Archive for Media Bias

The E-Word

It’s the new N-word:

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the United States, was not the right kind of victim for the west: he wasn’t a pretty young woman smiling in sunglasses as a Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Bentley licks her cheek; he didn’t have a young, benevolent doctor’s face that looks “appropriate” plastered on newspapers; he wasn’t a kindly older nurse who told reporters how God had spared her. He wasn’t the kind of person to whom primetime news specials would dedicate 20 minutes and glorify with quotes from loved ones about his kind spirit or ceaseless determination to overcome an unfair affliction.

Thomas Eric Duncan was black, he was poor, and he was African.

That he was.

Oops! My bad. That’s George Obama. Honest mistake. The list of poor black Africans betrayed by the West is virtually endless.

Note how the writer didn’t say he was the first American to die of Ebola. There have been plenty of those already: saintly souls who’ve risked their lives to help the sick and needy. Risked them and lost them. And Duncan certainly wasn’t the first African to die of the disease. He finished somewhere in the 4,000s, I believe. And Duncan wasn’t American.

No, he happened to be in the statistically unique position to be the first person to die of a disease endemic to Africa in the geographic proximity of the United States (as many of us feel about Texas).

Well, it had to be somebody. And it was likely (given all the above) that it would be a poor, black African.

And being the first, is it any wonder he was first misdiagnosed? Even if he hadn’t lied to get here, hadn’t shamed his country (according to the president of the country) by spreading the disease to a new continent, he would still likely have been misdiagnosed. Why would Dallas know Ebola even when it was staring them in the face?

But what do I know?

(CNN) — The tragedy of Ebola is not just its staggering toll. It’s also the implicit racism that the deadly virus has spawned. The anecdotes are sickening, particularly a Reuters report this week that children of African immigrants in Dallas — little ones with no connection to Thomas Duncan, the Liberian Ebola patient who died Wednesday in a local hospital — have been branded “Ebola kids” simply because of their heritage or skin color.

In both the United States and Europe, Ebola is increasing racial profiling and reviving imagery of the “Dark Continent.” The disease is persistently portrayed as West African, or African, or from countries in a part of the world that is racially black, even though nothing medically differentiates the vulnerability of any race to Ebola.

Duh! People know you don’t have to be black to get Ebola. That’s why people are scared.

But Ebola is African. It’s named after a river in the Congo. It seems to be tied to African fruit bats. Its outbreaks—until now—have been in Africa alone. Do Africans get gout?

We just go done with the canard that Republicans caused Ebola by cutting funding (ads declaring such have been pulled). Now, this.

We’re not too smart, I guess. Our response to a litany of threats and tragedies is limited to blaming ourselves. It gets old fast, if you ask me.

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Why Does the Left Hate Black People?

Even Congress is beginning to investigate:

In a statement released early Saturday morning, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said the recent cuts at Time Warner are “troubling.” Specifically, though, it’s layoffs of African Americans in senior and executive roles at CNN, the company’s flagship news organization, that are particularly “concerning” for her.

Her statement comes on the heels of a few weeks of rough relations between CNN and the National Association of Black Journalists. Last week, NABJ condemned the practices toward black employees at CNN. This week, CNN supposedly pulled funding requested by NABJ for a jobs fair. According to Politico, CNN disputes that it has reached any final conclusions on the matter and that funding has not definitively been pulled.

Still, Fudge is incensed by what she sees is a serious lack of diversity at CNN. She called it “an affront” to the African American journalism community and to African Americans.

“In a nation growing increasingly more diverse, it is imperative that the organizations tasked with keeping us informed reflect the same diversity,” Fudge said. “Ethnic sensitivity both on-camera and behind it demonstrates a corporate understanding of the benefits of diversity, and a genuine respect for the audiences’ needs.”

“Any staffing changes that disproportionately cut the number of African Americans at CNN — intentionally or otherwise — are an affront to the African American journalism community and to the African American community as a whole. It is my sincere hope that these reports are not true, and that Time Warner works to ensure that the diversity of its viewers across the country, and the world, is reflected and protected in all areas of its organization.”

