But then Obama pushed its limits by invading the sanctum of the Associated Press. It was one thing when the administration was targeting whistleblowers, but quite another when the media’s power became part of the collateral damage.
The week of scandals was the media reminding Obama that his smooth ride had been provided by them and that the ride could get very bumpy if his media ponies decide to take the back road to Benghazigate or drop by the IRS headquarters. It’s a bluff, of course. The day may come when the media takes Obama out back and disposes of him so that the new messiah, perhaps in a pantsuit, can ascend the old Camelot throne, but that day isn’t here yet.
Scandal week was a game of chicken between Obama and the media to see who would blink first. Would Obama decide to respect the institutional power of the media or would be consider pushing forward until the media blinked. A brief history of Obama Inc. suggests that he will keep pushing on. Obama backs down from Muslim terrorists and Russian government thugs, but not from Americans.
Like most cowards, Obama only attacks those he knows won’t fight back. And the only people who won’t fight back are either helpless or bound by their politics not to resist the liberal messiah.
Obama knows that the media does not dare harm a hair on the head of the liberal agenda. And he made certain to appoint a Vice President whom no one in their right mind would want to see take over. Until 2016, it’s Hussein or the highway. The media has shown that it can hamstring him even when the coverage is only mild. It is quite capable of turning up the temperature to boiling, though not without a civil war with Media Matters, Think Progress and a chunk of the liberal new media.
The media is a prisoner of its own ideology. It can’t hit Obama too hard… yet. Not until they’re making the case that Hillary will do a better job of governing than this inexperienced tyro did. Having abandoned any professional integrity years ago, it would be too late for most of the media to reclaim it now. Even in the name of its own institutional power.
This is the process by which leftists have collaborated in their own purges. It is why wealthy leftists financed revolutions that would rob them. The media’s wealth is in its institutional power and it is being forced to accede to the redistribution of that influence.
Obama is not interested in an independent media, even if it is biased his own way. Leftists are great centralizers. They seize power by consolidating it under their control. The Democratic Party is struggling as Obama’s OFA Super PAC loots their fundraising operations. Why does Obama need a Super PAC? Because it gives him another source of personal power while diminishing the power of established institutions. And the news media is just one more established institution for the children of the counterculture to beat to death with its own microphones.
The media is trying to make a statement about boundaries, but it lacks commitment. Even as it halfheartedly, though for the first time, covers actual misconduct by Obama Inc. with that smidgen of outrage which usually only creeps into its own when reporting on the dreaded (R’s), it undermines its own show of force by discussing how quickly Obama will be able to get over the hump and back to his agenda. The media’s blackmail of the man listening to its phone calls and scanning through its emails lacks conviction.
Obama needs the media, but the media needs him more. It doesn’t need him for practical reasons, but for emotional reasons. It needs to believe that its corrupt institutional power has been put at the service of a higher purpose and a higher calling. It needs to believe this all the more as the ratings drop, the papers go unsold and the radio stations fill up with the voices of conservative talk show hosts. That emotional need makes the media the prisoner of this administration.
On his end, Obama has a practical need for the media, but no emotional need. Interviews, even of the softball media kind, challenge his control. They question him and Obama does not like being questioned. While media figures see themselves as serving a meaningful liberalizing institution, he sees them as carriers of a narrative. A narrative that can just as easily be carried anywhere else.