Will Washington Media Adopt ‘Barack the Bumbler’ Story Line?

Barack Obama’s bumbling of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics is a test for the Washington press corps, the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes argues. Liberal reporters may refuse to see the controversy in Obama’s far-left agenda, but the President’s high-profile Olympic flub offers a non-ideological story of White House incompetence.


Now is the time for the mainstream media to show it’s not totally in President Obama’s pocket. The Washington press corps will never fault Obama for pushing hyper-liberal policies in a moderate-to-conservative country. Ideological criticism by the press is reserved for Republican presidents.

But the media is faced with three facts as a result of Obama’s embarrassing failure in Copenhagen. 1) The failure itself. 2) The incompetence. 3) The lack of persuasive ability. There’s nothing ideological about any of these items....

The issue here is one of incompetence. Somebody -- maybe more than one person -- didn’t scope out the inclinations of the IOC’s voting members adequately or utterly misread how a personal appearance by the American president would be received. Imagine if something like this occurred on a national security issue. Then the media would demand accountability. The Olympics issue is hardly as consequential, but that shouldn’t inhibit the press in seeking accountability....

The thriller in Copenhagen was not just a test of Obama. It’s a test of the media’s willingness to cover the president professionally and honestly when he stumbles. A love affair with a president should have its limits.

Weekly Standard Obama Watch Fred Barnes