Amanpour Panelist Regrets ‘Abysmal’ White House PR Means Lack of Appreciation for GM Bailout

ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday again gave national U.S. television exposure to a liberal reporter with the London-based Financial Times as she brought Ed Luce, the newspaper’s Washington Bureau Chief and former Clinton administration operative, aboard her This Week roundtable. Luce declared the world would react “with deep horror, I think, but also some amusement,” to a presidential bid by Sarah Palin and charged Republican opposition to START shows “there's a greater hatred of Obama than there is a love of American national security.” 

Echoing the standard liberal spin about how President Barack Obama just failed to effectively communicate his great achievements, Luce argued that “if GM had gone bankrupt and large portions of it had been closed down, we could have lost several hundred thousand jobs.” He then despaired: “The administration's communications effort on this has been absolutely abysmal. It's quite extraordinary to me how they haven't put this forward more forcefully and how the public still doesn't see just how different a kind of bailout this was than the Wall Street bailouts which remain deservedly unpopular.”

When Amanpour railed against Republicans for delaying ratification of the newest START treaty -- “It's the verification which is a huge issue and, vitally, American credibility. Here we have this story from North Korea today. How does America stand up and say, you guys can't proliferate if we're not going to do this? How can we lead?” – Luce agreed with her premise before denouncing the opposition to Obama:

About Mitch McConnell's pledge to make Obama a one-term President. Clearly that's going to be the strategy of the Republicans. The question is are they going to do it intelligently or unintelligently and I think Senator Kyl, his comments and his stance indicate it could well be the latter.

Luce’s booking agency’s bio sheet states: “Took a one year sabbatical working in Washington DC as the speech writer to Larry Summers, then US Treasury Secretary (1999-2001), during the Clinton administration.”

Back in August, Amanpour elevated a liberal British journalist, with little U.S. television experience, to the This Week roundtable where she presumed the government must run the economy and distribute the economic pie while she took pot shots at how the efforts to control illegal immigration proves America's descent into a “culture of hate.”

My August 8 post, “Amanpour Elevates British Journalist Who Sees 'Culture of Hate' in U.S., Time to Divide Up Our 'Pie,'” recounted:

...Gillian Tett, U.S. Managing Editor of the London-based Financial Times newspaper, began by insisting, that to respond to stagnant employment numbers: “The big question now is can the economy keep growing if the government doesn't keep pumping in money?”

Applying a European economic model, Tett fretted “that so much of America in the last few decades has been about trying to focus on growing the pie, not worrying about how to divide it up” as Americans didn’t “worry about social equity and things like that.” But, showing little faith that Obamanomics will work, she ruminated, “if we are entering a period when the pie is stagnant, the question that’s going to be very political is how do you divide that pie up?”

In her final remark on unemployment, she warned “you really are starting to see the beginnings of a culture of hate, of finger-pointing, of scape-goating.” Minutes later, however, in a discussion of the proposal to modify the 14th amendment to end automatic citizenship through birth, Tett assumed those dark days have already arrived: “It's quick fix soundbite politics in this culture of hate and this, you know, scape-goating that’s going on right now.”...

From the roundtable on the Sunday, November 21 This Week with Christiane Amanpour on ABC:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: It's the verification which is a huge issue and, vitally, American credibility. Here we have this story from North Korea today. How does America stand up and say, you guys can't proliferate if we're not going to do this? How can we lead?

ED LUCE, FINANCIAL TIMES: Very, very difficult. I mean, Russia, of course, is a part of the six-party group with North Korea and, therefore, its cooperation is also important there as it is on Afghanistan, as it on Iran. These broader implications for failing to ratify START here go across the world. Russia's cooperation is something that Obama has worked on very successfully, very patiently, along with Hillary Clinton for two years now, and this puts it in jeopardy.

Just one other point, though, about Mitch McConnell's pledge to make Obama a one-term President. Clearly that's going to be the strategy of the Republicans. The question is are they going to do it intelligently or unintelligently and I think Senator Kyl, his comments and his stance indicate it could well be the latter.


....

AMANPOUR: Again, as Admiral Mullen said it's not just a nice treaty with a foreign country, it is about Russia's cooperation on all the issues that the United States needs, whether it's Afghanistan, Iran and all the rest of it. Plus, I don't know what you think, but some are saying that this could give rise to the hard-liners in Russia again who just do not want to -- who just don't want to deal with the United States.

LUCE: Oh, absolutely. I think it's a dream -- if you picked two countries that would like to see a failure of ratification, it would be North Korea and Iran. And I think if that argument doesn't work with the Republicans, that sort of basic elemental national security argument doesn't work, nothing is. There's a greater hatred of Obama than there is a love of American national security.

...

One thing I'd say about the GM IPO, just to back up Donna [Brazille] is the counter-factual here, if GM had gone bankrupt and large portions of it had been closed down, we could have lost several hundred thousand jobs -- exaggerated number of a million might be too high. The administration's communications effort on this has been absolutely abysmal. It's quite extraordinary to me how they haven't put this forward more forcefully and how the public still doesn't see just how different a kind of bailout this was than the Wall Street bailouts which remain deservedly unpopular.
....

AMANPOUR: How does the world look at a Sarah Palin run in 2012?

LUCE: With deep horror, I think, but also some amusement. I think there's a trope out there that this is the best scenario possible for Barack Obama.

— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center