Capitol Hill sources also say Zucker is still smarting over the butt kicking Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) gave him during brutal congressional hearings when Comcast was trying to buy NBC Universal. She blasted Zucker, former CEO of NBC Universal, for the lack of blacks in primetime programming and on “Meet The Press.”

Zucker immediately ordered black and Hispanic guests to be booked on the show. And from the following Sunday on, “Meet the Press” had a variety of minority faces on their morning panel while the acquisition was still going through.

I was wondering why Mo’Nique was on as a specialist in trade barriers with China. Now it makes sense.

To be fair, MSNBC has a few black hosts, though Melissa (Tampon Ears) Harris-Perry and Al Sharpton don’t exactly make a good argument for more. Then again, Fox’s Juan Williams is a credit…to his profession! (Gotcha!) I will allow that Fox could easily lose a blonde or two in favor of a more diverse line-up—though this is what happens when they do.

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They Can’t Help Themselves

Didja catch the iconic image the media used in covering Obama’s latest about-face on Ebola?

No, that’s not the waiter at the upscale restaurant who told Obama his credit was no good; that’s Abraham Lincoln. Or 16.com, as his website would have been named, had he had one. (He tweeted under the handle @TheRealEmancipator.)

I suppose we should be thankful that Obama is now equated with martyrs, rather than saints and angels, as the aurae of his early days suggested.

Excuse me, however, if I would make a more honest comparison:


If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.

PS: I say that they can’t help themselves, but so what? Do we let raging alcoholics drive school buses? Knowingly? For eight years?

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Wait, Ebola is Funny Again!

That didn’t take long (see post below):

Let Obama and Frieden Do Their Jobs

Now I have to excuse myself to wipe the coffee from my lower face.

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MSNBC Update [UPDATED]

Since viewership of Tass-TV has fallen below Animal Planet’s, we’d like to help our brothers and sisters in the media by rescuing their lonely voices from obscurity.

Besides, they’re beginning to make sense (imminent unemployment has that effect).

Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: So we don’t need a tsar?

[Dr. Anthony] FAUSI: I don’t think so. We have good coordination from the White House, from the National Security Council.

MATTHEWS: My concern is that this reminds me of the rollout for healthcare. The lack of a clear-cut personage, that the president could say, this person is in charge. When he was asked who was in charge of the rollout for health care, he said well it’s the person who is COO of the CAA of the HHS — someone he apparently never even met, that’s a problem.

Comparing the CDC to Healthcare.gov is a low blow, even for you, Chris.

Rachel Maddow:

MADDOW: Now that he’s out and working for a global strategy firm that’s essentially the Hillary Clinton campaign in exile, now he’s flying the same exact anti-Obama flag that the hawkish Clinton wing of the party has been flying all year trying to position themselves for the next stage in their own political careers by stepping on President Obama’s neck.

On that, Maddow sounds exactly Rush Limbaugh, who suggested last week that Panetta’s book marks a pivot away from the past (Obama) and toward the future (?), Hillary.

Joe Scarborough:

Joe Scarborough and the “Morning Joe” panel react to Alison Lundergan Grimes’ “ridiculous” answer to her voting history.

“That is so ridiculous,” Scarborough said. “And yet she told everybody she voted for Hillary Clinton. So why did you violate your ‘constitutional right’ then?”

I don’t watch news on the TV, but I can’t imagine Fox News being this tough on Democrats. As I say, losing one’s job can have that effect.

PS: C’mon MSNBC, it helps if you try:

A well-placed source tells me MSNBC will be announcing major programming changes sometime in the next month, including the cancellation of Ronan Farrow‘s afternoon program, Ronan Farrow Daily.

Mr. Farrow’s program — which now averages around just 50,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demo — has never performed well despite the hype that originally preceded it last February before its first airing. In the third quarter of this year, the show is down 51 percent from what occupied its 1:00 PM EST time slot a year ago (Andrea Mitchell Reports).

