Joe Scarborough on Monday continued to spin for Barack Obama, this time defending the President’s war strategy in Afghanistan and placing blame on the American people. Citing a New York Times columnist, the Morning Joe host complained, "And as Frank Rich said, the President's best political ally on Afghanistan is apathy. Americans don't care that their sons and daughters are going off to fight and die for a war that really has no end game."
Co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed. She derided, "Maybe if most Americans actually cared beyond the ones that have to go and serve we would have different outcomes.”
While Scarborough reacted with some criticism, he was empathetic with the President because, “If Barack Obama takes the troops out and does what I'm saying he should do, Republicans will kill him. Every time a poppy is grown in Afghanistan, they will blame Barack Obama. Every time a woman is tortured in Afghanistan, they will blame Barack Obama. Every time anything goes wrong, they will blame Barack Obama."
Lara Logan, CBS’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, took to CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday to accuse Michael Hastings, who was interviewed by Howard Kurtz in the preceding segment, of using subterfuge and Rolling Stone of pushing an agenda in their hit piece on General Stanley McChrystal, both of which unfairly tarnished McCrystal and will lead to more military wariness toward the journalists. Logan castigated Hastings:
The question is, really, is what General McChrystal and his aides are doing so egregious, that they deserved to end a career like McChrystal's? Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has.
As for Hastings’ insistence he didn’t break any “off the record” ground rules, Logan declared: “Something doesn't add up here. I just -- I don't believe it.”
The subterfuge really infuriated Logan: “What I find is the most telling thing about what Michael Hastings said in your interview is that he talked about his manner as pretending to build an illusion of trust and, you know, he's laid out there what his game is. That is exactly the kind of damaging type of attitude that makes it difficult for reporters who are genuine about what they do....Clearly, you've got someone who is making friends with you, pretending to be sympathetic, pretending to be something that they're not...”
You would think that if there were one thing people could agree on, despite their politics, it would be cheering for the United States in a sporting event. But no, not for Jeremy Scahill.
Scahill, a regular contributor for left-wing The Nation magazine, has dedicated the past several years of his life to an obsession over the defense contractor Xe Services LLC, formerly known as Blackwater. But apparently Scahill can't overcome his politics and take pride in his country's World Cup soccer team. In a series of posts on his Twitter account, Scahill vented his frustrations over cheering for the United States in the World Cup:
"The media, for like five seconds, those with thrill up and down their legs, they were a little critical of the Anointed One and what was one of the worst speeches in the Oval Office... but as soon as he fired McChrystal and hired Petraeus, they went nuts," Sean Hannity observed last night at the beginning of his recurring "Media Mash" segment with NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell.
The Fox News host then rolled a montage compiled by Media Research Center (MRC) analyst Kyle Drennen which showed the mainstream media hailing Obama as "brilliant" for the personnel move.
After the montage, Bozell noted that the same media that proclaimed Obama sacking McChrystal as "brilliant" were claiming that the president really had no choice but to fire the Afghanistan commander. "If he had no choice, then it really wasn't really altogether all that brilliant," the MRC president observed.
Bozell and Hannity also discussed the media's double standard in bashing BP CEO Tony Hayward -- who had been relieved of duty for overseeing the cleanup operation -- for yachting over the weekend, while ignoring President Obama's weekend golfing excursion and MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski admitting she was parroting White House talking points to defend the administration's handling of the ongoing crisis.
At the top of Thursday's O'Reilly Factor on FNC, host Bill O'Reilly cited a NewsBusters video montage of various media figures touting President Obama's "brilliant" handling of the General McChrystal controversy: "[Obama] has a very powerful ally, the American media. After the President fired General McChrystal yesterday, NewsBusters.org put together this montage of press reaction." [Audio available here]
O'Reilly played the video as part of his Talking Points Memo opening the show. After it finished, he joked: "So I guess the firing of McChrystal was a brilliant move." He then noted how "...we could have played that montage with another 30 seconds with different reporters echoing the same theme."
