By Dave Andrusko
Talk about the long[est] farewell. Pro-abortion President Barack Obama held his “final” press conference today and the contrast between the obsequious way reporters treated him and the 24/7 attacks they launch on pro-life President-elect Donald Trump is a stark reminder of what the Trump Administration has to look forward to over next 4-8 years.
Mr. Obama has not been coy about protecting his “legacy.” He talked today about what might make him “speak out” after he leaves the Oval Office. (So much for honoring the tradition of not criticizing your successors.) But, then again, did anyone ever think Obama, a man in love with the sound of his own voice, would not?
The other thing–and this goes beyond self-caricature–well, here’s a few paragraphs from a story filed this afternoon by the Washington Post’s David Nakamura and Juliet Eilperin:
In his opening statement, Obama praised reporters for “asking tough questions” of him and his aides and serving as a conduit of information to ordinary citizens.
“You’re not supposed to be sycophants; you’re supposed to be skeptics,” he said. “And having you in this building has helped this place work better.
He said that when reporters query him on issues such as why he had not done more to curb the spread of Ebola in 2014 or the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, “it allows me to go back to my team and say, ‘Will you get this solved before the next press conference?’ ”
“So America needs you, and our democracy needs you,” he told the dozens of reporters gathered in the room.
You could count on the fingers of one hand the “tough” questions reporters have asked of Obama over the last eight years. Typically, the toughest decision they had to make was how to out-flatter the preceding questioner.
Moreover no administration in history could match the Obama Administration’s zeal for prosecuting whistleblowers, including reporters . As Kelly Riddell wrote
His administration has prosecuted nine whistleblowers under the 1917 Espionage Act, more than double that of all other previous administrations combined.
Mr. Obama’s Department of Justice and FBI spied on The Associated Press, secretly wading through their reporters’ phone records, in an effort to chill potential federal whistleblowers. His administration targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator under the Espionage Act for simply talking to one of his sources in the State Department and reporting on it.
This, and much else, lead to a letter to then Attorney General Eric Holder from 52 media organizations which said
“The scope of this action calls into question the very integrity of Department of Justice policies toward the press and its ability to balance, on its own, its police powers against the First Amendment rights of the news media and the public’s interest in reporting on all manner of government conduct.”
But, of course, not a baaa from all the sheep assembled.