With both thanks to David Harsanyi of thefederalist.com, and apologies for posting so much of his latest commentary (with a note that there is a lot more there, which makes it well worth your while to use the link and read every word)…
…here is Mr. Harsanyi’s take on the astonishingly dishonest claim by former President Obama, during his obnoxious “me/myself/I” speech in Illinois last Friday, that he was a fierce defender of free speech:
While Obama’s self-reverential speech was crammed with revisionism, the most jaw-dropping contention from the former president was probably a defense of his record on free speech: “I complained plenty about Fox News,” the scandal-ridden Obama explained, “but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them ‘enemies of the people.’”
It’s worth remembering that it was Obama who called out the Supreme Court during a State of the Union speech for defending the First Amendment in the Citizens United case, and his allies who still argue that state should be able to ban political documentaries — and, yes, books. Let’s also not forget Obama’s Internal Revenue Service admitted then apologized for cracking down on conservative political groups. It was the Obama administration that blamed the Benghazi attack on free speech, apologizing to tyrannies for the excesses of free expression, and then, for good measure, threw the amateurish videomaker behind “The Innocence of Muslims” into jail.
Most of all, let’s not forget that Obama did a lot more than complain about Fox News. The administration was so preoccupied with the cable news network (the only major station that could reasonably be seen as the opposition) that top-ranking administration officials like Anita Dunn, Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod all engaged in a concerted effort to openly delegitimize its coverage.
That was unprecedented, but okay. Less okay, though, was that not long after that effort, Attorney General Eric Holder decided to spy on a Fox journalist—shopping his case to three separate judges, until he found one who let him name reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator in a crime of reporting the news.
We also know that the administration spied on Associated Press reporters, although the scandal received only a fraction of the coverage afforded an average Trump hyperbolic tweet. Is it any wonder that many of us view the panic-stricken reaction to everything Trump does as contrived and hypocritical?
Thank you, Mr. Harsanyi, for these reminders of what actually happened during the Obama years.
And shame on/pity for the “if Obama says it I believe it” dupes who buy the pack of lies he is selling.