Every once in a while, some liberal will drop the left-wing code of omerta and blurt out exactly what their organized deception syndicate is up to.
In the latest spasm of inadvertent truth-telling, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes gleefully told The New York Times that selling outrageous lies to members of the press was a breeze, because so many of them are gullible and lazy, willing to swallow and parrot whatever they are told.
Spewing contempt for “journalists” whom he considered ridiculously easy marks, Mr. Rhodes was particularly proud of duping the press on Mr. Obama’s dangerous Iran nuclear deal. He (and his team, including the president himself) told them that the deal became possible when a new “moderate” Iranian president reached out to Mr. Obama in 2013, when in fact, the groundwork for the deal had begun long before when the hard-liners were still in power.
The president’s fanboys and fangirls in the media ate it up.
“The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,” Mr. Rhodes said. “They literally know nothing.”
Mr. Rhodes also knows nothing about foreign policy, having been a novelist before joining the Obama speechwriting team in 2007. Of course, the ability to write fiction came in handy as he spun lies like circus plates.
“We created an echo chamber,” he said, referring to the network of friendly journalists and other fellow travelers (“compadres,” he called them) who unquestioningly conveyed their narrative. “They were saying things that we had validated what we had given them to say.”
None of this is surprising, given the long history of left-wing bias in the media. But when that institutional bias was coupled with an outright worship of Mr. Obama, the press took their cheerleading to absurd levels.
During the 2008 campaign, then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas gushed, “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above — above the world, he’s sort of God.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews spoke of an Obama-induced ecstasy: “I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg.”
A particularly egregious example of the media’s pro-Obama activism was the attempt by some of them to bury the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal. As tapes of Mr. Obama’s longtime pastor spewing vicious anti-American rhetoric flooded the airwaves, the left-wing media tried to ignore the story until they no longer could, and then they mobilized.
Members of JournoList, a listserv made up of hundreds of left-wing journalists from major media organizations, were outraged that ABC News’ George Stephanopolous had asked Mr. Obama why it had taken him so long to dissociate himself from Rev. Wright’s comments. The left-wing journalists jumped into action, with Thomas Schaller of the Baltimore Sun suggesting, “Why don’t we use the power of this list to do something about the debate” and writing a “smart statement expressing disgust” at the questions Mr. Stephanopolous had asked Mr. Obama.
No wonder so many in the left-wing media sought to protect Mr. Obama. With religious fervor, they believed in the man and his mission and did whatever it took to make his presidency a reality.
Once he took office, he used the full force of the White House to create an Orwellian landscape, in which media organizations that didn’t play the Obama propaganda game were intimidated and punished. During his hard-sell of Obamacare in August 2009, for example, the White House appointed health care “czar” Nancy deParle and former ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass to monitor the blogs and “casual conversations” of Obamacare opponents and report them to the president.
The Obama team slammed The Boston Herald for having the audacity to run a front-page op-ed by former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The San Francisco Chronicle was punished because a print pool reporter recorded anti-Obama protesters at a Bay Area fundraiser. A local Texas reporter at WFAA-TV was criticized by the president himself for interrupting him. Then-CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson was “screamed at” by White House flunky Eric Schultz for probing the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal.
The Obama 2012 re-election campaign also launched “Attack Watch,” which, as they put it, was “a new way to track and respond to attacks against President Obama.” And the White House orchestrated a war on an entire news network, Fox News.
The intensity with which these media organizations were called out, dressed down and punished was astonishing — and served as an effective deterrent to anyone else who might be inclined to probe the administration’s actions. It was — and continues to be — an outrageous abuse of power, submitted to willingly by much of the press.
Throughout his interminable presidency, Mr. Obama has enjoyed the protection of this King’s Guard. Mr. Rhodes simply exploited their shallow idolatry and professional lassitude. And the country has been damaged immeasurably because of it.
• Monica Crowley is editor of online opinion at The Washington Times.
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