Minutes later, O'Reilly asked radio host Laura Ingraham about the media all singing from the same hymnal: "When you hear the mainstream media, brilliant, it was brilliant, it was brilliant, it was brilliant." Ingraham interjected: "It was hilarious." O'Reilly replied: "Isn't it? I mean, how far down in the tank does the American people – the American media have to go, before the people just say enough." Ingraham concluded: "Well, it shows you Bill, how totally out of touch all these media figures – and that montage, I was screaming in the studio here, it was so funny to hear – but it's so out of touch with the way regular people think."
In a classic example of liberal hypocrisy, the far-left leaning, George Soros-funded group MoveOn.org has removed its controversial "General Betray Us" ad from its website.
For those that have forgotten, shortly after General David Petraeus issued his report to Congress in September 2007 concerning the condition of the war in Iraq and the success of that March's troop surge, MoveOn placed a full-page ad in the New York Times with the headline, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"
This created quite a firestorm with media outlets on both sides of the aisle circling the wagons to either defend or berate both the Times and MoveOn.
Now that President Obama has appointed Petraeus to replace the outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal to lead the war effort in Afghanistan, the folks on the far-left that castigated Petraeus when he worked for George W. Bush have to sing a different tune.
With that in mind, the ad, which has been at MoveOn's website for years, was unceremoniously removed on Wednesday as reported by our friends at Weasel Zippers:
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Thursday hyped Barack Obama's handling of the decision to fire General Stanley McChrystal and replace him with David Petraeus, lauding the action as a "political masterstroke."
His comments built on extensive media praise on Wednesday, including many reporters who called the move "brilliant." Stephanopoulos seemed particularly pleased.
The former Democratic aide turned journalist extolled, "...That pick really seems to have been the political masterstroke that got President Obama out of the tight box he was in. It's being welcomed both by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill."
Comedian Jon Stewart Wednesday pointed out an inconvenient truth about this week's General Stanley McChrystal incident: the media "kind of suck" for getting scooped by Rolling Stone magazine.
As "The Daily Show" host addressed the day's events involving the General and President Obama, he showed clips of various press members expressing disgust that Rolling Stone would get such access to McChrystal and staff.
These included CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper as well as MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
After the final clip of CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr asking, "What on earth was he thinking giving an interview to Rolling Stone," Stewart quipped, "At approximately 11:04 Eastern Standard Time, the American news media finally realized they kind of suck" (video follows with more highlights and commentary):
On Wednesday's Today show, NBC's Chuck Todd touted President Obama's "swiftness" in dealing with the controversy surrounding General Stanley McChrystal comments in Rolling Stone magazine as a "commander-in-chief moment," and hinted that it was a blessing in disguise, given the executive's tanking approval ratings.
Todd led the 7 am Eastern hour with his report on the President appointing General David Petraeus to replace General McChrystal, who was relieved of command following the Rolling Stone interview. The NBC White House correspondent remarked that with the Petraeus appointment, "the President signaled to his team, no more firestorms like this one will be tolerated." After playing a clip of Mr. Obama stating that he "won't tolerate division," he continued that "the President's aides don't expect there will be much division in the Senate, either, where some are predicting Petraeus will have the fastest confirmation in history, and the praise is bipartisan."
Later in the report, Todd used his "commander-in-chief moment" term as he emphasized the apparent good timing of the controversy and detailed the public's decreasing confidence in the President, according to NBC's own poll:
Great idea. While we're at it, let's invite al Qaeda to a conference on Israel's future . . .
On Morning Joe today, Zbigniew Brzezinski recommended that the US organize an "international conference" on Afghanistan's future—and invite Iran to participate. The former Carter National Security Advisor didn't say what positive contributions he might expect from a country working in defiance of international sanctions to develop nuclear weapons and which has stated its desire to wipe Israel off the map.
NBC's Today show on Wednesday refreshingly brought on a conservative guest who ripped the Obama administration's management of the war in Afghanistan. Daniel Goure of the Lexington Institute blasted the "dysfunctional organization" at the White House overseeing the war: "It's not a team of rivals. It's a team of nine-year-olds, and something needs to be done about that" [audio available here].
Anchor Matt Lauer brought on Goure and retired General Barry McCaffrey for a panel discussion on the controversy surrounding Rolling Stone's recent article on General Stanley McChrystal, the now-former commander of American forces in Afghanistan. Goure defended McChrystal in a Wednesday column on his organization's website, suggesting that the general shouldn't be fired for his and his staff's criticism of Obama administration officials. Lauer asked to explain his position: "Mr. Goure, you think that firing General McChrystal would be a disaster- is that accurate? Tell me why."
