"It's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we're talking with each other in a way that -- that heals, not in a way that wounds." -- President Obama, speech at Tuscon memorial service, January 12, 2011.
"The [Suskind] book amounts to a drive-by shooting of a president and his key economic advisers who deserve encomiums, not unfounded second guessing and inaccurate revisionist history." -- Former Obama car czar Steve Rattner, writing at the Politico, October 2, 2011 [emphasis added].
Where have you gone, President Hope-and-Change? Less than nine months after President Obama pronounced pious words about talking "in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds," the Obama White House sends out a designated hitter to accuse a respected author of a "drive-by shooting" of the president and his advisers. Nice. [Via Mike Allen's Politico Playbook.]
One of the finest recent examples of liberal media bias has been the press's hostile treatment of author Ron Suskind for having the nerve to write a book critical of the Obama administration.
As Suskind told CNN's Howard Kurtz Sunday, these are "[m]any of the folks who were praising me mightily during the Bush era" for books criticizing the previous president (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Congresswoman Jane Harman called out Bill Maher Friday evening for saying Fox News's Megyn Kelly was a "blonde twink" who's "not bright."
Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," Harman responded by noting that Maher had just minutes before discussed with author Ron Suskind the sexist treatment of women in the Obama White House, and then said, "I want to point out that the last time I was on this show, there were lots of women on. This time, I'm it. I'm blonde. Hey" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While co-host Ann Curry on Tuesday's NBC "Today" wondered if Ron Suskind's "Confidence Men" was "fact or fiction," on August 5, 2008, then-co-host Meredith Vieira touted Suskind's claim in "Way of the World" that the Bush administration's case for the Iraq war was "worse than Watergate."
Speaking of Suskind's latest work on Tuesday, Curry described how Obama administration "top officials are lining up to say they were either misquoted or taken out of context by the author." She then wondered: "Did he get the story right?"
Working hard to run defense for the Obama administration on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry interrogated journalist Ron Suskind on his new book critical of the White House and announced she wanted to go through unflattering parts of the book "one by one," while using Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney-approved talking points to discredit it. [Audio available here]
Curry began the interview with Suskind, author of "Confidence Men," by touting White House claims that the Pulitzer Prize winner plagiarized some background information in the book from Wikipedia: "Did you or did you not lift that passage from Wikipedia?...How do you account it for being so similar?"
A new book alleging sexism, dissension and incompetence inside the Obama White House has, thus far, only gotten major coverage on one network, ABC. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Monday proclaimed that the "bombshell book" is sending "shock waves through the White House."
The morning shows on NBC and CBS skipped the allegations in Ron Suskind's "Confidence Men." However, on the September 19 GMA, Jake Tapper provided a full breakdown of the allegations, explaining, "Damning details about the Obama White House fill the pages of 'Confidence Men.'"
As NewsBusters has been reporting, Barack Obama's sycophants in the press are really starting to lose that loving feeling.
Driving this point home was the "American Conservative's" Jim Pinkerton Saturday who said on "Fox News Watch," "There’s a strange thing happening in the media which is, I think, liberalism has sort of concluded that Obama is kind of a turkey, and they're sort of trying to distance themselves from him" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's shabby but in character when liberals won't extend the presumption of innocence to those whose politics they disdain, as when calling for that undisputed war criminal George W. Bush to be hauled in shackles before a tribunal at The Hague.
That much shabbier and still in character when liberals extend the presumption of innocence to terrorists after they've been convicted.
On July 24 the New York Times ran a story claiming that then-Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to send federal troops to the Buffalo, N.Y., suburb of Lackawanna in the summer of 2002 to arrest suspected terrorists who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six.
It's not often I hear three jaw-dropping claims in the course of a single day.
On "The Rachel Maddow Show," this can happen in a matter of minutes, especially when author Ron Suskind is the guest.
Suskind appeared on Maddow's MSNBC program on April 22 and wasted little time making dubious assertions stemming from the Senate Armed Services report that questioned the legality of al Qaeda interrogations --
The only things certain in life are death and taxes, Franklin famously observed.
To which I'd add a third possibility, one qualifying at least for the status of near-certainty -- liberals condemning what they consider revisionist history, followed by them engaging in it.
It's gotten to the point that I can set my watch for examples of this, weeknights on MSNBC during "The Rachel Maddow Show."
On Tuesday's show, Maddow once again criticized what she perceives as President Bush and Vice President Cheney rewriting the rationale for the US-led invasion of Iraq. Helping Maddow along was author Ron Suskind, a Pulitzer Prize winner who has written three books on the Bush administration.
Here's where Suskind makes the most ludicrous claim about Iraq in recent memory --
As NewsBusters has been reporting since early August, mainstream media members predictably gushed over author Ron Suskind's allegations that the Bush administration ordered the CIA to forge a letter showing a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
On Friday, both the CIA and its former director George Tenet refuted this and other claims Suskind made in his book "The Way of the World."
Given their fervor to report Suskind's views, it should be interesting to see how much attention these high-profile rebuttals get.
