Previous post:

Next post:

A Leader Singles Out his Enemies in the Press

by Keith Koffler on January 28, 2013, 6:29 pm

Did you hear? Hugo Chavez leapt up out of his cancer bed and attacked two Venezuelan media outlets by name, hoping to get them to take a more pro-Chavez line.

Terrible that Venezuela has become such a place – its leader working to chill free expression in order to advance his agenda.

OH WAIT A SECOND THAT WASN’T CHAVEZ IT WAS OBAMA.

I’d say we’ve finally come to this, but of course Obama and his White House have pulled this stuff before.

But here’s the latest, from Obama’s interview with two lackeys – one of whom actually worked on his campaign in 2008 and donated money to him since – from the New Republic.

Obama said:

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.

Does Obama stop and think even for a second about the ramifications of what he’s doing? Whether it’s appropriate for someone as powerful has he to be bullying specific members of the press?

Free speech guarantees freedom and all those values of the Founders Obama promoted in his Inaugural address. But Obama thinks his myopic little agenda is more important than such timeless principles. That he is grander than freedom of the press. And that whatever he needs to do to achieve his goals is worth it.

Not only did Obama attack Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, he offered up some advice to mainstream journalists. In a word – shed your objectivity and come join me:

There’s no equivalence there. In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems we’ve got in how folks report about Washington right now, because I think journalists rightly value the appearance of impartiality and objectivity. And so the default position for reporting is to say, “A plague on both their houses.” On almost every issue, it’s, “Well, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree”—as opposed to looking at why is it that they can’t agree. Who exactly is preventing us from agreeing?

Obama thinks that because ideas are his, they are objectively true, and therefore objective journalists will come to the same conclusion.

WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT IS KNOWN AS SUBJECTIVITY. Because he’s so convinced of his incontestable rightness, Obama doesn’t even understand that he’s asking reporters to be liberals. He thinks he’s asking them to be objective.

I know it’s difficult for people who are sure they are right about things to live in a democracy and have to tolerate FREE SPEECH that injures their cause. Obama is accusing Limbaugh and Fox News of wrecking the democratic process by actually influencing Republicans with their speech.

But, Mr. President, this is exactly how the democratic process is supposed to work. The democratic process is not about getting results. It’s about having an argument, and then getting results if you can.

Sorry, I know that’s hard work. But that’s the way we do it here. It’s a little different than Venezuela.

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

gracepmc January 28, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Obama thinks that because ideas are his, they are objectively true, and therefore objective journalists will come to the same conclusion.

And as long as the mainstream media continues to leave him unchallenged there is nothing to disabuse him of this idea.

The democratic process is unacceptable to Obama. He does not understand his job description.

Reply

brstevens January 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Obama must be taking the books Chavez have and recommended to him to heart.

Reply

Sadie January 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm

President Fonzie finally jumped the shark.

~ “Stupid, yes. Also dumb. But it is something I’ve gotta do.”
~ “Let me tell ya, it’s a lot of fun in La-La Land.”
~ “You ain’t nobody until you do what you want!”

What can I add that has been scripted from Happy Days …oh, I know, “Sit on it!”

Reply

Margaret January 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Keith, do you know of any other journalists working in the White House or in the halls of Congress who are as critical of some of these moves? Any grumbling under the breath? Any eye rolls? Anyone in disbelief that President Obama is saying these things? It seems like you’re a lone wolf, but I doubt that the entire Washington press corps is that dense. At least I hope not.

Reply

Julie Brueckheimer January 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Good question, but I doubt if Keith could take the liberty to name them. After all, they certainly would be punished, and not by Fox and Limbaugh.

Reply

Margaret January 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm

No names are required! I just want to know if there’s eye-rolling and giggling in the gallery.

Reply

MarjoJimbo January 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Mr. O knows best. After all, he is smarter than everyone else.

Reply

SAllen January 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I think what he is REALLY irked about is that Fox News has more viewers that any of his followers in the liberal news media. He can control them, but not Fox News or Rush so he is putting the “pressure” on his base followers!

Reply

DeniseVB January 28, 2013 at 7:09 pm

So, Obama’s going to Las Vegas to bash Republicans too ? Just a guess.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-fly-over-9-hours-just-speech-immigration_698171.html

Reply

Julie Brueckheimer January 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm

$1.6 million trip paid for by you and me, Denise.

Reply

Burke January 29, 2013 at 12:47 am

@juile – Its only going to get worse. None of this waste is reported. If Bush or any other President were abusing the taxpayers like this nut job. they would have been impeached.

Impeach Obama – with a one way ticket back to Kenya..

Reply

Jeff1000 January 29, 2013 at 2:51 am

Wow! That’s $800,00 a pop :-). Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Reply

William January 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm

“Who exactly is preventing us from agreeing?” — Pres. Obama

“Well, you are because you won’t agree with me. You are because you won’t just go along with my ideas.” — Random Opponent

It’s sad that he’s incapable of understanding that it works both ways.

