All the “news” that
is fit to print serves Obama.
In keeping with Obama’s policy and practice of pressuring “legitimate news media” to follow His desires vis a vis news coverage (see generally Sharyl Attkisson’s Stonewalled), Josh Earnest announced on January 12th:
President Barack Obama has a moral responsibility to push back on the nation’s journalism community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles that might cause a jihadi attack against the nation’s defense forces, the White House’s press secretary said Jan. 12. [Emphasis added.]
“The president … will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps that are necessary to try to advocate for the safety and security of our men and women in uniform” whenever journalists’ work may provoke jihadist attacks, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the White House’s daily briefing.[Emphasis added.]The unprecedented reversal of Americans’ civil-military relations, and of the president’s duty to protect the First Amendment, was pushed by Earnest as he tried to excuse the administration’s opposition in 2012 to the publication of anti-jihadi cartoons by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. [Emphasis added.]
Here’s what Obama said on January 7th about the Islamic jihad attacks in France. Please note that He expressed approval of a free press and mentioned terrorism, but mentioned neither jihad nor Islam, “radical,” “extremist” or any other flavor.
Earnest’s January 12 statement, generally not reported by the “legitimate news media,” is a masterpiece of ambiguity and hence of obfuscation. Hence, we will have to wait to learn what “anti-jihadi” means, how and under what circumstances Obama, in His capacity as President and Commander in Chief of active duty U.S. armed forces, and His minions, will know in advance which media organizations are planning to publish what material and what tactics He will employ if expressing His views is insufficient.
What, in Obama’s view, are “jihadi” activities? Are they un-Islamic?
What types of “anti-jihadi articles” “might cause a jihadi attack against our nation’s armed forces”? Those criticizing Muslim attacks on members of the U.S. or allied military forces? Those criticizing Muslim slaughter of Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims? Those critical of Sharia law? Those critical of a Muslim clerics, perhaps Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, or its President, Rouhani (also a cleric)? Those critical of a nuclear deal with Iran? Those critical of Mohamed and/or Allah? Those critical of Islam in general — perhaps televised interviews with Ayaan Hirsi Ali or with other apostates from Islam? Interviews with reformist Muslims, such as Egyptian President Sisi? Any of these, as well as others casting even minimal aspersions on the “religion of peace” might (or might not) have that effect.
Would media reports about attacks on members of U.S. or allied military by forces of the Islamic State and its various cohorts fit within Obama’s parameters? Since the Islamic State, et al, are “not Islamic,” perhaps Obama does not consider such attacks to be true jihad.
How about reports of “anti-Muslim” backlash? Obama most likely wants as many as quickly as possible, whether real or imagined.
When the media rushes to print interviews with Muslims claiming to suddenly be terrified of an imaginary backlash, it is marginalizing and silencing the real victims of Muslim violence who have been the subjects of a Muslim assault for over a thousand years complete with literal lashings.
Earnest threatened that Obama will “will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps that are necessary” to restrain the media. That suggests that if, after expressing His views, a media outlet does not oblige Him, He will take additional steps. How? What? Ms. Attkisson provided many examples of what His administration has done to make media accede to His views on what should be reported and how, and what should not be reported. For example, Government employees have been instructed to refuse or restrict access to journalists out of favor with the Obama administration, they have been excluded from photo ops and other, more important, events and, if Ms. Attkisson is correct, as I think she is, her computers and those of others less than favorable to Obama have sometimes been hacked and their other electronic devices have been tampered with by Government agents. “That’s a nice newspaper/radio station/television station you have there. I sure hope nothing unfortunate happens to it.”
Whatever Earnest may mean and whatever Obama may intend, the ambiguous warning to the media — even standing alone and even without further public clarification — seems likely to have an unwholesome restraining effect on what is reported about Islam and how.