Fox News Suggests The Media May Be Pushing Obama's Agenda

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(h/t Heather)

Oh noes! None of the right wing talking points that Roger Ailes has been distributing to his minions seems to be taking hold. Despite their best effort to throw all sorts of poo at the president, Obama still appears to be very popular with the American people. What's a RNC propaganda outlet to do? Declare that the mainstream media is in bed with Obama, naturally.

WALLACE: So let’s go over the record, and let’s put it up on the screen. CBS is running an interview today with Barack Obama , “An American Dad.” ABC is running coverage throughout the day on Wednesday of President Obama’s health care plan including a prime-time town hall. NBC just ran two specials, “Inside the Obama White House.” Tom Brokaw was named this week to a presidential commission. And Newsweek has put Mr. Obama on the cover 19 times since 2004. Steve Hayes, how do you explain all of that?

HAYES: A lot of people call Newsweek now “Obamaweek” because they’ve put him on so often. Look, I mean, clearly, his joke about rolling over and finding Brian Williams is more than just a joke. I mean, I think the sense is -- and you’ve provided evidence that it’s true -- that he’s in bed -- the media are in bed with Barack Obama.

Wow. The media is covering the "leader of the free world"! That's some seriously deviant and ideologically-driven behavior...right? Right?

Or maybe not so much. Aside from the Freudian implications of using the "in bed with" metaphor, I'm curious when Fox News decided they weren't mainstream. Haven't they been insisting that the country is right and they are correctly reflecting the country's values?

But the general lack of self-examination is comical. Fox News--who never met a Bushie that they didn't kneel before and service--thinks the media is too kind to Obama? Uh right. That's why we had stories within the first month all over the media debating whether the honeymoon was over?

Even Mara Liasson, no big friend to the administration, admits that the comparison to the favorable coverage of Bush and Clinton is not entirely fair, since Bush was still embroiled in the aftermath of his contested ascension (and taking vacation days) and Clinton flubbed up badly, pushing too aggressive an agenda. But Wallace doesn't want taint this smear with any actual facts:

LIASSON: On the other hand, some of those numbers are reflective of -- look, Bill Clinton had an incredibly chaotic first 100 days. There was a pratfall every other day to cover. George Bush was the result of -- I’m assuming that was the first term -- was the result of...

WALLACE: Yes.

LIASSON: ... a contested election. And Barack Obama came in as a real majority winner. He has a big majority in Congress.

WALLACE: Oh, come on, don't you think some of it is because he’s got liberal ideas?

Does Wallace not realize that by characterizing this all as being mainstream--the love of Obama's "liberal" ideas (and as a liberal, I wish he was way MORE liberal) and the monolithic media that love him--he is de facto admitting that Fox is out of the mainstream?

Damn conservatives, their logic fails them every time.

WALLACE: And that was President Obama at a dinner with reporters Friday making his own joke about what many believe is a sweetheart relationship between the White House and the mainstream media.

And we’re back now with Stephen, Mara, Byron and Juan.

So let’s go over the record, and let’s put it up on the screen. CBS is running an interview today with Barack Obama , “An American Dad.”

ABC is running coverage throughout the day on Wednesday of President Obama’s health care plan including a prime-time town hall.

NBC just ran two specials, “Inside the Obama White House.”

Tom Brokaw was named this week to a presidential commission.

And Newsweek has put Mr. Obama on the cover 19 times since 2004.

Steve Hayes, how do you explain all of that?

HAYES: A lot of people call Newsweek now “Obamaweek” because they’ve put him on so often. Look, I mean, clearly, his joke about rolling over and finding Brian Williams is more than just a joke. I mean, I think the sense is -- and you’ve provided evidence that it’s true -- that he’s in bed -- the media are in bed with Barack Obama .

I don’t think there’s any question that he’s had better treatment than any president in recent memory, in decades.

WALLACE: And why do you think that is?

HAYES: Well, I think there are two reasons. One, I think people are genuinely cheering for him. I mean, I think this -- he is breaking barriers, and there’s something genuinely exciting about that that journalists are not supposed to allow to affect their coverage, but they do.

And secondly, there’s a clear ideological affinity for Barack Obama and his programs. And we’ve seen that in the discussions of -- in the debates that have taken place over the first six months.

I mean, think about the torture debate. There’s a debate about the language to be used there. Is it enhanced interrogations or is it torture? And everybody, with unanimity, across the media call it torture. They’ve made a decision. There’s a debate going on. They’re not part of it. They’re on one side of it.

WALLACE: Let me add something to this, Mara. It isn’t just the amount of coverage. It’s also the tone. And let’s put up on the screen a recent analysis that was done of Obama’s first 100 days in media coverage.

Forty-two percent of the coverage of Obama’s first 100 days has been positive, as compared to 22 percent for George W. Bush in his first 100 days, and 27 percent for Bill Clinton. Again, how come?

LIASSON: Look, I think that there’s definitely something to this kind of aura of incredible celebrity and excitement. And you know, you go to any newsstand, and it’s a sea of Obama faces, and then there’s a shelf for Bo and another shelf for Michelle, but -- and people are truly fascinated.

On the other hand, some of those numbers are reflective of -- look, Bill Clinton had an incredibly chaotic first 100 days. There was a pratfall every other day to cover. George Bush was the result of -- I’m assuming that was the first term -- was the result of...

WALLACE: Yes.

LIASSON: ... a contested election. And Barack Obama came in as a real majority winner. He has a big majority in Congress.

WALLACE: Oh, come on, don't you think some of it is because he’s got liberal ideas?

LIASSON: Yes, there’s Definitely some of it. But when he starts -- when his programs run into trouble, there was a headline in the New York Times next week, you know, “Obama’s Plans Hit,” you know, “Obstacles ,” or, “Snags.” I mean, when there is opposition, it should be and I think is covered by the media.

And it’s hard to talk about the media as just one thing, because it’s not. He is popular. And I think as soon as things turn for him, the media, like lemmings, will turn, too, unfortunately.

WALLACE: Byron?

YORK: You know, this has led to a certain undertone of contempt from Obama to the press. Did you -- I felt that in the Brian Williams joke and at the earlier White House Correspondents Dinner. Obama said, “Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me.”

But the Pew poll that you mentioned earlier about the positive coverage said that in this case, in Obama’s case, as was not the case with Bush or Clinton, an enormous amount of the coverage focused on the president’s personal characteristics, his personal appeal, rather than his policy stuff, what he actually wants to do.

And the question and the test for the press is going to come this summer where we do have a huge debate over health care. I guess ABC has voted already. But we are going to have a huge debate over health care, and will they really cover specifically what it is he wants to do?

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