Omitting for Obama
How the Old Media Deliberately Censored New Media Scoops in 2009


By Tim Graham
Director of Media Analysis
The Media Research Center

The saccharine sea of sweet media accolades for the inauguration of President Obama signaled one thing clearly at the beginning of 2009: this new administration was not going to be eyed suspiciously by the press as a potential rogues’ gallery of scandal figures, incompetents, and extremists, which was the way they greeted the incoming Bush administration in 2001. Back then, the staunch opposition of liberal interest groups and activists against Bush and his policies drove the news agenda. Today, the "mainstream media" lament the sad fact that there is any opposition to the Obama agenda.

In 2009, the Old Media left a void where Obama would have been held accountable. This was especially true of traditional broadcast TV news, which covered the Obamas not merely as heads of state, but as global celebrities dazzling the world with their vigor and panache. Into that void stepped members of the New Media, eager to point out Team Obama’s troubling associations, political missteps, and ideological extremists.

While Fox News and the conservatives on talk radio and the Internet broke and developed these stories, Americans following only "mainstream" media outlets like the broadcast TV networks never would have heard these reports. Instead of acting as government watchdogs holding the government accountable, the nation's broadcast news networks deliberately suppressed and de facto censored embarrassing scoops – at least until President Obama or Democrats in Congress made them impossible to ignore.

In many cases, this resistance to real news extended even to newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times, which are supposed to be more substantive and thorough than highly-paid TV news talking heads or unpaid bloggers. A Media Research Center study of four such stories highlighted by the New Media in 2009 that were damaging or embarrassing to the Obama "brand" found that stories were not only slow in arriving, they were fast in disappearing.

Previous: Executive Summary
Next: Van Jones

Like this report? Then sign up to receive free e-mail alerts from the MRC

Article Tools
  •             and more!
  • Print
  • Subscribe to Newsletter
  • RSS Center
  • Take Action!