Dan Gainor

Once “Wall Street” was about “greed.” Now it’s about power. Obama’s latest power grab has him appearing to throw his friends at Goldman Sachs to the wolves – anything to salvage the mid-term elections.

In fact, as soon as Obama wanted to target Wall Street, Goldman Sachs got investigated. It was almost magical. About as magical as the timing of the Hutaree arrests just as Obama and the left were complaining about scary right wingers.

Maybe the timing of the Securities and Exchange Commission's fraud case against Goldman Sachs was legitimate. Maybe the arrest of nine Hutaree members for seditious conspiracy and a host of other crimes was also properly timed.

If that’s the case, then we need to start calling Obama the four-leaf-clover president because every time he needs a villain, the government picks one. This is the natural extension of the left always comparing Obama to Ronald Reagan, once called the Teflon president because critics complained no complaints ever stuck.

In Obama’s case, it really is better to be lucky than good. Right now he is pretty darn lucky. At least it appears that way. It also helps when the media won’t really delve into what’s going on – and there’s a lot going on.

For the eight years of the Bush administration, every hint of closed-door meetings or secret government action led to screaming headlines. The media and the left went apoplectic about Cheney meeting with oil companies to craft an energy policy. Every action of the war on terror resulted in an investigation. The media had one thought – to get President Bush. So they let every tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory flourish.

Remember when we were supposedly in Iraq to steal oil? We’ve certainly been there long enough to drain that nation dry. Only one problem – we didn’t do it. Or maybe it was the oil company conspiracy to lower gas prices and fix the election. CNN’s Jack Cafferty was just one of many media voices to say “if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away.” That conspiracy was also proven bogus when gas prices didn’t plummet until after the 2008 elections.

But the mere fact that the media were taking that lunacy seriously shows just how any coincidence inspires journalistic interest under the right circumstances. So, in the midst of liberal claims about the danger of tea parties, the FBI locks up members of some group almost no one has ever noticed.

On deck, we had Obama’s major push for financial reform and a convenient government attack against Goldman Sachs. So convenient that several people have raised the issue and its political implications. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked the SEC for any sort of information about how it might have cooperated with the Obama administration. Both conservatives and Wall Streeters have connected the dots enough to wonder whether these are political charges.

And that’s where the investigations begin and end. Journalists want no part of digging into the administration’s ties to anything – ACORN, SEIU and now Goldman Sachs.

It’s not just that they love their president in that schoolgirl crush way (and they do). It’s also that they fear him. They worry Obama won’t do them harm, he’ll do even worse – deny access.

Look at this administration’s pathetic history of dealing with the press. Reporters from papers that endorsed McCain got kicked off the campaign plane. Media opposition like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Matt Drudge got targeted by the White House. Even friendlies like CNBC’s Jim Cramer ended up targets for verbal assault.

Big name celebrities can survive that kind of Cold War. Ordinary reporters can’t. They know how the White House works when it wants a story killed. It bullies the media like CBS into dropping comments from a story about the sexuality of a potential Supreme Court nominee or forces everyone out of the park in front of the White House so it can conceal a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell protest.

Every one of those events should lead to an investigation. The traditional media don’t even get anywhere close. They hardly acknowledge the cozy relationship Obama and Hill Democrats have enjoyed with Goldman Sachs before this – including $1 million in contributions to the president’s campaign.

If this had been a Republican administration, every single penny would be plastered on the front page day after day. The Washington Post, New York Times and others would skewer any politician with ties to the now-toxic Goldman Sachs.

Instead, we’ll be lucky if they mention that embattled Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein has personally visited the Obama White House on three separate occasions – as recently as March 26. No, they’d never mention that.


Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.