The media's Obama double standard

In yet another example of the conservative media creating a double standard for President Obama, right wing media outlets attacked him for giving “absolutely no commemoration” of the D-Day anniversary. In fact, Obama's D-Day commemorations mirror the Bush administration's; both commemorated D-Day on significant anniversaries but not annually.

Fox & Friends, Hoft criticizes Obama for “D-Day Snub”

Doocy: “Absolutely no commemoration” of D-Day. On the June 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy repeatedly attacked Obama for “a perception problem” because he “didn't mark [the anniversary] by doing anything and apparently, there was absolutely no commemoration of it on the official White House website.” From the segment:

CARLSON: Well, what about this perception? Some people are saying it's somewhat similar in the sense that on June 6th, of course, it was the 66th anniversary of D-Day when troops stormed Normandy, 2,499 American lives were lost. And, some people are saying perception is a problem because the president did not acknowledge the D-Day anniversary as it passed this year and instead was at a party inside of a theater, it's going to be later broadcast on a network, I believe it's on July 2nd. It was at the Ford Theater [sic], where entertainers gathered. And some say, again, this is a perception problem.

DOOCY: And particularly, ok, so the president didn't mark it by doing anything and apparently, there was absolutely no commemoration of it on the official White House website, and people are going, wait a minute, over 2,000 people died that day. Shouldn't the federal government or at least the executive branch honor those who died in some way? Instead the president was at Ford Theater. There was one blogger comment on Gateway Pundit that said that said “actions speak louder than words and Barack Obama is coming across loud and clear.” You've got to hope it was simply an oversight. [Fox & Friends, 06/07/10]

During the segment, the following on-screen graphic aired:

Fox chyron: President's D-Day Snub

Hoft wrote that Obama spent the evening honoring “Jew-hater” Desmond Tutu. In the Gateway Pundit blog post Doocy cited, Jim Hoft wrote that Obama “missed” the D-Day anniversary and that the “White House website has nothing posted today on the 66th Anniversary of the D-Day landing." He continued: “The president had other things on his mind....He was attending his second party this week, tonight at the Ford Theatre [sic]."

The Fox Nation: “Obama Ignores D-Day Anniversary, Parties with Celebs Again.” The Fox Nation linked to Hoft's blog post under the headline, “Obama Ignores D-Day Anniversary, Parties with Celebs Again.” From The Fox Nation:

Fox Nation: Obama Ignores D-Day Anniversary, Parties With Celebs Again

Obama commemorations similar to Bush's

Obama delivered speech at Normandy for D-Day 65th anniversary in 2009. President Obama traveled to Normandy for a June 6, 2009 ceremony honoring the 65th anniversary of D-Day. He delivered a speech honoring the troops, saying in part, that victory “came down to the men who landed here - those who now rest in this place for eternity, and those who are with us today. Perhaps more than any other reason, you, the veterans of that landing, are why we still remember what happened on D-Day. You are why we come back.”

Bush administration commemorated D-Day in 2001 and 2004, but spent others in meetings and at least one concert. White House archives of June 6 for each year President Bush was in office only show Bush commemorating D-Day in 2001 and 2004. In 2001, Bush dedicated a D-Day memorial in Virginia, and in 2004, he went to Normandy to mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day. There are no “news” references to D-Day in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, or 2008.

On 2005 D-Day anniversary, Bush hosted a concert celebrating Black Music Month and did not recognize the holiday. While Hoft and Fox criticized Obama for attending a “party” instead of recognizing the anniversary of D-Day, on June 6, 2005, Bush held a concert at the White House celebrating Black Music Month. According to the White House archives, Bush also did not commemorate the D-Day anniversary.

Conservative media set up double standard for Obama

The conservative media routinely set up a double standard for Obama, attacking his actions and policies, regardless of whether or not they mirror previous presidents' actions or policies. The following is a sampling of the conservative media's double standard for Obama:

  • Fox & Friends hits Obama over anti-terror rhetoric that the Bush administration recommended. Fox & Friends criticized the Obama administration's “new national security strategy” because it will “no longer make references to radical Islamic extremism or jihad.” However, this policy is not new; indeed, Bush administration officials discouraged the use of such terms, which they said “unintentionally legitimize” violent extremists.
  • The Fox Nation attacks Obama for putting his feet up on Oval Office Desk when Bush did the same. The Fox Nation asked whether Obama was “disrespecting the Oval Office,” because of a picture showing him with his feet up on the office's desk. There is a nearly identical photo of Bush doing the same thing.
  • Media attack Obama for consulting JAGs before bombings, but the policy was in place during the Bush administration. The Fox Nation and Hot Air seized on a Wall Street Journal article that described how a Marine in Afghanistan consulted a member of the judge advocate general (JAG) corps about the legality of an air strike in order to falsely suggest President Obama initiated a policy where troops in battle would have to call “lawyers for permission to kill terrorists.” In fact, news reports indicate that the practice was already in place during the Bush administration.
  • Conservative media criticize Obama and DOJ for employing lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees, despite the fact that Bush DOJ lawyers did as well. Conservative media figures attacked Obama and the Department of Justice for employing lawyers who previously represented terror suspects or supported their legal arguments in their private practices. However, Bush administration lawyers also reportedly represented Guantánamo Bay detainees before working for the Justice Department.
  • WSJ attacked Obama for using a pre-selected reporter list at press conferences something they claim Bush didn't do -- but he did. A Wall Street Journal editorial falsely suggested that, unlike Obama, former President Bush never used “a list of reporters preselected to ask questions” when deciding who to call on at presidential press conferences. In fact, Bush also used such a list, as former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters in a March 2003 press briefing.
  • Fox News obsesses over Obama-Chavez handshake, mum on Bush-Karimov handshake. Fox News hosts and contributors criticized President Obama for shaking hands with Hugo Chavez, but a Media Matters search of the Nexis database found no examples in 2002 of Fox News personalities criticizing President Bush's handshake with Uzbekistani President Islam Karimov, whose government the State Department has condemned for human rights abuses.
  • Media scrutinized Obama's church attendance, ignored Bush's infrequent church attendance. The Politico contrasted Obama and Bush's church attendance in the weeks after their elections, but, despite noting that Obama isn't a “regular churchgoer,” it failed to note numerous reports of Bush's infrequent church attendance over the past eight years, as well as Bush's reported lack of membership in a Washington, D.C., congregation. Conservative media figures repeatedly echoed the criticism of Obama's church attendance while ignoring that it mirrored Bush's.