The Press Hasn't Grilled Obama?

A distinct mantra from far-right press critics in recent years has centered around the fantastic claim that not only do the media have a liberal bias, but that the corrupted press corps works in unison with the Obama White House at all times; that the press no longer functions independently but that its role is to protect Obama at all costs.

The result of the grand media conspiracy? The press has refused to ask Obama tough questions.


Fox News' Sean Hannity made that claim this week. And from National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg, in the wake of the Republican debated hosted by Fox News [emphasis added]:

Not only has Fox News — the supposed mouthpiece of the GOP — put on a far, far, far better debate than CNN did (or MSNBC could), it has subjected the GOP contenders to tougher, rougher, questions than any debate I can remember. In fact, I don't think Obama ever received this kind of grilling as a candidate or as president.

Goldberg and Hannity don't think Obama has ever received a press grilling, even as a candidate in 2008. What do they think was missing from the questioning of Obama back then? Inquiries about Jeremiah Wright? William Ayers? Controversial comments that Obama had made on the campaign trail?

Well, a simple Google search produces this instant result, from a Howard Kurtz column in the Washington Post, April 18, 2008:

The ABC moderators found themselves under fire for focusing on campaign gaffes and training most of their ammunition on Obama.

In the first 40 minutes of Wednesday's two-hour Democratic debate, the moderators asked Obama about his remarks that small-town residents bitterly cling to guns and religion; the inflammatory sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright ([George] Stephanopoulos follow-up: “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”); why Obama doesn't wear an American flag pin; and his relationship with William Ayers, a former Weather Underground radical who has acknowledged involvement in several bombings in the 1970s.

But right, Obama hasn't been grilled by the press.