In Writing 'Obama Loses the Media,' Politico's Byers Admits Establishment Press Pro-Obama Bias Until Now

September 16th, 2013 11:14 AM

Thanks, Dylan Byers. You've done those who recognize liberal establishment press bias as an irrefutable reality a big favor.

The Politico media reporter's lengthy excerpt from a longer column — I'd call it a "tease," but it's 14 paragraphs — is entitled "Obama Loses the Media." That means Obama has had 'em in his pocket until now. The rumors of permanent loss are likely exaggerated. Several paragraphs from from the lengthy excerpt and the column itself follow the jump.

First, from the excerpt (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Obama loses the media

President Barack Obama is damaging his presidency, weakening America’s standing in the world, and displaying “inexplicable” incompetence.


The media figure making those accusations isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer or Glenn Beck. The critic doesn’t host a right-wing talk show, anchor a Fox News program, or write for the pages of the Weekly Standard. In fact, he’s not even a conservative.

It’s Joe Klein, the Time Magazine political columnist. “Obama has lost some serious altitude: In the world, with the Congress, and most importantly with the American people,” Klein, a veteran journalist and political moderate, told POLITICO.

Klein isn’t alone: In recent months, and especially since the start of the Syria mess, Obama has been enduring some of the toughest and most widespread press criticism of his four-and-a-half years as president. It isn’t just coming from the usual suspects on the right. Increasingly, the skepticism is coming from the center and even from the left — from White House reporters, progressive editorial boards, foreign policy experts and MSNBC hosts.

And Obama has mostly himself to blame for the recent wave of media negativity (although the Republicans have been glad to lend a hand).

... In interviews with POLITICO, reporters and pundits from across the ideological spectrum noted that Obama has fewer and fewer safe harbors in the fourth estate. Five years ago, the media was seen as being so sympathetic to the junior Senator from Illinois that it irked even his Democratic challengers. But in his second term as president the tone of both the news coverage and the editorial analysis has become far more critical. Of course, with more than two years left in his term, the notoriously fickle press’s pendulum could always swing back in Obama’s direction ...

Oh, I think it's a near certitude that it will, Dylan. Just wait until Republicans start doing dastardly things like trying to address the looming fiscal catastrophe or even try to get something substantive out of debt-ceiling negotiations.

And please — Joe Klein is not a "moderate," as a cruise through the NewsBusters archive of posts with his tag easily demonstrates.

In the full column, Byers draws an invalid parallel to George W. Bush's second term:

President Obama holds fire -- but media doesn’t

... If you feel like you’ve seen this movie before, it’s because you have. In 2006, many of President George W. Bush’s defenders turned on him as well. Then as now, the negative coverage was spurred on by skepticism of the president’s foreign policy. One year after praising the Bush White House’s handling of the Iraq war, The National Review was criticizing “the administration’s on-again-off-again approach.” Former defenders like columnists like George Will and William F. Buckley similarly critiqued the White House’s Middle East ambitions.

Give us a break, Dylan. The obvious difference is that the establishment press's beat reporters were hostile towards Bush 43 from day one, while they've been in a torrid romance with Obama for over 6-1/2 years dating to the declaration of his presidential candidacy in early 2007.

Continuing from the full column:

“A bad patch with the press is when they’re getting bad coverage or they’re at odds with the media over their press relations posture. Right now they’re getting bad coverage on the merits,” one senior-level Washington reporter said.

“The tougher coverage right now reflects the reality that we are adrift,” said another high-level correspondent. “On Syria, contradictions are coming out of the White House every five minutes — they’re in the same sentence.”

The administration’s apparent confusion over Syria has been cause for some especially negative coverage.

Note that the "senior-level" and "high-level" correspondents wouldn't identify themselves. They don't want to burn any bridges in case the romantic flame gets rekindled.

But the big takeaway is that Politico's media reporter has admitted that the establishment press, by virtue of its having recently "turned" on President Obama, has been in the tank for him up until now.

Cross-posted at