About six weeks before the 2012 presidential election, I was walking through Rockefeller Center in New York when I heard a woman’s voice calling my name. I hesitated before I turned around: As a conservative in Gotham, I never know if I’ll be accosted by a raving leftist screaming “fascist!” at me. (Yes, that happened.)
I turned slowly to see a smiling older woman approaching me with her hand extended.
The story she shared with me was remarkable. She said that she currently works on a broadcast network’s nightly newscast, although she declined to reveal which one. A thirty-year veteran of news, she had worked at the highest levels for all three major networks. She had produced their most important programming: evening news broadcasts, morning shows, and countless election nights. She clearly knew how the network news sausage was made.
“I’m a conservative,” she told me, “although I have kept that quiet for three decades because while the liberal bias was rampant, I enjoyed the work and wanted to keep my jobs.
“Here’s the thing, though,” she continued, “the networks have always been biased to the left. But I have never, ever seen the bias as bad or as obvious as it’s been since Barack Obama first appeared.”
When I asked her for an example, she replied, “Every morning, we hold a meeting about how to build that evening’s broadcast. We’ve been doing this for decades. Everybody talks about which stories we’re going to air, what the line-up looks like, and which reporters we’ll have live in the field and which ones will be filing taped pieces. In the past, the left-wing bias was always left unspoken. People just ‘got it,’ because they all thought the same.
“Once Obama pulled ahead of Hillary and certainly once he became president,” she said, “the bias came out of the closet. Now, every morning when we meet to discuss that night’s show, they literally say — out loud — ‘How do we protect Barack Obama today?’”
I made her repeat that last bit: that the team assembling a national newscast for one of the Big Three television networks says — out loud, every day — “How do we protect Barack Obama today?”
There it was, real proof of what we suspected from years of evidence: that the leftist agenda was real, tangible and no longer disguised. And it had morphed from simple bias to dangerous advocacy.
This dovetails with what former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson reports in her new book, “Stonewalled.” Every time she tried to investigate the Obama administration on major scandals in which evidence of cover-ups was mounting — Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservatives — she was either ignored or stopped outright by her superiors at CBS, including CBS News president David Rhodes, whose brother Ben happens to be President Obama’s deputy national security adviser.
She reports that her investigative work was buried or not aired at all, that she got no support from the network, and most outrageously, that she was targeted by the White House and Department of Justice, both of which thought she was “out of control.” In a scene right out of George Orwell’s “1984,” her computer was hacked by a “government-related entity” and crucial files related to her investigations were erased before her eyes.
My colleague at Fox Business, Melissa Francis, recently divulged that when she was at CNBC several years ago, she reported to her audience that Obamacare’s math “didn’t add up.” She was then reprimanded by her bosses for reporting the truth. Francis says, “I was told that I was, quote, ‘Disrespecting the office of the president’ by questioning the math of Obamacare.” She’s revealing the confrontation now, she says, because once Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber admitted that the Obama team deceived the “stupid” public, she felt “complicit” in the “cover-up.”
An administration built on lies has enjoyed mafialike protection from a corrupt and supine press. They are therefore all complicit in the Obama policies that have crippled America: Obamacare, IRS targeting, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the outrages at the Veterans Administration, NSA wiretapping, the Bergdahl-Taliban prisoner swap, the gutting of the military and so on (endlessly).
There are some journalists actually doing their jobs. Many, however, do whatever they can to defend Mr. Obama and advance his agenda, out of an ideological affinity with or an emotional draw to the first black president.
Cheerleading isn’t what the press is supposed to do. And they know it because they never cheerlead when Republicans are in power. Many in the media, however, no longer care about accountability, intellectual honesty or the truth — and without a free press animated by those things, a great republic cannot stand for long.
But the media don’t seem to care about that. After all, they operate with only one question in mind: “How do we protect Barack Obama today?”
• Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.