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About Paul R. Hollrah
Paul R. Hollrah is a freelance writer. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the University of Missouri - Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute. He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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The Sharks Begin to Circle
Paul R. Hollrah
September 24, 2012
On September 15, 1972, while serving as a regional chairman of the Committee to Reelect the President (the Nixon reelection campaign), I stood on a speakers’ platform just feet behind the president’s deputy campaign manager, Jeb Stuart Magruder, as he addressed a press conference at the opening of my largest regional phone bank in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

As he responded to questions from the Philadelphia press corps, he seemed to be not quite himself; his mind was not on the task at hand. At some point I whispered to my executive director, suggesting that Magruder seemed to be “a bit distracted.” She nodded her agreement.

Of course, we would not learn the reason for Magruder’s apparent distraction until we returned to our offices. It was then we learned that, in the early morning hours that day, a team of five men were found bugging telephones inside the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Complex in Washington, DC, and that several members of the “black bag” team had connections to the Nixon reelection campaign...reporting directly to Jeb Stuart Magruder. My guest of that day had good reason to be “distracted.”

When I was asked what I thought would happen, I replied, “Ultimately, they will take Nixon down. Once the sharks of the Washington press corps get a taste of a powerful man’s blood, they never give up until their target is utterly destroyed.”

It’s something they do, not because it’s necessary, but just to show the world that they can, that they are so powerful they can even bring down a president of the United States. And although they much prefer to destroy conservatives and Republicans, they will also destroy liberals and Democrats if the opportunity arises and if their reputations may suffer if they fail to do so. The urge to bring down the mighty is so strong in them that they are powerless to resist. Now it is Barack Obama’s turn in the barrel and the lead sharks are beginning to circle.

The August 17, 2012 edition of Newsweek magazine carries a cover story by Niall Ferguson, titled “Hit the Road, Barack – Why We Need a New President.” In his devastating critique of the Obama presidency, Ferguson says, “In his inaugural address, Obama promised not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. He promised to build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. He promised to restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. And he promised to transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

“Unfortunately, the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful...The total number of private sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of the ways unemployment is being concealed.

“In his fiscal year 2012 budget – the first he presented – the president envisioned growth of 3.2 percent in 2010, 4.0 percent in 2011, 4.6 percent in 2012. The actual numbers were 2.4 percent in 2010 and 1.8 percent in 2011...Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile, real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps. Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return.”

The Newsweek story was followed closely by an August 19, 2012 New York Post opinion piece by Phil Mushnik titled, “See no evil.” In his piece, Mushnik describes himself as a “registered, but less-than-loyal, Democrat” who has long scoffed at the notion that the mainstream media have a left-leaning, anti-Republican bias. Then he admits, “But now I know – and have for some time – that I was pulling my own leg. The notion of such a bias is not merely a notion; it’s true.”

As proof of his new-found enlightenment, Mushnik cites the largely unreported case of Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, a senior Obama advisor. In December 2010, Plouffe left the administration to give two speeches in Nigeria. Plouffe was paid $100,000 for the two speeches, the tab being picked up by MTN, Africa’s largest wireless telephone company. As Mushnik explains, Nigeria is a country that ranks 158th out of 177 in economic development, a country in which an estimated 70% of the population live in severe poverty and in the mortally unhealthy conditions that accompany nothingness.”

So how and why does a cesspool of poverty and human misery pay an Obama acolyte $100,000 for two speeches? Could it be that Plouffe was merely repatriating...into his own pockets...some of the USAID funds that Obama has sent to Nigeria? More importantly, how could the mainstream media fail to report Plouffe’s little scam until now? This is not the first time Obama decided he could screw things up without Plouffe’s help...at least for a short time. In 2009, Plouffe took a furlough from the White House to accept $50,000 for a speech before a group in Islamic Azerbaijan. The press chose to overlook that incident, as well.

Of course, all of this takes place against the backdrop of the recently-released Gerald R. Molen film, “2016: Obama’s America,” written by conservative Dinesh D’Souza. The film, which traces Obama’s early life across at least three continents, projects what the United States might be like if he is allowed a second term in the White House.

Molen, producer of the Academy Award winning film “Schindler’s List,” Best Picture of 1993, was a bit confounded to read the early reviews of the film. He was especially stung by a review
written by Washington-based political writer Mariah Blake. Ms. Blake wrote, “While the film
itself was not yet available when this (review) went to press, the trailer resembles a cross between a high-budget feature and standard Tea Party agitprop.”

In response to Ms. Blake’s review, Molen wrote: “If you thought being one of the producers of one of the greatest anti-hate films in history, one that exposed hatred, bigotry, and anti-Semitism would make you immune from being labeled a hate monger, think again. Schindler’s List left its mark on the world and did so by telling the truth about man’s inhumanity to men. Yet the slings and arrows came at me to impinge my credibility, the work of Dinesh D’Souza, and to once again use hate as their passport to the dark side.”

Molen told a reporter for the Christian Post that Blake’s article was “the first one that stung a bit, primarily because she did a review of the film and hadn’t seen it. That just told me that it didn’t matter (to her) what the truth was.” The mainstream media are not accustomed to that sort of criticism from one of their own. Can Obama be far behind?

But moviegoers have a totally different attitude toward the film, playing to packed houses across the country. A black female blogger from Waco, Texas, writing under the name Godschild, reports that all showings of “2016: Obama’s America” were sold out in Waco theaters. She reports that she attended a matinee where only a few front row seats were available.

She goes on to say that, “Even the dumbed-down are beginning to panic. What is coming is as plain as the nose on your face...One theater had so many people that they opened up five more theaters than originally planned. Theater managers said they had never seen anything like this before, where thousands were buying tickets.”

What we see happening is what Ronald Kessler describes in a Newsmax article of August 20. He explains, “Journalists are not idiots. They recognize that Obama, as the Newsweek cover story documents, has been a failure. But they are also lemmings who will not depart from their traditional support of Democrats unless given permission by their peers. The cover story in Newsweek, one of the most liberal-leaning publications in the country, does just that…

“Having been a reporter for the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, I know how susceptible journalists are to the herd instinct. The Newsweek cover story in effect tells journalists it’s okay to begin telling the truth about Obama and expose his presidency as the failure Newsweek says it is…”

The “herd instinct” was validated once again by ABC’s White House correspondent, Jake Tapper, in an August 21 interview with conservative radio talk host Laura Ingraham. Tapper said, “I have said before...[that I] thought the media helped tip the scales [toward Obama]. I didn’t think the coverage in 2008 was especially fair to either Hilary Clinton or John McCain...Sometimes I saw with story selection, magazine covers, photos picked, campaign narrative, that it wasn’t always the fairest coverage.”

Many on the left...and some on the right...suggest that Newsweek has gone out on a limb to support Obama’s defeat because their bottom line is shrinking and they’re merely looking for increased circulation. I prefer not to be that cynical. I prefer to believe that the sharks have had their first taste of Obama’s blood; they are beginning to circle the quarry and they will not give up until they have done him in. The love affair with the media is over.


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