A leading conservative media watchdog is blasting President Obama and the White House press corps for collaborating on a leftist agenda while Obama tells reporters he admires their commitment to facts and objectivity.
Media Research Center Vice President of Business and Culture Dan Gainor also reacted to reports that CNN is suddenly beating Fox News in prime time among a key demographic.
But the issue that really has Gainor fired up is Obama’s speech to the annual White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday. After several minutes of cracking jokes at the expense of the press and political figures, Obama concluded by thanking the news media for helping him make our country better.
“I’m very proud of what you’ve done,” Obama said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to work side by side with you to strengthen our democracy.”
Just prior to that statement, Obama lauded the mainstream press for shedding ideology and only reporting where the facts and the truth lead.
“The only way we can build consensus, the only way we can move forward as a country, the only way we can help the world mend itself is by agreeing on a baseline of facts when it comes to the challenges that confront us all,” Obama said.
Those words left Gainor shaking his head.
“The president was standing in the middle of perhaps the metaphor for Washington corruption,” Gainor said. “You’ve got the intersection of entertainment media, news media, politics and money, at an event where they have a red carpet where professional journalists are walking into an event on a red carpet.”
Gainor continued, “And he’s talking about journalists taking a stand for what is true does not require you shedding your objectivity. They have no objectivity. For him to come out there and say he’s working side by side, what it means is they were working for him. Absolutely, this is a telling quote.”
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Dan Gainor:
Gainor said journalists are even twisting basic facts into a political advantage for their allies.
“The media have all these fact-check things now,” he said. “‘Oh, we’re going to check the facts.’ Then they turn it into propaganda.”
He said Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press” provided another example.
“To really show that they’re being objective is to not do what Chuck Todd did with Ted Cruz at ‘Meet the Press,'” Gainor said. “Getting offended that Ted Cruz is calling out the leaders of NBC as being partisan, of course they’re partisan. Who in Washington journalism is not partisan?”
Also odd to Gainor is how much the media follow Obama’s lead while the president restricts access to the press more than any other president in decades. He said it started even before Obama was elected.
“If you remember going all the way back to when a couple of newspapers endorsed John McCain, their political reporters were kicked off the campaign planes,” Gainor said.
He said the Obama White House and the press corps both have a vested interest in stifling transparency and pursuit of the truth.
“They don’t want to change it. They don’t want to be transparent because to be transparent, they actually have to tell people what’s really going on,” Gainor said. “The media also don’t want it either because then they would really have to go after the Obama administration. They don’t want that.”
So what would be signs that reporters are interested in fair play? Gainor said this campaign season would be a good place to start.
“A telling sign that they were committed to truth would be doing the same due diligence that they seem intent on doing to Cruz or Trump or anybody who is running against Hillary Clinton, to Hillary Clinton,” he said.
He said journalists could also correct a glaring double standard that was on display again this weekend.
“There were people attacked at a Donald Trump rally over the weekend,” he said. “Do you see journalists running out and asking every major Democrat in the country to disavow those kinds of riots and those kinds of thuggish behaviors? No. But when something happens at a conservative event, they immediately demand that Republicans or conservatives disavow that.”
On the cable news front, CNN is now happily reporting that it beat Fox News in prime time among adults aged 25-54 in five of the past eight months. It’s the first such stretch since late 2001, which came just before Fox News started dominating the ratings.
So why the sudden shift? Gainor chalks it up to the campaign and the raw emotions coming to the surface.
“I think this is the most emotionally volatile election year that I ever remember, even going back into 1968,” Gainor said. “Voters are very concerned we’re not at the point we need to be. Whether you look left or right, both parties are sharply divided right now.”
Gainor said there are more “talking head” shows on Fox and, with so many strong opinions, some viewers are turning away from those they don’t like. But he said CNN’s return to competitiveness won’t last long.
“Going by the history of how CNN tends to treat conservatives, I don’t think they’ll be staying for very long,” Gainor said.