While watching the evening news broadcast of BBC America, anchor Katty Kay interviewed Time White House corespondent Jay Newton Small about the negotiations going on over the debt ceiling and spending cuts. Something at the very end of the interview struck me as odd and yet so telling of today's media and their relationship with Barack Obama. Maybe just with Democrats in general, really.
Katty Kay asked Newton Small how critical the process of negotiating was to Obama. Newton Small said, "If he gets it done, gets a big package, he wins re-election in a landslide." She didn't hesitate with that answer and she said it with such an air of confidence that it startled me and I can still hear it in my head. It prompted this blog post.
Karl Rove, on FNC's Hannity show, said the GOP will be the victor in the negotiations if they stand firm and get substantive spending cuts, no new taxes and entitlement reform.
Two different shows, hosts, and cable networks. Two insiders speaking - one about Team Obama and one about Republicans. It is hard to think of reporters any differently than political consultants anymore. In years past the press would at least aim for public discretion.
Later on Hannity, Brent Bozell of Media Research Center did a segment entitled "Media Mash". He documented with video clips how the media characterizes the GOP. It is obvious that character assassination is acceptable in the media - as long as it is against Republicans.
Some choice descriptions of Republicans were: terrorists, abolitionists, religion of no taxes, suicide bombers, hostage takers, and so on. Nice, huh? Not some much for the 'new tone' - certainly following the lead of the President in that respect.
Yet, as these media personalities and show hosts are freely allowed to say anything to describe Republicans, if one of them is honest and gives an opinion of the President's tone (calling him a 'di**'), that poor slob is suspended from the cable network. Turns out the White House called the cable network head and demanded action. In yet another turn of coziness, that network is owned by the corporation who has its CEO on Obama's economic council. He's the top member on that council, as a matter of fact.
And, while describing the budget cuts and spending cuts that have to be made in today's economic climate, it is always Republicans who are blamed and the cuts are always 'draconian'. It is blatant and it is stupid.
The former President who cannot stay away from a microphone or a camera, Bill Clinton, even weighed in. He told an audience recently that the new energy expended by activists to demand voter roll integrity and voter id legislation is taking us back to Jim Crow days. Seriously. The man who claimed that the Obama campaign was using the race card against him in 2008 now has reverted back to calling Republicans and conservatives - let's face it, he wasn't talking about Democrats concerned about election fraud via voter registration fraud - racists for insisting on integrity in our voting process. Unbelievable. Even for him.
We are still 16 months out from the election. It is only going to get worse. Buckle up and let your voice be heard.