by Arnold Ahlert
On September 21 Gallup released a poll revealed that 60 percent of Americans don’t trust the media to deliver the news “fully, accurately, and fairly.”
Yet the most corruptive aspect of the Fourth Estate is only alluded to in the above assessment. The most grievous sin committed by the media is one of omission: stories that don’t get reported at all, or are held back to a later date to minimize their impact. The last months leading up to the 2012 election reveals a stunning magnitude of calculated omission, aided and abetted by the Obama administration, all of which centered around one imperative: suppressing a number of stories that would hurt the president’s chances for re-election. Here are several stories that were underplayed, or kept from the American public completely, until after November 6.
We begin with the economy. Last Thursday, the Labor Department released figures showing that real average hourly earnings dropped again in October for the third month in a row. They are now down 2 percent since the president took office. The Census Bureau was equally duplicitous, “revising” their September report that showed the number of poor Americans dropping by 96,000–with post-election report showing that the number of poor Americans increased by a whopping 712,000 in 2011.
The Department of Agriculture did their part as well, delaying the traditional release of a report that normally occurs at the end of a month, or the first or second day of the new month, until after the election. It’s easy to see why. At the end of August, 47.1 million Americans were on Food Stamps, an all-time high. Moreover, 420,947 Americans were added to the food stamp rolls from the previous month of July, representing the largest monthly gain in a year. Today, fully 15 percent of Americans are on Food Stamps–more than double the number ten years ago.
The Department of Interior read from the same script as well, delaying their announcement that they plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West to oil shale development, until 48 hours after the election.
This week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is expected to announce that it will need taxpayer funding for the first time in its 78-year history. Its reserves have been exhausted due to rising mortgage delinquencies. A report released a week after the election by the leftist Union of Concerned Scientists, notes that as many as 353 coal-fired plants will close as a result of Obama’s environmental rules. Such closings will undoubtedly burden thousands of Americans with higher power bills.
On November 8, CNBC released a report entitled, “Why US May Be Headed for Another Recession,” noting that a number of factors “are expected to result in at least two quarters of slow or no growth.” On November 7, it was revealed that an analyst invited to brief a group of foreign journalists on the U.S. economy on Election Day predicted that U.S. Treasury securities will be downgraded again.
Last week, the riots and demonstrations in Europe that were surgically removed from news coverage during the last stages of the election cycle, re-appeared with a vengeance, with millions of workers from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France and even Germany taking to the streets, demanding an end to austerity. Furthermore, last Friday it was revealed that the European Union is now officially back in recession, with two quarters of contraction in a row, and the likelihood that such contraction will continue well into 2013.
And finally, on election day, it was revealed that the U.S. will once again be required to raise the debt ceiling, from $16 trillion to as much as $20 trillion, before the end of the year. In August 2011, the debt ceiling was raised by $2.4 trillion–meaning the nation has blown through that amount of additional borrowing in only 15 months. Such recklessness, coupled with all of the above, should have been front and center prior to election day. That it wasn’t is a testament to the reality that the mainstream media is no longer the country’s watchdog regarding government malfeasance–it has become the Obama administration’s greatest protector.
That protection extended to the arena of foreign affairs. On September 11, four Americans were killed in Benghazi. For weeks, the Obama administration engaged in a shameful disinformation campaign, that included US ambassador the UN Susan Rice pitching the preposterous idea that a “spontaneous” demonstration got out of hand, and the president reiterating that lie in a speech before the United Nations. Obama then did a complete about face at the second presidential debate, where he claimed he labeled the murders an act of terror at his Rose Garden speech October 12. Despite the reality that the president referred to terror in the generic sense only, media lapdog Candy Crowley wrongly disputed Mitt Romney’s assertion that the president didn’t label Benghazi a terrorist for 14 days.
KROFT: But there are reports that they were very heavily armed with grenades, that doesn’t sound like your normal demonstration.
OBAMA: As I said, we’re still investigating exactly what happened, I don’t want to jump the gun on this. But your right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt. And my suspicion is there are folks involved in this. Who were looking to target Americans from the start. So we’re gonna make sure that our first priority is to get our folks out safe, make sure our embassies are secured around the world and then we are going to go after those folks who carried this out.
KROFT: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya Attack, do you believe that this was a terrorism attack?
OBAMA: Well it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.
CBS, in a transparent effort to re-claim a self-abandoned level of plausibility, revealed the former exchange after the Crowley fiasco, and the latter exchange two days before the election.
As duplicitous as CBS was, at least they have made an effort to stay on top of this scandal. Until the story about David Petreaus and his sexual escapades broke–once again, after the election, despite the FBI knowing about it for months–only one other major news source, Fox News, did anything resembling responsible reporting on the issue. The de facto media blackout reached its zenith ten days before the election, when four of the five major Sunday news shows didn’t bring Benghazi up at all.
Now that Petraeus has given testimony that utterly contradicts the president’s version of events, the media is hard at work attempting to deflect the blame away from the White House. Republicans are on a “witch hunt,” the White House has been “exonerated,” and Republicans have been trying to turn this into a Watergate-level scandal. All of this “reporting” was based on a single statement made by Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-CA) that Petraeus “was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda.”
Skepticism? None at all. The possibility that Petraeus may be facing as yet undisclosed charges that could color his testimony, or the reality that there is no dispute his report was altered? Not interested. Obama must be protected, period.
It is a level of protection that has been breathtaking in its scope. In the past four years, this administration has been embroiled in at least three significant scandals: Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and high-level leaks of top-secret intel. All three remain “under investigation,” yet none of those investigations could be completed before the Americans voted, despite hundreds of people being murdered, and national security being compromised. Such a demonstrable lack of urgency is only possible when the public isn’t demanding answers. Yet it becomes next to impossible for the public to demand answers, when most of the mainstream media steadfastly refuses to ask relevant questions.
Americans old enough to remember Watergate know it was a hotel burglary followed by a cover-up. What drove President Richard Nixon from office was a relentless media, determined to keep the story front and center until they could ferret out the truth, even when the Nixon administration engaged in similar efforts to keep the public mis-informed. That the same media remains sanguine with regard to murdered Americans in Benghazi, indifferent regarding a dead Border Patrol agent and hundreds of dead Mexicans in a botched gunrunning operation, and unconcerned regarding the compromise of national security intel, reveals an unprecedented level of corruption. And whether Americans realize it or not, the stamp of approval they gave this administration on November 6 extends to that mainstream media.
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