Media to Obama: Forgive, Forget War Crimes

Writing on his Consortium News website (11/11/08), Robert Parry warns Barack Obama–who “is being told to forego investigations of George W. Bush’s war crimes“–to “Beware the Lessons of ’93” when “the last Democratic president got burned with similar advice.” Parry lays odds that “had the full stories [of George H. W. Bush’s Iran/Contra involvement] been told…it’s unlikely that [his son] ever would have gained the momentum to propel him to… the White House in Election 2000.” And here’s the ironic part: Just “16 months into his presidency, Clinton was getting clobbered by the Republicans–and by the news media–over his Whitewater real-estate deal”:

Clinton felt besieged not only by aggressive Republicans but by the national press corps. Since the last Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, left office in 1981, a powerful right-wing media had come into its own, built in part as a defense mechanism to shield presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush from criticism.

Besides Limbaugh and the bevy of other talk radio hosts, right-wing print outlets had grown in number and in influence, the likes of the American Spectator and the Washington Times, not to mention the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial pages and conservative columnists in newspapers across the country. Many of the commentators also appeared on TV political chat shows to reprise their opinions for millions of more Americans nationwide….

Indeed, it was the Washington Post, the newspaper credited with unraveling Richard Nixon’s Watergate mystery, which had led the charge on the Whitewater case with front-page stories that put Clinton in a public relations corner and forced him to acquiesce to a special prosecutor.

See the FAIR magazine Extra!: “Hast Seen the Whitewater Whale?: The Journal’s Quest for Conspiracy” (9-10/95) by Robert Parry