by Stephen Dietrich, Managing Editor
For years, the mainstream media has controlled the narrative on politics. Americans only heard what the media wanted them to hear, nothing more. Now that President-elect Donald Trump is changing that, the corporate media is furious.
Wednesday, after Trump refused to answer CNN’s questions at a press conference, pundits and news hosts reacted with venom.
They have no right to be outraged.
Here’s the truth the media won’t tell you: President Barack Obama created this precedent nearly eight years ago.
And the mainstream media ignored it, because he favored them.
Throughout his two terms, Obama refused to acknowledge conservative news and was outspokenly in favoring liberal news outlets. Anything published that disagreed with Obama’s vision was dismissed in a hostile manner by the current administration.
It’s a fact the mainstream media — which has fawned over Obama for his entire presidency — won’t admit.
But we have proof.
In October 2009, Obama’s White House called conservative media “a wing of the Republican party” and said famously about Fox News: “Let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”
“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, Obama’s communications director, “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”
The Obama administration followed through with that promise. For years the president and his administration were outspoken in their hostility towards unfriendly news outlets.
Obama’s contempt for unbiased news didn’t only target Fox News either. He also readily bashed conservative radio talk hosts like Rush Limbaugh and online news outlets as well.
In a Rolling Stone interview in 2010, for example, Obama said conservative media would be “destructive to [our country’s] long-term growth” and implied he wouldn’t work with them.
It gets worse.
In October 2008, Obama publicly blamed unfriendly news for his troubles… because they didn’t describe him as favorably as he was used to.
He told The New York Times, “I am convinced that if there were no Fox News, I might be two or three points higher in the polls,” Obama said. “Because the way I’m portrayed 24/7 is as a freak! I am the latte-sipping, New York Times-reading, Volvo-driving, no-gun-owning, effete, politically correct, arrogant liberal. Who wants somebody like that?”
In June 2009, Obama told CNBC’s John Harwood that Fox News — not his leadership — was to blame for his slipping popularity. “I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration,” Obama said in the interview. “That’s a pretty big megaphone. You’d be hard pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front.”
In January 2013, in Obama implied to The New Republic that unfriendly news was to blame for all government dysfunction. “One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.”
In October of that same year, of course, Obama publicly refused to negotiate with Republicans on government debt and simply accused them of trying “to burn the house down.”
In September 2013, Obama blamed Fox News for the problems his disastrous healthcare law faced. “If you’ve talked to someone who said, I don’t know, I was watching Fox News and they said [Obamacare] was horrible,” implying they — not him — were to blame for American’s being upset. And in October 2014, Obama again accused conservative news of misinformation, saying that Obamacare’s success wasn’t being reported because “health care might seem like a fanged threat to the freedom of the American people on Fox News”.
During that period, between 2013 and 2015, individual market health care costs increased significantly, up an estimated 69% according to S&P Global Institute findings.
And earlier, in February 2014, Obama attacked accusations that the IRS was being used to target conservatives and their organizations. Obama said there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in his administration. He went on to say that any other speculation or questioning was simply being furthered by conservative media, “These kinds of things keep surfacing, in part because you and your TV station will promote them,” Obama told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.
This was after the IRS admitted it was unfairly targeting conservative groups and publicly apologized. In 2016, the organization released a list of 426 conservative groups it had attacked.
The examples go on and on.
It’s not just his own administration Obama was out to protect from unfriendly news sources. When discussing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s struggles in the 2016 presidential race at a New York Fundraiser in September 2016, Obama again attacked non-liberal news for spreading “misinformation.”
“This should not be a close election, but it will be. And the reason it will be is not because of Hillary’s flaws, but rather because, structurally, we’ve become a very polarized society. If all you’re doing is watching Fox News and listening to Rush Limbaugh and reading some of the blogs that are churning out a lot of misinformation on a regular basis, then it’s very hard for you to think that you’re going to vote for somebody who you’ve been told is taking the country in the wrong direction.”
It’s undeniable — that Obama’s administration and allies have been openly and unapologetically hostile towards any news source they deemed unfriendly.
So where was the mainstream media outrage that Obama’s actions were unpresidential?
Where did the media hide their scathing op-eds on how undemocratic it was that the president was favoring corporate media over other sources?
The outrage from conservatives was loud, after all.
But on the liberal media’s side, they didn’t want to hear about it.
The silence was deafening.
Well, not anymore.
Can you hear us now?
Stephen Dietrich is the Managing Editor of The Horn News