I've seen Associated Press reporters make absurd assertions before, but a statement written by Julie Pace and Vanessa Gera, who covered President Barack Obama's trip to Poland yesterday, has to be at or near the top of the list of all-time humdingers.
Polish Solidarity hero and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa did not meet with Obama yesterday. Wait until you see the sheer speculation as to why there was no meeting in the bolded sentence in the fourth paragraph of the following excerpt from the AP pair's Friday evening report:
Hours before Obama arrived, Polish headlines were dominated by news that he was being snubbed by legendary Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, who said he was refusing to meet with Obama.
Solidarity was a national freedom movement under Walesa's leadership in the 1980s that helped bring down communism. His courage in defying communist authorities at the time earned him a Nobel peace prize. Walesa said in televised remarks that President Bronislaw Komorowski and the U.S. ambassador to Poland had called him hoping to persuade him to meet Obama. Walesa insisted, however, that he had no interest in a meeting that would amount to little more than a photo-op.
"This time a meeting does not suit me," the 67-year-old former president said in comments on news station TVN24. His office said he planned instead to attend a biblical festival in Italy.
Walesa refused to divulge more, but it seemed possible he was offended at not being offered a one-on-one meeting with Obama early on. Walesa had been invited to meet with Obama along with other former leaders of the anti-communist movement and current party leaders."
"It seemed possible"? Are you kidding me?
Translation: We're totally making this up, but we thought we'd throw it out there anyway just to make the guy who more than anyone else on earth is responsible for the early stages of bringing about the fall of the Iron Curtain look like a petty, egomaniacal old man.
There was absolutely no call for the AP pair's unsupported speculation.
In a Friday editorial ("Walesa Stands Up"), Investors Business Daily opined on Walesa's "seemingly more possible" motivations (it's an editorial, Julie and Vanessa, so they're allowed):
Someone who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for actually doing something just snubbed someone who won it for nothing. But Lech Walesa's refusal to meet President Obama is also a cry to save Poland.
Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and heroic leader of the Solidarity trade union that helped liberate the entire Eastern European Soviet bloc from communist rule, has his moral courage indelibly engraved in the history books.
... on Friday, Walesa once again answered the call to duty and announced he would not accept fellow Nobel Peace laureate President Obama's invitation to meet with him in Poland after the G-8 Summit in France.
... Close observers of this president for the two-plus years of his rule know he isn't interested in listening to the likes of Walesa, any more than he wants to hear the leaders of former Soviet satellite states explain how the low, flat tax rates they adopted in recent years led their nations to double-digit GDP growth.
For the sake of preserving Poland's hard-fought freedom, Komorowski and Tusk should be joining Walesa in giving Obama the cold shoulder.
The president hadn't even had a chance to redecorate the Oval Office before he felt the need, in fall of 2009, to appease Moscow by scrapping plans to build a missile defense shield protecting Poland and the Czech Republic from attack by Russia, Iran or any other aggressor.
At the time, the Polish minister of defense said, "This is catastrophic for Poland."
The message, once again, delivered loud and clear to America's friends, allies and enemies alike, is that the U.S. can't be relied on.
... The message Poland's leaders should deliver to our self-satisfied president is the one Walesa is delivering by his absence: Neither your Nobel nor bin Laden's head, Mr. President, is a substitute for U.S. help in keeping a liberated Eastern Europe liberated.
IBD's explanation "seems more possible" to me, and anyone else with both a sense of history and an understanding of how Obama so quickly turned his back on Eastern Europe's security needs once he had a chance.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.