Advocating on Behalf of the American Military and Defense on the War on Terror

By tomorrow night we’ll likely know the name of the next president. But we  already know the loser in this election cycle: political reporters. They’ve  disgraced themselves. Conservatives have long complained about liberal bias in  the media, and with some justification. But it has finally reached the tipping  point. Not in our lifetimes have so many in the press dropped the pretense of  objectivity in order to help a political candidate. The media are rooting for  Barack Obama. They’re not hiding it.

Consider Benghazi. An American consulate is destroyed and a US ambassador  murdered at a time when the president is boasting at every campaign stop that he  has crushed al-Qaida. In an effort not to disrupt this narrative, the White  House and the Obama campaign spend weeks claiming the incident was merely a  protest over a video, rather than a real terror attack. Then intelligence  surfaces showing just the opposite: The killers in Benghazi were no street mob,  and Obama knew as much from the beginning.

Imagine if George W. Bush, or even Bill Clinton, had tried something like  this during a re-election campaign. The howls from journalists would have been  deafening, and unceasing. Instead, Obama has enjoyed every benefit of every  doubt from the press every step of the way. Candy Crowley even broke character  in the middle of a presidential debate to defend him. From their retirement,  former presidents must be looking on in envious bewilderment.

For Obama, treatment like this is standard. Remember his last press  conference? On August 20, the president made a rare appearance in the White  House briefing room. (Obama has held fewer press conferences even than George W.  Bush.) The first question went to Jim Kuhnhenn of the Associated Press. Here’s  what Kuhnhenn asked, in full and unedited:

“Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for being here. You’re no doubt aware of  the comments that the Missouri Senate candidate, Republican Todd Akin, made on  rape and abortion. I wondered if you think those views represent the views of  the Republican Party in general. They’ve been denounced by your own rival and  other Republicans. Are they an outlier or are they representative?”

In other words: Just how horrible are your opponents? That’s not a question.  That’s an assist.

Most telling of all, nobody in the press corps seemed to find Kuhnhenn’s  suck-up remarkable, much less objectionable. Reporters who push Obama for actual  answers, meanwhile, find themselves scorned by their peers — as we discovered  the hard way when our White House reporter dared ask Obama an unapproved  question during a presidential statement in the Rose Garden. Months later,  longtime Newsweek correspondent Jonathan Alter confronted us on the street and  became apoplectic, literally yelling and shaking and drawing a crowd, over the  exchange. His complaint: our reporter was “rude” to Obama.

Yep. Good reporters occasionally are impolite, especially to people in power  who refuse to answer legitimate questions about their own policies. We don’t  hire for table manners. We hire for persistence and toughness and the ability to  spot a story among the fluff. We’re traditional that way. It’s the legacy media  that have changed.

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