Piers Morgan slams Barack Obama as media take 'cozy interviews' over memoir: 'He failed to close Guantanamo Bay'
'Not seeing much scrutiny of his shocking record on drone strikes, failure to close Guantanamo Bay, dreadful attacks on press freedom, or the fact he deported 3 million immigrants'
British broadcaster, journalist, writer, and television personality Piers Morgan took to Twitter on Saturday, November 21 to criticize former US President Barack Obama. Talking about the flurry of press Obama has received in the wake of his new memoir, ‘A Promised Land’, Morgan had some sharp things to say. He wrote on Twitter, “Lots of very cozy interviews with Barack Obama popping up to promote his book. Not seeing much scrutiny of his shocking record on drone strikes, failure to close Guantanamo Bay, dreadful attacks on press freedom, or the fact he deported 3 million immigrants... an all-time record.”
Lots of very cosy interviews with Barack Obama popping up to promote his book. Not seeing much scrutiny of his shocking record on drone strikes, failure to close Guantanamo Bay, dreadful attacks on press freedom, or the fact he deported 3 million immigrants.. an all-time record. pic.twitter.com/7yJbKyQiCX— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) November 21, 2020
Morgan’s sharp critique is one that often comes from the Left, which makes it a little surprising. Not the assertion in general — the right-wing has always said that the 'liberal media' goes easy on Obama. But the right-wing media has never quite raised these questions to him. At least never the ones on airstrikes and immigration. And that is fairly obvious why. Nonetheless, many seemed to agree to Morgan, as could be seen from the more than 2,500 retweets and more than 14,000 likes on the tweet (at the time of writing this).
According to an independent charity called Airwars, which monitors civilian harm during conflicts, there were ten times more airstrikes in the covert war on terror during President Obama’s eight-year presidency than under his predecessor, George W Bush. President Obama signed an executive order to shut down Guantánamo Bay, which as per the American Civil Liberties Union, has become a symbol of "injustice, abuse, and disregard for the rule of law". Yet, upon leaving the White House in 2017, there were still more than 40 inmates in the military prison in Cuba.
But it would also be disingenuous to assert that Obama was not questioned by the liberal media on these topics, even if reporters did not raise them during the book release. The case of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, one of the American citizens the Obama administration reportedly killed in a secret, extrajudicial drone strike, was one that has received tremendous amounts of questions from the so-called liberal media back in the day. Al-Awlaki was 16 when he died.
Then again, as Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic pointed out in 2012, in The New Yorker's endorsement of Barack Obama in a 3,700-word editorial, a single parenthetical was used to club the criticisms. The editorial stated: “Perhaps inevitably, the president has disappointed some of his most ardent supporters. Part of their disappointment is a reflection of the fantastical expectations attached to him. Some, quite reasonably, are disappointed in his policy failures (on Guantánamo, climate change, and gun control); others question the morality of the persistent use of predator drones.”
But one can suppose that eight years later, and especially when Obama has no longer held office in four years, one would concentrate more on his writing. And as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote in her review of the book, “Barack Obama is as fine a writer as they come.”