It has never been a good strategy for a president to attack the media in a democracy.
People are attached to a fourth power, and when they hear their president put the blame on the press to explain his own mistakes, they always judge him severely.?
This is what is currently happening to our French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and to his American "pal", Barack Obama.
It is strange to see that over the last few weeks, the two men have committed the same major mistake as they are both facing a very difficult political situation, both plunging in the polls, and both having a lot of difficulties in making their reforms be accepted by the population.
The press is responsible for the Jean Sarkozy fiasco, according to the French president's spokesmen !
They have probably thought that criticizing the media would appeal to the public, would divert attention (Obama's team have led violent attacks against Fox News, and Sarkozy and his advisers have accused the press of trying to destroy his presidency), and would make them appear as the victims in order to arouse compassion;
But the results of this anti media strategy are now disastrous.
First, it has not worked at all in public opinion. On the contrary, people find these attacks unjustified, and totally exaggerated, grotesque, ridiculous.
Secondly, and maybe worse for the two presidents, now journalists are solidary and determined to resist these presidential attempts to reduce their independence.
Both men have accused journalists of being partisan, as fulfilling the role of an opposition party : Fox News is said to be the voice of the Republicans, and in France the media is said to be the new opposition, as there is no more political opposition.
So how do you think these journalists are going to react when they see that the executive power is trying to make them shut up ?
So far, the press, both in America and in France, had been a great help for the presidency. The media has certainly contributed to the elections of Sarko and Mister O.
Now I'm sure it is going to contribute to their downfall...