[I]n February of this year, Griffin gives Farrow — who hadn’t even hosted a community access show before — his own program. The plan was to bring in a younger audience, so why not put him at 1:00 p.m. ET when just a shade over zero of Millennials are actually watching TV?

Griffin also placed Chris Hayes — who hosted a wonky, deep-dive-into-policy weekend morning program (Up with Chris Hayes) — into the most important timeslot on any network: 8:00 p.m. weeknights. Put politics and ideology aside and go back to the Lombardi quote on scorekeeping: The awkward Hayes has trouble breaking 100 in the demo lately, and this is during an election year with Senate control in the balance. For context, Bill O’Reilly did 556 on the last show he hosted. Anderson Cooper on CNN: 282. Hayes: 104. The following night (Thursday, October 9), Hayes dropped to a 75.

Whether an even-lower-rated host (Ed Schultz, for example, who is getting beat anywhere from 5-to-1 to 9-to-1 by Fox in the demo at 5:00 PM) is also a cancellation candidate isn’t known right now. What is clear is the score these days: According to Bill Carter of the New York Times in a damning piece over the weekend, “In the first quarter of 2009, MSNBC averaged 392,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic for its weeknight lineup. In the third quarter of this year, the number is down to 125,000.”

Maybe MSNBC should hire Al Gore to facilitate a sale. ISIS-TV is looking to make a buy.

UPDATED
Someone didn’t get the memo:

Earlier today, Alex Griswold told you about Wendy Davis doubling down on her campaign-imploding “Look at the cripple” ad. Or tripling down, or quadrupling down, or however many times it’s been at this point. She told Andrea Mitchell that the ad was “fair.” Oh, and Abbott is “working to kick that ladder down.” Well said, Wendy.

But believe it or not, Mitchell said something even dumber. At about the 1:00 mark in the above video, she emitted this brainfart:

“Could you have gone after what you see as his hypocrisy by pointing out what he did in that rape case, what he did in these other cases, without the stark image of the empty wheelchair, which seemed to be trying to point people towards his own supposed disability?”

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GOP: Grumpy Old Peni

Those angry Republicans!

Two international crises are giving Republicans new reasons to break out a familiar rallying cry — secure the border — just weeks before the midterm elections.

Secure the border? Who are these people?

Why would anyone want to secure the border?

A Liberian man’s death in Texas from Ebola is triggering worries that the disease could spread beyond West Africa, while efforts by ISIS to recruit Westerners is stoking fears that its influence could reach into the United States. The seemingly disparate issues are gelling into a single talking point for Republicans arguing that weak border security is leaving the United States vulnerable.

Those wacky Republicans! Ebola spread beyond Africa? ISIS try to kill Americans? What are they smoking? Next they’ll tell us that there’s been no global warming since Bill Clinton was monogamous (well, close).

Oh, btw, guess what ad tops this story on CNN?

Providing all your hemorrhagic fever needs since 1977.

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About That Palin Melee

Don’t know the “truth”; don’t care.

Do know, and do care very much, that you can’t trust the lame-stream media.

Can’t trust ‘em ever:

But with The Washington Post, “Good Morning America,” the New York Times and dozens of other media outlets all filing reports on the incident over the last few days, it’s clear that there’s a high level of interest in the events that transpired on that regrettable night in Anchorage.

But RealClearPolitics spoke with a source close to the Palin family, who wanted to provide their version of the events in question.

What no one disputes is that several members of the former first family of Alaska arrived at a well-attended birthday party, at which several competitive snowmobile racers were present.

Todd Palin, himself an elite racer of “snow machines” (as the vehicles are known in the 49th state), was celebrating his 50th birthday that night, though the party was not being held on his behalf.

With a live band, dancing, and the former governor rocking red-white-and-blue high-tops, everyone seemed to be having a good time.

But then, some words were exchanged. And that’s where the stories diverge significantly.

According to previously published eyewitness reports, the fracas began when Track Palin, the former governor’s adult son, confronted a former boyfriend of his 20-year-old sister, Willow.

