A Dismal Performance

President Obama held his first press conference in a couple of months on Monday. It was an impromptu thing, probably dictated by the criticism he’s been receiving lately over his lack of communication with the White House press corps. He’s had time to do interviews with People magazine and Entertainment Tonight, where he was really put on the spot by incisive questions such as “What kind of superpower would you like to have?” but the actual press has been shut out. That’s a little puzzling; the press has been his biggest cheerleader ever since 2008. Well, in truth, they’ve been a bit more than that:

In the paragraph above, I called the White House press corps the “actual” press. That may have been pushing it. The first question directed to Obama was a home run pitch, giving him a chance to comment on the foolish statement made by Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin, who fell into a verbal hole over “legitimate rape.” I won’t go into that one; all one has to do is watch the mainstream media to get round-the-clock coverage of Akin’s blunder. The key point here is that it gave the president a wide open door to criticize Republicans.

When one of the corps deigned to address the negative campaign the Obama team was conducting, Mr. Obama was all innocence. No, he hasn’t done any such thing. He’s been issue-oriented—completely. No, no one called Romney a felon. “You can’t just make stuff up,” he solemnly intoned. Very impressive. But it seems relatively few, even among his press followers, could believe that one. He’s making stuff up all the time. And of course he never said Romney was responsible for a woman’s death because Bain Capital closed her husband’s plant. That was the work of a Super-PAC with which he has no connection—except for the fact one of his former White House spokesmen, Bill Burton, runs the PAC. But they don’t coordinate with Mr. Burton. Of course not.

All in all, it was a pretty dismal performance, and probably reveals why he has been avoiding the press for months. You never know if one of those Fox-y types might sneak in and ask something downright impertinent.

The media hasn’t merely covered for Obama directly, but also indirectly by minimizing stories that could damage his views. Take the shooting at the Family Research Council last week as an example. The mainstream news gave it only a slight mention, and even when it did, it chose to ignore the 800-lb. gorilla in the middle of the event:

Be aware of the whitewashing that often occurs. If truth is going to win out this election, we’re going to have to be vigilant.