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From "Racist," To "Dick," To Heckling: How The Press Treats Obama

That a partisan, political player from the Daily Caller would shout angry comments at the president was simultaneously shocking and quite predictable.

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Last week, for instance, The New York Times published a news article in which reporter Helene Cooper suggested Obama too often assigned  blame to his predecessor [emphasis added]:

So Mr. Obama ends up falling back--again and again--on the Barack Obama Defensive Offensive--which largely means, blame the Republicans. And while that strategy is not necessarily doomed to fail--polls show far more Americans still blame President George W. Bush for the economic decline than blame Mr. Obama-- it also runs the danger of making Mr. Obama come across as a crybaby, not to mention opening him up to ridicule from the right.

So in a campaign analysis piece, the New York Times suggested the president comes across as a "crybaby." That, of course, is a highly offensive characterization and an unusually flippant choice of words to describe the President of the United States in the news hole of the daily. In fact, the insulting put down sounds like something you would hear on the Rush Limbaugh show or Fox & Friends, which spits out that kind of name-calling on a daily basis.

Or you would hear it on Sean Hannity's program.

In fact, the "crybaby" dart is one Sean Hannity has regularly thrown. Here's a medley of his "crybaby" attacks, used in exactly the same way the Times did; claiming Obama's out of line by assigning some blame to the previous administration.

The Times' "crybaby" crack wasn't an anomaly in terms of how some in the Beltway press treat Obama. Last month, Washington Post's Dana Milbank mocked Obama as the "first female president" who "brazenly flaunted his feminine mystique."

And last year Halperin, who is seen as something of a megaphone for the Beltway media elite,  called out the president as a "dick." (Obama's sin? Being too partisan.) Previously, the pundit had claimed insiders considered Obama to be an "ignorant" "wimp" who's "incompetent and overwhelmed." Also, Obama and his team were "arrogant and clueless."  

I don't remember those kind of nasty putdowns from Halperin during the Bush years.  Back then, Halperin edited ABC News' The Note, a daily political tip sheet that read like a de facto in-house RNC newsletter, worshipping the supposedly super-savvy ways of Bush and his Republican colleagues.

And isn't the press guilty of encouraging bitter right-wing disrespect by helping to feed its phony smears, like the birther charade. Although dutifully skeptical of the claims regarding Obama's birthplace, that didn't stop the press from covering the story, often extensively, for years. By contrast, I don't recall people who fostered wild conspiracy theories about Bush being paraded around in the mainstream media in order to spread irresponsible claims. Or did I miss all the TV interviews with 9/11 truthers?

The Beltway press has also helped amplify disrespectful, right-wing attacks on First Lady Michelle Obama, by adopting its view that she be covered as a political player, in a way Laura Bush never was.

By repeatedly interrupting the president and yelling caustic questions at him during a nationally televised event, the Daily Caller's Munro reflected how little respect the conservative press now has for the office of the presidency. There's a danger the run-away contempt and casual taunting rubs off on the real press, too.