In a segment on Fox News’s “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Friday night, Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway said former President Obama took more punitive actions against the media during his tenure in office than Donald Trump has as president.
In a speech on Friday, Obama said that while he complained about Fox News as president, he never tried to shut them down or call them the “enemy of the people.” Charles Lane of The Washington Post said that, as president, Obama treated members of the media fairly and championed free speech — a description Hemingway disputed.
“That is is not my recollection of the eight years under President Obama,” Hemingway said. “He blamed many bad things in the country on people watching Fox News. He claimed it was on every bar in the country why Democrats were hurt. He tried to freeze out Fox News in multiple instances. He spied on reporters. He’s one of the worst presidents when it comes to actual actions when it comes to the media.”
“President Donald Trump speaks against the press in a way that does not live up to what we would hope to hear in terms of freedom of the press,” she continued. “But when it comes to actual actions taken against the media, the Obama administration was bad and the media didn’t care. When Donald Trump lightly criticizes the press, they boycott him, they freak out about the White House press dinner, and it’s that difference in how they reacted to criticisms by President Obama toward press to how they reacted to criticism from Trump is frustrating.”
“When it comes to actual actions taken and attempts to spy on reporters or go after them, the Obama administration was very bad,” she said. “And the media didn’t have the same reaction to it that they do to the Trump administration.”