But according to the Palin family’s version of events, the instigator was actually the former boyfriend.

The initial tussle occurred, the source said, after the young man in question “tried to get in” to the Hummer limousine after he’d engaged in some unspecified “questionable behavior.”

Track Palin soon found himself struggling to fend off four men who had “piled on him,” according to the source.

Todd Palin then inserted himself into the brawl, which left the former “First Dude” of Alaska bleeding.

According to the source, as her husband and son were trading blows with their adversaries, Palin was yelling (in reference to her son), “Don’t you know who he is? He’s a vet!”

This rendition of her words differs slightly but significantly from a previous report, which had Palin shouting, “Don’t you know who I am?”

“From my understanding, she was in full ‘mama grizzly’ mode defending the kids,” the source said of Sarah Palin’s mindset.

According to the source, Track Palin left the fight nursing four cracked ribs, while his father was bloodied up.

In an unrelated episode, a 25-year-old man was arrested last Sunday on charges of stalking Bristol Palin after allegedly sending her approximately 1,000 Facebook messages and then appearing in her driveway — an incident the Palin source described as “scary.”

I left out the part that mentioned Sarah Palin had just returned from Houston where she had been raising money for wounded vets.

Everyone gets a story wrong now and then, but not everyone so relishes getting the wrong story on Sarah Palin. The MSM does, always, but that’s the herd instinct at work. And Sarah Palin knows how to cull a herd.


Sarah Palin with Katie Couric

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Welcome to CNN, Jay Carney!

Now, don’t tell me, let me guess: you’re back to being an independent, straight-shot, call-‘em-as-you-see-‘em journalist, right?

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I think it was a very weak argument. And by the way, I’m astounded that Mr. Carney should say that the Free Syrian Army is now stronger. In fact, they have been —

JAY CARNEY: Well, that’s not that I said, Senator. If I could, sir, what I said is, if we know a great deal more now about the makeup of the opposition. —

McCAIN: Come on, Jay, we knew all about them then. You just didn’t choose to know. I was there in Syria. We we knew about them. Come on, you guys were the ones — your boss was the one when the entire national security team wanted to arm and train them that he turned them down, Mr. Carney after —

CARNEY: Well, Senator —

McCAIN: The fact is —

CARNEY: I think we have to agree to disagree on this.

McCAIN: No, facts are stubborn things, Mr. Carney, and that is his entire national security team, including the Secretary of State said he want to arm and train and equip these people and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down. The fact he didn’t a residual force in Iraq, overruled all of his military advisers, is the reason why we’re facing ISIS today.

So the facts are stubborn things in history and people ought to know them. And now the president is saying basically that we are going to take certain actions, which I would favor, but to say that America is safer, and that the situation is very much like Yemen and Somalia shows me that the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat of ISIS is.

CARNEY: Well, again, Senator, we’re going to have to agree to disagree. And I think on the question of the residual force, there was another player in that which was the Iraqi government. A, and B, it was the fulfillment of the previous administration’s withdrawal plan. And it was also the fulfillment of the president’s promise to withdraw from Iraq and not maintain a true presence, in perpetuity, which is pretty consistent with what the American people wanted and believed it was the right approach.

McCAIN: Mr. Carney, you are again saying facts that are patently false. The fact is because [Senator] Lindsey Graham, [former Senator] Joe Lieberman and I, we were in Baghdad, they wanted a residual force. The president has never made a statement during that or after that he wanted a residual force left behind. The Iraqis were ready to go. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number cascaded down to 3,500. That was not sufficient to do anything but to defend themselves. And you in your role as a spokesperson bragged about the fact that the last American combat troop had left Iraq. If we had left a residual force the situation would not be what it is today. And there would be a lot more —

CARNEY: Senator, I can posit for great respect for you we can disagree on that.

McCAIN: You can’t.

CARNEY: Sir —

McCAIN: You don’t have the facts, Mr. Carney, that’s the problem.