While the media are attempting to grapple with the change in leadership of the Afghanistan war and what that all means, one thing that could be learned from this, which has been ignored, are valid criticisms of President Barack Obama and his ability to command the U.S. military.
Hastings was asked if McChrystal had perhaps gotten the whole strategy wrong, but Hastings explained it was the President that didn't know what he was really getting into.
"I think that ship had sailed last year," Hastings said. "I think once the decision was made to do a counterinsurgency strategy, they had a pretty clear idea in mind what they wanted to do and I think this is quite interesting. I think this is one of the issues Obama didn't really understand what counter-insurgency meant and when the military said they wanted to do a counterinsurgency strategy that that actually meant 150,000 troops. Obama thought he could get away with just sending 21,000 over and getting a new general."
President Obama's decision to relieve General Stanley McChrystal of command in Afghanistan and replace him with General David Petraeus was met with a chorus of praise in the media, as anchors and pundits on CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC all sang in unison that it was a "brilliant" move. [Audio available here]
During live special coverage leading up to the announcement in the 1PM ET hour on CBS, White House correspondent Chip Reid proclaimed: "it sounds like a pretty brilliant decision really." At the same time on NBC, correspondent Jim Miklaszewski described it as a "stunning development" and added "at a quick glance, almost brilliant." Minutes later, White House correspondent Chuck Todd declared: "politically, in this town, it's going to be seen as a brilliant choice by the President."
Over on CNN, moments after Obama finished speaking, anchor Wolf Blitzer remarked that it was a "major moment for this president" and later observed: "a very brilliant move to tap General Petraeus." Finally, in the 2PM ET hour on MSNBC, Meet the Press host David Gregory concluded: "I think he took swift and decisive action. I think that's how it's going to be read."
If the bloggers at Daily Kos can imply that Keith Olbermann isn't pro-Obama enough for them, you can only imagine what they think of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The Kosmonaut known simply as "Overlander" relayed that the general has written short stories with plots about presidential assassination, so clearly it's a "fantasy" of his:
I hope the Secret Service strip searches this monstrous thug before his meeting with Obama in the White House Wednesday. For the humiliation, mainly. But you can't be too careful with this devil.
Hastings' article reveals that sometimes, America's military is not made up of our best and brightest, but of our sickest and most pathological criminals. Half frat boy, half eighth-grader, half murderer and all evil, McChrystal is a sad remnant of Donald Rumsfeld's dysfunctional Pentagon who should have been kicked out of the military in West Point rather than be allowed to slouch his way through a brutal career and find his way into the White House.
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday claimed that for what General Stanley McChrystal allegedly said about the White House, he legally, morally, ethically, professionally ought to be canned.
Discussing the issue with colleagues Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie on "The Daily Rundown," Mitchell claimed McChrystal's alleged statement "crosses the line of insubordination, and it crosses the line of the military code of justice."
She later made a comment one can't possibly imagine such a liberal media member making when George W. Bush was in the White House, "There is a reason why the military code of justice says you don't diss the Commander in Chief" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, h/t HotAirPundit):
During Tuesday’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough called for the firing of General Stanley McChrystal. He boldly exclaimed that this discharge should not come from the Commander-in-Chief because “Democrats have to treat generals differently from Republicans.”
He goes even further and states, “Were this a Republican, were it George W. Bush, McChrystal would have been fired yesterday,” and “the press would have understood it.” Of course, because during the last administration, the media was noted for giving former President George W. Bush the benefit of the doubt, especially with military decisions.
Interestingly enough, a flashback to January 31, 2006, tells a different tale.
Contessa Brewer got a lot more than she was likely looking for when she interviewed Col. Jack Jacobs [ret.] this afternoon about the McChrystal situation. The MSNBC host wanted to focus on the impropriety of McChrystal publicly airing his criticisms of Pres. Obama and others in the chain of command.
But while the Medal of Honor recipient readily agreed that McChrystal was out of line, and would probably pay with his job, Jacobs also went out of his way—twice—to add an inconvenient truth: that when it comes to the substance of the criticism, most in the military think McChrystal "was right."
