Politics

Now That the Election's Safely Over, Liberal Journalists Promise to Maybe Ask Obama a Sternly Worded Question or Two

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You didn't really want to keep that Egg McMuffin down, did you? Good! Go read this Politico story about media-progressives and their dearly re-elected leader:

In conversations with POLITICO, some of the left's most influential voices in media said that, with the concerns of re-election over, they intend to be more critical of the president's performance and more aggressive in urging him to pursue a progressive agenda as the clock ticks on his last four years in office.

"Liberals in the media are going to be tougher on Obama and more respectful at the same time," Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker's chief political commentator and a former speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, told POLITICO. "He was the champion of our side, he vanquished the foe….. [but] now liberals don't have to worry about hurting his chances for re-election, so they can be tougher in urging him to do what he should be doing."

Hendrik Hertzberg, you're fired! At least from any magazine I would edit. Seriously, even if the president is on your team, the project of journalism is incompatible with the bootlicking of power. I am trying to imagine a universe in which President Gary Johnson is given a pass by Reason over maintaining or strengthening federal penalties for cocaine…nope, can't do it.

Glenn Greenwald argues plausibly that the "hurting his chances for re-election" virus quickly becomes fatal in the host:

Once one decides in the name of electoral expediency to abdicate their primary duty as a citizen and especially as a journalist - namely, to hold accountable those who wield the greatest political power - then this becomes a permanent abdication. That's because US politics is essentially one permanent, never-ending election. The 2012 votes were barely counted before the political media began chattering about 2016, and MSNBC is already - as one of its prime time hosts put it - "gearing up" for the 2014 midterm. […]

There is never any justification for those who work in media or hold themselves out as journalists - as opposed to, say, those who are party apparatchiks - to refrain from holding the nation's most powerful political leaders accountable. 

You can view some artifacts of Hertzberg's abdication here, here, here, here, and here.