President Obama lectured the mainstream media Tuesday, charging that it is not holding presidential candidates accountable. Members of the media hit back, calling Obama a hypocrite for not allowing them to do so.
Obama made the remarks at a media awards dinner, saying that the job of a political reporter should constitute “more than just handing someone a microphone.”
Obama continued, “It’s to probe and to question and to dig deeper.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper didn’t take to kindly to Obama’s remarks, pointing out that Obama as “the messenger was a curious one.”
“Many believe that Obama’s call for us to probe and dig deeper and find out more has been made far more difficult by his administration than any in recent decades. A far cry from the assurances he offered when he first took office,” Tapper said, referring to the fact that transparency under Obama has been sorely lacking.
Recent reports suggest that the Obama administration has failed to respond to almost 130,000 public records requests under the Freedom of Information Act, a new record.
“The backlog of unanswered requests across the government had risen by 55 percent, to more than 200,000.” the report notes.
Tapper also pointed out that the Obama administration has set new standards for punishing whistleblowers, using the Espionage Act to prosecute more leakers than all other administrations in history COMBINED.
“Maybe, just maybe, your lecturing would be better delivered to your own administration,” Tapper said.
Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe also chimed in on Obama’s hypocrisy, noting “There’s a man lecturing the media on how to do their business. The man who has not sat down for an extended interview with The Washington Post in seven and a half years.”
“And yet, [Obama] gladly submits himself to being interviewed by YouTube stars who sit in bathtubs with milk and Fruit Loops.” Scarborough added, referring to an interview Obama did last year with GloZell Green.
“Fruit Loops, I say.” Scarborough continued.
“And also another podcast called “WTF” with a liberal, L.A. comedian. But hasn’t sat down with The Washington Post in seven and a half years! But we really should hold ourselves to a higher standard.” the host added.
Other reporters took to Twitter to vent their frustration at Obama’s hypocrisy:
"You are supposed to push those in power for more evidence and more access," says Pres Obama, even though his WH doesn't always provide it.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) March 29, 2016
After this barnburner from Obama on the responsibilities of robust press coverage, i’m eager to see the spike in On Record WH briefings
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) March 29, 2016