This Fourth of July weekend is turning into an unforseen laff-fest. Yesterday we had NBC featuring a photo of President Obama making what he might have thought was an assertive hand gesture while discussing the situation in Egypt with his aides.
Today treats us to historian Douglas Brinkley, on Morning Joe, claiming that when it comes to foreign policy, President Obama reminds him of, yes, Supreme-Allied-Commander-turned-President Dwight D. Eisenhower. View the chuckle-worthy video after the jump.
Josh Gerstein at the Politico is on the opposite of a roll today. This afternoon (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Gerstein was barely done covering how "U.S. eases away from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi" when the military announced that Morsi had been deposed by the military, ultimately in favor of, according to the Associated Press, a temporary "government of civilian technocrats."
This evening, he's trying to position Obama as a great thinker weighing his options instead of as the guy who has been on the wrong side of freedom and democracy ever since Morsi assumed dictatorial powers in late November of last year, which should be brought up every time someone falsely claims that Morse headed a legitimate, democratically elected government (bolds are mine):
Apparently, one pathetic last-minute speech by Eqypt's Mohammed Morsi was sufficient to convince President Barack Obama, who has spent several days and untold amounts of worldwide capital defending the Muslim Brotherhood leader's staying on the job in the face of what may have been the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in human history.
The Politico frantically tried to run interference for Obama opportunistic change of heart today, running an item which was apparently called "U.S. Eases Away from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi." The item was up so briefly that it was quickly replaced, while the headline just mentioned still remains in the browser window's title bar:
“America will never be destroyed from the outside,” President Abraham Lincoln once argued, explaining, “if we falter and lose our freedoms it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Or rather, according to Hollywood’s latest masterpiece, “White House Down,” America’s suicide will arise from racist right-wing sociopaths, hateful bloggers, NSA hackers, and weapon-manufacturing companies – with ABC News reporting live.
Once again, Hollywood can’t bring itself to acknowledge America’s real enemies – the ones who actually kill American soldiers, diplomats and civilians. Instead, it turns fellow citizens with a differing view into bloody-minded monsters. In Whit House Down,” Columbia Picture’s new film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by James Vanderbilt, pro-military citizens and right-wingers – the destroyers of the peace – are the culprits.
At the Associated Press's Big Story page as of 10:25 a.m. ET (saved here for future reference), conditions relative to stories on Egypt are the same as I observed in the wee hours this morning: "That story (about Sunday's mass protest involving "millions" per several other news outlets) is no longer even present at all at the AP’s 'Big Story' home page."
You have to click on "View More" at the bottom of the "Latest News" section at the AP's "Big Story" page before you'll see a current story. Just to make sure, a browser search within the page on Mohammed Morsi's last name (as AP spells it) found nothing.
The BBC is reporting from Egypt that "Millions of protesters across the country accuse the country's first Islamist president of failing to tackle economic and security problems since taking power a year ago." Reuters is also reporting "millions" of participants.
At the Associated Press as of 11:15 p.m., its "Big Story" home page (saved here for future reference) had three stories on Egypt. Two of them were moldy oldies from before Sunday's protests. The one from Sunday evening was buried at the bottom of the page's "Latest News" section, and didn't even have an accompanying thumbnail (Update, July 1, 1:15 a.m.: The story is no longer even present at all at the AP's "Big Story" home page). The coverage by Hamza Hendawi, Sarah El Deeb and Maggie Michael only recognized "hundreds of thousands" of protesters, but at least seemed to admit that the protesters had gained some leverage by their sheer numbers:
As of 9:15 p.m. (saved here for future reference), the home page at Politico had no story on developments in Egypt, even though story teases on unrelated matters from Thursday and Friday were still present. A browser search on "Egypt" within the home page came back empty. As millions protest in Egypt, some claiming in banners that "Obama Supports Terrorism, the most important story this evening is "5 messaging challenges for Obamacare."
As I noted on Friday, the final sentence in an AP report earlier that day (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on protests in Egypt read: "One banner depicted President Barack Obama and said, 'Obama supports terrorism.'"
I predicted with little risk of being wrong that the existence of this banner would not "survive future AP reports" -- and it hasn't, even though this and similar banners were still present in Tahrir Square on Saturday. A search at the AP's national site on "Obama supports terrorism" (not in quotes) returns nothing. Other establishment press coverage has also failed to reveal the continued presence of anti-American and anti-President Obama sentiments.
In Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I covered how the Bill Barrow at the Associated Press covered the religion-based aspects of former President Jimmy Carter's speech at Carter's Mobilizing Faith for Women conference yesterday in Atlanta. Carter characterized certain religions' failure to allow women to be priests as examples of "oppression," and seemed to consider them as worthy of mention as far more serious and oppressive problems, among them female mutilation, child slavery, forced marriages of young women, and gender-selection abortion.
In this part, I will cover what Bill Barrow had to have heard but did not report. Specifically, he did not mention Carter's series of apologies for U.S. actions over the past 60 years and other supposedly oppressive conditions which still are present in America. The text which follows the jump is transcribed from the video of Carter's speech at the conference's web site.
