Obama on Meet the Press

Being Obama means never having to say you’re sorry. That’s the conclusion one has to draw after watching President Obama trying to help Chuck Todd and his allies at NBC News pull the venerable Sunday morning telecast out of third place in the ratings with a rare presidential interview.  (transcript here; video here; also embedded below)

Sundance, of Conservative Treehouse, has a nice compilation of the “Jaw Dropping Lies and Propaganda Within President Obama’s Meet The Press Interview” and notes the technique employed by NBC:

There are moments in edited TV content when a keyed-in viewer can see a cut intended to make a “comfort edit”, smoothing out the narrative. The Chuck Todd interview with President Obama was riddled with them.

Indeed. This was an effort at damage control, hoping to make the ISIS “JV” comment sting a bit less with an outright fabrication. Via Powerline:

CHUCK TODD: Long way, long way from when you described them as a JV team.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I–

CHUCK TODD: Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Keep– keep– keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to ISIL.

But he was, as Paul [Mirengoff] showed here. The only example of a “jayvee” terrorist group Obama gave was the one that took Fallujah. Who took Fallujah? ISIS. Obama knows this; he is simply lying to save his own skin.

Asked about Syria, Obama embarrassed himself:

CHUCK TODD:

You've not said the word, "Syria," so far in our conversation. Obviously, if you're going to defeat ISIS, you have used very much stronger language. It's gone through the week during your trip to Wales. You have got to go to Syria in some form or another.

You've ruled out boots on the ground. And I'm curious, have you only ruled them out simply for domestic political reasons? Or is there another reason you've ruled out American boots on the ground? Because your own-- your own guys have said, "You can't defeat ISIS with air strikes alone."

PRES. OBAMA:

Well, they're absolutely right about that. But you also cannot, over the long term or even the medium term, deal with this problem by having the United States serially occupy various countries all around the Middle East. We don't have the resources. It puts enormous strains on our military. And at some point, we leave. And then things blow up again. So we--

CHUCK TODD:

Like what happened in Iraq.

PRES. OBAMA:

--so-- so we've gotta have a more sustainable strategy, which means the boots on the ground have to be Iraqi.

CHUCK TODD:

What about boots--

PRES. OBAMA:

And-- and in Syria, the boots on the ground have to be Syrian. And that's why--

CHUCK TODD:

Who?

PRES. OBAMA:

Well-- we have a Free Syrian Army and a moderate opposition that we have steadily been working with that we have vetted. They have been on the defensive, not just from ISIL, but also from the Assad regime. The strategy both for Iraq and for Syria is that we will hunt down ISIL members and assets wherever they are. I will-- reserve the right to always protect the American people and go after folks who are trying to hurt us wherever they are.

But in terms of controlling territory, we're going to have to develop-- a moderate Sunni opposition that can control territory and that we can work with. The notion that the United States should be putting boots on the ground, I think-- would be a profound mistake. And-- I want to be very clear and very explicit about that.

The elusive “moderate” opposition that Obama failed to support when it could have made a difference. Is not going to pull the chestnuts from the fire.  But no matter what, Obama is promising no “boots on the ground” despite the fact the Special Forces are already deployed in Iraq. No doubt a euphemism will be rolled (“kinetic action,” perhaps?) when it becomes evident that American drones alone can’t do the job in ISIS.

Faced with a question on his quick dash from the White House to the golf course, where he yucked it up with pals after pretending to show concern for the beheaded journalist James Foley, Obama engaged in transparent bathos:

CHUCK TODD:

I've got to ask, so during that vacation, you made the statement on Foley, you went and golfed. Do you want that back?

PRES. OBAMA:

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.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah, you want us to stop following you. I promise you, in two and a half years I think that'll happen.

PRES. OBAMA:

Because the possibility of a jarring contrast given the world's news, there's always going to be some tough news somewhere, it's going to be there. But there's no doubt that after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going through after the statement that I made, that I should've anticipated the optics.

That's part of the job. And I think everybody who knows me, including, I suspect, the press, understands that you take this stuff in and it's serious business. And you care about it deeply. But part of this job is also the theater of it. Part of it is how are you--

That's some amazing emotional resilience, eh?

So “no drama Obama” fought to hold back tears? C’mon, he couldn’t even remember the name James Foley. And rather than apologize for his gross disrespect, he let fly one of those self-complimentary criticisms (“I should have anticipated the optics…. part of this job is also the theatre”) that remind me of the classic job interview strategy when asked to name your shortcomings: “I work too hard and don’t take enough time off”). Having Obama, the man who stood before the Styrofoam columns in Mile High Stadium after his nomination imply that theater is his weak point is just pathetic.

I don’t think that Obama did much to stanch the political damage, but his diminishing pool of supporters will find some comfort in the interview. Chuck Todd needs to review tapes of how Tim Russert cross-examined interview subjects.

