Why has the mainstream media been generally so kind to Obama and his administration over the past 5 years? Probably because they are applying for a job. An unprecedented number of journalists have been scooped up to work in the Obama administration, which raises questions of how objective the media really is. Jay Carney is currently the Press Secretary for President Obama, but first he worked as a journalist for Time magazine for 20 years. As soon as Jay saw the writing on the wall (or helped create it) that Obama was the chosen one, he knew that jumping on the bandwagon and promoting this inexperienced freshman Senator from Illinois would lead to bigger and better things. He was correct, and other journalist who saw this would soon take a page out of his book. According to the Washington Post:
As it happens, Carney was an early adopter. He was among the first of what has turned out to be a parade of journalists who’ve turned in their press badges for work in the Obama administration. In a trend that has raised some eyebrows among Obama’s critics, at least 20 reporters and editors from mainstream news organizations have taken high-profile positions in the administration within the past five years.
The newest addition to Obama’s Ministry of Truth is Jay Carney’s former boss at Time, Richard Stengel, “State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, a top communications post. Stengel will succeed Tara Sonenshine, another journalist (ABC News, Newsweek) who became part of the government she once covered.” Others in the administration hired from the world of biased media include Samantha Power US ambassador to the UN who wrote for the Boston Globe, the New Republic, and the U.S. News; former Boston Globe editor and political reporter Glen Johnson joined Secretary of State John Kerry’s staff along with Douglas Frantz, editor and reporter for the LA Times, New York Times, and The Post.
Frantz was also briefly an investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Kerry, then a senator from Massachusetts.
Previous Presidents have hired a handful of reporters to serve as Press Secretaries and speechwriters, since the skill set is related. What makes Obama different is the number of media personnel hired, the positions they were given, and how they fit into Obama’s strategy of getting elected, and downplaying his scandals.
Even before [Obama] was in office, his campaign had hired former CBS and ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass as a senior strategist. Douglass went on to serve as the communications chief for the White House Office of Health Reform before leaving in 2010.
Some have blamed a sluggish economy, complete with dwindling print media for high number of journalists invited into the Obama administration, claiming that these people were simply looking for work. Others maintain that they were objective before they worked for the Obama administration. But not cheerleading for Obama, and being unbiased are not the same thing. Even if a reporter did not actively promote candidate Obama, they were taking shots at his opponents, or subtly promoting his far left ideology in their columns. And that is the problem with many of these reporters, that they write as if the things they say are facts, when they are actually opinion, or sometimes just false. One relevant example is how reporters will write things like, “despite the recent mass shootings, many Republicans are still unwilling to pass gun control laws to curb violence”. This is taking it as a given that gun control laws would reduce gun violence, which has been shown scientifically inaccurate time and time again. So the takeaway from this is that there is a revolving door in the media world between news and politics, just like in other areas of our crony capitalist economy. When you are watching the news or reading the paper, remember that those spewing news have friends and former colleagues in the Obama administration, and that column could just be a cleverly disguised cover letter in their application to join the administration.