Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Is the Mainstream Media Abandoning Obama?; Updated

Something unprecedented is going on among the self-appointed guardians of political discourse: The mainstream media.  Just last week I expressed incredulity when the Associated Press, long in Obama’s corner, actually fact-checked the ridiculous claims Obama was making in his latest Stimulus Plan…and found most of them at odds with reality.  This was a welcome development, I noted, but surely an isolated instance.  Imagine my surprise today when the AP, along with numerous other Obama apologists, fact-checked the embarrassing speech a petulant Obama delivered yesterday in the Rose Garden and again, refused to swallow Obama’s claims.

First, the AP took on Obama’s absurd class warfare rhetoric in which he repeated the age-old socialist dogma about the "rich", however defined, not paying their "fair share" of taxes, however that’s defined.  This tired liberal platitude, of course, has no basis in fact (nor has it ever), but that has never prevented those on the Left from repeating it year after year and decade after decade.  And why not?  They could always count on the pliant mainstream media to provide Democrats with cover and ignore actual data.  The AP, however, may have reached their breaking point with Obama:

President Barack Obama says he wants to make sure millionaires are taxed at higher rates than their secretaries. The data say they already are.

"Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it," Obama said as he announced his deficit-reduction plan this week. "It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million."

On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

The 10 percent of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

None of this is surprising to anyone who’s economically literate, but until recently that excluded most of the Washington media.   Usually we could have expected them to go out of their way to seek somebody, anybody, to buttress Obama’s claim.  For example, there are a small percentage of wealthy Americans who, via loopholes and other gimmicks in the tax code, do actually pay less than the middle class.  In normal times, these few people would be found and portrayed as the norm…and proof that Obama was right.  But that didn’t happen this time as the AP reporter, Stephen Ohlemacher, directly and honestly addresses this very issue:

There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But that’s less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

All this data completely debunks the class warfare rhetoric upon which he appears to be basing his re-election campaign.  Clearly he can’t run on his record, and this kind of nonsense is the only "rationale" he has to make his case to increasingly skeptical voters.  However, this strategy can only work if he maintains the love of the mainstream media, and that appears to be an increasingly perilous proposition.

The heretofore reliable Obama defenders at the Washington Post  panned the so-called deficit reduction plan he touted yesterday as full of gimmicks and unlikely to produce any real deficit reduction. Steve Chapman, an editorial board member at Obama’s hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, thinks he should eschew re-election before he does yet more damage to the Democrat Party.  And David Brooks, in a mea culpa, admits that he’s an Obama sap and that maybe, just maybe, pre-judging the capacity of someone to be president on the basis of their capacity to recite Edmund Burke philosophy or their prowess with a Rowenta isn’t such a good idea.  And you know the White House must be panicking if even the effete David Brooks is having second thoughts.

But that’s not all.  In recent days the New York Times, Politico, The Hill, and CBS, to name a few, have had no problem running stories in which Congressional Democrats have openly criticized Obama’s policies and proposals.  I don’t know which is more significant: That these reliably Democrat media outlets published the stories in the first place, or that Democrat officeholders no longer fear being quoted on the record as being opposed to Obama.  In either case, the significance can’t be understated.  Remember, Obama’s basing his entire re-election on this calumny, and a significant number of those in his own party, whether in the media or in elective office, are not on board.  What does that say about their expectations of an Obama victory in 2012?

Update: ABC News also disputes Obama’s class warfare nonsense:

Treasury Secretary Geithner yesterday declined to answer a key question about the president’s proposed “Buffett Rule”:  How many millionaires and billionaires pay lower tax rates than middle-income families?

The answer: not that many.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has crunched the numbers and found that Warren Buffett and his secretary are the exception to the rule.  For the most part, the wealthy pay a significantly higher percentage of their income in taxes than middle-income workers.

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  • dsimmons917

    They’ll be back on his side once Palin wins the nomination.

    • MaMcGriz


      But one never loses hope we’ll have put enough of their bony butts out of business by then that they’ll be no more that a blip on the radar by election time, regardless of who their candidate is

    • c4pfan


    • Pete Petretich

      At least they’ll try to. She and her team may swamp them by that time.

    • safedom

      I wouldn’t put it past Sarah to win some of them over.

  • MaMcGriz

    They’re not gonna abandon him for long….pretty soon they’re gonna eat him.

    It’s what they do.

