Commentary

Obama Gets Ruthless History Lesson After Claiming He Never Attacked the Media

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During his speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday,  in which he reportedly referred to himself 102 times, former President Barack Obama attempted to lob a grenade at President Donald Trump regarding a free press.

Too bad for him it blew up in his hand.

Check out this nugget:

Obama said, “It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say that we don’t threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don’t like. I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them ‘enemies of the people.'”

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His statement was met with some support. One such item came from CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter.

However, there were also plenty of folks who called Obama out with some ruthless reminders of recent history. And plenty of them are also members of the media.

CNN’s own White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, no big supporter of Trump, had a very different take on things:

She was far from alone. Washington Free Beacon staff writer Stephen Gutowski called out both Stelter and Obama on the claim:

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume gave an “All True” retweet to NRATV host Dana Loesch pointing out flaws with Obama’s claim. She tweeted that the Obama administration “spied on their reporters, seized phone records and personal emails and declared (former Fox Washington correspondent) James Rosen an enemy of the state. Holder himself signed the secret search warrant application.”

Multiple members of the public cited Sharyl Attkisson, who worked for CBS during Obama’s tenure. Not only did CBS confirm that her computer had been hacked while she was reporting on the Obama administration’s Benghazi scandal, but Attkisson personally and publicly accused the Obama Department of Justice of swapping out her hard drive.

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But Attkisson was not just referenced. She hit back at Obama’s claim herself, with a multi-tweet exposition on the Obama administration versus the press. One of her most direct hits was a “flashback” reminder about the Obama administration’s “unprecedented acts vs reporters:”

She landed other heavy blows, as well. Recently, hundreds of newspapers published editorials proclaiming the Trump adminsitration a danger to the free press. However, the media also complained about Obama’s actions and Attkisson quickly pointed that out, as well:

She also shared a link to a report from 2013 regarding the actions the Obama administration took against a free press. That report by the Committee to Protect Journalists noted that “the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press.”

Did Obama attack America's free press?

But that was not all. It went on to add that “Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists.”

The biggest difference between the Obama and Trump administration’ when it comes to the media is the attitude of the media toward the man in the Oval Office.

Trump criticizes the “fake news” media, but it was Obama’s administration that took real, serious steps against reporters who turned up stories the administration didn’t like.

Judging by the reaction to Obama’s speech on Friday, a lot of people haven’t forgtotten it.

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