Politico: None of These Obama Scandals Mean Anything

The Politico, America's worst news outlet, is all over the news that President Obama ordered IRS agents to murder Americans in Benghazi or whatever exactly is going on with these very big scandals: "D.C. turns on Obama"! "Obama's dangerous new narrative"! "Scandals could roil 2014 elections"!

There is also a good and interesting story by Josh Gerstein about how the Justice Department's horrifying grab of the Associated Press's phone records may have resulted from the White House's attempts not to interfere with investigations:

Mark Corallo, a former George W. Bush Justice Department spokesman, said he and other political appointees actually protected journalists from prosecutors’ subpoenas—and the Obama administration should have done the same.

“It’s incumbent on the political leadership to say no to the process. It smacks to me of people being asleep at the switch or just being cowards, not being willing to stand up to the prosecutors,” said Corallo. “I am absolutely shocked at these guys,” he said of the Obama DOJ officials.

But back to what matters: D.C turns on Obama (translation: This story itself is being written, in The Politico). Obama's dangerous new narrative (translation: The Politico is writing a story about the story being written by The Politico). Scandals could roil 2014 elections (translation: The Politico plans on continuing to write stories about this story The Politico is writing).

Inside its own little mirror-lined cause-and-effect box, excited by its own excitement, The Politico gets a little confused:

The uproars over alleged politicization of the IRS and far-reaching attempts to monitor journalists and their sources have not been linked directly to Obama.

The uproars, of course, are being linked directly to Obama, for instance all over the website of The Politico. What's not being linked directly to Obama is the ... substance of the scandals?

So eventually Alexander Burns and John F. Harris tip their hand:

In Obama’s case, the narrative emerging from this tumultuous week goes something like this: None of these messes would have happened under a president less obsessed with politics, less insulated within his own White House and less trusting of government as an institution.

"Obsessed with politics" and "insulated within his own White House" are both generic and contradictory critiques of a president. Every presidency is out of touch with the public; every presidency is desperate to be in touch with public opinion. And that is the heart of The Politico's case:

There is little doubt that Obama and Democrats would be making precisely this argument if the same set of controversies had descended on a Republican president.

This is the only sentence from The Politico's coverage of the story of The Politico's coverage that anyone ever needs to read. Here it is again:

There is little doubt that Obama and Democrats would be making precisely this argument if the same set of controversies had descended on a Republican president.

There may actually be some doubt that Obama would be making precisely this argument under a Republican president, because under a Republican president, Obama would not be president, and so he might not have the platform or the inclination to make arguments about the scandals that would be covered by The Politico at that counterfactual moment.

But where The Politico says "Obama and Democrats," what it means is "The Politico." And it is true: The Politico would be writing these stories no matter who was president, and no matter what was happening.

[Photo via Getty]