Appearing on NBC's Late Night on Tuesday – aired early Wednesday morning – New Yorker editor and former Washington Post Moscow correspondent David Remnick defended Barack Obama's poor handling of the Ukrainian crisis by bashing George W. Bush: "I think President Obama was elected not to get into more wars....his predecessor, President Bush, foolishly, at the very best, got into a war in Iraq that was a disaster." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Remnick continued: "And by the way, it gives [Russian President Vladimir] Putin some justification [to invade Ukraine]. He says, 'Don't lecture me. Don't lecture me about invasion,' and so on. No matter how justified or not that may be, that's a point he goes out and makes in front of his own people."
Appearing on NBC's Today on Monday, New Yorker magazine editor and former Washington Post Moscow correspondent David Remnick fretted that the United States lacked the moral authority to oppose Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "The United States also does not have the leverage it wants in historical terms. Invading countries is something the United States knows about from really raw experience. And Russia knows that and asserts that day in and day out on Russian television all the time. That's a cost, too." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments earlier, co-host Savannah Guthrie excused the Obama administration's poor handling of the situation: "So what is the White House supposed to do? I mean, on Friday we see the President coming out saying to Putin, 'There will be high costs if you invade.' The very next day, he invades. What leverage do we have?" Remnick replied: "Economic leverage, diplomatic leverage, but I don't think in any way the United States or Europe has any interest in making this military, making it a military clash between the United States and Russia, because we know how horrible and bloody that could get."
(Update: a video initially included in this post was blocked immediately by the International Olympic Committee on "copyright grounds." An audio clip has been added.)
Gee, where would anyone ever get the impression that high-profile liberals working in American media have a deathless soft spot for Soviet Russia?
True, one does come away with that impression in only a specific, narrow circumstance -- whenever a liberal opens his or her mouth about the Soviet Union. Aside from that, hardly at all. (Audio after the jump)
David Remnick of The New Yorker showed up on PBS’s Charlie Rose Monday night to discuss his long, mostly sympathetic profile of Barack Obama from the January 27 issue of the magazine. Near the end of the interview, Rose focused in on the president’s reported desire to be “big.” The host wondered, “[W]hat's his definition of 'big,' and does he believe in his deep recesses of his own mind that the chance of that has slipped away?”
Remnick replied that no, Obama does not think his chance of being “big” has slipped away. The editor then rattled off a laundry list of Obama achievements that might be considered hallmarks of a “big” – meaning “great” – president. Among them were these two gems: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Much will be written, and should be, about President Barack Obama's whining that racism partially explains the year-long plunge in his popularity since his reelection in 2012. What's also worth noting about the ponderous and painfully long (18 web pages) January 27 writeup in The New Yorker ("Going the Distance; On and off the road with Barack Obama") is David Remnick's apparent obsessions with rewriting history and recasting reality.
But first, here's the paragraph where Obama, apparently feeling that the "it's Bush's fault I inherited all these messes" card may finally have worn itself out, goes for the race card (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Lisa de Moraes of Deadline.com reports NBC has found that somehow, Bob Costas just isn’t enough of a liberal blowhard for its Winter Olympics coverage in Sochi, Russia.
“The network announced this morning it has hired New Yorker editor (and former Washington Post Moscow bureau chief) David Remnick to provide guest commentary on the network’s air during its coverage of the Games,” which basically combines all the expected liberal Obama-loving attitude with someone who lived and reported in Moscow as the Soviet Union collapsed:
Is the IRS scandal just not that big a deal in New York City? Perhaps for out-of-touch journos like liberal Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and The New Yorker editor David Remnick, who downplayed the controversy on Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS.
Kristof predictably spun the scandals into a "so what?" narrative for the White House: "I think it's true that the White House has often been tone-deaf, but every second term has scandals." Meanwhile, Remnick called the IRS scandal the doing of "very low level" employees without acknowledging that higher-ups in Washington could have orchestrated it.
On Monday's Charlie Rose show David Remnick exploited the Boston Marathon bombing to push for more gun control as he told the PBS host: "We see yet another act which might have been a Hell of a lot more difficult to pull off with effective gun control."
In a discussion about the Tsarnaevs terrorist plot the editor of The New Yorker and former Washington Post reporter pondered where they got their "pistols from?" and said that while he didn't "want to politicize" the tragedy proceeded to do just that, as he complained: "Within a week's time a very, very, very weak gun control bill gets defeated." (video after the jump)
Some serious fur flew on the Morning Joe set today, as Joe Scarborough clashed with David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. Setting Scarborough off was the magazine's endorsement of Barack Obama that lauded the president for relieving the "national shame inflicted by the Bush administration."
