The Presidential War on the Press—under Obama

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Donald Trump is supposedly waging a Presidential war on the media—but he hasn’t spied on them and prosecuted them!

The Presidential war on democracy and the press amounts to this: Donald Trump expressing his (accurate) opinion. Here is the CNNarcissist Jim Acosta being answered by Sarah Sanders.

Jim Acosta never tweeted anything so passionate (and whiny) about Barack Obama monitoring Fox journalist James Rosen or the State Department hacking Sharyl Attkisson’s computer.

Furthermore, how is Donald Trump exercising his First Amendment right to speak more threatening to democracy then Acosta’s own work delegitimizing a Presidential election?

Victor Davis Hanson writes at the American Greatness blog, “Progressive Regression.

Donald Trump has certainly changed the rules of presidential behavior, through his nonstop campaign rallies, tweets, and press conferences. What his critics call lowering the bar of presidential decorum by unfettered and often crude invective, Trump dubs the “new presidential.”

His style has become a sort of “don’t-tread-on-me” combativeness. In truth, Trump at home and abroad is mostly retaliatory. His theory seems to be that no slight should go unanswered. When Trump retorts in kind or trumps the original attack, he believes he adds yet another brick to his wall of deterrence—and exposes the sometimes dormant and disguised irrational hatred of the Left.

But what the Left loses in its slugfests with Trump are some once-supposed cherished leftist principles, justified by the short-term advantage of nullifying the Trump agenda.

Indeed, it is eerie that almost all the canons of progressive orthodoxy no longer apply. And they will no longer be taken seriously after Trump is long gone. Certainly, those lost principles will be impossible to reassert when Democrats return to power and seek sanctuary in the very ideas they have now so utterly trashed.

Liberals, who now warn of Trump’s “war on the press” long ago excused Eric Holder’s monitoring of the Associated Press reporters and Fox News’s James Rosen. And they had no problem with John Brennan lying under oath when he claimed the Obama CIA had not monitored the computers of Senate staffers (he would lie brazenly again under oath about drone collateral damage and his role in seeding the Steele dossier).

Likewise, they snoozed after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress in his denial of government surveillance of U.S. citizens. Both were seen at the time to be useful liars. Their partisanship and exemption from any consequences for past lying under oath led to lucrative cable news gigs—proof, as it were, of their innate Trump hatred. Their legacy is that lying under oath now is not a sin, much less illegal.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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