Appearance Alert!
Brent Bozell talks about MRC's "Worst of the Worst 2014" on FNC's Hannity, 10:30pm ET/PT

Washington Post’s Milbank Claims: ‘Media Would Love to Have an Obama Scandal to Cover’

Unintentionally defining irony, in the midst of trying to rationalize news media disinterest in the “Fast & Furious” scandal by maintaining “it’s not a political scandal” but “a scandal of government,” Washington Post columnist and former reporter Dana Milbank claimed on CNN's Reliable Sources: “It’s not an ideological thing. I think the media would love to have an Obama scandal to cover.”

Cue the laugh track as you watch the video.

Milbank, whom the Post features most times on page 2 of the news section, already made clear his disdain for Republican efforts to get around the Obama administration cover-up, writing a column headlined in the June 21 newspaper: “Blowing gunsmoke.” Online, the Post’s archive page for Milbank carries this declaratory subhead: “The party’s shameful pursuit of Eric Holder.” (Much milder headline over the June 20 online posting of the column: “Republicans’ attempt to hold Holder in contempt is uphill battle.”)

Audio: MP3 clip

On CNN, Milbank insisted: “I think to say the media isn’t interested in scandal is preposterous. We love scandal. I love scandal. That’s the thing that really drives us.” That prompted host Howard Kurtz to wonder: “What’s wrong with this scandal?”

Milbank tried to rationalize the media’s lack of interest, asserting nothing scandalous took place worth reporting:

Because it is a scandal, but it’s a scandal of government, and it’s not a political scandal. And when you take it and you say, what’s the worst case here? Well, the Obama administration was continuing something basically that was going on under the Bush administration. You know, did they try to cover up some embarrassing things afterwards?

There’s just -- there’s nothing conceivable that would bring this into a major political scandal here. I think that’s why people have been slow to get on board. It’s not an ideological thing. I think the media would love to have an Obama scandal to cover.

If only he could stumble upon one.

More of the relevant portion of the discussion, on the Sunday, June 24 Reliable Sources on CNN, with Amy Holmes of The Blaze and The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, appearing wth Milbank:

DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST: I think to say that the media isn’t interested in scandal is preposterous. We love scandal. I love scandal. That’s the thing that really drives us, so-

KURTZ: What’s wrong with this scandal?

MILBANK: Because it is a scandal, but it’s a scandal of government, and it’s not a political scandal. And when you take it and you say, “what’s the worst case here?” Well, the Obama administration was continuing something basically that was going on under the Bush administration. You know, did they try to cover up some embarrassing things afterwards?

There’s just -- there’s nothing conceivable that would bring this into a major political scandal here. And I think that’s why people have been slow to get on board. It’s not an ideological thing. I think the media would love to have an Obama scandal to cover.
                       
KURTZ: I would agree to this extent. Eric Holder doesn’t look like a classic non-cooperating witness. He’s testified a number of times; just 7,000 page documents not enough, or not the key documents according to Issa.
               
But let me toss it back to Amy with this question. When the President invoked executive privilege, the media certainly reported. But I would say didn’t pounce on videotape of candidate Barack Obama accusing George W. Bush of hiding behind executive privilege.

AMY HOLMES: Indeed he did. I thought you were going to play the tape. President Obama, then-Senator Obama, pouncing on President Bush. So, yes, the media got interested in this idea of hypocrisy. I think we saw Jon Stewart made great fun of it.

But in terms of the mainstream media and their interest in this story, I think part of the reason really is the partisanship of the media. I mean, Brian Terry should be a household name. This man died at the hands of guns that had been illegally pushed to Mexican drug dealers across the border without the Mexican government’s knowledge of this.

And when Dana is saying that it started under the Bush administration, that’s actually a little bit spin by the administration, that the operation under the Bush administration was different from this one. I wonder if it’s too technical in terms of these details. But in this story, we actually do have a smoking gun quite literally.

-- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brent Baker on Twitter.