Two companion pieces from the Daily Caller shows what happens when a presidency is given a free pass from the press for a protracted period. One of the two articles features a video of an exchange between White House health care adviser Phil Schiliro and MSNBC’s Kristen Welker (below the fold). In it, Schiliro claims with a straight face that the Obama administration never said that its target number for enrollments in the health care exchanges was 7 million by the end of March.
Here is the relevant portion of the transcript:
WELKER: Are you confident that you’re going to be able to meet your target of getting 7 million people by the end of March? And is that still your target number?
SCHILIRO: Well, that was never our target number. That was a target that was put out by the Congressional Budget Office and has become the accepted number. But there’s no —
WELKER: Well Kathleen Sebelius has said 7 million people, that that’s the goal.
Which is precisely what Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn reported on June 24:
For Obamacare the magic number is 7 million.
That’s how many people the Obama administration hopes to enroll in its new health insurance marketplaces by the end of March. It is starting a huge public education campaign to get people on board with hopes for an assist from the NFL and other professional sports leagues.
The second DC piece involves an exchange between Joel Benenson, president and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group (aka, “the president’s pollster”), and Mike Allen, again of Politico. The DC’s Alex Pappas provides the context and the wishful thinking on the part of Benenson:
After a year of seeing President Obama’s approval ratings plummet, the president’s pollster is offering a strikingly candid and pessimistic New Year’s resolution.
Reporters should go the next ‘year without reporting any public polling data,’ Joel Benenson, president and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group, said.
Benenson explained that he thinks the polling often reported by news organizations lacks the proper context.
Asked his New Year’s resolution: ‘Here’s one — with a variation, if mine is too extreme: Go one year without reporting any public polling data.’
But why stop there? Why not just fudge the president’s approval rating and levels of public trust regardless of what the polls say? That is what the mainstream media have done to a large degree anyway, refusing to vet Obama during his 2008 campaign and ignoring his many scandals as they have arisen.