(UPDATE: "Obama Supports Terrorism" sign obtained at Twitchy.com)
This "Arab Spring" update comes from the Associated Press: "The Obama administration on Friday warned Americans against all but essential travel to Egypt and moved to reduce the official U.S. presence in the country amid fears of widespread unrest." No one could possibly have predicted this type of crisis would be a likely outcome of Hosni Mubarak's overthrow -- ahem, except former U.S. ambassador John Bolton and other people considered ignoramuses by the diplomatic elite.
Conditions on the ground reflect the growing tolerance of a diverse ethnic, religious, and democratically inclined leadership. Uh, actually not at all, as a separate AP report about today's events reveals (excerpts are not intended to describe the entire situation; reviewing the entire report and others from elsewhere will be needed for a fuller understanding):
On the Friday morning edition of Fox and Friends, the panel discussed, among other things, President Obama’s trip to Africa along with the continuing saga of Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks. At one point, they played a clip of the president at the joint news conference in Senegal where the president admitted that he did not personally contact the presidents of China or Russia because "number one, I shouldn't have to. This is something that routinely is dealt with between law enforcement officials and various countries." [Link to the audio]
However, host Steve Doocy and guest host Tucker Carlson were adept in pointing out that Obama has been more than ready to pick up his phone and call a number of people about far more trivial situations, albeit those that served to advance his liberal agenda. For example, President Obama personally called the plaintiffs in the Propostition 8 case to congratulate them after the Supreme Court ruling came out. Additionally, he found the time to call Jason Collins, the gay basketball player as well as the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles after he signed Michael Vick.
Over at Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer has posted what he says is the substance of his entire email exchange with James Brooks of the Associated Press in the wire service's coverage of the UK Home Office's decision to ban Spencer and fellow Stop the Islamization of America leader Pamela Geller, so we can compare what actually transpired to what was published.
Brooks apparently did not contact Geller (or if he did, he didn't report any of it), and gave no indication that he tried. He gave 14 words of his report to his exchange with Spencer in his seventh of 11 paragraphs, and the AP's headline writers chose to call the pair "US anti-Islam activists" (bold is what AP included):
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for President Obama Monday in the wake of Russia and China's handling of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Appearing on Fox News's Special Report, Krauthammer said, "If there's no element of respect or fear - and you saw it in the summit with the head of the United States and head of Russia and China within the last two weeks - they care nothing for what Obama says, and they know that when he makes a threat, it carries no weight behind it."
NBC’s chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd had some tough words for President Obama on Monday’s Morning Joe. Todd, anchor of MSNBC’s Daily Rundown and a frequent critic of Republicans on network’s programming, scolded the president for running a “leaderless Washington,” and for failing to “rally the world” to a “solution in Syria.”
Todd’s critique was in reference to a Saturday op-ed in the New York Times, in which conservative columnist Ross Douthat berated the Obama administration for promoting policies of little importance to most Americans – in lieu of an aggressive jobs agenda.
Over at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin notes that the New York Times finally published a story about woman in Oregon finding a note inside some Halloween decorations which told the tale of China’s system of forced labor prisons.
These facilities—formerly called laogai or “reform through labor” but now simply referred to as prisons to avoid negative connotations—have been in use for decades as a means of crushing beliefs unapproved by the country’s authoritarian regime. But given the vast market and huge amounts of money that the Chinese regime has at its disposal, these prisons are not something that Americans and Europeans hear much about.
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.
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):
If you need any further proof that the Lean Forward network is all in for the Democratic Party, look no further than the weekend program Disrupt. The newly-minted show is hosted by Karen Finney, frequent MSNBC contributor and former Director of Communications for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Finney decided to rewrite history on Sunday, suggesting to guest Heather Hurlburt that NSA surveillance is acceptable under the Obama administration, but was unacceptable under the Bush administration, because fighting a “global war on terror with these unseen foes” is the “new normal.”
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, reporting on President Obama's trip to Europe, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd fretted over the commander-in-chief's declining popularity overseas: "Obama comes to this [G-8] summit...to a much more muted reception than in the past. Once heralded as the anti-George Bush...now he's on the defensive over U.S. policies, including some he's kept in place from the Bush era." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd listed some of the ways in which Obama hasn't been liberal enough for European sensibilities: "The NSA surveillance programs, widely panned on this privacy-conscious continent. The failure to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, his hesitancy to engage in Syria, and a perceived lack of focus on climate change."
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin had some harsh words for Barack Obama Saturday.
Speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., Palin said about growing tensions in Syria, “Until we have a commander-in-chief who knows what he’s doing…let Allah sort it out.”
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]
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):
Another week, another scandal, as we learn of more malfeasance at the State Department when Hillary was at the helm, but while CBS is all over the story today, their rivals at ABC and NBC censored the story. In fact, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today decided to skip the story entirely.
The contents of the documents obtained by CBS outline lurid details of prostitution and sexual assault committed by State Department officials. Additionally, an underground drug ring in Iraq supplied State Department security contractors with narcotics:
Things got feisty on Morning Joe today, as Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian clashed with Mika Brzezinski over the leak of the NSA phone surveillance program by Greenwald's informant, Edward Snowden. H/t NB reader Jeff M.
When Brzezinski alleged that wiretapping or the review by the NSA of emails required an additional judicial review and warrant, Greenwald accused Mika of using "White House talking points" that were "completely misleading and false." Mika denied it. Greenwald upped the animosity by telling Mika she would have known better if she had paid even "remote attention" to the issues over the last ten years. View the video after the jump.
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 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."