Maybe, in sync with the predictable press reactions to oft-seen bad economic numbers, the headline at Julie Pace's late-morning story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should have been: "Obama Foreign Policy Falls Apart ... Unexpectedly."
Pace's pathetic attempt at pathos in assessing the status of the Obama administration's foreign policy tells AP readers that some of it is due to "factors outside the White House's control" (as if previous administrations haven't had to deal with unanticipated developments), that Obama "misjudged" what would come in the Arab Spring's aftermath (we're supposed to ignore all of those contacts he's had with Muslim Brotherhood officials and their sympathizers), and that the NSA revelations have hurt our standing in Europe (without noting that the root cause is NSA's spying on U.S. citizens). Excerpts follow the jump.
The American media have been disgracefully ignoring the murder of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in Benghazi almost one year ago with some of them having the nerve to echo President Obama's claim that it's a "phony scandal."
Not Camille Paglia who in an interview with Salon Wednesday said, "I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi...As far as I’m concerned, Hillary [Clinton] disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, 'What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?'”
Tuesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning newscast to cover the latest development in the controversy surrounding the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Gayle King gave a 26-second news brief to Secretary of State John Kerry clearing four mid-level diplomats to return to duty, after they were placed on leave by his predecessor, Hillary Clinton [audio available here; video below the jump].
Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor NBC's Today devoted any air time to Kerry's move. Instead, the two programs set aside full reports to Sunny, the new dog adopted by the Obama family.
A Republican congressman is claiming that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton so vehemently denied that the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, was a terrorist strike that she "screamed" at a congressman in a private briefing just two days later.
John Blackstone promoted Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 presidential run on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, and minimized the ongoing questions about her leadership before, during, and after the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. For opposition, Blackstone merely noted that "a new ad, just released by the GOP, criticizes Clinton's handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi", without further explaining the issue.
The correspondent also buried the staunchly pro-abortion and partisan stance of Emily's List. He vaguely labeled the pro-Democratic PAC a "group that promotes women candidates."
Ted Koppel made a fascinating observation about terrorism and the recent embassy evacuations that certainly won't please President Obama or his supporters in the media.
Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Koppel said, "With a conference call, Al Qaeda has effectively shut down 20 U.S. embassies around north Africa and the Middle East...The terrorists have achieved more with one phone call than we have achieved with all our response" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words Tuesday for the White House calling the evacuation of our embassies in the Middle East “ordered departures.”
Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report, Krauthammer said, “This is the first administration in history ever to launch a lexicological war on the enemy. You know, they’ve thrown the book at them - the dictionary.”
If you were expecting any useful information in the article by CNN's John King pondering Why Benghazi Matters, you would be sadly disappointed. Out of 1029 words in his article, 422 or over 40% of the verbiage is devoted to speculating about if the congressional investigation into Benghazi is really a Republican "witch hunt." Although King pays lip service to what happened at Benghazi, it is the "witch hunt" theme he is most interested in as you can see from these Democrat talking point excerpts that he recites:
Saturday evening, a friend suggested that I watch the midnight rerun of Judge Jeanine Pirro's Fox News program for her interview segment with a Democrat and a Republican about this weekend's closing of 22 embassies overseas in response to terrorist threats.
Ryan Clayton was the Democrat whose arguments blaming George W. Bush's administration for the current level of threats in the Middle East were so weak that he was reduced to childishly reminding viewers that 9/11 happened on George W. Bush's watch (as if we didn't know, and as if eight years of previous Clinton administration weakness were irrelevant). Clayton has an interesting history, which I will note at the end of this post. The Judge Jeanine segment follows the jump.
Remember all that talk from President Obama during last year’s campaign about al Qaeda being decimated?
Apparently not, for on ABC’s This Week Sunday, Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) said, “Al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11 because it's mutated and it spread and it can come at us from different directions” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
What happens when a writer with a left of center periodical such as The Atlantic honestly confronts the unfolding and inconvenient facts of what the Obama administration labels as the "phony scandal" of Benghazi? A reality check. Such was the case with Conor Friedersdorf who although he has enough of a libertarian streak in him to have opposed Obama's re-election, still has enough leftwing bonafides to absurdly slam Rush Limbaugh for "race baiting."