CARNEY: Senator, I understand that that you present the facts that you believe are true based on the arguments that you have made for a long time, sir, that we should leave troops in Iraq for perpetuity. And that is not what this president believes. Obviously, he was elected president to fulfill what he believes is right for our country and right for our national security.

McCAIN: It is a bad decision.

CARNEY: I certainly understand where we are today.

McCAIN: It is not a matter of disagreement; it is a matter of facts, and you have yours wrong and you have distorted it.

COOPER: Jay, do you believe, does the president believe at all, if a residual force had been left on the ground in Iraq, that we would not be in this situation now?

CARNEY: Anderson, I think it is a mis — basically a whitewash of history to suggest that there was not — were not periods of enormous chaos and fighting and bloodshed in Iraq when there were tens of thousands of troops, of American troops on the ground. That is a fact. And it was true in 2004, it was true in 2007. And it was true even when we had the highest number of U.S. troops on the ground.

We cannot — the United States of America ask our military to be a permanent occupying force in a country like Iraq. We have to get to a situation where we can help build up and assist an Iraqi security force, where we can put pressure on Iraqi political leaders to form an inclusive government, which they have taken steps to do, as was noted earlier. And then we can provide the kind of military support that we’re providing, an action that we’re taking against a threat like ISIS as appropriate.

But the alternative of leaving a permanent, massive U.S. force on the ground in Iraq, not for 10 years, not for 20 years, but in perpetuity, is simply not sustainable financially; it is not consistent with what the American people think we should do.

MCCAIN: Again, Mr. Carney misstates the facts. We had it won, thanks to the surge. It was won. The victory was there. All we needed was a force behind to provide support, not to engage in combat, but to supply support, logistics, intelligence. And by the way, the Koran War, we left troops behind. Bosnia, we left troops behind. Not to fight but be a stabilizing force. And Mr. Carney neglects the fact that thanks to David Petraeus, and Ryan Crocker, who by the way, are very strong on this issue, that we won the conflict, and then by pulling the rug out and setting a date for withdrawal and bragging about it —

CARNEY: Excuse me, sir, but I think you have forgotten that the date for withdrawal was —

MCCAIN: I think you have forgotten — no, the date for withdrawal. They always contemplated an additional date behind it. And you can ask Condoleezza Rice, or George W. Bush.

CARNEY: Absolutely, and so did we, and we–

MCCAIN: So that is absolutely false too. And we didn’t need to go through the Iraqi parliament. All you had to do was have an agreement. And we were there on the ground.

COOPER: Senator McCain, let me ask you about in terms of what you heard tonight, do you believe the U.S. can fight an effective counter- terrorism strategy, which is what the president is calling this fight against ISIS, without U.S. military personnel on the ground? In harm’s way?

MCCAIN: We — this is another falsehood the president is purveying. We already have boots on the ground, well over 1,000. We need more. But we don’t need them like the 82nd Airborne sent in direct — to do — into direct combat.

We need to have additional support there, and we need to help the — the Iraqi army rebuild its capabilities. But we don’t have to have a ground combat invasion of the type we had before. But, the fact that they didn’t leave — we were not there before is a direct result we are paying a very heavy price for. And it doesn’t mean in perpetuity, but it does mean to keep the situation stable, which we could have done.

COOPER: Senator McCain, the president also said that we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland. Americans who hear those words might wonder, if that is really the case, then why do we need to take action against ISIS? To that you say what?

MCCAIN: I say that today, we had a hearing, and there was testimony from the counterterrorism people and the Department of Homeland Security. There is Twitter traffic right now and FaceBook traffic, where they are urging attacks on the United States of America. And there is a great concern that our southern border and our northern border is porous and that they will be coming across.

So is there a specific, direct threat? No, but is there any doubt to what their goal is? Mr. Baghdadi, the day he left our prison in Iraq, Camp Bucca, said “see you in New York.”

COOPER: And in terms of, as you said, you have been in Syria, you met with Syrian moderate opposition a while back, do you believe there are enough on the ground right now in Iraq who actually have military capabilities that can actually stand up and fight against ISIS, against the Assad regime?

