After a long three-year gap since their last exclusive sit-down interview with President Obama, you might think The New York Times would be ready to ask tough questions on the most contentious issues of the day, beginning with the deepening Obama scandals.
Wrong. Instead, the Times defined the "news" in this interview to be Obama's counter-attacks. Their stories focused on Obama's accusations that (a) the Republicans are liars about Obamacare, (b) the Republicans exaggerate the benefits of building the Keystone XL pipeline and (c) the Republicans oppose his use of executive power because he has the "gall to win the presidency."
The national media are faithfully executing their Obama second-term call to preserve and protect his legacy. They are steering clear of any story that might imply that the president has in any way cut an ethical corner or abused his power. More: House Republicans investigating Obama scandals must be viewed as an assembly line for organized character assassination, not congressional oversight.
This is especially true at the Times, which sees the president as a far too special historical figure to get the punishing scrutiny applied to people the Times thinks are slack-jawed country bumpkins, such as Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. They see Obama as a Jackie Robinson figure, a racial pioneer who endures the angry, spitting fury of the right-wing mobs with great courage and flair.
The tea party apparently deserves punishing investigations by the IRS because their opposition to Obama is clearly based on racism, just like the people who spat on Jackie Robinson. In his interview with the Times, when asked about over-enthusiastic use of executive power, Obama sneered at conservatives. "Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency. And I don't think that's a secret." He added: "But ultimately, I'm not concerned about their opinions -- very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers."
Instead of asking one solitary question about scandals, the Times decided it was more important to ask the most obvious question imaginable about Martin Luther King: "March on Washington coming up soon. Are you going to do anything to mark it? Are you planning on being a part of the 50th anniversary?" Why, yes, Obama stressed: "I have a copy of the original program in my office, framed."
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