"Bush lied; thousands died." That was the vile mantra of the ultra-left but never denounced as vile by the news media, perhaps because so many agreed with that sentiment. Bush had ruined America's image in the eyes of the world.
Even when things were looking more positive, the journalists never relented. McClatchy Newspapers demonstrated that ultra-negative bias with this real-but-ridiculous headline: "As Violence Falls in Iraq, Cemetery Workers Feel the Pinch."
Now that President Barack Obama is deep into his second term as president, how the rules have changed. There is no interest in exploring how his policies create crises. There's no appetite for reporting the Keystone Kops antics of this incompetent administration. It doesn't matter that the world now regards this president with greater disdain than what they held for his predecessor.
The media see it as Obama sees it: Foreign policy is a distraction and something cruel imposed on the president. For example, the other day, CNN.com writer Cassie Spodak lamented how "violence erupting in the sky over Ukraine and on the ground in the Middle East set the agenda ... Such buffeting by world events adds to a perception driven by Obama's critics that he lags behind foreign policy issues instead of getting out front."
The CNN headline was: "World events derail Obama's agenda." One could respond flippantly by pointing out that Obama's agenda is limited to golf and fundraising and nothing. Absolutely nothing seems able to derail that agenda.
But there are the serious questions, namely: What is Obama's foreign policy agenda? And is it working? In a Media Research Center study of 15 days of evening news coverage from July 8-23, the networks aired 79 stories, adding up to 169 minutes, on the fighting between Israel and Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. That afforded the networks ample time to explore every facet of the story. But only 45 seconds of that delved into criticism of the administration.
Then, from July 17-23, the three evening newscasts aired 96 stories, lasting 209 minutes, on the Malaysian jet shootdown over the Ukraine. Same story here: just 10 seconds of that coverage included criticism of Obama or his team.