On his CNN show today, Howard Kurtz brought up the coverage of President Obama's vacation to Martha Vineyard's and asked: "Why is the press pounding away at this vacation?" Kurtz continued: "There's always something bad going on in the world," adding, "I think this is a media-generated controversy."
This week, conservative media have repeatedly attacked Obama for his vacation, with Fox News leading the charge. On Special Report, for example, panelist Steve Hayes claimed he doesn't "begrudge" Obama for the 10-day break because he "deserves one," but also said that Obama is "tone-deaf" on the issue at a time when "people are really struggling."
However, at the same juncture of his first term, President Reagan faced similar circumstances. Unemployment stood at 9.5 percent. But Reagan, as Reliable Sources guest David Sirota pointed out, embarked on a 25-day vacation to his California retreat. And according to a Washington Post article published at the time, Reagan's top advisers "put an end to what one of them call[ed] 'unnecessary news stories' " during the break; the Post wrote that advisers stopped relaying the "negative news coverage that the president abhors."