Reply

Lizzy January 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm

One of these days one of Obama’s koolaid drinking drooling sycophantic media lapdogs (apologies to dogs) will go rogue. And all those
little secrets and late night meetings will come to light. Short of some kind
of apocryphaltic catastrophe that wakes the sleeping dimwits we are doomed
to no media. Fox News will grow as he’s now damned them along the folks
who didn’t vote to have America’s first scheming despot.

Reply

cindylu January 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm

ok what are we supposed to do about this since voting doesn’t work?

that;s why i am trying not to read this stuff-i mean why bother?

Reply

KmB January 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Jeez Keith you must be working on having your credentials pulled…

Reply

Knothead January 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm

“In the past less than scrupulous leaders had monikers such as tyrant, despot, dictator, mien furor, tsar, etc….. Well His Most Arrogance is now in a category by himself. Those others were wimps compared to this wanna be Ruler of the once free world. ”
Stephen C. Rogers
a Knothead, but not stupid.

Reply

Susan January 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm

He is drunk with power and nobody is lifting a finger to stop him. Not the legislature, not the courts, and certainly not the press. The state-run media was outraged and indignant when Richard Nixon’s secret enemies list was exposed. Yet not a peep from them when this fraud openly declares war on a private citizen like Rush Limbaugh. That’s just an open invitation for his true believers to destroy a man because he doesn’t share the same ideology. This is dangerous territory for any public servant to attempt to usurp our God given right to speak freely.

Reply

SurefireDwarf January 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

This is a trait of a true narcissist. All the praise he gets from MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, etc… is completely ignored. Hell, Newsweek called his second term the “Second Coming.” They are literally calling him God, and he doesn’t care. What more could he possibly want? No – he sets his eye on anyone who is critical of him.

Reply

RT January 29, 2013 at 12:30 am

No big deal going on here. Keith does a great job answering his own question as to “why” President Obama may choose to take this approach at what most would call a friendly interview. Namely, to quote Keith – “It’s about having an argument, and then getting results if you can.”

It may not be pretty, or maybe even the best way to spirit the process along, but it is, what it is. Like brokering a deal over a fine single malt scotch…

Reply

cincycinco January 29, 2013 at 7:56 am

How do you explain why Obama says things like this?

I don’t really need to. The American Psychiatric Association has already done so.

“Narcissistic Personality Disorder

[from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, 1994, commonly referred to as DSM-IV, of the American Psychiatric Association. European countries use the diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization.]

The disorder begins by early adulthood and is indicated by at least five of the following:

1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3. Believes he is “special” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

4. Requires excessive admiration

5. Has a sense of entitlement

6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends

7. Lacks empathy

8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him

9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes ”

http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/dsm-iv.html

Reply

ImNoDhimmi January 29, 2013 at 9:35 am

Wonder who was behind the proposal to remove Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the new edition of the DSM?

“Proposed removal from DSM-5
The Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group originally proposed the elimination of NPD as a distinct disorder in DSM-5 as part of a major revamping of the diagnostic criteria for personality disorders, replacing a categorical with a dimensional approach based on the severity of dysfunctional personality trait domains.
Some clinicians objected to this, characterizing the new diagnostic system as an “unwieldy conglomeration of disparate models that cannot happily coexist” and may have limited usefulness in clinical practice.
In July 2011, the Work Group came back with a major revision to their original proposal. In this revision, NPD was reinstated with dramatic changes to its definition. Note that the general move towards a dimensional (personality trait-based) view of the Personality Disorders has been maintained despite the reintroduction of NPD.”

Source:Wiki

Reply

cincycinco January 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm

DSM-V has a number of interesting changes in it, including making normal childhood behaviour a “disorder”,

“At a time when some groups argue that fewer children should be diagnosed with mental health issues, the DSM-V adds new diagnostic criteria for children. Those over the age of 6 who display irritability or frequent angry outbursts now qualify for a diagnosis of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. ”

and making it so you’re mentally ill if you get depressed after a loved one dies.

“Previous versions of the DSM incorporated a bereavement exception into depression diagnoses. This exclusion prevented mental health professionals from diagnosing a person who was grieving the death of a loved one with depression. The DSM-V, however, permits depression diagnoses in the bereaved. Members of the APA argued that the old bereavement exception excluded grieving people who had been diagnosed with chronic depression from being diagnosed with, and receiving treatment for, depression. But some people worry that the new changes pathologize grief and turn normal grieving—which often looks a lot like depression—into a mental health diagnosis.”

http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/controversy-changes-dsm-diagnosis-1205127

It also makes some substantial changes concerning autism and addiction;

“The website identifies the primary reason for this revision as the view that the term “dependence” is misleading: We are urged to not confuse the fact that tolerance and withdrawal are normal responses to some prescribed (read: medically necessary) medications that affect the central nervous system, and thus these physical states should not be seen as an illness. A substance disorder, instead, is a distinct syndrome that includes compulsive drug-seeking behavior, loss of control, craving and marked decrements in social and occupational functioning. Maybe we can reduce stigma with this revision? A good question that time will answer.

