Neil Munro's infamously brazen and boorish act
of disrespect last week at the White House represented an eruption of
frustration that's been building within the right-wing media during
Obama's time was president. That a partisan, political player from the
Daily Caller would shout angry comments at the president, interrupting
him while he gave a formal statement in the Rose Garden, was
simultaneously shocking and quite predictable.
Shocking because the behavior was more akin to Nixonian rat f*cking than it was to journalism.
Unfortunately, the casual tone of Oval Office disrespect that's become a hallmark of the right-wing media has found some pockets of acceptance, and even imitation, within the mainstream press. Yes, the press universally condemned the Daily Caller's classless attempt to upstage the president mid-sentence. But you can spot mainstream bouts of derogatory chatter that would have been unlikely when a Republican was in the White House. (Yes, it was Time's Mark Halperin who called Obama a "dick" on national television.)
Much like with the Clinton presidency, there has been a consuming effort by the conservative media (and the Republican Party) to delegitimize the current Democratic presidency. The difference this time, thanks to the shifting media landscape, is that right-wing name-calling has been ramped up and a runaway lack of civility is now worn like a badge of conservative honor.
Recall that following Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address, conservative media players responded to the president's policy-heavy speech by calling him a "grating," "flippant," "arrogant" "jerk" who's "cocky" and can't hide his "fake sincerity."