With that in mind, here's what the CIA had to say (h/t NBer Beresford):
While the networks avoid anti-Obama authors – perhaps implying to the folks at home that their facts are disputable – they honored anti-Bush author Ron Suskind with booming "bombshell" (or "gasoline on the fire") reports as he made wild claims that Team Bush forged a letter to make the case for war. In Tuesday’s Washington Post, book reviewer (and former Post reporter) Alan Cooperman praises Suskind for an engaging narrative and a reputation as a skilled reporter, but then finds the author's novelistic flair goes overboard. He suggests Suskind is making stuff up when he pretends to mind-read what President Bush is thinking:
Ron Suskind's charge, that the Bush administration forged a letter to falsely link al-Qaeda with Saddam Hussein, landed the journalist/author not only a spot on Thursday night's "Hardball," but also the following recommendation for his book, The Way of the World, from guest host Mike Barnicle:
MIKE BARNICLE: And in reading the book, I have to tell you, in reading all your stuff, I admire all your stuff. But in reading this book and these charges that have laid out here and because of my background, covering like city stuff and everything for years, I can't help but come to the conclusion, at the end of this book, this book is basically charging the President of the United States, or the Vice President of the United States with being an accessory, before the fact, to 4000 murders and more in Iraq. They lied us into war, according to this book.
The following is an excerpt of the interview as it occurred on the August 7, "Hardball":
Wednesday’s The Situation Room aired an interview of author Ron Suskind, who alleges in his new book that the Bush administration engaged in a "disinformation campaign" by forging documents in the lead-up to the Iraq war. This came a day after host Wolf Blitzer made the allegations in the book lead items on the program.
Blitzer’s interview of Suskind aired in two separate segments in the 5 pm and 6 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. In his introduction to the first segment, Blitzer referred to "bombshell allegations against the Bush White House. A new book claiming, among other things, that it ordered -- yes, ordered the CIA to forge a letter drawing connections between Iraq and al Qaeda to justify the 2003 invasion."
In his first question to Suskind, Blitzer referred to the author’s charge that the "the alleged crimes of President Bush and Vice President Cheney are worse than Watergate." Suskind explained that "if, ultimately, in congressional hearings and whatnot -- if they're able to show that the White House directed the CIA -- as I show in the book with lots of testimony -- that the CIA was directed by the White House to do this disinformation campaign on this letter, there will be issues of legality that will be debated in terms of high crimes."
Rich Noyes, the MRC's Director of Research, appeared on FNC's Fox & Friends program earlier this morning. He disucussed how the news media are all too eager to publicize anti-Bush administration books with harsh allegations, such as the much hyped 'The Way of the World' by Ron Suskind and the recent book by former Bush administration spokesman Scott McClellan.
"They certainly do have a lot of promotion. This book by Ron Suskind -- he was on the Today show two days this week, he was on NBC Nightly News. He was on MSNBC. CNN's had him."
Los Angeles Times's Tim Rutten is at it again. In an op-ed in today's paper (Wed. 8/6/08), Rutten buttresses a new book by author Ron Suskind and asserts that "Vice President Dick Cheney and his inner circle long have insisted" that Iraq was directly connected to the September 11 attacks.
Rutten's claim is an easy one to debunk. Here's Vice President Cheney in a Meet the Press interview with Tim Russert a mere five days after the September 11 attacks:
RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation? [Sept. 11 attacks]
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.
Does it get any simpler than "No"?
Cheney's words also strike a major blow to a wild accusation in Suskind's new book.
CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN all jumped Tuesday to publicize the claims in a new book by a left-wing journalist, Ron Suskind, that President Bush knew before the war Iraq had no WMD and that to justify the war the administration forged a letter to prove a connection between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda. The journalists were unfazed by denials from former CIA Director George Tenet, which they dutifully cited, nor the fact the letter couldn't have impacted the public before the war since it didn't become public until nine months into the war.
In the morning, NBC's Today showcased an “exclusive” interview with Suskind as Meredith Vieira trumpeted the “new bombshell book that claims the White House deliberately misled the American public about the case for war in Iraq. The author, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist.” (Geoff Dickens' NB post on that interview.) CBS's Early Show ran a full story and Wolf Blitzer made it his lead on CNN's The Situation Room.
In the evening, the NBC Nightly News aired a full report while MSNBC's Countdown, not surprisingly, led with Keith Olbermann's “cable exclusive” with Suskind on what MSNBC described on screen as “WAR CRIME” -- followed by John Dean on the imagined prosecutorial implications. NBC anchor Brian Williams saw “gasoline” being “thrown on a fire that's never really gone out,” as if the media aren't pouring it:
Tonight, gasoline has been thrown on a fire that's never really gone out. The accusation that the Bush administration badly misled the American public about the case for war with Iraq. In a new book, journalist Ron Suskind claims he has new evidence to show the case was more than a failure of intelligence -- it was, he writes, an out and out deception.
NBC's Meredith Vieira, at the top of Tuesday's "Today" show, greeted viewers with the following teaser and jarring charge that "A scathing new book...claims the Bush administration's case for war...wasn't a mistake but deliberate deception...It is worse than Watergate."
Vieira, in the 7am half-hour interviewed journalist/author Ron Suskind about his new book, The Way of the World, and his claim that the Bush administration ordered the CIA to forge a letter that would link Iraq and al Qaeda. While Vieira and David Gregory did cite denials from former CIA Director George Tenet and Condoleezza Rice no Suskind critic appeared, live on the air, to debate him. In fact Vieira, at the end of the interview, noted that Suskind will be on tomorrow's "Today," as well.
The following is a complete transcript of the Gregory set-up piece, followed by the full Vieira interview with Suskind as it aired on the August 5, "Today" show: