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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Losing the Media

According to a highly dubious story, Walter Cronkite's criticism of Vietnam policy led LBJ to say, "Well, if I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."  President Obama may be at risk of losing the media.

ABC, NBC, and CBS did not run a single story on Obama’s “you didn’t build that comment” until Romney began emphasizing it on the campaign trail four days later. The stories and editorials that were sprinkled into the news portrayed the gaffe as an innocuous point taken out of context. The major media’s protective tone toward Obama was emblematic of a larger trend in the campaign. When Obama claimed during a June 8 press conference that the “the private sector is doing fine,” it received one night’s coverage and two passing references on mainstream evening news programs. Coverage of Romney was not quite so forgiving.
The Obama administration has now managed to alienate the media that had once been so favorable.  Politico reports:
Journalists on Monday called the news the Justice Department seized records from phone lines assigned to Associated Press offices and its reporters over a two month period “chilling” and a “dragnet to intimidate the media.”
The AP reported the Justice Dept. obtained records that listed incoming and outgoing calls and the duration of those calls for work and personal phone numbers of AP reporters and phone lines for AP offices in New York, Hartford, Conn. and Washington, as well as the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery. The government seized records — which listed incoming and outgoing calls and the call’s length — for more than 20 separate lines assigned to the AP and its reporters, according to the AP.
...
Several journalists also tweeted their reactions to the AP story, with the New York Times’ public editor Margaret Sullivan calling the report “disturbing” and Marty Baron, the executive editor of The Washington Post, dubbing it “shocking, disturbing.” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, meanwhile, asked in response to the story, “What is going on with this administration?” And Markos Moulitsas, founder of the liberal Daily Kos blog, wrote to his followers, “People looking for an Obama scandal, this one spying on the AP is the first legit one.”