A vigilant, vibrant, straight shooting press is crucial to the survival of a free nation. But even as far back as 1785 Thomas Jefferson warned, “[A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of news-writers who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers.” A little over two centuries later we’ve spent the better part of the last 6 years watching Barack Obama’s standing army of news-writers contort, mis-report, and cover up stories in such a way as to benefit their “minister”.
Maybe it started as a kind of partisan hero worship. The first black president was a big story. The fact he was a Democrat made it a “cause”. The press overwhelmingly favored and voted for “The One”. Reporters are not robots so we allow for a certain bias in their reporting, especially when their favored candidate assumes office. But after a while, you’d hope they’d rise to the high level of responsibility granted them through our 1st Amendment, and begin taking at least a cynical if not adversarial view of the chief executive and his administration. But this media’s “honeymoon” never really stopped.
If ever there was a time for the love affair to end it would have been during the Fast and Furious gun running scandal. Just months after Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, his Justice Department, headed by Eric Holder, initiated and funded a gun-running operation that went terribly wrong. In an effort to catch high level drug cartel dealers, 2000 guns were allowed to “walk” into Mexico. While the goal was to follow the weapons’ movements and catch bad guys red handed, our agents lost track of the high powered firearms. In addition to hundreds of Mexicans killed or wounded; American Border Agent, Brian Terry was murdered with one of the lost guns.
This was a giant, deadly screw up, followed by a brazen coverup. Congressional hearings went badly for Holder and by extension, Obama. Attorney General Holder’s initial statements were so deceitful he felt compelled to return and “amend” his original testimony. The Obama Administration continued it’s smoke and mirrors approach to the scandal while the AG’s refusal to hand over documents to lawmakers resulted in him being held in “Contempt of Congress”. For his part, President Obama invoked executive privilege over those same documents.
These circumstances should have driven fair-minded, earnest reporters, chomping at the Pulitzer bit, to pursue this story. After all, much of the scandal, including the president’s highly questionable invocation of executive privilege harkened back to the Ricard Nixon Watergate wrongdoing. Some 40 years ago, two determined young reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, doggedly investigated a case of “political espionage” and their reporting led to the first ever resignation of a President of the United States. Nope, no one was killed, but the wall to wall coverage of a president allegedly wielding powers not granted him under the Constitution made an informed electorate very uneasy. Within 2 years of his landslide reelection, Nixon was forced from the highest office in the land.
Back then, reporters endlessly lectured the public on how,“The cover up was worse than the crime.” So how is it that, 4 decades later, during a scandal when the deadly crimes were infinitely worse than the cover up, most media remained mute? Where were the aggressive, investigative journalists seeking the “truth”? They were protecting their “minister”, Barack Obama.
This precedent of a partisan press ignoring the Obama Administration’s complicity in the loss of so many lives, was in retrospect, a blunder of epic, and still growing proportions. It signaled to Barack and his appointees they had nothing to fear from his “army of news-writers”. Giving Barack Obama a pass on the lethal carnage caused by his crew’s gun running incompetence essentially exempted him from the kind of analysis that was the undoing of Richard Nixon. Subsequently Obama began behaving as Tricky Dick might have, had the press not saturated us with the stories that led to Nixon’s downfall.
Barack’s “bloodless” misdeeds are many. We have IRS investigations of conservative groups, massive NSA data collections, tapping reporters’ phones, unilaterally changing laws to meet his political needs, and purposely lying to the American people about being able to keep their doctors. But those violations pale in comparison to Fast & Furious, the VA deaths, Benghazi murders, and now the swap of 5 mass murdering terrorists for an army sergeant who deserted his post. Three of the latter four have already cost American lives, while the inevitable return of the 5 Taliban leaders to their ruthless, “death to America”, jihadist ways, will likely add significantly to our losses,.
The press should have stopped Obama at Fast and Furious, just as they stopped Nixon at Watergate. There didn’t have to be a impeachment or resignation, just a serious, in depth investigation into this deadly scandal might have been enough to serve notice on an arrogant chief executive. Absent the threat of sustained media scrutiny, an increasingly incompetent, presumptuous president paid scant attention to our Ambassador’s security in Libya, veterans’ care at corrupt VA hospitals, and the bloody repercussions sure to follow from his horrific deal with the Taliban.
The Obama loving media deliberately and repeatedly turned a blind to his misconduct. Their trading of that critical responsibility for a front row seat on the Barack Obama Bandwagon has cost American lives, and with the Berghdahl swap, will cost a whole lot more. The blood is on their hands.