Sunday, June 02, 2013

We're All Fox News Now
...Why the surprising show of solidarity--especially from the Times, which has labored mightily to rationalize away the other big Obama scandals, around Benghazi and the Internal Revenue service? Because they realize the Obama administration's days are numbered (the number is 1,333 as of today). Even if Holder's justice department wouldn't dream of going after the New York Times--and the AP story calls that assumption into question--a future administration might not be so afraid of being seen as Torquemada. So we're all Fox News now.

In what appears to have been an effort to shore up his political base, President Obama in a speech last week "called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government overreach." As a Chicago Tribune editorial points out, such a law, which would protect journalists from having to testify about confidential sources, is irrelevant to the AP and Fox News cases, which involve government searches.

In this columnist's view, the shield law is a bad idea for another reason: By granting a special legal privilege to journalists, it would make them beholden to the federal government. For the past 4½ years there has been an overwhelming media bias in favor of the party and administration in power--an administration which now seems to be running roughshod over the Constitution....

Conservative Media Predicted Obama’s First-Amendment Scandals
...In late September, a team of prosecutors and sheriffs in Missouri (perhaps not coincidentally, the home state of the group that produced the Ayers ad) was formed to act as an “Obama Truth Squad.” The Truth Squad, said a report, would “target anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad during the presidential campaign.” The group was to respond “immediately to any ads and statements that might violate Missouri ethics laws.” This apparent threat to prosecute critics of Obama set off a firestorm of outrage, which the local press and the Obama campaign later claimed was all based on a misunderstanding.

Also in late September of 2008, the Obama camp attempted to force yet another negative ad off the air, this one the National Rifle Association’s take on Obama’s gun policy. A letter to television stations effectively threatened to have their broadcast licences yanked should they air what the Obama camp claimed was a knowingly false and misleading ad.

Again and again, conservatives cited these incidents as evidence that something new and dangerous was at work: disregard of the fundamental principles of free expression, a willingness to resort to intimidation tactics, and abuse of the law to stifle criticism. The national press, on the other hand, either ignored these incidents or treated them as evidence of the Obama campaign’s effectiveness, and its sophisticated use of social media....