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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Thursday, September 13, 2012

OBAMA'S 3 AM CALL

"This morning's statement (issued before protest began) still stands. "
-Egypt US Embassy tweet

Three events took place over the last few days. First, Mitt Romney issued a statement condemning President Obama's foreign policy ability. Second, the Cairo Embassy was attacked and the US flag pulled down and burned. Third, the US Consulate in Libya was attacked and the staff there murdered by another mob. Some would see a consistent theme here. Not the legacy media.

They saw a problem. President Obama after the Democratic National Convention has been pushing "the foreign policy president" as their big selling point. The Democrats are the party of foreign policy now! The president is a great foreign policy leader! Its the one part of Obama's record they thought they could actually push and be proud of.

And it is one area that Republicans would have a tough time attacking. Yes, he violated federal law by attacking Libya, yes, his continual killing of terrorists instead of capturing any is a lousy way to fight terrorism (you need intelligence), but that's a tougher sell. Then this happened: disaster. There's no way to spin attacks on US embassies as anything but ghastly. The two areas the Democrats want to most hold up as foreign policy successes -- Egypt and Libya -- suffered Carteresque catastrophe.

To make matters worse, the Obama administration's State Department in Egypt issued a tweet praising Muslims and apologizing for being so mean to them hours before the attack. Then, after the attack they make a statement reiterating what they said earlier.

There's no way this isn't news. Front page news. Attacking an ambassador and his staff, killing them, is an act of war. So what does the legacy media do? The New York Times doesn't even put the embassy news on the front page; it goes on page four. The Egypt tweets are completely ignored. The press questions Mitt Romney about his statement on foreign policy.

They ask Romney if his statement that the first thing the Obama administration did after the attack was to sympathize with the attackers was wise. They ask if Romney regrets his statement. They ask if it is divisive and damaging to America. They ask if he jumped the gun, was too hasty and rash. They try to turn the story from "Obama's foreign policy efforts result in disaster" to "Romney is a jerk." That's the news they want to cover, that's the story they want to focus on.

And to make matters worse, the press is caught on tape discussing how to word questions asked of Romney to trap him and how to follow up to hurt him worse:
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: …pointing out that the Republicans… *unintelligible* …Obama….

CBS REPORTER: That’s the question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: *unintelligible*

CBS REPORTER: Yeah that’s the question. I would just say do you regret your question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Your question? Your statement?

CBS REPORTER: I mean your statement. Not even the tone, because then he can go off on…

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And then if he does, if we can just follow up and say ‘but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…’ – *becomes unintelligble*

CBS REPORTER: You can’t say that..

**Later**

CBS REPORTER: I’m just trying to make sure that we’re just talking about, no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?
They really did that. I don't mind the press treating politicians as adversaries. That's sort of their job, they are supposed to be at best distrustful of those in power. But they have to distrust all politicians and treat all politicians as adversaries, not just those in the Republican Party. This is simply protecting their chosen candidate by trying to turn the story into how Romney is a jerk and lousy at foreign policy, somehow.

Because the Foreign Policy President theme is in ruins now, and they have to find some way to recover or at least smooth over the damage. So far the US State Department has yet to even condemn the Egypt attack. And why do we have an open embassy there to begin with? Why the consul in Libya? Why, on the anniversary of 9/11 did we not beef up security there? Why was it simply a building with a locked door and no other security?* The Consulate reported someone scouting the place out hours before the attack.

Meanwhile, President Obama went to Las Vegas to glad hand people yelling "I love you!" at a fund raiser. In fact for weeks now, President Obama has been too busy to even get a single intelligence briefing. He's been blowing off economic briefings for even longer.

This theme of failure in the Obama administration on foreign policy and a press all too willing to protect and even cheer for the Obama reelection campaign is just pathetic at this point. At the Democratic National Convention there were warships shown on a gigantic screen; they turned out to be Russian warships. Now I couldn't tell the difference, but I didn't spend months preparing the DNC, either. And I could probably find someone to help me identify ships in an image, but the President of the United States has the entire US armed forces at his call. Maybe someone at the Pentagon could have helped them out?

When asked about this, the Demcoratic National Committee issued a statement:
We're proud of the service and sacrifice of our veterans and military families and while they were an important and active part our of convention, Mitt Romney failed to even mention them in his speech in Tampa.
That's it. Not "oops, sorry" or anything. Just a "oh we love the military, any old military really, whatever, they were ships, who cares?"

Polling has gotten ridiculous. While Gallup has had some problems (oversampling Democrats, mostly), the media polls are outrageous. Romney is leading with independents by a very large majority in every poll taken. They make up about 30% of the voting public in America, and are the fastest growing political group in the country; people are leaving the two major parties (more leaving Democrats lately). So CNN runs a poll, finding Obama with a huge 6 point lead over Obama! Wow, he's rolling, its certain he'll win again!

Except... the poll counted Democrats by 5 points more than Republicans (when there are more Republicans registered and likely to vote this time around) and counted independents as... 5% of the population. In other words, the poll was deliberately gamed to give a specific, certain result, and managed to get only a 6 point lead for Obama anyway.

The legacy media has long been rooting for Democrats, since the 40s at least. But this is just pathetic. They were more enthusiastic and glowing in 2008, but they're more transparently manipulative this time around. And honestly I don't think its working. People know what happened in Egypt and Libya even if the press wants to sort of push it back. People see Mitt Romney answering questions about these events and Obama not. People hear about Obama fundraising while Romney is dealing with the issue. I don't think this spin is working.

Hillary Clinton ran an ad asking if President Obama would be ready for that 3 AM call about some crisis. Well he got that call, and he's been found wanting, again.

*UPDATE: Apparently there was a bit more security: 4 Libyan guards, at least one of whom was a traitor that helped kill the staff. No added security was put in place, even after an IED was left on the steps in April.

Oh, and get this, according to reports, by official Obama administration policy the embassy guards in Egypt were not permitted live ammunition.

1 Comments:

Anonymous rbee said...

The Ramirez cartoon speaks volumes as does your post,legacy media=presstitutes...

2:17 PM, September 13, 2012  

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