The “war” on media started by President Nixon continues on today with President Obama’s Administration.
President Obama inherits his “war” on media tactics that originated from President Nixon’s previous years. Before Nixon became president, he already had a negative relationship with the press. When he was defeated in his 1962 bid to become California’s governor, he accused journalists of being “delighted that I lost.” However, the majority of newspapers “endorsed him” at the time.
When Nixon became president, he changed how white house administration involved the media. Nixon used a series of media manipulation, and “picked H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, a former advertising agency executive…[t]o shape the president’s public image.” Effectively, creating the first “White House communications office.” By doing so, Nixon created an artificial barrier between himself and the media. Additionally, Nixon’s staff “ arranged carefully orchestrated appearances in front of friendly crowds.”
President Obama has been reported by over 38 separate news organization. President Obama has reportedly taken similar routes in curtailing the media, regularly barring photojournalist from events. Additionally, President Obama also released media content via youtube, facebook, twitter, and other media sites. This, in turn, bypasses the need for journalists (or their questions).
In certain instances, President Nixon became belligerent against journalist, even to the point of plotting to assassinate columnist Jack Anderson, after he “infuriated Nixon by publishing embarrassing leaks.” The plot was never carried out. While President Obama hasn’t been in the exact situation, he has charged eight cases against whistleblowers, “five more than all previous presidents combined.”