WashPost's Gearan Hails 'Diplomatic Coup' by Kerry, Even As 'Effectiveness... Remains in Doubt'

Time and again we at NewsBusters have documented how Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan has served as a hagiographer for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former UN ambassador Susan Rice.

So it should come as no surprise that Ms. Gearan pulled the same stunt in today's Post with a gooey tribute -- headlined "On Iran, a diplomatic coup bearing Kerry's hallmark" in the November 25 print edition* -- to Secretary of State John Kerry for his achieving an interim nuclear deal with Iran this weekend in Geneva. Here's a taste from the 19-paragraph page A9 item (emphasis mine):


GENEVA — Secretary of State John F. Kerry was a man in his element in Sunday’s pre-dawn hours, when he announced details of a historic diplomatic agreement with Iran. Nearly all the roles he has played in a long career in public life came into view.

There was the pragmatic deal-cutting senator of nearly three decades — the experience that most defines Kerry’s approach to his new executive-branch job as chief diplomat.

The i-dotting lawyer was there, too, as was a little of the jaded war veteran and the ambitious politician who once sought but fell short of the presidency.

The deal Kerry was instrumental in cutting is a diplomatic coup, even if its effectiveness and durability remain in doubt. It sets new boundaries for Iran’s disputed nuclear program that represent significant compromises and concessions for Iran as well as the international coalition that suspects it of seeking nuclear weapons.

Perhaps more important, the agreement opens a crack in the hostility and suspicion hardened over more than 30 years of American diplomatic estrangement from Iran.

“This has been a difficult and a prolonged process,” Kerry said in announcing terms of the deal, which is opposed by Israel and deeply unpopular among a bipartisan swath of Kerry’s former congressional colleagues.

“It’s been difficult for us, and it’s been difficult for our allies, and it’s obviously been difficult for the government of Iran,” Kerry continued, warning that the agreement is only a six-month, confidence-building interim. The hard work of a permanent deal is still ahead, Kerry said.

The agreement, signed at 3 a.m. Sunday, was the work of many lesser-known diplomats, including Wendy Sherman, the State Department’s undersecretary for political affairs and its representative to the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But Kerry’s admirers and critics both credit his tenacity and his game, give-it-a-shot style.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague praised Kerry’s efforts Sunday, and the two joked about their mutual lack of sleep.

“I particularly want to pay tribute to the work of Secretary Kerry, who has been so determined throughout the negotiations with Iran to make sure that this is a robust deal, that everything that should be covered is covered and that every commitment that we wanted from Iran is as strong as it should be,” Hague said in London. “And he has done that, and I really pay tribute to his persistence and his leadership in doing that.”

Of course, true success in diplomacy is not measured in frequent-flier miles, hours of lost sleep, or reams of paper printed. Fortunately for the Obama/Kerry State Department, those things are good enough metrics for the Washington Post's State Department correspondent.

*the digital edition's headline was, "Kerry plays the closer in Iran deal"

Screen capture of Anne Gearan from her September 4, 2013 appearance on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters