The “journalists” that make up the Washington press corps Gridiron Club were so busy enamoring themselves at their annual dinner Saturday night, they not only didn’t notice when President Obama mocked them openly they applauded him for it.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans watching their incomes recede while prices incessantly increase and wondering if there will ever be an end to the disaster that is the Obama economy you most likely didn’t notice President Obama’s attendance at the annual Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner this past Saturday evening.
While such an oversight is most understandable it is not an oversight that should go uncorrected. Established in 1885, the Gridiron Club is the elite of the elite of the Washington, D.C. press establishment and every President except Grover Cleveland has attended its annual dinner at least once during their tenure.
But the “news” the Corner imparts to you today is not that Obama attended, but rather what he said and to whom it was spoken.
The four paragraphs below are the closing lines of President Obama’s remarks at this year’s dinner as taken from the official transcript at www.whitehouse.gov:
….Now, I do want to end on a serious note. I know that there are people who get frustrated with the way journalism is practiced these days. And sometimes those people are me. (Laughter.) But the truth is our country needs you and our democracy needs you.
In an age when all it takes to attract attention is a Twitter handle and some followers, it’s easier than ever to get it wrong. But it’s more important than ever to get it right. And I am grateful for all the journalists who do one of the toughest jobs there is with integrity and insight and dedication — and a sense of purpose — that goes beyond a business model or a news cycle.
This year alone, reporters have exposed corruption here at home and around the world. They’ve risked everything to bring us stories from places like Syria and Kenya, stories that need to be told. And they’ve helped people understand the ways in which we’re all connected –how something that happens or doesn’t happen halfway around the world or here in Washington can have consequences for American families.
These are extraordinary times. The stakes are high and the tensions can sometimes be high as well. But while we’ll always have disagreements, I believe that we share the belief that a free press — a press that questions us, that holds us accountable, that sometimes gets under our skin — is absolutely an essential part of our democracy.
Obama could not have found a more friendly audience for his dig at “new journalism”.
The Old Guard that makes up the Gridiron Club has more noses pointed at a permanent 45 degree upwards angle than a faculty lounge at Harvard.
And nothing has put more of those noses out of joint in the past decade then the meteoric rise of that “new journalism” and the plummeting credibility and power of they, them very selves.
More time passed between the Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the Bill of Rights than marks the downfall of the once all powerful “establishment” journalism.
Yet what Obama’s audience fails to grasp is that their downfall is not due to a rise in “new” journalism, but rather a failure of the “old”.
Obama talks of integrity, insight, dedication and of the exposing of corruption that risks everything to bring out the stories that need to be told.
I don’t know what’s worse; that Obama would actually speak such obvious falsehoods or that the adoring crowd is still so enamored with itself that they actually believed the truckload of bovine excrement he dumped all over their linen covered tables.
Fast and Furious, Benghazi, career Generals and Admirals being pushed out for more ideologically pure commanders, unconstitutional “recess” appointments, unprecedented amassing of executive power, one falsehood after another put forth during the campaign, “transparency” so opaque it’s laughable, a 16 year old American citizen killed by a drone attack authorized with but a stroke of Obama’s pen, not one responsible budget put forth in over four years, FOIA requests released with more redactions than fraudulent democrat voter registrations, filing suit against Arizona for trying to enforce the law while ignoring states violating federal drug laws, implementing through Obamacare the largest abolishment of individual rights in the history of the nation……..and on, and on it goes.
Each and every one of those stories reeking with corruption and abuse of power, each and every one of those stories just waiting to be told with “integrity and insight”, and each and every one of them ignored by each and every “dedicated” “journalist” at dinner that night.
To date, not one organization represented at that dinner Saturday night has published one story or aired one report against this administration with the tenacity and grit their brethren of times past would have demanded.
Can you imagine a President Bush getting the pass on a Presidential “kill” list and drone strikes that Obama has?
Can you imagine a Washington press corps staying silent if a Republican President had concocted the economic misery that Obama has?
Can you imagine any President other than Obama being allowed to steal $6 trillion dollars from future generations without even a peep of protest from “the press”?
It was the perfect blending of irony and hypocrisy; Obama, telling the elite how important they were while bashing the “new” as the scourge, and all the while getting them to ignore the fact how easily he himself has bypassed them and used that very “new media” to his own advantage so efficiently and effectively.
It is a testament to Obama’s cult status among the gridiron gang that they would not only invite, but resoundingly applaud the very man who has done more to destroy their relevance than any President in American history.
No politician has used “new” media to bypass the “mainstream press” more often and to more effect than one Barack Hussein Obama yet still they worship him. It is a combination of irony and hypocrisy never before seen in the modern era of press/Presidential relations.
But Obama was right on one thing: these most certainly are extraordinary times and a press that questions, that holds accountable is most definitely absolutely essential to our democracy.
Only problem is that he was telling it to a group that no longer cares about such trivial things.
For to the few dozen groups represented at Saturday’s night dinner, the only question they care about anymore is how they hold onto their power.
Oh to be a fly on the wall when they finally realize it’s already been answered: they don’t.