Newsweek is not alone. David Sanger, the chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times, has a new book out with the title "Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power." The publishers tout how the author found that Obama has successfully "pivoted American foreign policy away from the attritional wars of the past decade, attempting to preserve America's influence with a lighter, defter touch."
In 2009, Sanger came out with a book titled "The Inheritance" that indicted the Bush foreign policy just like Klaidman did: It "has left us less admired by our allies, less feared by our enemies and less capable of convincing the rest of the world that our economic and political model is worthy of emulation."
Sanger also appeared at the time on "The Daily Show," and host Jon Stewart compared the Bush administration to a group of drunken frat bullies: "It reminds me a bar I used to work at, where this one group of guys would come in and every night you'd wonder, 'I wonder who they're going to fight?'" To which Sanger cracked: "Was Cheney at your bar?"
But now itchy trigger fingers are cool. The scandal around Sanger's book came with a leak of an Obama administration policy to launch a cyber-attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. When Sanger and his newspaper came looking for national-security secrets to expose, the administration should have thrown him out on his ear. But it's team Obama running things now. They took reporters backstage to assist them in portraying Obama as a rock star in the war on terror. As members of Congress of both parties lamented the leaks and demanded investigations, Sanger insisted to Larry Kudlow on CNBC that this leak was authorized: "At no point did the government come to us and ask us not to run this story."
In a largely positive Washington Post review of these two Obama-boosting books, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston expressed the obvious: "Klaidman and Sanger were clearly given extraordinary access to key players in the administration to write the books. ...The problem is that both authors, perhaps because of the access, provide a largely uncritical view of the Obama administration's process."
It's not just the access. These reporters gained the access because first they drank Obama's Kool-Aid. To borrow from Garry Trudeau's slam of the Bushes, they put their journalistic manhood in a blind trust. No one would ever mistake them for calculating career killers -- or high-minded idealists. The pied piper beckons ... and they dance.