This week's Mainstream Media Scream looks at the reaction to President Obama's performance at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and comments about him by PBS hosts Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill.
In an interview with Obama at the White House following Wednesday's march, Ifill suggested a theory that the president is "a victim of partisan racial gridlock," while Woodruff hailed how "you've been able to do — help the country in many ways."
JUDY WOODRUFF (to Obama in interview shown on PBS's NewsHour, August 28):
"And let me just pick up on that because you did tie Dr. King's vision to your own agenda, and you've been able to do — help the country in many ways. We didn't go into the economic abyss after the financial collapse. Wall Street's booming. Corporations are making great profits. But as you pointed out today, average wages, the gap between wealthy and those who are not wealthy has never been bigger than it is today. The wages, especially of African-Americans, haven't improved. Mr. President, how much does it weigh on you that your policies haven't made more of a difference in those areas?"
GWEN IFILL (later in the same interview):
"I interviewed Taylor Branch, the civil rights historian for part of our series on the March on Washington yesterday, and one of the things he said was that you suffer — you are a victim of partisan racial gridlock. That's the way he put it. And you talked a moment ago about that a little bit. I wonder whether you think that's true. And if so, what if anything — the first African-American president can do to break through that kind of motivated gridlock?"
Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Woodruff and Ifill provided a tag team of Obama idolatry, treating him as a victim of unfair attacks and trumpeting his supposed achievements while ignoring scandals like the IRS. They demonstrated, once again, that the elite of the Washington press corps are incapable of holding this president accountable since they are invested in his success. If MSNBC ever needs new hosts, both would fit right in."
Rating: Four out of five screams.
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.