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The Four-Year Honeymoon

Will the press ever give Obama tough coverage?

Jan 14, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 17 • By FRED BARNES
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And what if Bush had insisted on selective enforcement of federal immigration law and refused to defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton? Or if the Bush White House had leaked highly classified national security intelligence to make the president look good? The press would have been in high dudgeon and rightly so. But Obama, guilty on both counts, received media immunity.

Broken promises are the least of Obama’s shortcomings. But the press corps loves to zing presidents for reneging on campaign vows. Obama, as I recall, promised a press conference a month, an immigration bill his first year in office, regular meetings with leaders of both parties in Congress, and unprecedented transparency throughout his administration. He kept none of them, prompting media near-silence.

Might the treatment of Obama harden in his second term? I’m moderately hopeful. I suspect a few in the media are privately embarrassed by the oh-so-soft coverage and would like to apply some accountability to the Obama presidency. If they do, they’ll discover Obama disappoints like other presidents and perhaps more often.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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