Bush vs. Obama
How the Media Enabled Obama’s Victory
By Dino Teppara, Esquire
I correctly predicted in February 2009 to colleagues that President Obama would get reelected in 2012. The reasons? I didn’t see a visionary conservative on the horizon who had the charisma, experience and background to take on Obama. But more importantly, I knew the mainstream media had quietly enabled the Obama presidency to become a reality. And I knew they would continue to do so.
The media and Obama have a symbiotic relationship that has shaped how this president is portrayed to the American public. This carefully crafted image is very different from the approach the media took toward shaping our image of President George W. Bush.
Bush’s intellect was mocked because he lacked the smooth oratory skills of Obama. His military background was questioned. The media made the deaths of American service members in Iraq and Afghanistan front and center of newspapers, magazines and the evening news. When Hurricane Katrina hit, the federal government’s response was heavily criticized, turning a natural disaster into a racially charged indictment of neglect. The president’s efforts to reform social security were excoriated by the media. He was portrayed as favoring the upper class, despite his tax reform efforts that benefited all Americans, and the media declined to give him credit for the largest generation of revenue to the treasury in the years immediately following the Bush tax cuts.
From the time of his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the media selectively portrayed Obama in a certain light. What we saw was the soaring oratory, the carefully crafted image of the president and his family, and his charisma and personable nature. Obama has performed many light-hearted appearances on late night television and shows like The View, programs led not by serious journalists asking tough questions, but celebrities more interested in banter, not interviews.
What we didn’t see from the media were tough questions asked about what really happened in Benghazi. We were told by a breathless media about the Arab spring, only to see one crisis after another overtake the conflagration that has occurred in the Middle East during this president’s watch. The media pushed under the rug the decline in median household income to $50,000, an eight percent decline since 2007, right before Obama took office, and the record increase of food stamps, now used by 47 million people. The media never questioned Obama’s ability to serve as commander in chief, despite the fact that he never served in the military. His snide comment about bayonets during one of the presidential debates serves to display his ignorance to anyone who has served in the military; tell the Marines in basic training on Parris Island or Army Rangers in Afghanistan that bayonets are obsolete.
During Obama’s presidency, the deaths of service members in Iraq and Afghanistan have been pushed to the back of the news; the wars and sacrifices made by American families are forgotten. When Obama pushed a partisan stimulus bill through the Democrat-controlled Congress that cost more than $830 billion that didn’t create any jobs, there was no criticism from the media. When the $1.1 trillion health care bill was pushed by Obama through the same Democrat Congress, what did we hear? Silence. And when Obama said he killed Osama bin Laden, the media made it look like he had pulled the trigger himself.
When Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey, did you see scathing editorials in newspapers criticizing the federal government’s response? The media wouldn’t dare endanger the president’s reelection just one week away from Election Day, even though men were offering gasoline to vulnerable women on Craigslist in exchange for sexual favors while people defecated in New York City apartment buildings that are still without power. Welcome to Barack Obama’s America.
But this isn’t the America you will see on the evening news. This election was not about the future of our country. It was not about our economy and the best way to create jobs, provide opportunity and uplift people into the middle class and beyond. It was not about exposing the class warfare and stealth wealth redistribution campaigns the Left has successfully waged against middle-class Americans the past four years with their expansion of social welfare spending programs.
This election was about a liberal president and a liberal media, feeding off one another with each doing the best to support the other. We saw that with debate moderator Candy Crowley from CNN, who interjected herself during the second debate and took the president’s side. It’s telling that during the second presidential debate, reporters assembled in a separate room applauded when Obama criticized Governor Mitt Romney’s wealth. This despite the fact that Obama is a millionaire himself (and there’s nothing wrong with that).
The 2012 election only served to show how the media’s careful protection and portrayal of their Chosen One, their candidate Barack Obama who shared their values – enabled him to win the White House. Again.
Dino Teppara serves as the parliamentarian of the Lexington County Republican Party in South Carolina and is the former chief of staff and counsel to U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC). The views expressed are his own.