Rumsfeld's Out; Media Losing a Favorite Punching Bag
But reporters have been distressed by Rumsfeld since before the war in Iraq. A few examples of the liberal media’s anti-Rumsfeld attitude:
Upset by Talk of Old Europe. “Secretary Rumsfeld...has dismissively referred to France and Germany as ‘Old Europe,’ and today, Secretary Powell, who warned France not to be ‘afraid’ of its responsibilities. Is that the rhetoric of a great power, and is that really the most effective way of building alliances?”
“Is it possible that the attitude which emanates not from the press, but from the administration, of ‘you’re with us or you’re against us,’ kind of dismissive superiority to some of the oldest American allies, is contributing to the problems in forging a common front against Iraq?” — ABC White House correspondent Terry Moran’s questions to Ari Fleischer at the February 19, 2003 White House briefing shown live on the cable networks.
A Neo-Nazi Character. Fred Francis: “In the Arab street and much of the world, outrage has produced a consensus: Rumsfeld must go. In Egypt, Marabat Molson [ph.], considered a moderate journalist, says Arabs reject the Rumsfeld apology that still seemed more arrogant than contrite.”
Marabat Molson: “He is reminding me of a sort of neo-Nazi character who’s coming back to life and anything which is not American is wrong.”
Francis: “In Cairo, anti-U.S. sentiment is so strong many here see no difference here between the actions of Saddam Hussein and George Bush....One Arab businessman [said], ‘That is not Jeffersonian democracy. It’s more like a lesson from Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf.’” — Story on the May 10, 2004 NBC Nightly News.
Bush's Biggest Incompetent. “What he [President Bush] is doing is shutting down any kind of dissent, any kind of opposing views. I mean, Condi Rice will go and do what she does best which is to parrot the administration line....Incompetence is so rewarded. I mean, Condi Rice didn’t see terrorism coming, she went out and really lied about what she knew....[But] Colin Powell is out and Donald Rumsfeld, who to me is the biggest incompetent in this administration the way he’s handled this war, gets to keep his job. This administration doesn’t admit mistakes and rewards incompetence.” — Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, Nov. 20, 2004 McLaughlin Group.
Time for Him to Go. “It’s clear that there were some miscalculations going into this war, General....Clearly the way we would be greeted hasn’t turned out to be the reality....So when it comes again to military commanders and troops, do you feel that they may be frustrated knowing that back home in Washington no one’s lost their job over this?”
“And, again, these military people live by a code, among other things, of accountability, so do you think they want someone like Secretary [of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld or someone else to be held accountable?”
“You’ve heard the drumbeat for awhile now and it seems to be intensifying again surrounding Secretary Rumsfeld. You think he’s gonna hold on to his job?” — Co-host Matt Lauer’s questions to retired General Barry McCaffrey on NBC’s Today, December 7, 2005.
A Quack and a Fascist. “The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet....The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms....And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a ‘new type of fascism.’ As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that — though probably not in the way he thought he meant it. This country faces a new type of fascism — indeed.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann in part of a six-minute commentary on Countdown, August 30, 2006. Rumsfeld urged people respond to journalists who have created “myths and distortions” about the troops and asserted “America’s not what’s wrong with the world.”
Get Rid of the War Criminal. “‘The time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard, bruising truth. Donald Rumsfeld must go.’ That is a quote from an editorial in this week’s ‘Military Times’ newspapers. The independent publications owned by Gannett, include ‘The Army Times,’ ‘The Navy Times,’ ‘Air Force Times,’ and ‘Marine Corps Times.’ The piece goes on to say, quote, ‘Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the Secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.’ They didn’t even mention that he’s also an obnoxious jerk and a war criminal.” — CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, November 6, 2006.