On CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on Sunday, the controversial Lord Conrad Black went on the offensive with Zakaria over the media and the reverence it holds for President Barack Obama.
But Black, author of “Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership,” said it wasn’t just Obama, but presidents going back to after Ronald Reagan’s departure from office.
“I’m not dismissive. I would never — Fareed, I’ve never dismissed a president of the U.S.,” Black said. “It’s a great office and I always respect the holder of the office, the present holder and previous ones. I have to say I don’t think the majority of Americans would be quite as enthused about this administration as you are. But I am certainly not dismissive of him. But I think that there have been some serious problems. And I think they don’t start with him. But I think there is a leadership problem in the U.S. that has been going on for most of the time since Reagan retired.”
According to Black, the United States had always had the most qualified people running for president, but that is no longer the case, especially with 2012 Republican presidential field. And that he said is the media’s fault and one reason for conservative talker Rush Limbaugh’s popularity.
“The thing that worries me just as an example is that in the terrible year of 1968 with 550,000 draftees in Vietnam, 200 to 400 of them coming back dead every week, riots everywhere in the country — race riots and anti-war riots, assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy — in that year, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon all ran for president,” Black said. “And you can say lots about all of those people, but they were all qualified to be president. And I don’t think the best candidates, for example, in the Republican Party ran in the election last year. And this, this is disturbing. And I don’t think it has ever happened before in U.S. history.”
“And in my judgment, since you asked me, I think that there is a very large number of Americans that felt instinctively that the national media and the political establishment had unjustly destroyed a distinguished administration, which Mr. Nixon had in his first term, and had scuttled the effort in Vietnam and had never ceased to congratulate themselves for doing it,” he continued. “And the country is uneasy about that. I think that’s why Rush Limbaugh has 30 million listeners and the network newscasts have declined.”