I know a woman who immediately covers her ears when the topic gets to Obama and what he’s done wrong and what he hasn’t done right. She doesn’t believe any of the things she accidentally overhears and accuses me of making it up. “Where do you get your news from?” I once asked. “The New York Times,” she said. “Of course.” Of course.
Yesterday, while on a 30-mile bike ride, I caught on with a small group of riders, as often happens. One of them and I ended up talking politics. He identified himself as a member of the 47 percent (though somehow he was on a high-end Trek) and a strong Obama supporter. I asked if maybe the reason he was in the 47 percent was because of Obama’s policies. Absolutely not, he said, unable to think of anything Obama had misfired on. His sources of news were the Los Angeles Times, the major networks, and the other usual suspects.
These encounters are valuable in that they highlight the information gulf in our country. It’s never been so wide and therefore so destructive to the body politic. With breathtaking consistency, reporters and editors in legacy media evince their biases both by commission in the way they frame stories, and omission by not reporting news unfavorable to their worldview. “All the news that’s fit to print” has morphed into All the news that fits our agenda.
There’s an excellent case in point in today’s news. From the (distinctly not legacy) Washington Times:
Security for U.S. diplomats in Libya was cut in the weeks before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, despite the North African country’s high-risk environment, according to a member of the security team assigned to U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
“I felt like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers,” Army Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, who headed a Special Forces site security team in Tripoli, told CBS News. “We felt we needed more, not less.”
The attack, which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, occurred in the midst of Arab world protests against a U.S.-produced film that disparages Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
And on this subject in the New York Times:
A search of the “paper of record”‘s website for security Libya reveals a number of stories but nothing close to that kind of meat. Yes, it could be some good gumshoe work on the part of the Washington Times’s Shaun Waterman. More likely, this was a story that the NYT didn’t want to pursue because it didn’t want to learn anything that it wouldn’t want to report. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
To wit: The second story that appears on the Times’s website for the “security Libya” search is in essence an apologia for the Obama administration:
An effective response by newly trained Libyan security guards to a small bombing outside the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi in June may have led United States officials to underestimate the security threat to personnel there, according to counterterrorism and State Department officials, even as threat warnings grew in the weeks before the recent attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The next story turns the issue of the consulate’s security into pure politics:
Republicans on the House oversight committee on Tuesday accused officials in Washington of turning down repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi, Libya, before the fatal attack on the diplomatic compound there last month.
Had a Republican been in the White House, Democrats in Congress wouldn’t have had to accuse the president of failing, because the press would have done the job for them with 24/7 yapping-dog coverage.
Of course, with the administration blaming the violence on a video, anything less than obeisance to that narrative would hurt the president’s reelection chances. And so the dogs go silent.
This answers the question of how the president could possibly still be in a race that shouldn’t be close. For those on the left, no news is good news…for their guy.