Therefore it must have come as something of a shock to the liberal bubble readers of The Atlantic to read Friedersdorf admit that he had "tuned out" Benghazi as most of the MSM reporters had done but has now changed his mind as you can see in the self-explanatory title of his article: The Attack in Benghazi: Worth Investigating After All. Here is Friedersdorf's explanation for his change of mind:
Late Thursday, news broke of the State Department ordering numerous U.S. embassies across the Middle East closed on Sunday, August 4 due to terror threats from Al Qaeda. While the Big Three network evening newscasts all covered the important development that night, not one of them made any mention of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi, the perpetrators of which remain at large.
By Friday morning, the networks managed to add brief mentions of Benghazi to their reporting. On NBC's Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell noted: "... in the aftermath of Benghazi, the State Department is not taking any chances....Amidst ongoing turmoil across the Middle East, from Cairo's Tahrir Square to the civil war in Syria, and past attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts, from Benghazi, Libya last year..."
[UPDATED BELOW] CNN's Arwa Damon scored an exclusive interview with a suspect in the Benghazi attacks, yet CNN chose to air it only once. Aside from a brief mention of it on Thursday morning, the network has dropped its own scoop that it broke on 5 p.m. Wednesday on The Situation Room.
None of the three networks mentioned the story on their Wednesday evening news casts, and only CBS talked about Benghazi on Thursday, though they didn't mention Arwa Damon's report.
Thursday's CBS This Morning boosted a super PAC aimed at supporting a potential Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016, and spotlighted how Mrs. Clinton is "sticking to a speaking circuit that recently included the opening of a children's library in Arkansas bearing her name. It's not exactly a presidential library, but it may be just another baby step toward what many believe is inevitable."
Correspondent Jeff Pegues played up the "prominent endorsements from politicians and celebrities", and how the former First Lady's backers are "already building a growing campaign infrastructure, they say, whether she likes it or not."
We’re halfway through 2013, and PBS’s Washington Week used last Friday’s episode to reflect on the past six months of D.C. politics. During the course of the reflections, moderator Gwen Ifill trotted out the oft-uttered liberal complaint about “distractions” that have impeded President Obama’s second-term agenda so far.
She lamented, “You know, the one thing that's been a common theme throughout this first six months has been distractions. The ways in which pure politics has driven what ends up happening.” [Video below the break.]
Who was Morning Joe protecting: the sensitive ears of its viewers, or Hillary Clinton?
During a discussion of the death of the feisty and fearless reporter Michael Hastings, Morning Joe bleeped out Joe Scarborough's reading from an email from Hastings to Philippe Reines, Hillary's personal spokesman during her Secretary of State tenure. Hastings had accused Reines of "b---s---" answers on the State Department's handling of Benghazi. The extended bleeping wasn't simply of the offending word, but of Hastings' entire sentence, so listeners never learned the thrust of his accusation. View the video after the jump.
On Monday's PoliticsNation show on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton bristled at former Vice President Cheney recently attacking President Obama's "credibility" as the MSNBC host repeated discredited assertions that Cheney had claimed Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.
Sharpton and MSNBC contributor Patrick Murphy, formerly a Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania, rehashed liberal charges that the former Vice President lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. After a soundbite of Cheney, Sharpton responded:
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is none too pleased about President Obama’s decision to send arms to Syrian rebels.
On Tuesday’s Hardball, the host asked, “Why don't we just change the name of the Department of Defense to the Department of Killing Islamic People on Global Television Department, because that's what we've been doing for a dozen years?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson announced last Friday that her computers had been hacked into “by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012.”
On Monday, Attkisson told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that she thinks she knows who did it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
John Dickerson downplayed most of the recent scandals surrounding the Obama administration on Thursday's CBS This Morning, asserting that the White House was "trying to get something done on immigration....they're trying to stay focused on the things that really matter to this presidency, and only trying to spend a small amount of time putting out these little fires."
This came mere moments after Dickerson acknowledged the potential for the scandals to affect the President's legacy: "At the worst end...you get a feeling it's a scandal a week related to the administration, and if that idea sets in – that there's a kind of, rot....that affects the President's legacy." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Karen Finney recently began her new gig as an MSNBC weekend anchor, but on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, she got a little nostalgic for one of her old jobs.
Appearing as the subject of Witt’s "Office Politics" segment, Finney continued the liberal media tradition of making the GOP the focus of the current Obama administration scandals. “[Republicans] clearly think that they can ride this to the midterm elections on this sort of culture of coverup,” she huffed. [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
When last seen at NewsBusters in February, the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti was talking down to the public about its "collective obsession with the trivial" less than a week after AP reporter Ken Thomas wasted 500 words of print and bandwidth on how Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took a sip of water during a speech.