But the addiction soup gets thicker when it comes to wondering what, indeed, is an addiction? Is gambling (yes, probably)? Is sex? How about the Internet (without porn)? The votes are not in.

Another critical — and very controversial — diagnostic grouping is autism spectrum disorders. Is there an epidemic going on? You would think so, if you listen to the news. The workgroup’s recommendation for a new category of autism spectrum disorders reflects its view that autism and Asperger’s syndrome (think Dustin Hoffman and “The Rain Man”) are a continuum from mild to severe. Many families and advocacy groups are a bit agitated about ending the distinction, which would have effects (likely good and bad) on policy, clinical programs and funding.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lloyd-i-sederer-md/dsm-5_b_961966.html

Interesting that Obama’s diagnosable disorder will be removed, yet many thousands of previously “normal” people will now be diagnosable as having a mental disorder. Is this to increase dependance on Government? Set the stage for Government takeover of a psychiatric health care system that will be in crisis because of the additional work load?

Or maybe, just maybe, so the Government will have a “valid” basis on which to deny the right to bear arms to thousands more of its citizens. After all, we don’t want the “mentally ill” to have access to weapons, now, do we?

Of course, since divine right rulers at least since Caligula have held themselves to the be standard of what “normal” is, I can easily imagine a world where not thinking like Obama is officially a mental illness.

Kind of like what he actually said, is it not?

Reply

Teresa January 29, 2013 at 10:03 am

Followed by Steve Kroft’s sycophantic interview — good grief.

Reply

Star January 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm

What aggravates is the idea that anyone who is not in lockstep with him must be getting ideas from someone else. He supposedly came up with his stance, and so did we! Kind of funny that someone still gets to him, though–I enjoy it.

Reply

cincycinco January 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

We’ve seen this play before, it’s actually pretty standard Dear Leader stuff. Conservatives, Tea Party members, Republicans, and people who work for a living (who, using the Democrat’s suspect numbers, are still 48% of the U.S. population) get talk radio and some representation on Fox (when Al Sharpton and Lanny Davis aren’t on). Obama gets ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, Hollywood, world press (Reuters, I’m looking at you), everything Gannett touches, Al Jazerra – basically, everything else – and it’s not enough.

I know, however apt it may be, everyone is tired of Nazis, so I won’t go so far back in history.

There are many other comparisons. Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, Castro’s Cuba – they’ve all been done. Here’s one you haven’t heard from lately, so just for variety, let’s compare to Ortega’s Nicaragua instead.

“Nicaragua’s Sandinista leaders claim that they are protecting national security by closing down the opposition newspaper La Prensa. They are actually displaying, for all the world to see, the totalitarian tendencies that have alienated their government from so many Nicaraguans.”

In 1986, another Dear Leader, Danny Ortega, was unhappy with ONE media outlet. There were plenty of others to fawn and bow to him, but La Prensa had to keep saying irritating things. They couldn’t be TOO irritating, though, as they actually had Government censors in their operation;

“But La Prensa has been under government censorship for years now, and its editors have cooperated with Sandinista censors while also trying to remain true to their principles as an opposition newspaper. ”

Even at that, too much opposition. Shut it down.

But we didn’t stop there. While the can of worms was open anyway;

“Just as troubling as the La Prensa decision was the way in which pro-government newspapers began attacking other segments of Nicaragua’s loyal opposition after the contra-aid vote. The leaders of several political parties, some prominent businessmen and several bishops of the nation’s Roman Catholic Church were vilified by name in anti-U.S. editorials published by pro-government newspapers. These unjustified attacks are probably the somber precursors of a harsh crackdown on civil liberties inside Nicaragua”

I know, it’s not the same situation. Note, however, that there are the same knee-jerk, organized attacks by synchophantic media outlets on the few that Dear Leader decrees do not toe the line, and on individuals who question authority.

Didn’t the left used to be all about “questioning authority”? Or was that just until they WERE the “authority”?

Here’s the most telling line, though;

“Even if La Prensa has not always been constructive in its criticism of the Sandinistas, any government that is truly popular with its people can withstand the criticism of a single newspaper.”

(all cites from http://articles.latimes.com/1986-06-29/opinion/op-204_1_la-prensa)

Wise words indeed. Do they apply here? Let’s update this;

“Even if Fox News has not always been constructive in its criticism of the Obamas, any government that is truly popular with its people can withstand the criticism of a single television network.”

Looks like a fit to me. Let’s update some more.

“The leaders of the Republican party, some prominent businessmen and a talk radio host were vilified by name in anti-conservative editorials broadcast by pro-government television networks.”

Fits some more. I wonder if the last part will start to fit as well?

“These unjustified attacks are probably the somber precursors of a harsh crackdown on civil liberties inside the United States”

Actually, I don’t wonder. I’ve read this book before. It’s in the history section, under “Failed Charismatic Leaders”. Obama and his ilk are doomed by forces that even the Annoited One can’t control, it’s just a matter of time. Unfortunately, it’s going to get very ugly getting to that point – very ugly indeed. This is just the start…

Reply