Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Media Giveth, The Media Taketh Away

When the media is doing it's job administrations often have adversarial relationships with them.  That hasn't been true of the Obama administration; the media gave him the Presidency twice.

For those of us wondering if they would ever get back to doing their job, seeing a crack in the relationship is encouraging.

Let's look at the current flap over Bob Woodward being threatened by a White House official.  Now that the e-mails are out there the debate is about interpretation.  The issue however isn't the perceived threat as much as a pattern of hostility that seems to be developing toward the press in general.  You see, Bob Woodward isn't the first to have complained about threats veiled or not.   Ron Fournier, in a piece for the National Journal claims to have sent a White House source packing for similar reasons and Lanny Davis, a more staunch Democrat would be hard to find, reports he too has been subject to such bluster.

The White House operatives may be over playing their hand once again.  Though many today may not remember Bob Woodward from his Watergate days, many of us do.  He and fellow reporter Carl Bernstein, with the help of a source know as Deep Throat, were responsible for the demise of the Nixon administration.  Of course the arrogance of that administration also had a hand in it.  A lesson could to be learned.

But Woodward.  By blowing him off as did David Plouffe by saying, "He's getting old" is insulting a media icon and one of the most tenacious and thorough reporters ever to have put ink to paper. One thing about the press, they tend to be loyal to their own.

So what happens now?  Maybe, just maybe they'll get together and decide these whippersnappers in the White House need to be taught a lesson and actually start asking some pertinent questions. Follow Woodward's lead. Talk about the exaggerations of the sequester.  Heck, go all the way back to Benghazi and ask the questions that would have been timely before the election!

Of course teaching the White House a lesson is doing it for all the wrong reasons.  They should do it because it's their job.  The President once told them in an exchange he remembers how the people depend on them.  I imagine that was followed by a wink and the after thought that it applies only when we're told what the administration wants us to be told.

Whatever the reason, there is now a wedge in that once solid love affair.  Ironic, isn't it, that this really began to come to light with a different kind of wedge?  Like a sand wedge.  In a golf game.  That the press wasn't allowed to witness. Now they know how we, their consumers, feel on a daily basis! If they dislike it as much as we do, they can do something more than threaten. They can ask and act.  I hope they do.

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