Now Sidoti, who is the AP's National Political Editor, is quite worried -- actually, obsessed -- that the public might waking up and contrasting what President Barack Obama is delivering compared to what he has promised at a most inopportune time, and that "controversies" might overtake Dear Leader's second-term agenda (bolds are mine):
As I've noted before, Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan has demonstrated in the past a penchant for hagiographic coverage of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Well, yesterday Gearan turned her puffery to work for Susan Rice the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations whose dutiful peddling of fallacious talking points after the 9/11 Benghazi attack ultimately doomed her nomination to succeed Clinton at Foggy Bottom.
Gearan devoted her 17 paragraphs story to explaining to readers of the June 6 Washington Post how "Rice, known for [her] toughness, has [her] work cut out for her" as the president's new national security advisor, a possible that does not require Senate confirmation. Apart from a brief reference to how Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) remain critical of her, the vast bulk of the story was strewn with glowing references to Rice, particularly from Democratic defenders (emphasis mine):
On Wednesday's The Last Word show, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe -- formerly of Newsweek -- suggested that FNC host Bill O'Reilly was motivated by racism when he recently called it "shady" for President Obama to select Susan Rice as national security advisor to avoid Senate confirmation hearings.
A bit after host Lawrence O'Donnell played several clips of O'Reilly using the word "shady" to describe the move, Wolffe cracked:
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd cheered President Obama picking Susan Rice to be his new national security advisor and nominating Samantha Power as U.N. ambassador: "They are now among the most powerful women in the American foreign policy community. Behind-the-scenes power players now front and center."
Amid sound bites of Obama praising both women, Todd joined in extolling their accomplishments: "Both come with a long list of impressive credentials. Rice, a Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar with a Ph.D. from Oxford. In 1990's she served as assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration. Power is a human rights expert and Pulitzer Prize-winning author; she's also the mother of two young children."
After briefly criticizing President Obama for the recent scandals surrounding his administration a few weeks ago, MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews is back to his usual role of playing cheerleader for the Obama administration. Appearing on the June 5 program, Matthews showed his audience that the “thrill up his leg” feeling he has towards Obama is clearly back.
Speaking with The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman and The Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart, Matthews went on a tirade against Republicans continued opposition to Susan Rice, Obama’s newest National Security Advisor, asking Howard Fineman:
A Google News search on ["Susan Rice" "executive privilege"] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets) returns two stories. The main one is at Fox News, where K.T. McFarland pointed out that President Obama, now that he has appointed Susan Rice to be his National Security Adviser, can invoke executive privilege to keep her from testifying before Congress. The second is at Mediate, and notes that McFarland said the same thing to Fox News Channel anchor Martha MacCallum earlier today.
Among those who conveniently didn't catch this: Frank James at NPR, who didn't identify the executive privilege dodge in his "5 Takeaways From Obama's Susan Rice Appointment"; the Associated Press, whose three Wednesday items on Rice (here, here, and here) don't mention it, and where a search on "executive privilege" (not in quotes) returned nothing relevant; and the Politico, where a search on "Rice executive privilege" (not in quotes) also returned nothing relevant. Excerpts from McFarland's column, with harsh words about Rice's lack of qualifications, follow the jump (bold and italics are hers except final paragraph):
Reporting the breaking news on Wednesday's NBC Today that President Obama had named U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be national security advisor, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd portrayed Rice as a victim of Republican attacks: "Rice, who had become a Republican punching bag during the whole Benghazi controversy....this is a bit of a defiant move by the President to his Republican critics." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later on his 9 a.m. ET MSNBC show, The Daily Rundown, while discussing GOP opposition to Rice's promotion – and her nominated replacement as U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power – Todd proclaimed: "And beating up on two women, I think, would be something that the Republican Party brand doesn't need." Lois Romano of Politico chimed in: "They don't need it, but they – they haven't had much, you know, problems beating up on Susan Rice."
Wednesday's CBS This Morning minimized Susan Rice's refuted claims about the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi as they covered her appointment as national security adviser. Charlie Rose and John Dickerson dwelt more on outgoing national security adviser Tom Donilon's term, with Dickerson only vaguely mentioning how Rice was "the focus of so much controversy in the Senate."
The only time that a CBS News personality specifically mentioned Benghazi during the segment was when Gayle King wondered if President Obama's decision to choose the current U.N. ambassador to succeed Donilon was a "message to Republicans who came down hard on Susan Rice during the Benghazi hearings."