Watching the media's inability to find relevant investigative news during the Obama era is like watching a bald-headed fellow named Fudd hunting for ‘wabbit'.
Such is the case of the main stream media's complete and utter ignorance involving the administration recently steering a $25 million no-bid contract to a Democratic campaign contributor.
While Fox News reporter James Rosen did an in-depth investigative report (and follow up) on the deal with Checchi & Company - despite working for what the administration considers a non-news network - the entire media establishment had ignored a significant reneging of campaign promises, right up until that deal was canceled.
Doing his best impersonation of a crystal ball, NewsBuster Tom Blumer correctly foretold the future when he questioned the media response to the story:
"Will the rest of the establishment press risk the tattered remnants of its credibility, follow the White House's suggestion, and ignore the story because it's coming from Fox?"
... has been a resounding yes.
With the initial reporting by Fox nearly a week in the books, the MSM has completely ignored the story. Despite the Obama promises that "the days of giving government contractors a blank check are over." Despite, as Judicial Watch analyzed (emphasis mine throughout),
"Across the government, more than $543 million in federal contracts have been awarded so far without competition under Obama's $787 billion stimulus program."
In contrast, the infatuation that the media previously held with another no-bid contract in times past, Halliburton, received epic coverage right out of the gate. The announcement of Halliburton's ‘sweetheart deal' saw a blitz of media headlines almost immediately:
- Dallas Morning News: Old Boy Network Behind Contracts?
- Houston Business Journal: Congressman looking into Halliburton's Army pact
- Agence France Presse: Halliburton Handed No-Bid Iraqi Oil Firefighting Contract
- Washington Post: Contracts to Rebuild Iraq Go to Chosen Few
- San Francisco Chronicle: Questions dog Bush policy on contracts to cap Iraqi well fires
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Contracts doled out to rebuild Iraq are questioned
- New York Daily News: Cheney's ex-firm scores
Meanwhile, the media response to Obama's ‘sweetheart deal' has been significantly underwhelming.
Since Fox News published the story of Checchi & Company's deal on January 25th, its mention has only graced the pages of Investor's Business Daily, the Daily Caller, and various conservative blogs.
This is clearly a conscious effort by the media to ignore a newsworthy piece. As the Fox report surmises, "Figures ... show that no-bid contracts have been common under administrations controlled by both parties."
Undoubtedly true, but that would suggest an equal amount of coverage for both parties, possibly more so for the one who promised to end the practice. However, to paraphrase the above excerpt, the media obsession with said no-bid contracts is only common under administrations controlled by the Republican party.
Further, the story took an interesting turn yesterday in that the contract has been subsequently canceled, and still Fox remains the only network to cover the situation.
"Joseph A. Fredericks, director of public information at USAID, told Fox News the Checchi deal was actually a renewal of an existing contract, awarded in 2004 by the Bush administration after a competitive bid process."
Yet, the media remains quite disinterested, despite USAID feeling it necessary to take action based on the inappropriate nature of the deal.
Going back to Tom Blumer's post, he stated, ‘I don't know why I'm relaying this to readers.'
Well Tom, somebody has to...