NYT’s Friedman: ‘Way too soon to tell’ if media blew it vetting Obama the candidate

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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During the 2008 presidential election season, many Americans were captivated by then-candidate Barack Obama’s promises of hope and change. And some would argue that much of the media were taken in by the promises too. Nearly three years into the Obama presidency, is it fair to say the media were duped?

On Sunday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” host Howard Kurtz asked New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman just that question. According to Friedman, the jury is still out.

“Way too soon to tell that kind of thing, I think,” Friedman said. “I think if — look, what have I been calling for, you know, the president to have — I think there is, we just so desperately needed a grand bargain that involves restructuring of debt, raising of taxes, cutting of spending and investing in the sources of our strengths as a country from everything from infrastructure to government-funded research to education. It’s so clear that’s what we need. My personal frustration with Obama has been that while he certainly tried that grand bargain for a little bit, it just kind of went away. Well, it didn’t on the work. He said [House Speaker John] Boehner backed out. I don’t know who backed out.” (RELATED: Levin calls for integration of Obama vacation spot Martha’s Vineyard)

Kurtz pointed out that Friedman had an unusual closeness with Obama as one of his golfing partners. Friedman said that was a benefit.

“Yeah, anytime you spend four hours with the president, either with a spoon in your hand or a golf club in your hand or nothing in your hand — you learn something,” Friedman said. “If he invites you to lunch — anytime you get a chance to talk to the president, in any context, I find incredibly beneficial.”