Huffington Post writer and author of poetry and fiction, Anis Shivani, demonstrated what we have seen in bits and pieces throughout the liberal MSM, though it is rarely seen in such dramatic and sweeping fashion. Shivani harnessed all of the rational thought he could muster, gathered a bevy of intelligent rhetoric, armed himself with a cache of well-reasoned arguments and... quickly dispensed with them prior to writing his recent column.
The gist of the piece? Every major catastrophe to hit America can be traced to one singular event - George Bush and the 2000 Presidential election results.
Shivani starts off by listing examples of American catastrophes - 9/11, Enron, Katrina, Wall Street, the BP spill.
He then explains (emphasis mine throughout):
"It all began with the Florida election theft in 2000 (all of the now-familiar excuses were first used in full force, in total conjugation, for this first disaster). It gave a signal to everyone managing and regulating and overseeing any kind of operation, public or private, that henceforth it was the day of the jackals, that accountability and honesty and certitude were out the door."
For good measure - and in tune with his liberal colleagues - the BP oil spill is singled out as being directly Bush's fault:
The last two presidents have been elected on the very dubious campaign promise of “changing the tone” of Washington. Either could have proven his sincerity by shredding the press credentials of the White House press corps Dean of Mean, Helen Thomas. Her tone was nasty, and her “questions” usually meant more as insults than as requests for information. Still, presidents and journalists alike bowed and scraped before her, as if she were the Queen of All Media.
Her reign ended with an implosion. A rabbi and two high-school kids in yarmulkes exposed Thomas as not merely anti-Israel, but anti-Semitic. Asked her opinion about the Jews at a Jewish heritage event at the White House, this daughter of Lebanese immigrants said they should “get the hell out of Palestine,” and when asked where they should go, she snapped “home” to Germany and Poland, where so many were massacred in the Holocaust.
Thomas apologized quickly, then retired from her Hearst column after these remarks. Whether it was voluntary or mandatory is unclear. What is clear, however, is that some in the press returned immediately to kissing her ring. “Few White House correspondents ever achieved her high profile and respectability,” raved Jeremy Peters in the New York Times. “From her coveted seat in the front row of the White House briefing room to her ability to cow even the most hardened White House press secretary, Ms. Thomas was a legend in Washington.”
Appearing on Monday’s The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to promote his book, "The Promise," MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter – also of Newsweek – asserted that President Barack Obama had "prevented another Great Depression," and declared that Obama had it more difficult than Franklin Delano Roosevelt because he had to "sweep up" like a "shovel brigade" after President Bush, as he used a word that had to be bleeped out for airing. Alter: "He proceeded to make history almost right away, not only because he was the first African-American elected President ... we were all living history. This man prevented another Great Depression."
He soon added: "At the beginning, FDR only had to deal with domestic problems. Obama was left to run what you could call a shovel brigade, you know, the guys who sweep up after the elephants when the elephants leave their s- (BLEEP) all over the circus, right? ... Roosevelt didn't have to deal with foreign policy when he became President. Obama had to deal with a whole nother mess, one of Bush's messes, in Afghanistan."
In the May/June issue of “Cato Policy Report,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough lamented conservative foreign policy as overly dogmatic and ideological and questioned whether winning the war in Afghanistan is in America’s national security interest.
“Dogma and rigid ideologies are the enemies of conservative foreign policy,” lectured Scarborough. “Those who are still arguing in 2010 that we can somehow export democracy across the globe and rebuild other countries on the other side of the world in our image–these are the people that we have to call out today, tomorrow, and everyday, as the dangerous radicals that they are.”
With a broad stroke, Scarborough--who was the keynote speaker at the libertarian Cato Institute’s “Escalate or Withdraw? Conservatives and the War in Afghanistan” event in March--labeled all conservatives who support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as radical. But in the same address, the MSNBC anchor made the radical pronouncement that the war in Afghanistan is not a vital national security interest.
“And I would like Barack Obama, I would like Harry Reid, I would like Nancy Pelosi, I’d like John Boehner, I’d like Mitch McConnell,” rambled Scarborough. “I’d like Republicans and Democrats alike to tell me at this point in 2010 what is ‘vital to US national interests’ in Afghanistan?”
