Where Is Investigative Journalism When We Need It?

Dreams from My Father, by Barack ObamaRonald Reagan said in 1964 that “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”  Barack Hussein Obama is a perfect example. His upbringing was far from normal. He was a “red diaper baby” abandoned by his father at birth, then abandoned by his mother to her parents at age ten. His early schooling was at an Islamic madrassa in Indonesia with his mother and step father. As he grew up, he had a succession of communist mentors who schooled him on leftist ideals and class warfare. Much of what we know is found in his two fictionalized auto-biographies, with few facts actually confirmed by investigative journalists.

He bragged about his lack of study habits and slacker adolescence, but neglects to tell how he was accepted into an exclusive college prep school, a premier private college, and finally an Ivy League university. No one has bothered to check what role his record played vs. affirmative action preferences vs. foreign scholarships vs. deep pocket political benefactors. The President has closed all records of this period from any inspection.  Strangely enough the mainstream media has no curiosity about these formative years of Barack Obama’s life, such as birth records, school records, college transcripts, publications, and associations.

Barack Obama’s work history is more of a myth than a historical record. After college he moves to a completely new city and enters community organizing, ala Saul Alinsky. He was very adept at finding groups, helping them realize unhappiness, then motivating them for some community action.  He quickly gravitated to politics where the action required was their votes. He captivated audiences with his words and intentions, but was never held accountable for any results since he changed office frequently before the results were realized. He was known to change his positions based on the audience and avoided controversial positions by voting “present.” He also mastered the use of hyperbole, exaggerations and false strawmen as rhetorical tools. One thing he did learn while in office was patronage, cronyism, and Chicago dirty politics. Many lessons learned were carried forward into national office.   The national media failed to vet his life story and his qualifications to be President while digging up dirt on any and all Republican candidates. Meanwhile this same press accepted whatever story the Obama people provided as fact and used his autobiographies as primary sources.

Ted Cruz 2016


In 2008 Barack Obama, a man with minimal experience and an empty resume, was successfully marketed as a “blank slate” with the slogan of “Hope and Change.”  This political chameleon avoided any specific positions and was known to support both sides of many issues. His Presidential marketing campaign was successful because the national media actively supported his campaign and did not bother to investigate any aspect of Obama’s background, experience, or positions. He surrounded himself with academics, cronies and sycophants without real world experience, insulating selves from constituents.  The new administration was quick to enact major legislation before the American public woke up from their political stupor. His term was characterized by a stream of manufactured “crises” created solely to justify changes that were neither wanted nor needed. He capitalized on Democrat majorities in both the House and Senate to force through controversial legislative agenda on party line votes, and then was surprised by voter pushback and the TEA Party movement. The “porkulus” spending bill, followed by the omnibus spending bill, followed by a series of industry bailouts drove the federal budget into a fiscal hole that exploded the national debt. Personal criticism began to accumulate with personal characterizations including arrogant, narcissist, dishonest, and incompetent.

Obama found that the Saul Alinsky community organizing worked well for building demand, but fails miserably for actually governing when real results are considered. The President, who promised to unite the country, has embraced perpetual class warfare to ensure voter dissatisfaction and lock in voting blocks. The sad fact is that liberal conventional wisdom contrasts with outside-the-beltway reality.  Media push polls are being sold as news when in actuality they are revealed as partisan and skewed by non-representative sampling and slanted questions to deliver at least a 10% bias on results. The liberal mainstream media supports the liberal agenda, but continues to pretend that it is objective. Their loss of market share and advertising revenue is the reward for media partisanship, and this trend will only accelerate after this next election.

If there is one thing that Barack Obama does well it is campaigning for office, so he has devoted the entire year to his reelection campaign, which is fine since leading has not been his forte. One problem is that he is no longer a blank slate that can be shaped by the wishes, wants, and imagination of the public.  He is now well-known as the architect of a socialist transformation, abandoning free market, and rejecting American exceptionalism.  He is desperate to run on anything but his abysmal record, using distractions of all types and topics. He is surprised by the marked erosion of his support, and does not understand why his policies have not produced the results he expected. American voters have woken up and are comparing his words with his actions, and the contrast is his undoing.

Woodrow Wilcox


Obama has sacrificed his credibility on the campaign trail, saying anything to get reelected, even transparently false assertions, half-truths, and outright lies. Caught off microphone, he even asked the President of Russia for patience to wait until after election before he unveiled further concessions that could not survive the light of day. When confronted with hard, cold reality this administration does not debate the issues, but rather attacks the critics to distract from the issues, and when all else fails, they lie.  Obama will be even more surprised when he is forced to leave office after being soundly defeated in November. His ego is so big that he may resort to last-minute theatrics, executive orders, and pardons to try to create some lasting legacy.

The saddest thing is that this entire Presidential episode could have been avoided if the national media did their job of vetting the Presidential candidates prior to the election and given the American voters a complete picture of the character and content of the Presidential candidates.

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David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the Westchester County Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).
David Coughlin
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  • Veldy

    It’s unfortunate that “journalism” as we would expect it to be is either dying or dead. Most of what we see today under the guise is blatant advocacy. If one were to ask a journalism student today what they have for a life goal,for most the answer would likely be along the lines of wanting to have a positive impact on the world, few would answer that they want people to be informed. They then set out seeking to impose their(mostly secular) values on their audience.
    One would be ignorant to assume that journalists of the past did not have their own views and philosophies, but there was, for the most part, a certain atmosphere of ethics that was subscribed to where personal views and philosophies were limited to commentary and editorial, with even that being tempered with alternating views. There’s not very much of that these days.
    Consider polling, which has become a crutch for many of today’s so called journalists. Once used to try to gauge the mood of the general public on issues of the day, polling is now used to try to steer public sentiment, and is used by most of the media for that purpose. Take a poll, and report that as news. If the polling information doesn’t fit the narrative, well, that’s not news, and surely no one needs to know that.
    That’s just one example of the intellectual laziness and dishonesty that seems to have imbedded itself in what we refer to as the “mainstream media”.

    • Carrie_K_Hutchens

      Well said!