Scarborough saracastically asked Remnick "who got paid the bonus for being able to squeeze in, quote, 'the shame of the Bush years?'" Scarborough went on to scald Remnick for the left's hypocrisy in giving President Obama a pass for pursuing many of the same policies that it had accused Bush-Cheney of undermining the Constitution for establishing. Remnick feigned ignorance of what Scarborough meant by "the left," and accused Joe of having "within two seconds, leapt down my throat" about the endorsement. View the video after the jump.
For Obama speech analysis, CBS This Morning on Friday brought on New Yorker editor David Remnick (who also worked for ten years as an "objective" reporter at The Washington Post). Remnick said the speech was not "number one in his hit parade," he disdained the idea of expecting it to be like the NBA slam-dunk contest.
Remnick insisted on trashing the Republicans, and said that overall, the Democrats accomplished that mission: " the convention highlighted and exposed what the Republican party has become, which is a radical conservative party that demographically and ideologically is increasingly out of touch." He also praised John Kerry's speech as "astonishingly good on foreign policy and on the vacuousness of what Republican orthodoxy has become." CBS anchor Charlie Rose just played along:
You can count on the Daily Kos to be embarrassed by how America's Republican presidential contenders have ruined the country's image in the eyes of socialist Europeans -- to be specific, the hard-left German magazine Der Spiegel and its latest diatribe against Republicans, tenderly headlined "A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses."
The blogger "Downeastdem" cannot believe these GOP leaders dare present themselves on the debate stage: "It's horrifying because these eight so-called, would-be candidates are eagerly ruining not only their own reputations and that of their party, the party of Lincoln lore. Worse: They're ruining the reputation of the United States."
By all accounts, President Obama has been far more hawkish than anyone anywhere in the world could have possibly imagined.
Despite this, "New Yorker" magazine editor David Remnick told the crew at MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday that the current Administration is responsible for the lack of anti-American displays in Arab Spring uprisings (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Washington Post on Friday took on Seymour Hersh's outlandish conspiracy theory that "neo-conservative" members of Opus Dei and the Knights of Malta inside the military "overthrew the American government" and are waging a "crusade" against Muslims. The newspaper reported that, contrary to Hersh's claims, General Stanley McChrystal was not a member of either organization, and that there was "little evidence of a broad fundamentalist conspiracy within the military."
Writer Paul Farhi began his article, "Hersh rebuked on 'crusaders,'" by stating that the journalist for The New Yorker's "latest revelation is drawing some puzzled reactions and angry denunciations." After recounting Hersh's accusations from his recent speech, that he "advanced the notion that U.S. military forces are directed and dominated by Christian fundamentalist 'crusaders' bent on changing 'mosques into cathedrals'" and his accusations against McChrystal and other members of the special operations community, Farhi continued that there "seem to be a few problems with Hersh's assertions," and quoted from the former general's spokesman:
It's one thing for a so-called journalist to claim media members in 2008 were all taken with the historical notion of electing the country's first black President, but it's quite another to say they were right in doing so.
Despite the seeming absurdity, this is exactly what the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the New Yorker magazine told the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz Sunday.
During the "Reliable Sources" interview of David Remnick, Kurtz noted that in his new biography about Barack Obama, Remnick wrote, "[D]uring the campaign...Obama received generally adoring press coverage."
After giving a few examples, Kurtz asked, "What came over the press in 2007 and 2008 when it came to Barack Obama?"
Readers are likely to find some of Remnick's answer quite disturbing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Friday follies. Before the weekend ends, two quotes from journalists worth noting made on Friday night shows:
♦ On MSNBC’s Hardball, NBC’s Chuck Todd forwarded the notion that if Florida Governor Charlie Crist drops out of the Republican primary -- where polls put him way behind conservative Marco Rubio -- and wins the Senate seat as an independent, “he becomes the most powerful Senator in the United States Senate” and “he becomes, probably, the viable third party candidate in the middle in the country” for President in 2012.
♦ A few hours later on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, David Remnick, author of the new book, ‘The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama,' outed the real liberal agenda behind ObamaCare as he predicted that instead of being an “albatross” that will hurt Democrats at the ballot box in November, all those new beneficiaries will be grateful and vote Democratic:
When you add 30 million people to the rolls of getting health care, access to health care, seems to me a huge gain and the potential widening of the base for the Democratic Party among a lot of people who might not necessarily vote before. So, I don't think you're going to see a repeat of 1994 come this fall.
Of course, few of those 30 million will have any better access to health care by this November than they had before the bill passed.
Unsurprisingly, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham bowed deeply to New Yorker editor David Remnick and his new book on their agreed-upon hero, Barack Obama: "envy gives way to admiration" of Remnick’s skills, he wrote in his "Top of the Week" commentary in the magazine. Meacham hyped the notion that when asked about the "racial component of the opposition," Obama told Remnick "I tend to be fairly forgiving about the anxiety that people feel about change."
