President Obama slammed mainstream media and pundits Thursday for continuing to report on lingering national divisions over health care reform after the bill's passage. Speaking to supporters in Maine, he compared news reporters to a type of “farmer” who yells “disaster” if their seed hasn’t bloomed in a day. “It’s only been a week,” Obama said of his health care bill.
In a separate CBS interview set to air today, the president also hit back at conservative critics Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck by name, calling their views “troublesome.”
Obama's back and forth with conservative pundits has been well documented. But what did other media pros and observers make of being singled out by the commander in chief?
Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen calls the Maine speech a "reminder that this White House has little use for cable's clock, despite its pervasive influence on public attitudes and the political discourse.” Waiting longer than a week to see how health care in implemented is “sound advice -- for all of the president's intended audiences,” Benen writes.
Not so, argues Allahpundit over at conservative water cooler “Hot Air.”“America’s cool reception to [Obama’s] world-beating boondoggle has hit a nerve,” he writes. If Obama was “confident about the glories of our new health-care system revealing themselves in time, he wouldn’t need a perpetual campaign to spin it.”
“The target audience for this message, obviously, isn’t the Maine crowd," writes WhoRunsGov blogger Greg Sargent. "It’s Obama’s fellow Dems in Washington, who are hitting the panic button almost hourly right now. And the message is a serious one: Keep your cool; we’re asking people to adjust to a massive transformation in a highly personal area of their lives; it will take some time and effort to change minds on this.”
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, in a series of posts on his Twitter feed, questions whether calling out Beck and Limbaugh helps “elevate them to his level.” “Obama decided last yr that going after Rush was good politics. Plays to the base. But I suspect he's ticked at criticism,” Kurtz tweeted. By comparison, Kurtz wrote he couldn’t “imagine” Bush taking on liberal pundit Keith Olbermann.