Being Obama means never having to say you’re sorry. That’s the conclusion one has to draw after watching President Obama trying to help Chuck Todd and his allies at NBC News pull the venerable Sunday morning telecast out of third place in the ratings with a rare presidential interview.  (transcript here; video here; also embedded below)

Sundance, of Conservative Treehouse, has a nice compilation of the “Jaw Dropping Lies and Propaganda Within President Obama’s Meet The Press Interview” and notes the technique employed by NBC:

There are moments in edited TV content when a keyed-in viewer can see a cut intended to make a “comfort edit”, smoothing out the narrative. The Chuck Todd interview with President Obama was riddled with them.

Indeed. This was an effort at damage control, hoping to make the ISIS “JV” comment sting a bit less with an outright fabrication. Via Powerline:

CHUCK TODD: Long way, long way from when you described them as a JV team.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I–

CHUCK TODD: Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Keep– keep– keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to ISIL.

But he was, as Paul [Mirengoff] showed here. The only example of a “jayvee” terrorist group Obama gave was the one that took Fallujah. Who took Fallujah? ISIS. Obama knows this; he is simply lying to save his own skin.

Asked about Syria, Obama embarrassed himself:

CHUCK TODD:

You've not said the word, "Syria," so far in our conversation. Obviously, if you're going to defeat ISIS, you have used very much stronger language. It's gone through the week during your trip to Wales. You have got to go to Syria in some form or another.

You've ruled out boots on the ground. And I'm curious, have you only ruled them out simply for domestic political reasons? Or is there another reason you've ruled out American boots on the ground? Because your own-- your own guys have said, "You can't defeat ISIS with air strikes alone."

PRES. OBAMA:

Well, they're absolutely right about that. But you also cannot, over the long term or even the medium term, deal with this problem by having the United States serially occupy various countries all around the Middle East. We don't have the resources. It puts enormous strains on our military. And at some point, we leave. And then things blow up again. So we--

CHUCK TODD:

Like what happened in Iraq.

PRES. OBAMA:

--so-- so we've gotta have a more sustainable strategy, which means the boots on the ground have to be Iraqi.

CHUCK TODD:

What about boots--

PRES. OBAMA:

And-- and in Syria, the boots on the ground have to be Syrian. And that's why--

CHUCK TODD:

Who?

PRES. OBAMA:

Well-- we have a Free Syrian Army and a moderate opposition that we have steadily been working with that we have vetted. They have been on the defensive, not just from ISIL, but also from the Assad regime. The strategy both for Iraq and for Syria is that we will hunt down ISIL members and assets wherever they are. I will-- reserve the right to always protect the American people and go after folks who are trying to hurt us wherever they are.

But in terms of controlling territory, we're going to have to develop-- a moderate Sunni opposition that can control territory and that we can work with. The notion that the United States should be putting boots on the ground, I think-- would be a profound mistake. And-- I want to be very clear and very explicit about that.

The elusive “moderate” opposition that Obama failed to support when it could have made a difference. Is not going to pull the chestnuts from the fire.  But no matter what, Obama is promising no “boots on the ground” despite the fact the Special Forces are already deployed in Iraq. No doubt a euphemism will be rolled (“kinetic action,” perhaps?) when it becomes evident that American drones alone can’t do the job in ISIS.

Faced with a question on his quick dash from the White House to the golf course, where he yucked it up with pals after pretending to show concern for the beheaded journalist James Foley, Obama engaged in transparent bathos:

CHUCK TODD:

I've got to ask, so during that vacation, you made the statement on Foley, you went and golfed. Do you want that back?

PRES. OBAMA:

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.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah, you want us to stop following you. I promise you, in two and a half years I think that'll happen.

PRES. OBAMA:

Because the possibility of a jarring contrast given the world's news, there's always going to be some tough news somewhere, it's going to be there. But there's no doubt that after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going through after the statement that I made, that I should've anticipated the optics.

That's part of the job. And I think everybody who knows me, including, I suspect, the press, understands that you take this stuff in and it's serious business. And you care about it deeply. But part of this job is also the theater of it. Part of it is how are you--

That's some amazing emotional resilience, eh?

So “no drama Obama” fought to hold back tears? C’mon, he couldn’t even remember the name James Foley. And rather than apologize for his gross disrespect, he let fly one of those self-complimentary criticisms (“I should have anticipated the optics…. part of this job is also the theatre”) that remind me of the classic job interview strategy when asked to name your shortcomings: “I work too hard and don’t take enough time off”). Having Obama, the man who stood before the Styrofoam columns in Mile High Stadium after his nomination imply that theater is his weak point is just pathetic.

I don’t think that Obama did much to stanch the political damage, but his diminishing pool of supporters will find some comfort in the interview. Chuck Todd needs to review tapes of how Tim Russert cross-examined interview subjects.