Bozell Column: NBC and MSNBC, Networks of Wusses
On September 14 at Andrews Air Force Base just outside the Washington Beltway, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton welcomed home the remains of four Americans killed at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It was a moment of national mourning. The president was presidential; Mrs. Clinton dignified. But for some journalists, it was, quite strangely and inappropriately, something to view only through the tacky lens of politics.
On “Hardball,” Chris Matthews was tingling away. It was an “amazing ceremony,” he insisted. After an Obama clip, he said “there was a moment in American history right there. Last week, when Obama spoke at the Democratic National Committee down in Charlotte, he said, 'I am the president.' Well, this week, he showed what it means to be president.”
This was a moment for pride?
He told Willie Brown, the former mayor of San Francisco,“I was so proud of this country right then, Mayor. Because there you saw two people that had been political adversaries. The wonderful moment when the secretary of state reached over to grab his hand after those remarks, it is something else. I am a sentimentalist, I will admit it. But I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our Americanism than the way we did it just then.”
If George Bush had been president, the arrival of these four caskets would have been painted as a sickening sign of failure and incompetence, of public servants needlessly losing their lives because the White House couldn’t piece together their intelligence reports. Matthews would have railed against Bush and “Cheeney” for failing to protect their diplomats in unstable Arab nations. Now it was time to tingle over the unified Democrats instead.
In the next hour, it devolved from tragedy to farce when Rev. Al Sharpton took over the microphone to praise the Andrews service. “I think the president and secretary of state showed leadership by staying above the politics, no matter how ugly and nasty and off key it was, and putting their lives and legacies of those four men and their families as the priority to the American public.” He told Gov. Ed Rendell he was pleased at the president’s poise while “even today there was no moratorium on the political opposition trying to politicize this and demagogue it.”
That’s right. Al Sharpton has a daily perch on national TV to accuse others of demagoguery after street mobs kill people.
Then former Governor Ed Rendell, an official "NBC News political analyst," not only praised the “incredible grace under pressure” of Barack and Hillary, but proclaimed "I can think of no two cooler, smarter, well-grounded and well-oriented people to run our foreign affairs.”
This Democrat doubled down on the bizarre idea that the apologetic statement put out twice by the embassy in Cairo decrying Muslim-mockers in America was very proper. “It was a preemptive statement, several hours before the violence, trying to calm the situation by saying that the United States respects all religions, that we have Muslim Americans who we value and cherish, and that that film was abhorrent to all freedom-loving and decency-loving people in the world. That was a good and proper statement to get out there as a preemptive strike.”
This, amazingly, comes from a man who just wrote a book titled “A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great.” His positive remarks about the (multiple) Cairo apology tweets epitomize a Network of Wusses, a network that sees no shame in Team Obama’s failed attempts to appease radical Islamists by agreeing with great fervor and repetition that their religion should never be mocked on the Internet.
After Sharpton’s show ended, there was the “NBC Nightly News” for another bucket of goo poured over Barack and Hillary’s ceremony. The half-hour show had no mention of Romney or Republicans. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell properly celebrated the men who died as “idealists” who “loved service and thrived on adventure.” Then their haloes were rubbed on Team Obama. Mitchell ran long, loving soundbites from Hillary describing the good qualities of the deceased. They ran a quote of the president quoting from the Gospel of John that “greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends.” Like a good publicist, Mitchell added “U.S. officials insist there was no prior intelligence about the attack in Libya.”
Except that may be untrue.
That’s certainly not what the interim president of Libya has said. He asserted that this deadly attack was planned months in advance, and that he warned the Obama administration it was coming days in advance. But don’t trouble the “journalists” who work for the high-dollar Obama donors running Comcast. They’re too busy tingling to do any questioning or reporting.