The Leftmedia Blinders
The mainstream press isn't speaking truth to power; they're circling the wagons.
The big broadcast companies, ABC and NBC, stayed silent as the story that Jonathan Gruber boasted of lying to get ObamaCare passed gathered steam in conservative media. Didn’t it matter that the person who Barack Obama claimed was one of the major minds behind the law lied to get it passed? But yet, as Newsbusters reports, the networks stayed loyal to the Washington establishment. Perhaps they hoped the Gruber story would just go away.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that what is news in Washington often only matters to the players of Washington. The Leftmedia don’t hustle for the stories that matter to the public because the media and the government are often bedfellows – literally. Mark Leibovich, in his book “This Town,” tells of the marriage between Andrea Mitchell, a reporter for NBC News, and Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve. During the financial collapse of 2009, Mitchell treaded a thin line to report on her husband’s economic policies. Talk about a conflict of interest.
It seems only when journalists are pushed out of the system do the most damning stories come to light. On Nov. 14, Melissa Francis of Fox Business Network told viewers that her previous bosses at CNBC told her not to report the hard numbers on ObamaCare because it was – get this – disrespectful to the president.
Here’s how Francis told the story: “I said on the air that you couldn’t add millions of people to the system and force insurance companies to cover their preexisting conditions without raising the price on everyone else. I pointed out that it couldn’t possibly be true that if you liked your plan, you can keep it. That was a lie, and in fact, millions of people had their insurance canceled. As a result of what I said at CNBC, I was called into management where I was told that I was ‘disrespecting the office of the president’ by telling what turned out to be the absolute truth.”
To be fair, telling the truth is to disrespect this president.
Based on Francis’s account, the producers at CNBC don’t have a clue what journalism is. Disrespect? Good journalism is never awed by those in power. Not to mention, as in this case, Obama’s “you can keep your plan” comment was awarded the “Lie of the Year” from Politifact.
When the New York Post reached out to CNBC for response to Francis’s allegation, a representative for the company replied, “That’s laughable, but we take notice, because as the fastest-growing network in prime time, we’re always on the lookout for high quality comedy writers and actresses.” Instead of confirming or denying what happened, they just make fun of their old news anchor. That should prove their commitment to journalism.
But Francis is not the only journalist to be pushed from the mainstream broadcast news networks because of how she did the job. Sharyl Attkisson left CBS in March in what she called an “amicable” manner. But sources in the company allege that Attkisson, then an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter, left after months of disagreement with management. CBS wasn’t supporting as much investigative journalism as they did in the past, and it certainly didn’t want to go hard charging after Obama like Attkisson did with her reporting of the Fast and Furious scandal, or her proposal to further investigate the Benghazi attack and subsequent cover-up.
Recently, the most damning of Washington scandals have not originated from the top of the Washington media food chain. They have been sniffed out from the bottom, where independent journalists and bloggers discover the documents and the sound bytes. It wasn’t the mainstream media that dug into the archives of Obama’s comments to come out holding the one in which the president said he liberally stole ideas from Jonathan Gruber.
The Washington press corps is too close to the problem. They don’t see why Gruber’s comments are germane because such deceitful games are the modus operandi in Washington. As Obama said in denying Gruber’s comments, ObamaCare was “extensively debated” and “fully transparent” – by which he meant lying and obfuscation are just part of American politics.
The American voters need to know what the swamp along the Potomac is really like. They need the information to decide whether to put their trust in such a government. But the Leftmedia wear blinders when it comes to the very power to whom they purport to speak truth.