  • OnlyOrange

    >> What does that say about their expectations of an Obama victory in 2012? <<

    IMO, they are seeing the hand-writing on the wall.  If they continue to push his agenda, they'll be totally irrelevant, and they know it.

    • Joe

      Exactly!  They are looking for a "Get-Out-of-Jail FREE" card.  And they also would like to PASS GO, and collect $200 along the way.

      Do not forget how short their memory can be – when they want it to be so!

  • c4pfan

    No, they haven’t.  They will line up and be good little soldiers when any Conservative threatens their picked leader.

  • lorenzini

    It’s just my feeling that the minute a republican nominee is set, the media will flock back to Obama. All this talk that many are turning away from Obama is a trap. His base and the Dems are solid behind him and always will be. He is going to lose some of the independants due to the "white guilt" (not racist, just a fact) fall out that drove them to vote for Obama in 2008. Now the way to take advantage is for the rep nominee to come out of the primaries relatively unscathed. Easiest way to do that is for a relative sweep of the primaries. Hard to do? Yes. Impossible? No.
    I’m not sure how many debates are left but Sarah will need to be involved in at least 2 or 3. She has a lot of people sitting on the fence and a good showing in those debates will have those sitters coming down.

  • Steven

    Don’t give them too much credit! They know he’s done, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be fair to the GOP nominee. They are only giving out the impression of impartiality to have a free reign against whoever is going to be the nominee. They will surely be more intensely aligned against the GOP nominee than ever before witnessed in history.

    Call me cynical, but as they say, a tiger doesn’t change its stripes. Count on above the board verocity against our nominee. Palin at least has no pretense to believe they’ll do otherwise, while the GOP Establishment continues to believe they can mint a candidate the media will treat fairly.  It’s not going to happen.

  • TexasRayGunner

    A: No

  • helensimon

    If they really ARE leaving their annointedNOT and we can believe news reports of that, we have to think, how come? I think they want to annoint HILLARY instead, having no one else…then it will be hillary VS SARAH-no contest. My imagination is often overactive-but it sure could be, dontcha’ think?

  • TedTorgerson

    "What does that say about their expectations of an Obama victory in 2012?"

    The main characteristic of our media is disloyalty, so it’s no surprise they’re turning against The One.

    Obama is getting the blame for the failure of Progressivism as an ideology. If Obama is competent that means his progressive policies are the reason for the failure of his administration. They can’t allow that conclusion or liberalism is dead, therefore Obama must go under the bus.

    This has nothing to do with honesty or journalistic integrity and everything to do with circling the wagons to protect the left’s big government agenda.

    • icenogle

      Bingo, it’s like when you talk to people today who are Communists about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the death and poverty that communism has brought to the world. They’ll say that communism wasn’t the problem but the way it was implemented.

  • nohype1

    First–Chapman at the Chicago Tribune is a libertarian, their token man of the right on the editorial staff. His column should not be interpreted as the position of the Tribune.

    But there is definitely something going on. It may be that the Left is worried not only that Obama will lose, but his disastrous administration may take a lot of Democrats with him and tarnish the brand (much as George Bush tarnished the Republican brand). There are many who have not left the Obama cult, but they are the useful idiots. The smart people, the party elite, certainly recognize that Obama is a terrible president, though they can never publicly acknowledge that. They are toying with the idea of having Obama removed and replaced, probably by Hillary Clinton. If they could do that cleanly, they would run much stronger in 2012 than with Obama. So what you are seeing are trial balloons.

  • Leroy Whitby

    What? It’s no longer cool to support Obama? Who would have thought, given his clear and brilliant plans, that it would have come to this?

    • aafan

      At the individual level it has been there for some time. People are willing to debate this candidate or that candidate of GOP, but when it comes to comparison with the President the answer is ok forget him that is not the issue. That is taken for granted he was not a good choice and is not a benchmark.


    Actually it’s worse than what you say here.  Last night I watched the first 30 minutes of the Jay Leno Show (about once a week these days) and for about 10 minutes Leno made fun of Obama.  Jay and his writers apparently have picked up on the trends now, or perhaps the direct word of the Democratic hierarchy, and no more are Obama jokes off limits.  Truly, I was surprised and a little bit shocked.  What is the world coming to.

    • helensimon

      …hopefully, its senses, but I doubt that. Fickle, fickle,but we aren’t like them. We’re loyal, loyal to SARAH!

  • HuntingMoose

    Since when is someone who makes say a million dollars,

    gives all to charity,

    consequently pays no tax, 0% rate

    A bad and greedy person?

