Team Barack Obama knows they are in a heap of re-election trouble when pundits look at his shambles of an economic record. So what to do? Easy. The most shameless of our Obama-loving journalists are painting Obama as an action-movie superhero in the war on terror.
Just open up Newsweek Magazine to an advertisement for a book by its own Daniel Klaidman called “Kill Or Capture.” It begins by asking about Obama: “High-minded idealist or calculating killer?” They mean that in a positive way. Then comes this sales language: “How has President Obama waged the war on terror? With one hand tied behind his back — and the other dealing death sentences to suspected terrorists around the world.”
Yes, this is the same Obama who refused to allow the term “war on terror” to be used.
It’s surprising the book cover doesn’t have a picture of death-dealing Obama in camouflage gear biting a knife in his teeth. This is merely the latest proof that our grizzled “objective” and “investigative” journalists of the old media are nothing of the sort. They are putty in the hands of the Obama squad. Whatever happened to candidate Obama, the hero of the American Civil Liberties Union who protested how the allegedly dictatorial and unconstitutional Bush-Cheney war on terror ruined America’s image in the eyes of the world?
Whatever happened to our supposedly idealistic press?
Just two years ago, Klaidman was banging away at the Republicans as the real terrorists in a Newsweek article headlined “Terror Begins at Home: Fearmongering Politicians Are Scoring Cheap Political Points at the Expense of the American People.” This was presented as a “news” article.
Klaidman launched the abuse on team Bush: “Americans are historically a tough lot. But the policies and rhetoric of the Bush-Cheney years, which set the tone for the current GOP attacks, are infantilizing: be very afraid, we’re told, and let the government take care of you. The tough-guy bluster has led to a permanent state of anxiety — and a slew of counterproductive policies, from harsh visa restrictions to waterboarding. Our politicians rail about apocalyptic threats while TSA officers pat down toddlers at the airport.”
Now, this same Klaidman and his magazine are selling Obama with tough-guy bluster about Obama killing terrorists with one hand behind his back. The schizophrenia is unbelievable.
Newsweek is not alone. David Sanger, the chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times, has a new book out with the title “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power.” The publishers tout how the author found that Obama has successfully “pivoted American foreign policy away from the attritional wars of the past decade, attempting to preserve America’s influence with a lighter, defter touch.”
In 2009, Sanger came out with a book titled “The Inheritance” that indicted the Bush foreign policy just like Klaidman did: It “has left us less admired by our allies, less feared by our enemies and less capable of convincing the rest of the world that our economic and political model is worthy of emulation.”
Sanger also appeared at the time on “The Daily Show,” and host Jon Stewart compared the Bush administration to a group of drunken frat bullies: “It reminds me a bar I used to work at, where this one group of guys would come in and every night you’d wonder, ‘I wonder who they’re going to fight?’” To which Sanger cracked: “Was Cheney at your bar?”
But now itchy trigger fingers are cool. The scandal around Sanger’s book came with a leak of an Obama administration policy to launch a cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. When Sanger and his newspaper came looking for national-security secrets to expose, the administration should have thrown him out on his ear. But it’s team Obama running things now. They took reporters backstage to assist them in portraying Obama as a rock star in the war on terror. As members of Congress of both parties lamented the leaks and demanded investigations, Sanger insisted to Larry Kudlow on CNBC that this leak was authorized: “At no point did the government come to us and ask us not to run this story.”
In a largely positive Washington Post review of these two Obama-boosting books, NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston expressed the obvious: “Klaidman and Sanger were clearly given extraordinary access to key players in the administration to write the books. ...The problem is that both authors, perhaps because of the access, provide a largely uncritical view of the Obama administration’s process.”
It’s not just the access. These reporters gained the access because first they drank Obama’s Kool-Aid. To borrow from Garry Trudeau’s slam of the Bushes, they put their journalistic manhood in a blind trust. No one would ever mistake them for calculating career killers — or high-minded idealists. The pied piper beckons ... and they dance.