obama's reliance on the performance-enhancing media is like doping in politics. Kroft and Co. helped Obama cheat his way to the top, and at the pinnacle of power, he is never held accountable. The interview should have concluded, “I am Barack Obama, and I approve this message.”



Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

It was to be expected that no hard questions would be asked by Kroft. The lamestream media is so enamored of Odumbo that if he took down his pants and crapped on the Capital steps they would find some way to make it a good thing. Some of them, like Chris Matthews, would want some of it for keepsakes. They will never ask the questions that need to be asked because it might make their Messiah look bad. Sorriest bunch of so-called "journalists" this country has ever produced.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:31 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

Why would anyone watch 60 minutes anymore, I can't think of a bigger waste of time. Useful idiot television.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Charles in Oakland, CA said:

No matter how dreadful and obviously one-sided a show such as 60 Minutes may be, the truly unfortunate fact is that a great deal of the American public watches it, and worse, believes what it says. We have become so lazy and uninterested in learning what the facts are, and we have a media so in the tank for Obama et al. that unless we wake up, I am afraid that public will continue to elect people such as Obama, who will in turn continue to steal us blind. It truly is a case of the fox guarding the hen house.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Travis in Texas said:

The lamestream media's peddling of their stories slanting left, moronic sitcoms, and so called "reality" shows, proves that they believe that the dumber they can keep their viewers, the safer their liberal buddies in office are. Unfortunately, thus far, they're correct. When will the masses wake up?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Joel in Ohio said:

"I approve this message" is not about "partisanship" as suggested. IT is about the media being a propaganda machine. CBS should change its name to CBizvestia, after the soviet's propaganda machine. It's time to call out the liars, and by vitue of their omissions, the falsehood spreadspreaders. The government in partnership with a (no-longer) free-press, is anathema.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 12:54 PM