On Friday morning, the major broadcast networks were out in full force to defend President Obama after his remarks at a press conference Thursday afternoon in which he said that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in how to militarily address the Islamic terrorist group ISIS in Syria.
Leading the way was NBC’s Today, where co-host Matt Lauer told NBC News political director and moderator of Meet the Press Chuck Todd that “[c]ritics pounced” when Obama made that remark and wondered if they took “his words too literally.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Even the New York Times has directed criticism at President Obama for being hopelessly out of touch. Following his announcement of American journalist James Foley’s brutal death at the hands of ISIS, the President immediately headed out to the links for a quick round of golf, a move panned in an often bipartisan fashion. Liberal Times columnist Maureen Dowd mocked the President in a piece that played off Abraham Lincoln’s legendary Gettysburg Address.
Headlined “The Golf Address,” Dowd justifiably ripped President Obama for his response to that horrific tragedy: “FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate.” [See excerpts below.]
Is the beheading of an American journalist – along with the genocide of Christians and other religious minorities – enough to label the Islamist terror group ISIS as the consummation of evil? According to CNN.com, the answer is really quite complicated.
In fact, James Dawes, director of the program in Human Rights at Macalester College, argued in a piece for CNN’s online arm that “there are few things more dangerous now than allowing ourselves to think” that ISIS does “evil things for evil ends,”as NRO’s Jonah Goldberg phrased it in a tweet earlier this week. Dawes’s assertion is that Americans need to “do the hard work of understanding the context that made them, so that we can create a context that unmakes them.” He added that“understanding” will “help us see the world through their eyes.” [See Goldberg's tweet and excerpts from the piece after the jump.]
At MSNBC, many are rallying behind Barack Obama’s foreign policy, despite his seemingly aimless goals. On the August 12 edition of The Last Word, host Lawrence O'Donnell mentioned Hillary Clinton's comments about the President's foreign policy, in which she claimed that ‘don't do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle. O’Donnell couldn’t help but defend Mr. Obama, even if it meant attacking the likely 2016 presidential nominee for the Democrats.
After citing a quote from a Clinton spokesman designed at easing the tension between the former Secretary of State and the President, O’Donnell claimed: “Don't do stupid stuff, if it was the organizing principle of American international relations, would be the single best organizing principle we have ever had. We would finally stop doing stupid stuff.” [MP3 audio here; video below]
Are the folks at CNN abandoning President Obama’s foreign policy? Well, yes, but only to throw praise upon former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead of a likely 2016 presidential run. On the August 11 edition of New Day, a panel discussed President Obama’s airstrikes in northern Iraq and Mrs. Clinton’s comments about his often disjointed foreign policy.
Reacting to Hillary telling The Atlantic that “don’t do stupid stuff” does not represent coherent foreign policy, host Kate Bolduan seemed to support Clinton, doubting it was enough. CNN contributor and Daily Beast editor John Avlon agreed with the New Day host, saying it was “not an organizing principle,” and praised Clinton for differentiating herself from the President on issues of foreign policy. He argued, in fact, that Hillary was the kind of Democrat neo-conservatives could support: [MP3 audio here; video below]
Continuous fear-mongering from the left about the supposed cataclysmic dangers of global warming has always been present, but Slate’s Eric Holthaus has taken things to a whole different level. As Iraq and Syria devolve into chaos, the left-wing publication has blamed climate change for the rise of the al-Qaeda offshoot ISIS.
While the purpose of ISIS – imposing Sharia law on captured territory, ethnically cleansing Shia Muslims, and persecuting other religious groups like Christians – is evident to most of the world community, Slate makes the claim that the radical Sunni group was somehow spurred on by recent drought in the region: