Taking journalistic hypocrisy to ever-headier heights, Politico's Todd Purdum spent hundreds of words Wednesday evening bemoaning the potential impact of an incident which both sides involved say never happened, and acted as if incivility only comes out of the mouths of conservatives and Republicans.
Earlier Wednesday, the website's Tal Kopan relayed news that Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin "said in a Facebook post that a House Republican leader told off President Barack Obama during a negotiation meeting, and that GOP leaders are so disrespectful it’s practically impossible to have a conversation with them." The supposed statement to Obama by a GOP leader, which both White House spokesman Jay Carney and House Speaker John Boehner say never was made, and which Durbin could not have observed or heard because he wasn't there, was: "I cannot even stand to look at you." Durbin, it must be recalled, ultimately was forced to apologize for comparing U.S. troops at Guantanamo Bay to "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings," in 2005.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, right-leaning FNC political analyst Charles Krauthammer recounted that the initial State Department reports on the Benghazi attack identified it as an attack by the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia, and theorized that the Obama administration must have covered up the initial reports of it being a terrorist attack for political reasons during the election campaign.
He also underscored the significance of State Department official Gregory Hicks apparently being demoted after criticizing the administration's story about the attack. Host Bill O'Reilly brought up Hicks:
Brent Bozell mentions in his new column that Time offered a cover story package complete with four pages of Joe Klein hosannas and ten pages of fanzine photos for Barack Obama’s first 100 days, while George W. Bush drew next to nothing. There was only a story on Bush guru Karl Rove and how he won with "the least experienced presidential nominee of modern times." (That’s no longer true, but you wouldn’t see that phrase laid on Obama.)
The April 30, 2001 article focused on Rove’s desperate attempt to clean up "W.’s anti-environment image." John Dickerson and James Carney (now Vice President Biden’s press secretary) began with accusations:
Bush abandoned a campaign pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, rejected the Kyoto global-warming treaty, suspended new arsenic standards for drinking water – and began to look suspiciously like the eco-villain Al Gore warned us about.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is "prickly" with the press, particularly Time magazine, reporters for the publication insist on the heels of a recent interview. Yet reporters for the same publication had a decidedly less confrontational chat last week with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), although they did question if he was tough enough to topple McCain in November.
In the August 28 item, "McCain's Prickly TIME Interview," Time editors prefaced the transcript of James Carney and Michael Scherer's interview by lamenting McCain's less frequent engagement of the press as compared to his 2000 Republican primary run. They then insisted that McCain "quickly soured" and refused to "stray off message" during a Time interview:
McCain at first seemed happy enough to do the interview. But his mood quickly soured. The McCain on display in the 24-minute interview was prickly, at times abrasive, and determined not to stray off message.
By contrast, Time editors didn't add prefatory commentary to a relative soft August 20 interview, "Obama on His Veep Thinking" by Karen Tumulty and David von Drehle. That interview began with two questions on Obama's toughness, particularly from the perspective of nervous partisan Democrats: