As events continue to head south for the Obama presidency, the dilettante-in-chief reveals more and more frequently that the bemused and ingratiating smile of the campaign–so much in contrast to Hillary Clinton’s frozen-faced seriousness–masked a petulant and angry egoist. Perhaps the first whiff of the Big 0’s ego problem occurred when he lamented all that he’d given up in terms of sleep and time just to run for national office. He since has complained that Republicans were talking about him “like a dog.”
Especially in regards to the once sycophantic press, Obama now has little energy to devote to a charm offensive. Having grown used to an uncritical and worshipful deference, Obama reacts with spite to the normal give-and-take of press relations. Can one imagine Ronald Reagan handling the badgering of Sam Donaldson in the same manner as Obama does this local news reporter?
Note that the reporter had seven minutes to interview the President; is it at all surprising, therefore, that the reporter would try to squeeze as many questions in as possible and tend to cut off the notably loquacious Obama? After all, he has been known to give a 17-minute answer to a single question.
Worse than a question of style, however, which voters can decide for themselves whether or not they disapprove, the recent retaliation of the Obama administration against a member of the press pool for releasing video of a protest bespeaks a desire to censor actual news.
“Everyone in an audience has video capability,” Marinucci said. “That’s a reality. God forbid if the president was attacked, would you just let citizen journalists record the event? This is not 1987. There is no such thing as pure print anymore, and you’re basically telling us we cannot record news when it happens and citizen journalists can.”
Organizers of last week’s fundraiser and the White House “have the right to do whatever they want to do” regarding media access, said Lowell Bergman, a professor of investigative reporting at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He added that it is not unusual for an administration to retaliate against a news organization with whom it disagrees.
“The Nixon administration, and the Ford administration after it, barred CBS News cameras from the Pentagon and would not cooperate” with the network after CBS aired a series called “The Selling of the Pentagon,” Bergman said.
Not really a flattering comparison for “the most open administration in history.”