Accuracy in Media

hardball obama interviewPresident Obama criticized the media for focusing on the failures of government, like the IRS scandal and the botched Obamacare rollout, while ignoring its successes:

Part of the reason people are so skeptical is that when we do things right, they don’t get a lot of attention. If we do something that is perceived initially as a screw-up, it will be on the nightly news for a week.

Obama then cited the example of FEMA director Craig Fugate, who he said “nobody knows” despite the “flawless” job he has done in handling natural disasters over the past five years, as a government success story that is ignored by the media.

The President then compared that to the IRS scandal as a government failure that received undue attention from the media:

You’ve got an office in Cincinnati … in the I.R.S. office that, I think, for bureaucratic reasons is trying to streamline what is a difficult law to interpret about whether [a] nonprofit is actually a political organization [that] deserves a tax exempt agency. And they’ve got a list, suddenly, everybody’s outraged.

Obama added that there were some so called progressive and liberal commentators who were outraged at the possibility that the IRS, under the direction of the Democratic Party, had been discriminating against the Tea Party.

“That is what gets news,” Obama said. “That’s what gets attention.”

Obama is clearly frustrated that the media, which he has been able to count on as reliable allies and supporters ever since he was elected, have taken on a tougher tone as the scandals have recently mounted. Those scandals, combined with the colossal failure of the Obamacare rollout and the lies surrounding the President’s signature legislative achievement, have become too big for even them to ignore.

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