NYT’s Brooks: Obama Nobel Prize Award a 'Joke' and 'Travesty'; WaPo’s Marcus: Not 'Necessarily Good News'
Remember just a week ago when New York Times columnist David Brooks slammed the likes Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck? Naturally, that led to the left-wing noise machine, and the media which uses that message for show prep, to suggest there was a split in the conservative movement and therefore attempt to marginalize the conservative message.
However, will they be so eager to echo the sentiment of David Brooks in the wake of President Barack Obama's Nobel Prize announcement? On PBS's Oct. 9 "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," the Times columnist had some disparaging words for Obama's award - despite a sentiment from some liberals that those who question it were somehow un-American.
"Well, my first reaction is he should have won all the prizes because he has given speeches about peace, but also he's give economic speeches. He wrote a book - that's literature. He has biological elements within his body. He could win that prize. He could have swept the whole prizes," Brooks said tongue-in-cheek before delivering the knock-out blow. "Now - it's sort of a joke."
Host Jim Lehrer was stunned by Brooks' response. "A joke?" Lehrer replied.
"Yeah, I mean it's a bit of a travesty," Brooks replied. "Iranian people are protesting, risking their livers on the street to actually do something. People in organizations decade after decade risking their lives, who actually need a publicity boost. And, the idea that he would win it with five Norwegian lefties, to me it's something of a joke and I do think it will hurt him. The last thing he needs now is to be treated as the global Messiah. People want him paying attention to local issues. And I personally think it would have been certainly dramatic and maybe the right thing to do to turn it down."
Brooks proposition that it was a joke and that he should turn it down was ironically the same suggestion Fox News host Glenn Beck, who Brooks condemned a week earlier, had on his Oct.9 radio show (which Beck was criticized for on MSNBC's Oct. 9 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann").
"He could say, ‘Listen, I don't deserve it,'" Brooks said. "He already said that. ‘I someday hope to deserve it. But this is not something that I have merited yet. And I am a humble person. I am aware of who I am and what I have achieved so far. And, so far I don't think I earned this.'"
Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, who is not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination, also said it was bad for Obama.
"I was stunned and amazed," she said. "And I have to say that I kind of agree with President Obama when he said, ‘To be honest I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformational figures.' Neither do I. I don't understand this prize. And I actually, I think it reflects poorly on the Nobel Committee more than it does on President Obama who I presume did not nominate himself two weeks after he became president."
"And I don't think it's necessarily particularly good news for President Obama because it raises all those questions about the celebrity. Remember John McCain's ad - where is the substance, what's he actually done? He was being lampooned on ‘Saturday Night Live' just a few weeks ago for not having done anything. And now he gets this prize, for what? And you know, what is he going to top it with next year. What's next?"