|The Obama-philes: Barack's leftmedia sycophants
By Mark Alexander
Having previously asserted that the primary anthropogenic (human) contributor to global warming is Albert Arnold Gore, I am now prepared to qualify that statement. Given all the hot air expelled by Barack Hussein Obama during his Middle East tour last week, it's apparent that Gore now has some stiff competition.
Obama's campaign stops in Iraq and elsewhere in the region would qualify as nothing more than silage for satirists were it not for the big three media talkingheads worshiping his every utterance. Of course, Leftmedia sycophants are nothing new to Democrat presidential campaigns.
Typical of the coverage was NBC's description of the campaign trip as a "Tour of Duty."
And the print media weren't far behind.
Washington Post columnist David Broder fawned, "[A]s millions of Americans who watched the primary campaign learned, Obama is invariably articulate. There would be no verbal gaffes" on his tour. Perhaps David missed Obama's most astute example of "invariable articulation": "Um, let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's."
Obama traveled with dozens of his "national security advisors" selected from his staff of more than 300 (yes, that's three hundred ) foreign policy advisors. There were dozens more—strategists, campaign gofers, makeup artists and court jesters—enough to create an entourage that looked genuinely imposing in transit. As John McCain's campaign spokesman Brian Rogers quipped, "Who does he think he is, Clay Aiken?"
It's no small irony that if Obama's celebrated 2007 Senate legislation to cut and run from Iraq by March 2008 had passed, the only photo ops he would've been able to muster in Mesopotamia last week would be with jihadis.
In ‘07, Obama said, "Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq. There never was. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year—now."
Of course, none of his press toadies asked him about that because the campaign did not allow unmanaged press interviews in Iraq.
At least one reporter, though, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, saw right through Obama's carefully scripted press releases from Iraq and Afghanistan: "What you're seeing is what some would call fake interviews because they're not interviews from a journalist. So there's a real press issue here. Politically it's smart as can be, but we have not seen a presidential candidate do this in my recollection ever before."
Still, being "politically smart as can be," the networks swallowed them whole.
Clearly, Obama has changed his tune regarding Iraq and the Long War: "We have to win the broader war against terror that threatens America and its interests. I think that Iraq is one front on that war, but I think the central front is in Afghanistan and in the border regions of Pakistan."
However, Obama is still calling for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Michael Mullen believes that Obama's arbitrary withdrawal timetable is "dangerous," saying, "Making reductions based on conditions on the ground is very important. We've been able to do that. We've reduced five brigades in the last several months and, again, if conditions continue to improve, I would be able to make those recommendations to President Bush in the fall to continue those reductions."
The surge that Obama so vigorously opposed has been so remarkably successful that the last of the five brigades military commanders deployed to Iraq as part of the surge will be out by this week. Indeed, Obama is calling for a surge in our forces in Afghanistan. Yet he can't seem to admit what everyone else—including the USA Today editorial board—has come to acknowledge: that he was and remains dead wrong about military operation in the region.
Perhaps it has something to do with Obama's arrogance.
David Gergen, former White House advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, strongly rebuked the candidate for releasing a statement outlining his discussions with the Prime Minister of Iraq. "We have a long tradition in this country that we only have one president at a time. [President Bush] is the commander in chief and the negotiator in chief. I cannot remember a campaign in which a rival seeking the presidency has been in a position of negotiating a war that's under way with another party outside the country. I think he leaves himself open to the charge that he's meddling, that this is not his role, that he can be the critic but he's not the negotiator. We have a president who does that."
Of course, there is another Democrat senator and former presidential nominee who did a little negotiating with foreign powers during a time of war. That same senator, Jean-Francois Kerry, took the then-obscure Obama under his wing and launched his ‘08 presidential bid by tapping him for the keynote speech at the 2004 Democrat National convention. In fairness to Barack, who never served in the military, Jean-Francois did his negotiating with the Vietcong in Paris, while he was still on active duty with the U.S. Navy.
But I digress.
In Israel, Obama, the consummate national security neophyte, who has strongly condemned the Bush administration for not talking to our enemies, insisted last week: "Israel should not talk to Hamas as long as it poses a threat to its citizens. If someone was to fire at my house, where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything within my power to stop him and I expect Israel to do the same."
There aren't too many gangbangers shooting up cribs in Obama's posh Chicago suburb, but if they were shooting at his house, I suspect he'd open a window and call for negotiations and dialogue, adding something about the oppressed and the need for hope and change.
Working his way through Europe, Obama hosted a big rockin' rally in Berlin, ironically, a place that had a lot to do with populating Israel. Wall Street Journal political analyst John Fund writes of Obama's JFKish rally at Berlin's Victory Column: "Team Obama insists the speech will not be a campaign rally. ‘It is not going to be a political speech,' a senior Obama foreign policy adviser told reporters in Jordan. ‘When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.' ‘But [Obama] is not president of the United States,' a reporter gently reminded the adviser. After all, this is the campaign that sometimes has to be told the inconvenient truth that the election remains to be held."
While the Barack Tour was commanding the media's attention abroad, there was further evidence of media "favoritism" stateside. That old, haggard, gray spinster, The New York Times, refused to print an op-ed by John McCain in direct rebuttal to an op-ed it published from Obama entitled, "My Plan for Iraq."
The Times' Op-Ed editor, David Shipley, formerly special assistant to Bill Clinton and his senior presidential speechwriter, explained that the McCain op-ed did not mirror Obama's. No kidding. Shipley actually told McCain's staff, "It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece. I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written. I'd be pleased, though, to look at another draft."
Shipley added, "The Obama piece worked for me..."
What did not work for Shipley is that McCain's op-ed made the case: "Progress has been due mainly to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Sen. Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent... I am dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it. If we don't win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president."
McCain's campaign added, "The paper simply does not agree with the senator's Iraq policy, and wants him to change it, not ‘re-work the draft'."
The Washington Post's media observer, Howard Kurtz, had a keen-sense-of-the-obvious moment regarding the Leftmedia: "[T]he media in general seem to be covering Obama as if he was already president... You have one candidate, Barack Obama, getting more than twice as many covers, Time and Newsweek, than John McCain...[T]here is clearly an imbalance...[T]here could be a big backlash against news organizations if this trend continues."
C'mon Howard. "This trend" has been around for more than a century. Can you imagine how beautiful the political landscape would be if the media were actually impartial?
In fact, columnist William Tate conducted a review of federally required campaign donation disclosures, and determined that those who identify their occupation as media contributed $315,533 to Democrat presidential candidates, but only $3,150 to John McCain. Tate did not have to use a calculator to conclude that's "a ratio of 100-to-1. No bias there."
The final analysis, his Leftmedia sycophancy notwithstanding, the Barack Tour certainly exposed how inept he is when unscripted.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!