Former President Barack Obama is swaggering around and claiming he didn’t really have any scandals as president. In February, he said we “didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.” This only means shamelessness can seem like a winning tactic. In May, he said, “I didn’t have scandals, which seems like it shouldn’t be something you brag about.”
By any objective measure, this man is a liar.
Obama can claim he was only following the lead of his servile press corps. CNN, which screams about Donald Trump scandals all day long, ran a two-hour Obama special at the end of his second term during which host Fareed Zakaria claimed: “He ran an administration that was largely scandal-free. … And he did it all the while under a microscope — because he looked different.”
This man is a liar as well. There’s no other way to put it.
So when the Justice Department inspector general released a report on the Hillary Clinton email scandal on June 14, it’s not surprising that the network newscasts ignored any reference to Obama, who is certainly scolded in the report, including pages 66 to 69.
ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS did multiple segments on the IG report, and all of them completely skipped an Obama angle. They centered their coverage on how the IG scalded former FBI Director James Comey, and they ignored that Comey was appointed by … who? Obama in 2013.
These networks also skipped over the report’s discussion of the scandal of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac shortly before the Justice Department announced it would not prosecute. Naturally, in their liberal eyes, the scandal here was that President Trump was claiming he was vindicated by the IG report. This was apparently the false statement.
Obama can lie without any consequences. For starters, in 2015 he denied knowing that Hillary Clinton used a private email address for her government business. The IG report makes clear that Obama “was one of the 13 individuals with whom Clinton had direct contact using her clintonemail.com account.” As he so often did during eight years of assorted scandals, Obama claimed he only learned about it “through news reports.” No one called him a) dishonest or b) clueless.
But it was worse than that. Obama caused indigestion inside the FBI when he went on television and insisted nothing Clinton did was worth prosecuting.
On “60 Minutes” on Oct. 11, 2015, Obama insisted, “I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” CBS’ Steve Kroft nudged him, saying, “This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.” Obama replied: “There’s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely efforts … to hide something or to squirrel away information.”
Lynch told the IG that Obama stepped in it by prematurely proclaiming on CBS that there was no national security damage. It created a suspicion of political bias at the top of the Justice Department. Obama repeated his line about Clinton’s lack of harm to national security in a “Fox News Sunday” interview on April 10, 2016.
It’s not like the networks couldn’t find these video clips. As energetically as they create a persistent “crisis” for Donald Trump, they have put a protective bubble around their precious Obama. He can boast that he has no scandals because the “facts first” media have manufactured that false perception for 10 years.
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L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.