Washington Post: Shielding You from Embarrassing Obama Aministration News

news shield of the washington postThe reality of media bias particularly stands out when observing which stories the media choose not to cover. When embarrassing information about the Obama administration comes to light, they often ignore it altogether. That characterizes what the Washington Post – and other media outlets – is doing now.

There’s a big story about a “smoking gun” e-mail sent by White House deputy national security director two years ago, in which he urged Obama administration officials to attribute the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, in which the U.S. ambassador was killed, to a spontaneous uprising stemming from anger over a YouTube video about Mohammed. The blame was misplaced: the terrorist attack actually was a pre-planned, coordinated operation by paramilitary personnel.

Not only was such a strategy wrongheaded at the time, but compounding the wrongdoing, the administration did not disclose the e-mail when Congress asked for such information. It only came to light under a recent Freedom of Information request.

But in yesterday’s and today’s print editions of the Washington Post, the story is nowhere to be found. Not even a mention of it in “news in brief”. The only place I came across it in the Post was in the form of an online blog post by a right-leaning commentator.

That’s doing a real disservice to its readers. The Post shouldn’t be shielding them from important information, even though it may be embarrassing to their beloved administration. A good news organization, of course, should report the good and the bad. To be sure, sometimes when a story gets so big, such a publication is almost forced to cover it, which could happen with this story. But the story is already plenty large enough to warrant is coverage.

Perhaps the Post is catering to the whims of the majority of its readers, who also don’t want to read news embarrassing to the administration. In that case the Post is just aiming to be a pleasure center, not a hard-nosed information center.

In countries where there’s government censorship, there are plenty of stories in the media. What’s notable, though, is the lack of stories embarrassing to or critical of the government. The WaPo example shows that in free societies, the same thing can happen in certain publications – albeit imposed by the employees of those publications, rather than by the government.