Obama, the press, Israel and the Jews

Way back when, Obama staff could brag that the president didn’t even need the elite media:
“You could go to Cedar Rapids and Waterloo and understand that people aren’t reading The Washington Post”.
That was Robert Gibbs, his spokesman, back in 2008. Or that “Obama has had such warm relations with most of the national media (he even jokes about it) that he is tempted to use them in ways that can sound like propaganda.”
Two years later, it went like this:
One of the enduring story lines of Barack Obama’s presidency, dating back to the earliest days of his candidacy, is that the press loves him. “Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me,” Obama joked last year at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
President Obama''s relationship with the White House press corps is getting more adversarial, as illustrated by his White House news conference yesterday afternoon. It was clear to reporters in the room that Obama wasn''t pleased with some of the questions and that the journalists seemed more testy and pointed than they''ve been in the past.
There was this:
President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question. Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a deputy defense secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.
"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can''t end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I''m going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter''s shoulder and staring him in the eye.
"Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that''s all I was trying to do." 
And most recently, on October 12, there was a stand-off in Washington when Obama  mocked him in his role as Fox News’s Chief White House Correspondent. Henry
asked the president about the alleged Iranian terror plot, and used a quote from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney who had criticized Obama’s leadership. Obama responded with, “I didn’t know you were the spokesman for Mitt Romney.”
President Barack Obama showed a rare glimpse of anger during a nationally televised press conference at the White House last night when he was pressed over his slow response in the row over million-dollar bonuses to executives…The CNN White House correspondent, Ed Henry, who asked the question, also suggested that the New York attorney-general, Andrew Cuomo, was doing a better job of dealing with AIG than the White House.
Obama gave a general answer and Henry again asked why he had taken a few days to tell the public. The normally cool and controlled president replied sharply: "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I''m talking about before I speak."
The exchange was unusual, both because it is rare to hear US journalists ask Obama hard questions and rare to see Obama in a testy mood. Much of the rest of the press conference was so carefully choreographed, with a long opening statement, it seemed at times like an extended political broadcast.
Politico blog saw the obvious problems and a Josh Gerstein piece listed these main areas of annoyance with Obama in his relations to the press:
- Dodging questions
- Playing favorites
- Where''s Gibbs?
- Getting mad
- Getting even 
That sounds not like a President but a bully.
the problem is that they are too cute by half. They assume they can manipulate, manage and guide the media flawlessly. They think they can ride the wave all the way every time. And why shouldn''t they? Obama''s presidential campaign, after all, was perhaps the shrewdest, most disciplined message machine ever assembled in modern electoral politics. And the coverage, overall, was often close to hagiographic…There is a physics in media: every action eventually produces an equal and opposite reaction. Or, as the old saying goes, they''re either at your feet or at your throat. Obama has enjoyed a glorious ride, but the press has gotten about as much mileage as it can by writing the story of his rise and early triumph.
All in all, Obama appears prickly, vindictive and one who harbors grudges.
Funny, in a bad way, but that sounds like his relationship with Israel and the Jews.

With last week’s Obama letting loose on a media person, again, consider this development:
President Obama''s remark to Ed Henry of Fox News on Thursday that, "I didn''t know you were the spokesperson for Mitt Romney" set off heated discussions this week around the White House briefing room. Henry declined comment on the matter. But reporters were left wondering — is this how the administration is going to respond to criticism from Republican opponents going forward — by casting aspersions on journalists who ask questions?
…On Friday, CNBC''s John Harwood, who also writes for The New York Times, sat down with White House chief of staff Bill Daley, and — in the course of asking a lot of other things — inquired about the flare-up with Henry…"Yesterday at a press conference one of my colleagues asked the president to respond to something Mitt Romney said. The president said, ''I didn''t realize you were a spokesman for Mitt Romney.'' Is the White House —  you feeling — the president feeling under siege from events right now?"
Daley responded with a lengthy answer about the economy and the middle class. Harwood pressed him, "Why would the president respond that way to a reporter, though?" "I don''t think it was a colleague from your network," Daley said, "but a colleague from another network." He added, "And — sometimes as you — I know it may surprise people, some people that there are certain people in the media who do seem at times to carry the water for certain — piece of the political spectrum."
Is Obama a nice guy? Someone who can take as well as give? Is he a politician or an ideologue? Is he a pragmatist or a idealist? A true democrat or an autocrat?
And more importantly, is America’s press a free one?
And I repeat, what does all this mean for Israel and the Jews?