At President Barack Obama's press conference in The Hague, Netherlands today, as part of a much longer question, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked Obama whether "Mitt Romney had a point when he said that Russia is America’s biggest geopolitical foe? If not Russia, who?"
It's important to note that Obama's response to that portion of Karl's question pertained to and was directed at Romney. A video containing Karl's question and Obama's answer ("With respect to Mr. Romney’s assertion that Russia’s our number- one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that, you know, America’s got a whole lot of challenges. Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors -- not out of strength, but out of weakness") shows that the President's tone at that point was generally calm with a bit of a defiant edge which seemed directed at Romney and Karl (perhaps not in that order). That didn't stop the establishment press from claiming that Obama's statement was really an insult directed at Russia (it wasn't) and that the President supposedly directed his "derisive" statement towards Russian President Vladimir Putin (he didn't).
The Washington Post played a game of “Hide the Benghazi” in its front-page story on Obama nominating Susan Rice to be the new National Security Adviser. The headline beat around the bush: “Obama signals new approach on national security: A Bigger U.S. Role Abroad. In shuffle, Rice replaces Donilon as adviser.”
Reporter Scott Wilson announced “a major shuffle” and “an ideological shift” (let’s guess toward more humanitarian intervention). But you’d have to wait until paragraph twenty-two for the B-word:
One of the Washington Post's front-page stories on the Boston bombing had this headline when the story turned to page A7: "After a decade of plots foiled or botched, one success." That's a strange headline that seems to forget the "successful" terror attack at Fort Hood. Six paragraphs below that headline, reporters Scott Wilson and Peter Finn recall 13 dead and 30 wounded by Major Nidal Hasan.
After noting the failures of Omar Abdulmutallab (the unsuccessful "underwear bomber") and Faisal Shahzad (whose Times Square van bomb didn't detonate), Wilson and Finn unspooled six paragraphs of publicity for the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center to underline America's "far right" domestic threat:
"U.S. still awaiting Libya's permission to evacuate Americans," blared the headline for a page A6 story in today's Washington Post.
"The United States has been unable to get Libya's permission to evacuate American citizens from the country, State Department officials said Tuesday, prompting the administration to temper its response to the Libyan crackdown," Post staffers Mary Beth Sheridan and Colum Lynch noted.
Gee, you'd think that should be front-page news, and it's difficult to imagine this not being front-page news had it happened under President George W. Bush's watch.
President Obama's weekly radio address on Saturday devoted the entire hour to a hyper-partisan, long-winded, meandering speech about his Republican critics being too -- wait for it! -- partisan.
Fortunately for him, a compliant national media would simply forward the attack on their own pages and never pause long enough to smell the irony.
In the middle of alleged job offers, controversial nominations, and unpopular bills shoved through Congress along party lines, President Obama complained about "dreary and familiar politics" from the opposition, and the media immediately took his side.
Up first was the Washington Post's Scott Wilson who used the 44 blog on Saturday to cover the speech:
Washington Post reporter Scott Wilson topped Wednesday's paper with a "news analysis" headlined "On world stage, Obama at ease as seminar leader." The word that came to mind wasn't "analysis." It was "unanimous." Everyone in Wilson's supine story praised Obama's command and personality. It's like Wilson was Obama's news butler at this summit:
"He's in charge, he's chairing the meetings, and this is where his personality plays a big part," said Pierre Vimont, the French ambassador to the United States, who compared Obama's role during the summit to the way he led the bipartisan health-care meeting at Blair House in February.
"He does it very well," Vimont continued. "And he feels very comfortable doing it."
Even the anonymous sources weren't hiding their identity to make vicious digs at Obama, the way the Post employed critics against George W. Bush. No, they loved Obama "the teacher," too:
Monday’s Washington Post should be retitled Washington Happy Talk. Topping the right side of the page is the headline "Democrats upbeat on health-care bill" and below that, the headline "Obama priority shift could help his party." This is quite a shift from the gloom-and-doom days of President Bush.
The first story, by Post reporter Dan Eggen, noted the obvious point that votes are still lacking, but he played up what he called "the most optimistic talk" on the Sunday shows. Well, not exactly. He reported White House spokesman Robert Gibbs "declared ‘this is the climactic week for health-care reform.’"
But Gibbs was bolder than that. On CBS, he promised that by next Sunday, "[We]'ll be talking about the House having passed that proposal and us being a signature away from health care reform in this country."
Eggen used to be a Justice Department reporter pounding away at what liberals considered the Bush administration’s war on the Constitution. But this is all he could muster on the "Slaughter solution" talk in paragraph 15:
The Washington Post printed a front-page story headlined "President Obama Wades Into Gay Issues" on Thursday, but Scott Wilson’s story displayed the usual double standard, calling the religious right "conservative" and describing the gay left with no ideological label at all. Is this really a cultural clash between the conservatives and the supposedly non-ideological sexual revolutionaries? Worse yet, Wilson suggested Barack Obama’s been displaying "centrist instincts" on the social issues:
The gay political agenda has proved to be a challenge for Obama, who since taking office has tried to drain the ideological fervor from the most divisive foreign and domestic policy debates. That agenda comprises a set of social and economic issues that at times pit Obama's religious beliefs and centrist instincts against the demands of a well-organized constituency important to his future electoral prospects.