Leave it to the liberals at Newsweek to find a way to whine when another terrorist gets his just deserts.
"Does Killing Terrorists Actually Prevent Terrorism?" Ben Adler's June 1 The Gaggle blog headline asked. With the death of al Qaeda's #3 leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid aka Sheik Saeed al-Masri, "[t]he U.S. has killed another terrorist, but there are more terrorist plots than ever," lamented the subheadline.
Adler went on to suggest that it may be time to start negotiating with al Qaeda and/or the Taliban rather than simply attempting to eradicate them:
Helen Thomas was her typical, Israel-hating self Tuesday when during the White House press briefing, she called the previous day's flotilla incident a "deliberate massacre, an international crime."
When she got her chance to ask White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs a question at the proceeding, Thomas was relentless in her accusations.
"If any other nation in the world had done it, we would have been up in arms," she said.
"What is the sacrosanct, iron-clad relationship where a country that deliberately kills people and boycotts -- and we aid and abet the boycott?" (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Hot Air's Allahpundit):
ABC's Jake Tapper reported Tuesday that the Obama administration is going to support Israel in the wake of international outrage over the flotilla incident off the coast of Gaza Monday morning.
If Tapper is correct, one has to wonder whether the typically pro-Palestinian media here in America will stand with the President on this one.
Such seems especially intriguing given Obama's plummeting approval ratings and his increasingly frosty relations with press members that helped him get elected two years ago but now feel he's snubbing them at every turn.
Here's what Tapper wrote hours ago at ABC's Political Punch blog (h/t Hot Air's Ed Morrissey):
According to the geniuses at ABC News, the flotilla incident between Israel and pro-Hamas activists Monday endangers American troops stationed in the Middle East.
At the conclusion of what had been a relatively well-balanced "World News" report concerning what happened off of the coast of Gaza early Monday morning, ABC's Jim Sciutto apprised viewers of the angry reaction to the event by Muslims in the region.
"While the facts remain in dispute, demonstrations extended across the Muslim world to Muslim communities in Europe," began Sciutto.
"A public outpouring like this one poses a danger for America's relations with the Muslim world as well," he continued.
"The popular perception of America has real consequences for American soldiers undermining already weak support for U.S. military action in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
President Obama didn't call on CNN, but he decided to provide Helen Thomas with the privilege of being one of ten members of the White House press corps allowed to pose a question at this afternoon's presidential news conference.
She came through with one of her usual crackpot rants – with the inevitable dose of gratuitous Bush-bashing mixed in [MP3 audio available here]:
When are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are we continuing to kill and die there? What is the real excuse and don't give us this Bushism “if we don't go there they'll all come here.”
On Wednesday's Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan didn't see any point to continuing the war in Afghanistan and slammed military air strikes against terrorist targets as: "kids with joysticks in New Jersey and Las Vegas dropping predator bombs on civilians willy-nilly." [Audio available here]
Ratigan began a panel discussion on Afghanistan with Democratic strategist David Goodfriend and Republican strategist Brent Littlefield by wondering: "Is there anybody in this administration on either side that can actually justify the American presence in Afghanistan at this point?" Littlefield attempted to explain: "we had the previous president, took the country in there because of the attacks on 9/11." Ratigan was dismissive: "That was almost ten years ago, right? I mean that was a long time ago."
Ratigan moved on to Goodfriend and referenced NBC correspondent Richard Engel's appearance on the show on Tuesday: "He is making the point that the Bush doctrine of fight them there and they won't get us here appears to be continuing to break down as we now default to just predator drone-them-to-death wherever they may be on remote control and an apparent, sort of, nonevent in Afghanistan. It's like a charade." Of course the reliance on predator drone attacks was significantly increased under the Obama administration.
Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton had one of the best lines on Friday's "Real Time" when after he got some scattered applause from the typically liberal audience in attendance, he said to Bill Maher, "You let Republicans in."
As the subject turned to America's military operations abroad, the HBO host told his guest, "You can't really believe that radical Muslim terrorists...need Afghanistan to launch an attack on us."
"I think there are plenty of alternative places," replied Bolton. "And I would say the bigger strategic interest going forward is keeping those nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists."
This produced some scattered applause from the crowd leading Bolton to marvelously say, "You let Republicans in" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."