    Only in the mind of a thief like Obama because he could no longer steal it and play himself santa clause with someone elses money

    If someone has a high income but pay little tax, likely there are some very legal deductions or deferrals at work. Is following the law abuse?

  • Been_There_BT

    They’re not abandoning him, they’re distancing themselves. There are a lot of dirty deals out there: Solyndra, Fast & Furious, etc. IMO The slime trail will eventually lead to the doorstep of the White House and if it does they’ll be forced to acknowledge and report on it. And if the Democrats decide to unload him, they need to be prepared to support his replacement. So now is a good time to act as though you weren’t really all that into him or you were fooled by his "intellect" or the "crease of his pants." And if it doesn’t happen, no worries then, they can just go back into lovefest mode.

    • felizarte

      A definite sign of this "changed" attitude of the MSM is when we see an objective and critical discussion of the birth certificate issue/his place of birth/ his school records at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard including his legacy sponsors.  Then all hell is loose. By this time, he might even lose the majority of the black votes. These would be the last cards played to force him to withdraw his run for reelection. It is not going to be pretty.

  • virginiagentleman1

    The MSM/LSM appears to have redefined their mission statement. In a far and mythical past, they once reported the news!  Now they operate as king makers and conversely, king breakers, and are quite fickle about it. The destruction of Obama will end just where his ‘ divinity ‘ began, in a self-serving MSM. Does anyone actually trust the press anymore? More to the point, CAN anyone ever trust the MSM again?

    • M. Simon

      You musta missed Walter Cronkite and his Tet reporting. Look it up. 

      • virginiagentleman1

        Why should I look it up? I was alive at the time. I lived it.  Did you?  There is no honor in the press, then or now. Deal with it friend.

        • M. Simon

          Not only was I alive at the time I served – DLGN25 – Rod yanker. – Yankee station. IIRC 3 months in the combat zone. Not that there was much danger. Other than the risk of a damaged Enterprise aircraft falling on us.

          BTW why did you say they once reported the news? They never did. So I learned later. Walter Duranty comes to mind.

        • M. Simon

          My back door when I was 5 looked out on the back of Monticello. So I have a very little Virginia in me. We moved to Omaha where I spent the rest of my youth until I joined the USN.

  • MaMcGriz

    As welcome as the meme-busting on the bogus tax issue is, it remains to be seen whether this will penetrate his base to any significant degree. The growing and popular meme there appears to be the scenario being pushed by Van Jones and others:  the debt crisis is a faked issue, there’s plenty of money, whitey doesn’t want us to have it, but we’re gonna take it from them anyway.

    Sorry I don’t have a link at hand, but just Bing mr. jones and it won’t take long to pick up the trail.

    • free4now

      What’s significant, Ma, is that it is happening already (well, that’s a conundrum in itself, isn’t it?)

      Zero will never be able to hold up for 2 years, so that means they have another person in their sites to, they hope, stop their Palin Panic because they can see no way to stop her.

      • MaMcGriz

        I feel that’s a correct assessment.

        It’s difficult to think they’d try and run Hillary against Governor Palin. The visuals alone would be enough of a liability going in, but, with the mood of the American People and the issues being as they are with regard to the economy, energy and border security, that donkey would be too overloaded to stand, much less run.

        So who? Leon?


  • PattyinMD

    I think the media is hedging their bets. Because when Obama is crushed in 2012 they will want access to the new power. And if all you did was trash the other group they will owe you nothing. 
    And the Media especially the print guys are trying desperately to remain relevant. 

    • 01_Explorer_01

      Except they won’t get acess to new power.  The people will have the power.

  • patnatasha

    rush was talking about this today and he said they will dump him if it means saving liberalism. saving there idealogy is more important than saving the man.

  • firefly

    The media is just reversing course from where they strayed off the reservation in the ’08 primaries when the template was Hillary was to be coronated president. Once Obama starting getting traction, Hillary was tossed off by the press as yesterday’s news, and the press was covering the ground with rose pedals as Obama walked. As was said back then Hillary got a taste by the press what it was like to be a Republican. Watch the mea culpas to Hillary from the media to get her to jump in if they can get Bammy to step aside . If the contest becomes  Hillary vs Sarah the good old LSM will  be back attacking the conservative while promoting the shrill one.

    However, in the end the Artic fox will devour the Allinsky rat.

  • mkp03

    i can’t believe it!!!!  The MSM is finally fact-checking Obama and his blather.  yeah!!

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