Neither Obama or the journalists who adore him seem to grasp that conservatives aren’t anxious about "change" – they’re anxious about crushing debt, and America’s lunge toward European-style socialism. Meacham found Obama’s words to Remnick admirable, where most conservatives would find them patronizing, about our slowness to recognize the greatness of the "evolution" unfolding:
Does NPR love Barack Obama? Look at how they reviewed an Obama book Tuesday night on All Things Considered:
In many ways, David Remnick's new book, "The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama," is very much like its subject: even-handed, eloquent, beautifully packaged.
The reviewer was Susan Jane Gilman, author of a book called Undress Me In the Temple of Heaven. She liked the Remnick book, but felt that much of it was already familiar and too recent to feel like history. She ended with this:
Appearing on the Charlie Rose show on PBS Monday, New Yorker editor (and former Washington Post reporter) David Remnick tried to argue his way out of his new book’s reporting on the phoniness of Barack Obama. Remnick suggested Obama has been a "translator" between races and cultures.
Rose asked him to discuss Reverend Wright. By dumping him, the most significant message Remnick came away with was "He wanted to win," so dumping Wright was essential, and inescapable. But Remnick still tried to claim that "there’s a lot of positive qualities in Jeremiah Wright, and it’s foolish to look past them. He was a social activist. He was utterly committed to his community, a church community that grew."
The "translator" talk occurred as Remnick also tried to revise and extend his remarks on Meet the Press that Obama didn’t have the talents of Ronald Reagan:
NBC News is certainly enthralled with David Remnick’s new book, ‘The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.’ After giving him a guest slot on Meet the Press and an interview on Monday’s Today show, NBC Nightly News on Monday showcased Remnick in an “In His Own Words” segment to expound on his admiration for Obama’s racial identity journey, starting with how Obama follows in the tradition of Annie Oakley:
There are a lot of American characters no matter what the field who make themselves, who create themselves out of what’s in the cultural air. It’s an American thing, whether it’s Mohammad Ali or Walt Whitman or Annie Oakley. And Barack Obama is somebody who grew up in Honolulu and had to learn how to be African-American in the absence of African-Americans. Racial identity is a drama that Obama had to undergo long after he had become comfortable with his own identity.
Remnick, a former Washington Post reporter who is now Editor of The New Yorker magazine, recalled that after Obama delivered “an electrifying speech” at the 2004 Democratic convention, “that makes him a national figure, maybe a world figure,” at the airport he’s “racially profiled.” When that upset his campaign manager, a delighted Remnick recounted how “Obama says, ‘dude,’ he really said it, ‘dude, don't worry about it. Don't sweat it. I’ve gone through this all my life.’”
How phony is Barack Obama? PBS Washington Week host Gwen Ifill reviewed New Yorker editor David Remnick's new Obama book The Bridge in the Washington Post Outlook section Sunday, and she kept finding Obama is a Slick Barry, a "shape shifter." Obama even admitted to rhetoric what should be obvious -- how he changes "dialects" depending on the audience he's talking to:
Obama cops to this. "The fact that I conjugate my verbs and speak in a typical Midwestern newscaster's voice -- there's no doubt that this helps ease communication between myself and white audiences," he tells Remnick.
"And there's no doubt that when I'm with a black audience I slip into a slightly different dialect. But the point is, I don't feel the need to speak a certain way in front of a black audience. There's a level of self-consciousness about these issues the previous generation had to negotiate that I don't feel I have to."
At age 50, Bill Ayers called himself a "radical" and a "communist." As recently as 2001, Ayers had himself photographed for a magazine story trampling an American flag. But that's not good enough for the Associated Press. In an article today, AP describes Ayers as a "former radical."
AP's de-radicalization of Ayers appeared in an article about a forthcoming biography of Barack Obama, entitled The Bridge, by New Yorker editor David Remnick. Here's the line [emphasis added]:
On Tuesday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, on the same show in which host Joe Scarborough had earlier complained about FNC’s Bill Sammon claiming that the media "hate" Sarah Palin, guest David Remnick of the New Yorker magazine -- formerly of the Washington Post-- declared that "Sarah Palin’s entire career would be eliminated" if Americans were influenced by seeing "preposterousness" on public display. Remnick’s comment came during a discussion of the Senate’s adherence to the filibuster rule that makes it easier for the minority party to block the passage of legislation. At about 8:09 a.m., Scarborough contended that he would prefer that filibuster participants be required to actually stand up and speak in televised debate so that Americans might see the "preposterousness" of the practice.
Remnick then took his shot at Palin to dismiss Scarborough’s theory that "preposterousness" could wake up the American public. Remnick: "We see a lot of preposterous things in American politics. That doesn’t seem to convince us otherwise. Sarah Palin’s entire career would be eliminated, would pass out of history if preposterousness were somehow disqualifying, but it’s not."
Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Tuesday, February 9, Morning Joe on MSNBC: