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.
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.