MCCAIN: I do, but it is going to be very tough, and it is going to be a heck of a lot tougher, despite what Mr. Carney said, than it would have been two years ago when it was recommended by his entire national security team.

How many times did he call Carney a liar? He called Obama one once or twice, but Carney got more than I can count. Delicious.

You were a lousy candidate, Senator, and who knows what kind of president you would have made. But as grump old man, you’re peerless.

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Hey, Al Sharpton, Ya Busy Next Sunday?

It’s a protest against hatred and bigotry, right up your alley:

The New York Jewish community and its supporters will stage an historic march on September 14 in downtown Manhattan, protesting the recent skyrocketing wave of anti-Semitism and media culpability in an event entitled “Silence? Never Again!”

In the wake of the 50-day counter-terror Operation Protective Edge, studies have found global the rate of anti-Semitic incidents have skyrocketed dramatically since July.

That hatred has been largely driven by unbalanced reporting; Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh recently bragged that his terrorist organization’s greatest “victory” in the operation was swaying Western media to side with it, thereby winning the “media war.”

Say, you’re a member of the media, Al. Might do your profession some good for you to be out there.

The march will start next Sunday at 12 p.m. local time in front of the CNN building at 10 Columbus Circle, ending around 4 p.m. with a rally at 495h Street and 6 Avenue next to the MSNBC building.

MSNBC, perfect! You can march with your Hebraic homeboys right to your place of work. Couldn’t be easier. Come on, Al, you know you want to.

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Katrina Fatigue, Nine Years On

To all those with whom I did battle over the proper apportioning of blame after Hurricane Katrina (search our archives if you don’t remember), I will accept cash in lieu of an apology:

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has reported to a federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, to begin serving a 10-year sentence for corruption during the years when the city was struggling to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Nagin arrived at the facility shortly before noon Monday. New Orleans television stations showed images of Nagin hugging family members in a parking lot before he entered the lockup.

Nagin, a Democrat, was thrust into the national spotlight in 2005, when Katrina overwhelmed levees and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, killing 1,500 people and causing some $80 billion in damage.

The bribes came in the form of money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business.

The onetime cable company executive who served as New Orleans’ mayor from 2002-2010 was convicted on 20 criminal counts including bribery, conspiracy and money laundering, all tied to payments he received for granting city contracts.

Nagin was convicted February 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Nagin’s support for various projects.

With Ray “Tens and Twenties” Nagin and Mary “Forward Mail to DC” Landrieu in charge, the leftwing media blamed George Bush. Oh yeah, that made a lot of sense.

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I Cannot Tell a Lie—Martha Chopped Down the Cherry Tree

Obama finally comes clean (and articulate!) and admits what everyone else in America has long known: if we wanted our first African American president to be a great golfer, we would have elected Calvin Peete.

Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard in August, Obama chose to go directly from making a statement about the beheading of American journalist James Foley to the golf course, and drew criticism from across the political spectrum for appearing insensitive.

Asked if he wished now he could go back and reverse his decision to hit the links then, Obama said that, in retrospect, appearances might have mattered that day.

“It is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation. Because you’re followed everywhere. And part of what I’d love is a vacation from … the press,” he said.

But against stiff competition, our first African American president is also our most shameless (step aside Presidents Kennedy, Clinton, and Nixon):

[A]fter finishing, the president quickly headed to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for an afternoon of golf in 90-degree-plus heat.

May we recommend a nap instead, sir?

“There are days where I’m not getting enough sleep, because we’ve got a lot on our plate,” he said. “You know, when you’re, when you’re president of the United States, you’re not just dealing with the United States” but also leading the international response to crises around the world, as his administration is in responding to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as the outbreak of Ebola in Africa. “You know, our inbox gets pretty high.”

I’ve noted before that Barack Obama behaves like a kid who never had a dad—or at least a father figure. Someone who tells him to cut the crap, don’t bull[bleep] a bull[bleeper]. Obama can tell us he understands how bad it looked to go golfing while James Foley’s blood was still pooling on the desert hardpan—and then go golfing. He can tell us how much sleep he’s lost, how incredibly busy he is—and then go golfing.

