Steve Brennan has an interesting catch regarding our woeful press and the President’s terrorism performance:
It seemed to start in earnest over the weekend. The New York Times‘ Maureen Dowd said she knows what Americans expect from their president in the wake of a terrorist scare, and President Obama doesn’t get it. The president’s calm, unflappable demeanor isn’t good enough, she said — he should do more to be "the strong father."
Other pundits are running with a very similar line. The Washington Post‘s Michael Gerson believes the president seems "disconnected" from the public’s fears, and should show more "empathy." Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly lamented Obama’s "unemotional" response to the failed plot.
But as Greg Sargent noted, it’s not the president who’s out of touch. He pointed to four independent national polls — Gallup, CNN, Quinnipiac, and CBS — all of which were released this week, and all of which found strong public support for the president’s handling of the issue and his personal trait
Steve doesn’t highlight this, but this is a deep indictment of our political press. Major political reporters – people who are supposed to help the country understand what is happening and what it means to them – failed miserably in this case. And they failed miserably because they simply did not do their jobs. It apparently occurred to none of these fine and upstanding political gurus to attempt to find out how the public actually thought about the way Obama handled the Christmas Bombing and terrorism in general. Instead waiting for some solid information, they simply ran with the first thought that popped into their little heads. They substituted their own fears and prejudices for reporting and insight.
This should be inexcusable. it should be a firing offense to do this poor a job. It cannot be acceptable to be paid for political insight and to simply pour the contents of your fears and preconceived notions onto the page instead of doing reporting and research. But apparently it is. Apparently you can just use your column as a substitute for therapy and keep the plumiest of media positions. How can this possibly do anything but harm to our democracy?