Former senator Chuck Hagel's shoddy performance at his confirmation hearing yesterday has not merely been panned by conservative outlets but also liberal ones. For example, in "What Happened to Hagel?", Daily Beast's Ali Gharib concluded that "a proud statesman" appeared "confused and unsure as he took body shots" from skeptical senators, all the while being unable to explain "some version—any version—of the sober views he's put forward over his years as a foreign policy thinker."John Judis of The New Republic complained that "[f]ormer Sen. Chuck Hagel didn’t acquit himself well.... He was equivocal, often unconvincing, and seemed taken aback by questions that had been swirling around the rightwing blogosphere for weeks."
But leave it to the Washington Post to dutifully carry the Obama administration's water. In his page A3 February 1 story, "Hagel sharply attacked at Senate hearing," Ernesto Londono took aim at the GOP for their "withering criticism" of Hagel. Londono conceded that "at times [Hagel] struggled" but insisted that he "nonetheless offered a full-throated endorsement of the United States' alliance with Israel, insisted he has never advocated for unilateral nuclear disarmament and called Iran an existential threat."
On Wednesday, the networks described President Obama's speech in Indonesia as a proclamation on Indonesia's religious tolerance. ABC's Jake Tapper breezed over it on Good Morning America: “Before his speech, the President visited the largest mosque in this, the biggest majority-Muslim country in the world.” He quoted Obama: “Those are the spires of the cathedral the Catholic Church over there. See, right next door.”
But as Laura Ingraham pointed out that morning on her radio show, no one actually pressed the president on whether Muslim countries really tolerate Christians – or whether they can end up persecuted, even executed for not being Muslim. Terry Mattingly at Get Religion noted Indonesian examples. But the networks seriously downplayed a heinous murder of priests and Catholic believers in Baghdad on Halloween. And so, it was left out of the entire media's narrative as they celebrated Obama's outreach. In the November 2 Washington Post, the survivors told the tale in a report by Ernesto Londono:
The worshipers heard the first shots and explosions about 20 minutes after the beginning of Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Salvation Church. Heads turned, the sermon stopped abruptly and the Rev. Wassem Sabeeh quietly began ushering parishioners into a fortified room in the rear of the church.