Newsweek's Evan Thomas on Friday took a swipe at the White House's handling of its operation in Libya.
As the subject was raised on PBS's "Inside Washington," Thomas said, "In this case, it’s always hard to know what the Administration is doing because it’s sort of a headless horse" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Michael Scheuer, a former counter-terrorism analyst for the CIA, scolded CNN's Christine Romans Thursday for letting her support for the current President show.
Toward the end of a lengthy interview on "American Morning" about the situation in Libya, Romans took issue with her guest saying America is "nearly bankrupt" leading Scheuer to respond, "You're just carrying the water for Mr. Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During Monday's "Morning Joe," Time's Mark Halperin and co-host Mika Brzezinski helpfully provided some spin for the White House to borrow as President Obama finishes his prepared remarks for Monday evening's address to the nation on the events in Libya.
President Obama has received sharp criticism for his foreign policy concerning Egypt and Libya, but Halperin threw cold water on that, calling Obama's strategy "extremely deft in a very tough situation." Brzezinski agreed with his premise, adding that his "deft" handling is also in accord with promises he previously made.
"He's pro-democracy, right? He's anti-violence. He's anti-unilateral U.S. intervention," Halperin noted of Obama, trying to connect his current policy with the peacemaker he claimed to be as a presidential candidate.
(Video below the jump. Comments begin at the 12:30 mark.)
Eleanor Clift on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" made a truly absurd comment about the disparate ways Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan handled Libya during their respective presidencies that left Monica Crowley in stitches.
After Clift mocked Reagan by saying, "You don’t need leadership that goes into a Muslim country all alone," Monica laughed loudly before replying, "American presidential leadership, Eleanor, never goes out of style" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The perpetually anti-war Ed Schultz took his seat behind the desk at MSNBC studios Monday with the expressed mission of selling Barack Obama's air assault on Libya to his viewers.
So passionate was the "Ed Show" host in supporting the President he several times showed video footage of downed Pan Am flight 103 while claiming that Moammar Gaddafi was responsible thereby justifying an attack on him over 22 years later (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Former Clinton advisor and current CNN contributor Paul Begala thought he was being clever Friday evening when he took a cheap shot at George W. Bush on HBO's "Real Time."
Without skipping a beat, St. Louis Tea Party founder and Big Government editor Dana Loesch smacked down her CNN colleague with a delicious jab at his former boss (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In its daytime programming today, MSNBC has been hyping today's 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.
On her 1 p.m. Eastern program, anchor Andrea Mitchell noted how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the International Women of Courage Awards to "ten women rights leaders from around the world."
While Mitchell then noted the lack of progress that Afghanistan's government was making in terms of women's rights, she failed to report how the Obama administration has backtracked on efforts aimed at promoting advances towards equal rights and greater access to education for Afghan women.
As Rajiv Chandrasekaran noted in his Sunday Washington Post article -- "In Afghanistan, U.S. shifts strategy on women's rights as it eyes wider priorities" -- the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has backed down from earlier ambitious, concrete goals for female property ownership and education in Afghanistan, quite possibly in accord with the desire of top-level Obama administration officials to wind down a U.S. presence there (emphasis mine):
Two US airmen were killed by a Muslim terrorist in Germany yesterday, but neither CBS nor NBC thought it worthy of more than 30 seconds of coverage on their evening newscasts Wednesday night.
While ABC devoted a full segment of the March 2 "World News" to the issue, the CBS "Evening News" and the NBC "Nightly News" offered only scant news briefs and buried the story deep into their broadcasts.
"Troops under attack in Germany, targeted by a gunman shouting in Arabic about jihad," intoned ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, introducing the segment.
The Taliban is no longer in power, but the U.S.-supported government in Afghanistan has a long way to go towards supporting freedom of conscience for its people.
Take the plight of one Said Musa, who faces a death sentence for daring to be an ex-Muslim. The convert to Christianity most likely will suffer the death penalty for the capital crime of "apostasy." Paul Marshall at National Review Online last week noted that:
There was some fascinating historical revisionism that took place on Friday's "Inside Washington" as almost the entire panel made the case that Democrats were largely opposed to the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002 and that the decision to invade was mostly George W. Bush's.
