You are President of the United States and you have an irresistible urge to sound off against media bias and ‘fake news.’ Would you really use Rolling Stone magazine as your megaphone?
After all, a federal jury recently ruled that Rolling Stone defamed a dean at the University of Virginia. That is just the first fallout from Rolling Stone’s infamous 2014 article called ‘A Rape on Campus.’ That ‘rape’ never happened, which the magazine’s editors certainly should have known.
But despite Rolling Stone’s aversion to the truth, President Obama granted a post-election audience to that thoroughly disgraced publication. In fact, he actually took a moment to praise the ‘great work’ being done by Rolling Stone. Why? Because the magazine and its boss Jann Wenner have been licking the president’s boots for eight years.
President Obama and his dazzling smile have adorned the magazine’s cover ten times, enough to make the long-forgotten band Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show jealous. You may remember Dr. Hook for these poetic lyrics: ‘It’s the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone.’
So when he sat down with Jann Wenner, how did President Obama explain the Democratic shellacking on November 8th? ‘Part of it,’ the commander-in-chief told his commender-in-chief, ‘is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country.’ Yes, he actually blamed Fox and those deplorable Americans who watch it! (Have any of you actually been in a bar or restaurant that has Fox News on the screen?)
By the way, those ‘chunks,’ Mr. President, are the parts of the country that far too many Democrats sneer at. You know, the areas where people bitterly cling to their guns and religion.
Jann Wenner is hardly the only sycophantic hero-worshipper. David Remnick of The New Yorker, the bible of coastal elites, has essentially served as the president’s personal scribe. In his latest interview with the ever-adoring Remnick, President Obama analyzed the Democratic losses and said this: ‘Trump understands the new ecosystem, in which facts and truth don’t matter … If I watched Fox I wouldn’t vote for me!” Do you sense a theme here?
The Obama team has had it in for Fox News from the beginning. Just after his inauguration in 2009, he accused FNC of being ‘entirely devoted to attacking my administration.’ Soon after that, the president showed up on all the talk shows one Sunday morning. All except one, and you can guess which network he snubbed.
During the 2012 campaign, President Obama advised a crowd to ignore ‘your Uncle Jim, who’s a little stubborn and has been watching Fox News.’ More recently, while campaigning for Hillary Clinton, the president repeated his favorite line: ‘If I watched Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me.”
Has any president ever been so obsessed with a single news outlet? Barack Obama has received the most favorable, fawning coverage of any president in history. Major newspapers, networks, and cable outlets have fallen all over themselves to praise and defend his policies, presidency, and personality.
Yet he obsessively focuses on the one outlet that provides honest skepticism and actually challenges the president when appropriate. True there are some harsh Obama critics on Fox News, and they are very upfront about their enmity. But FNC analysts run the gamut and include both his foes and his friends.
President Obama wants to be treated as a demigod, and many in the media have done just that. In fact, Newsweek’s Evan Thomas once described the President as being ‘above the world, he’s sort of God.’ Wow! Makes you wonder how Newsweek could be such a colossal failure.
Every sentient person knows that most news outlets will be far, far tougher on Donald Trump. His every statement, his every tweet will be scrutinized and criticized. At Fox, President Trump will have detractors, supporters, and a lot of hard news reporters who will play it right down the middle. Kind of the way journalism used to be.
And soon-to-be-former President Obama’s obsession? We can confidently predict that Fox News will get more than a few mentions in his memoirs. And perhaps he will continue to blast FNC to worshipful writers like Jann Wenner and David Remnick.
There’s another possibility, of course. Perhaps Barack Obama, post-presidency, will appear on Fox News programs to share his expertise about politics and policies. It might not be the cover of Rolling Stone, but Fox News is on around-the-clock in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country. We heard that, Mr. President, from a very reliable source.