Bozell & Graham Column: The Media Insulate Obama from Scandal

June 19th, 2018 10:59 PM

Barack Obama is swaggering around in his post-presidency, claiming he didn’t really have any scandals as president. In February, he said we “didn't have a scandal that embarrassed us.” This only means shamelessness can seem like a winning tactic. In May, he repeated “I didn't have scandals, which seems like it shouldn't be something you brag about.”

By any objective measure, this man is a liar.

Obama can claim he was only following the lead of his servile press corps. CNN, which screams about Trump scandals all day long, ran a two-hour Obama special at the end of his second term, and their host Fareed Zakaria claimed Obama “ran an administration that was largely scandal-free, and did it all the while under a microscope – because he looked different.”

This man is a liar as well. There’s no other way to put it. 

So when the Justice Department’s Inspector General released a report on June 14 on the Hillary Clinton email scandal, it’s not surprising that the network newscasts ignored any reference to Barack Obama, who is certainly scolded in the report, including pages 66 to 69.

ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS all did multiple segments on the IG report, and all of them completely skipped any Obama angle. They centered their coverage on how the IG scalded former FBI director James Comey, and ignored that Comey was appointed by who? Obama in 2013.

All these networks also skipped over the report’s discussion of the scandal of Attorney General Loretta Lynch meeting on the tarmac with Bill Clinton shortly before the Justice Department announced they would not prosecute. Naturally, in their liberal eyes, the scandal here was that Trump was claiming he was vindicated by the IG report. This was apparently the false statement.

Obama can lie without any consequences. For starters, Obama in 2015 denied knowing that Hillary Clinton used a private email address in her government business. The IG report makes clear that Obama “was one of 13 individuals with whom Clinton had direct contact using her account.” As he so often for eight years of assorted scandals, Obama claimed he only learned about it “through news reports.” No one called him either (a) dishonest or to give him improbable slack, (b) clueless.

But it was worse than that. Obama caused indigestion inside the FBI when he went on television and insisted there was nothing Hillary Clinton did that was worth prosecuting. 

On “60 Minutes” on October 11, 2015, Obama insisted “I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America`s national security was endangered.” CBS’s Steve Kroft nudged him: “This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.” Obama replied: “There`s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely hide something or to squirrel away information.”

Loretta Lynch told the IG that Obama stepped in it by prematurely proclaiming no national-security damage on CBS. It created a suspicion of political bias at the top of the Justice Department. Obama repeated his line about Hillary’s lack of harm to national security in a “Fox News Sunday” interview on April 10, 2016.

It’s not like the networks couldn’t find these video clips. As energetically as they create a persistent “crisis” for Donald Trump, they have put a protective bubble around their precious Obama. He can boast that he has no scandals because the “facts first” media have manufactured that false perception for ten years.