This included PBS's Mark Shields who completely misrepresented the historic vote in the Senate that month (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Friday asked the panelists on the syndicated program bearing his name two questions about the crisis in Egypt that must have made his liberal viewers gasp.
Moments after surprisingly asking NBC's Andrea Mitchell if "neo-conservatives who believe in really trying to push democracy" were right all along, Matthews asked David Sanger of the New York Times if George W. Bush was "better equipped than this President to deal with this crisis" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, host Keith Olbermann announced that the episode would be his last, and spent a few minutes near the end of the show saying goodbye. He mentioned a number of infamous and pivotal points in his show’s history when he went after the Bush administration:
The show gradually established its position as anti-establishment from the stagecraft of "Mission Accomplished," to the exaggerated rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, to the death of Pat Tillman to Hurricane Katrina, to the "Nexus of Politics and Terror," to the first "Special Comment."
As he listed a number of prominent supporters of his show, he ended up notably giving credit to the late Tim Russert of NBC for being "my greatest protector, and most indefatigable cheerleader."
Below the fold is the video and a complete transcript of Olbermann's announcement from the Friday, January 21, Countdown show on MSNBC, from about 8:53 p.m.:
Liberal journalist Seymour Hersh unleashed on President Obama in a speech in Qatar on Monday, voicing his extreme disappointment with his foreign policy: "Just when we needed an angry black man, we didn't get one." Hersh also revealed his Dan Brown-style conspiracy theory about how "neo-conservative radicals" in the military's special operations community "overthrew the American government."
Blake Hounshell of Foreign Policy magazine reported on Tuesday that the writer for the New Yorker, whose last conspiracy theory from 2009 also involved bizarre allegations against the Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA, gave a speech at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service's branch campus in Doha that was "billed as a discussion of the Bush and Obama eras." Hounshell recounted how Hersh "delivered a rambling, conspiracy-laden diatribe...expressing his disappointment with President Barack Obama and his dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy."
Jeffrey Sachs has attacked distinguished military historian Victor Davis Hanson as an "extremist" who "has done more harm to the American people" than any other commentator.
Sachs, a Columbia prof and income redistributionist supreme, launched his surprising verbal assault in commenting on Hanson's National Review Online column, "The Obamites' About-Face." Hanson there makes the case that out of political pragmatism, Obama has flip-flopped on everything from "the environment, radical Islam, taxes, stimulus, the economy, national security" to foreign policy.
Amidst all the talk of Robert Gibbs' imminent departure as White House press secretary, could Andrea Mitchell be gunning for the gig? NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent certainly gave a strong audition on today's Morning Joe, doing her best to paper over the latest stumbles by two gaffe-prone Obamaoids.
Mitchell first tried to paint an innocent gloss on Napolitano's curious boast that her homeland security minions are working "364 days a year" to keep the nation safe. Later, Mitchell spun with the best to explain away Biden's claim--at odds with official US policy--that the US will be "totally out" of Afghanistan by 2014, "come hell or high water."
Mitchell gave her game away with her facial expression at the very end of the video clip. After Joe Scarborough gives her a skeptical "come on" for her shilling, Andrea breaks into a wry smile. Cut me some slack, Scarborough, Andrea seems to be signaling. A gal's has got to give her best MSM try for the home team!
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough left no doubts on where he stands on the conflict in Afghanistan Monday – but he also pressed liberal Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to stand up to President Obama on the issue of troop withdrawal. "It's distressing to me to see how this war continues," Scarborough complained, noting that the deadline for troop withdrawal has been pushed back to 2014 and possibly even further.
He then asked Sen. Durbin point-blank, "When are you and other progressives in the Senate going to start pushing back on the administration, on the generals, and say 'Enough is enough. We can't waste $2 billion a week on a war without end'?"
Scarborough further clarified his opposition to continuing the war long-term, and wondered if President Obama wants to stay in Afghanistan merely to appease Republicans on national defense. "It seems like the President is just buying time because he doesn't want the Republicans to call him weak on defense," he speculated.
For all of the bluster and glory, for all of the pomp and circumstance and yes, for all of the anticipated hope and the promised change, the whirlwind of hype and expectation surrounding the President a mere two years earlier has virtually dissolved, and Barack Obama has set a course that will leave his legacy as no more than a footnote in American Presidential history.