And he’s worried about the press? If we thought America’s Fourth Estate would hold Barack Jr. to account the way Barack Sr. never did, we were fooling ourselves more than he thinks he’s fooling us.

This was the New York Times lead reporter after the first hundred days, need I remind you:

At least Monica Lewinsky dry cleaned her dress. Zeleny has never cleaned or worn that suit again.

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Hope and Change

Well, change anyway.

President Obama, September 3rd:

“We can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.”

President Obama, September 5th:

“You can’t contain an organization that is running roughshod through that much territory, causing that much havoc, displacing that many people, killing that many innocents, enslaving that many women. The goal has to be to dismantle them.”

“Dismantle” is a little closer to “gates of hell” than “manageable” is, for which much thanks. But he needed David Cameron’s balls to get even that far.

I happened to hear the week-in-review roundtable on NPR’s On Point this morning. The Atlantic’s former editor, Jack Beatty, a five-star general among Obama apologists, first tried to paint Russia’s invasion as merely “exerting power on its border”. Tell that to Crimea. Tell that to Donetsk. David Ignatius chimed in that Putin’s territorial gain came at great cost: a hostile government in Kiev, a united Europe against him. He claimed Putin was playing a weak hand. Tell that to Putin. This sounds like the same tone deaf talk that appeased Hitler. Not one person mentioned Obama’s Chamberlain-esque pose.

When talk turned to the Middle East, Beatty got his second wind. He quoted an administration source as saying that “avoiding another Iraq is his guiding principle”. Beatty followed with “it seems to me that’s also the guiding principle of the American people…. We don’t want this.”

Don’t we? Of course we don’t, if you put it in those terms. Who wants “another Iraq”? But do we want our reporters getting their heads chopped off (other than the 75-80 we could all agree on)? Do we want to see their unrivaled savagery (too savage for Al Qaeda) rip asunder whole countries and regions? Do we want what’s happening over there to be happening over here?

No wonder Obama looks uncertain, Beatty declared, uncertainty is the reality. That’s one way of looking at it.

Another way is that you can’t run your affairs by trying to be different from the other guy. Avoiding “another Iraq” is a dog whistle for George Bush; so is “don’t do stupid stuff”. But the world Bush had to deal with, for better or worse, is five and a half years in the past, an eternity. Most of his big decisions are a decade old by now. Facing today’s realities with policies based on rejecting the previous president’s policies is almost too idiotic to write, let alone implement. And now that Obama is in Bush’s shoes (several sizes too big for him), he should have the decency and maturity to acknowledge that maybe he sees things a little differently.

Lastly, ISIS is not really “another Iraq”, but Iraq II:

On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, a 36-year-old Jordanian who called himself “the Stranger” slipped into the suburbs of Baghdad armed with a few weapons, bags of cash and an audacious plan for starting a war he hoped would unite Sunni Muslims across the Middle East.

The tattooed ex-convict and high school dropout had few followers and scant ties to the local population. Yet, the Stranger — soon to be known widely as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — quickly rallied thousands of Iraqis and foreign fighters to his cause. He launched spectacular suicide bombings and gruesome executions targeting Americans, Shiites and others he saw as obstacles to his vision for a Sunni caliphate stretching from Syria to the Persian Gulf.

Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2006, but the organization he founded is again on the march. In just a week, his group — formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq and now called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — has seized cities and towns across western and northern Iraq at a pace that might have astonished Zarqawi himself. Already in control of large swaths of eastern Syria, the group’s black-clad warriors appear to have taken a leap toward realizing Zarqawi’s dream of an extremist Sunni enclave across the region.

The mission is still not “accomplished”, President Obama. It’s been your responsibility since you took the oath of office.

No fair leaving it for the next guy:

“This, as the President has said, is going to have to be a sustained effort. … It’s going to take time, and it will probably go beyond even this administration to get to the point of defeat.”

Do your effing job.

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