February 28, 2014

Jonathan Who? Establishment Press Ignores Turley’s ‘Government Unto Himself’ Warning on President’s Executive Overreach

The volume of significant news going unreported in the establishment press has gone from astonishing to surreal. The best example of that, as intrepid NewsBusters posters have noted now for nine months, is the virtually complete blackout in the establishment press of developments in the IRS-conservative targeting scandal.

Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama’s extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to “effectively become a government unto himself.” If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley’s testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.

A Google News search on “Turley tipping point” (not in quotes) at 6:30 a.m. ET initially appeared promising, showing only 9 listings, one of them with “64 more articles.”

Unfortunately, clicking on the “64 more articles” link returned only 11, consisting of a Fox News report and 10 other center-right outlets. Combined with the other results in the original search, that means that roughly 20 Google News-recognized outlets of any kind have taken notice.

Here are several paragraphs from the Fox report:


Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley issued a dire warning Thursday about the growth of executive power under President Obama, saying if left unchecked the U.S. president could “effectively become a government unto himself.”

“It didn’t begin with President Obama, but it certainly accelerated under President Obama …and we are at a point that I consider quite dangerous,” Turley told Fox News.

The George Washington University Law School professor spoke with Fox News a day after testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on the same topic. During the hearing, he warned that the nation is at a “constitutional tipping point” as the White House concentrates more and more power.

But he laid the blame at the feet of Congress as well, expressing shock that lawmakers have not fought back harder. “There’s not been a whimper of regret or opposition of any substance coming from Congress,” he said, adding: “To watch their power usurped by another branch, you would think would concentrate the minds of all members.”

The president has been accused of inappropriately circumventing Congress on several occasions over the past few years, including by making unilateral changes to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and by giving U.S. immigration officers leeway to ignore violations of U.S. immigration law.

Turley said he actually agrees with some of those policies but nevertheless thinks the “means are wrong.” He noted that some of these changes were made unilaterally after the president failed to convince Congress to approve them via legislation.

“It’s not that President Obama is a dictator,” he said. “I’m not questioning his motivations, what I’m questioning is his means.”

Well, Jonathan, you know what they say: “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck …”

The dictionary’s salient definition of “tyranny” is “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.” Used repeatedly and shamelessly, it causes the user to become “a government unto himself,” doesn’t it?

The press enables all of this by ignoring it, and, as I noted on Saturday, even cheering it.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


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