"Why is the press accepting [Obama Afghanistan policy] at face value?" Good question, and one posed by Richard Haass this morning. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations and Joe Scarborough ripped a "compliant press" on Morning Joe today for failing to ask the tough questions about Pres. Obama's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan.
Scarborough suggested a theory as to why the press is punting: "it goes against a decade-long narrative that George Bush chose the wrong war and that Afghanistan was the right war." True, no doubt. But perhaps the more fundamental explanation of the MSM's current acquiescence is that George Bush was president then, and Barack Obama is president now.
Tuesday's Washington Post print edition ran a front-page obituary for Richard Holbrooke which closed by noting that the veteran diplomat told his surgeon "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."
Of course numerous news outlets latched onto that quote. Leftist magazine Mother Jones even made the line their quote of the day late Monday evening as blogger Kevin Drum approvingly added in a December 13 post, "That would be a fitting memorial."
[See screen capture after page break]
But politicizing a dying man's last words has its risks. It turns out Holbrooke's exchange with his doctors taken out of context:
To the sound of the nation's collective yawn, filmmaker Michael Moore announced Tuesday that he had given $20,000 to bail out Wikileaks proprietor Julian Assange from a British jail.
Moore cited his admiration for Assange's quest for openness and transparency in government. But Assange has openly declared that his objective is precisely the opposite - he wants to make the American government so opaque that it cannot function.
Moore went on to laud the lives Assange has supposedly saved by preventing global conflict (well, not really global, since Moore only seems concerned with American misdeeds). But Wikileaks has actually made it more likely, not less, that nations will rely on military might instead of diplomacy.
On Monday's Today show, NBC's Matt Lauer downplayed the criminal factor in the release of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic communiques by WikiLeaks, twice labeling the website as only a "messenger" for the documents. Both Lauer and NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell insisted the State Department "crossed a line" by ordering diplomats to spy on foreign diplomats at the United Nations.
The NBC anchor interviewed Republican Congressman Peter King seven minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour on this latest release of confidential documents by WikiLeaks. Midway through the segment, Lauer raised the espionage issue: "Were you surprised to hear that Secretary of State Clinton and her predecessor, Secretary of State Rice, asked their diplomats to, in effect, spy on diplomats at the United Nations, asking for things like credit card numbers, computer passwords, DNA, fingerprints? This does cross a line, doesn't it?"
While most of the country took a collective gasp over the verdict in the trial of al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ghailani, Cenk Uygur spun the disconcerting outcome as a success story for the Obama administration.
Anchoring the 3:00 P.M. EDT hour of MSNBC's live news coverage today, the liberal host of "The Young Turks" boldly and bizarrely proclaimed "our justice system worked."
After accusing congressional Republicans of being "scared of terrorists," implying that terrorists who want to kill us aren't worth fussing over, Uygur dismissed the notion that acquitting Ghailani on more than 280 charges exposed the shortcomings of trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts.
"So what?" bellowed an incredulous Uygur. "We just gave this guy, who we believe helped to kill 224 people, a fair trial."
Since Republicans won control of the House of Representatives last week, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has recited at the end of his Countdown show a new sign-off each night he has hosted noting the number of days since the GOP victory and mocking Speaker-designate John Boehner by sarcastically asking, "Where are the jobs?" At the end of Wednesday’s Countdown, he ended the show: "That's November 10th, seven days since the Republicans took control of the House. Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs? I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck."
Back in February 2006, Olbermann began mocking President Bush by ending his show with the number of days since Bush’s speech on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq - referred to by Olbermann as declaring "mission accomplished." Last May, after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had lasted more than a month, the MSNBC host temporarily stopped referring to "mission accomplished" in Iraq as he turned his attention to the number of days since the oil spill occurred, but he soon brought back the reference to Iraq and added Afghanistan into the mix. Wednesday, October 20, was the last day Olbermann used this version of the sign off:
That’s October 20th. It’s the 2,729th day since President Bush declared mission accomplished in Iraq, the 2,318th day since he declared victory in Afghanistan, and the 184th day of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf. I’m Keith Olbermann, leave a message after the beep. Good night and good luck.