Friday, June 19, 2009

A Sycophant Press and a Thin-Skin President

President Barack Obama closes his pen after he signs a Presidential Memorandum regarding federal benefits and non-discrimination while in the Oval Office of the White House, June 17, 2009. Standing L-R are: Vice President Joseph Biden, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (Mass), U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn), U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Wisc), and gay rights activist Frank Kameny.
REUTERS/Larry Downing

I just -- I want to end by saying a few words about the men and women in this room whose job it is to inform the public and pursue the truth. You know, we meet tonight at a moment of extraordinary challenge for this nation and for the world, but it's also a time of real hardship for the field of journalism. And like so many other businesses in this global age, you've seen sweeping changes and technology and communications that lead to a sense of uncertainty and anxiety about what the future will hold.
Across the country, there are extraordinary, hardworking journalists who have lost their jobs in recent days, recent weeks, recent months. And I know that each newspaper and media outlet is wrestling with how to respond to these changes, and some are struggling simply to stay open. And it won't be easy. Not every ending will be a happy one.

But it's also true that your ultimate success as an industry is essential to the success of our democracy. It's what makes this thing work. You know, Thomas Jefferson once said that if he had the choice between a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, he would not hesitate to choose the latter.

Clearly, Thomas Jefferson never had cable news to contend with -- (laughter) -- but his central point remains: A government without newspapers, a government without a tough and vibrant media of all sorts, is not an option for the United States of America. (Applause.)

So I may not -- I may not agree with everything you write or report. I may even complain, or more likely Gibbs will complain, from time to time about how you do your jobs, but I do so with the knowledge that when you are at your best, then you help me be at my best. You help all of us who serve at the pleasure of the American people do our jobs better by holding us accountable, by demanding honesty, by preventing us from taking shortcuts and falling into easy political games that people are so desperately weary of.

And that kind of reporting is worth preserving -- not just for your sake, but for the public's. We count on you to help us make sense of a complex world and tell the stories of our lives the way they happen, and we look for you for truth, even if it's always an approximation,

So then, why is President Obama so afraid of FOX News? Remember this by the Pew Research Center before the '08 Election:
On the Fox News Channel, the coverage was both more negative toward Obama and more positive toward both McCain and Palin than we found in the press generally. That said, coverage of McCain was still more negative than positive on Fox News by a factor of roughly 2 to 1.

When it came to McCain, 40% of stories studied on Fox about the Republican nominee were clearly negative (compared with 57% in the press generally). Meanwhile, 22% of stories were positive, compared with 14% in the press generally.

For Obama, Fox was both less positive and more negative than the press generally or than any cable rival.

In all, 25% of Obama stories studied were positive on Fox, compared with 36% in the press overall. And 40% of stories were negative, compared with 29% in the press generally. Fox looked much more like other outlets in the percentage of stories that were mixed or neutral, 35% on Fox and the press overall both.

And will ABC be doing its job if it acts as advocates for President Obama's healthcare plan? Is this transparency we can believe in?:

White House Health Reform Communications Director is Former ABC News Correspondent

A couple follow ups on ABC’s health care reform special at the White House next week.

• It turns out the Director of Communications for the White House Office of Health Reform, since last month, is former ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass, who left journalism last year to join the Obama campaign. This is leading some to wonder whether ABC News had the upper hand in landing the president for the primetime special as well as an interview on GMA and allowing two ABC News broadcasts to originate from the White House next week. An ABC News spokesperson, however, says there’s no connection between Douglass and ABC’s access. The network approached the administration days after the inauguration and pitched the idea of a White House town hall meeting, says the spokesperson.

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Blogger christian soldier said...

This person who is President bho-
I can no longer listen too-nor-watch him -I "click" whenever he is on FOX as a clip---I leave it to you- WS -and other truth tellers with a stronger stomach than I do the 'opposition research'..
I did read _Rules For Radicals_ - that's opposition research-right :-) !!!

Friday, June 19, 2009 8:13:00 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Fox once again shows it is not as bad as it's reputation. I'd like to see these numbers from ABC, CBS< NBC, etc

Friday, June 19, 2009 6:05:00 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

ABC needs ratings - bad. They'll do anything for a boost. And of course, it doesn't hurt that they don't mind being a shill for Obama.

Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:42:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...


I tried leaving a comment on your blog, but was told I was spam.

Sunday, June 21, 2009 1:26:00 AM  

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