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Margolis’ book rebuts notion of scandal free Obama presidency


Before leaving office, President Barack Obama said,”I’m proud of the fact that […] we’re probably the first administration in modern history that hasn’t had a major scandal in the White House.”

Paul Blumenthal for The Huffington Post said that while scandal “has consumed the final four years of every two-term president in modern history […] Barack Obama’s administration is the exception.”

David Brooks wrote in the New York Times, “Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free.”

CNN commentator Bakari Sellers described Obama as “eight years scandal-free.”

But was it?

Matt Margolis’ book The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama  purports to debunk the “phony media narrative that Barack Obama had a ‘scandal-free’ presidency.”

According to Margolis, the 44th president had plenty of scandals that were ignored, downplayed, or covered-up by mainstream media.
“The media protected Obama from criticism and controversy as aggressively as the Secret Service protected him from danger,” Margolis said.

Margolis claims Obama brought to Washington corrupt Chicago machine politics of cronyism and corporate payoffs, combined with tactics meant to steer popular dissatisfactions toward leftist goals – using polarization as a purposeful tactic.

The attempted illegal “sale” of his former Senate seat by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was a scandal right after Obama was elected. Obama denied involvement in any discussions yet Obama reportedly met with Blagojevich to discuss his Senate seat. A local CBS affiliate published two stories, only to remove both off their website after the scandal broke.

Form there on it was not scandal free.  It was media scandal free.

Here are a few scandals that were reported but never got the media attention they likely would have received if a Republican was in the White House.

  • Illegal IRS targeting of conservative groups
  • NSA spying on political opponents
  • The decision to block the prosecution of Iranian-backed terrorists
  • Fast and Furious
  • Benghazi
  • The VA scandal
  • Solyndra
  • OPM hacking
  • GSA scandal
  • Iran Ransom
  • Uranium One
  • FISA abuse.

In December of last year, Politico published a report about how the Obama administration stonewalled an investigation of an international drug-trafficking operation of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah in order to protect his nuclear deal with Iran. ABC, CBS, and NBC considered this unworthy of major coverage.

The Mueller investigation exposed – although not intentionally – how politicized the Department of Justice became under Obama. It has yet to expose collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians.

Before, during and after leaving office, Obama said  “We didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.”

He might have said it better had he said, “the media did not embarrass us for any of my scandals.”

Margolis says, “The media presented Obama as a successful, scandal-free president—a massive cover-up unprecedented in the history of modern journalism—and this amounts to an abdication of their duty to the American people to tell us the truth. … Their failure to do so with Obama is his golden ticket to historical greatness and he clearly recognizes this and is using it to his advantage….  If we don’t shine the light on the facts of Obama and his presidency now, the myth of a ‘scandal-free’ Obama administration will be written as fact for the history books.”

Maybe part of the reason the media treated him so fine was he was not accessible to them.

After early promises to be the most transparent administration in history, Obama was one of the most secretive and elusive. On-the-record interviews with hard-news, government reporters were rare. He gave almost no in-depth, on-the-record access to reporters during his two terms.

Instead Obama did interviews that were tightly controlled and granted to reporters who asked soft questions.  He did not do news conferences and question-and-answer sessions where reporters were allowed to pursue news topics aggressively and in real time.
In Sept. 2016, 40 journalism and open-government groups sent a letter to the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest pointing out some of Obama’s tactics with journalists.
■ Officials’ blocking requests by reporters to talk to specific staff people.

■ Excessive delays in answering interview requests that stretch past reporters’ deadlines.

■ Conveying information “on background,” and refusing to give reporters what should be public information unless they agree not to say who is speaking.

■ Federal agencies’ blackballing of reporters who write critically of them.

■ Lack of meaningful visual access to the president by an independent press pool.

Additionally Obama’s record of going after journalists and their whistle blower sources set a dangerous precedent opposed to freedom of the press.
“Obama has laid all the groundwork … for an unprecedented crackdown on the press,” said Trevor Timm, executive director of the nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation.
 In a speech he made after he left office, Obama said, “Generally speaking, you didn’t hear about a lot of drama inside our White House.”

That’s true we didn’t hear about it.

I think that’s Margolis’ point.

To purchase or learn more about Matt Margolis’ “The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama” click here

On the other hand, if you are looking for more of the media narrative that Obama wants you to enjoy, try this

glowing review of Saint Barack available through Time

About the author

Frank Parlato


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