The Media's Yellow Submarine

Spain is struggling economically, so imagine how angry its citizens must be to learn that its government spent $680 million on a yellow submarine that is unusable because it is too heavy to float

As the scandals of this administration start floating to the surface our own Fourth Estate seems trapped at the bottom, too, by the over expenditure of its credibility on Obama, an unsuitable object of veneration.

At Red State, Moe Lane could not conceal his delight at the turn of events:

I've always considered the relationship between Barack Obama and the Media to be a lot less genuine than is commonly believed: there's no real emotional connection on the corporate level. Barack Obama has always approached the Media with a certain inherent cynical contempt that only got more and more brazen as the years went on and nobody reacted to never being given press conferences and seeing local media be punished for non-flattering coverage and having reporters stuffed in closets and whatnot. And, for its part... the Media as a corporate entity likes Barack Obama the way that I like a rib-eye steak. They loved reporting his rise; they loved celebrating his victories; they love narrating his travails; and they will absolutely love chronicling his fall. And once they're done with all of that, the Media will write sad, brave little pieces about the endgame for the latest iteration of the Camelot myth -- and never explain that they themselves helped set up that scenario, because it's one of their favorite stories. One that they will revisit, just as soon as they can.

All of which would be infuriating, except that it's actually going to rebound in my party's favor for a change and there's not a blessed thing I can really do about it anyway.

Think about what this week shows about the press. Key members of the old Obama hem kissing juice box crowd, including Josh Marshall and Ezra Klein, were ushered into the White house before the president's press conference in the rain, other reporters were kept waiting while the elect got their super special pre-briefing, and the next day they report the very same message: fire wrongdoers at the IRS:

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein and Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo were spotted headed into the West Wing with a gaggle of other left-wing columnists.

both are calling for "firings" at the IRS within a half-hour of one another.

It should also be noted, though, that six days ago Klein wrote a column claiming Obama's scandals, including the IRS scandal, were "falling apart."

Just a few moments ago on MSNBC, Klein lashed out at civil service protections that won't allow for IRS employees to be fired. It looks as though the White House might be using these guys as a way to convince the public that firings are the answer. A few heads on pig poles and we can call the scandal over

Once upon a time it was slightly harder to know what was happening in Washington. You had to carefully study the Washington Post style section to see who was invited to White House dinners and who was hosting whom in Georgetown. Now just read people like Joan Walsh of Salon, Klein and Marshall to see what it is the president is plotting to do. They are his mouthpieces.

A reporter from another earlier time indicates how the rest of the press corps should have responded to the pre-conference conference with the select, they

"should have WALKED OUT EN MASSE as they would have in my day before allowing some Administration to separate the sheep and the goats; then you never let the politicians define 'the press'."

On the other hand he's optimistic that the press is finally rising above the ocean floor:

that SO FEW were invited for the Journolist meeting.... EVERYONE in the PRESS ROOM had been an Obama claque and the whole thing has broken down in the past 3 weeks... THAT IS MAJOR NEWS....

"A lover's quarrel" perhaps it started that way, but with Rosen, Lerner, and the way the rest of this is devolving, AND Carney's GHASTLY performance changing his scenario day by day (when any decent press sec[retary] would have resigned ... check the clips for examples) Media reps are NOW more afraid of being on the wrong side of a deteriorating Obama narrative than being on the wrong side of Obama.

I think he's right, though even a wizard would have a hard time keeping track of the rapidly changing explanation for what is most certainly widespread scandalous and unethical, if not criminal, behavior by administration officials in multiple agencies.

For example, see how credible this sounds to you: Attorney General Holder says he recused himself from action relating to the AP subpoena but he didn't do it as the statute requires, there's no record of his having done that nor can he even say with certainty that he did recuse himself. He did, however, sign the affidavit seeking the Rosen search warrant but we didn't know that because the affidavit was misfiled by the Court clerks and was hidden from public eye.

Curiously, a writer at the Washington Post does seem to have known of the Rosen order even though the court clerks had misfiled it and hidden it from public view. Tom Blumer at Newsbusters breaks this story:

One obvious question which occurred to me and I suspect others when I read Ann Marimow's first account at the Washington Post dated May 19 of the search warrant issued in 2009 for the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen was: "Where has this thing been hiding?"

The "Affidavit for Search Warrant" is dated May 28, 2010. Why did it come out just this week? Marimow didn't say. More stories followed, still without explanation. It's not unreasonable to believe that the Post might have sat on knowledge of its existence, and that someone who works at the U.S. Court may have deliberately worked to keep it invisible for 18 months after it was supposed to have been unsealed in November 2011


On Tuesday, I emailed Ms. Marimow as follows:

I've searched through your coverage of the Fox-DOJ-Kim situation, and have yet to find any indication of what specifically triggered the story.

Was it DOJ releasing previously sealed documents, or is it something that you or one of your sources discovered or uncovered on your/their own?

If the answer to the previous question is the latter, how long have you known the particulars of the Rosen case to the level of them constituting a reportable story?

If you would be so kind as to answer these questions, I would be most grateful.

I didn't expect a response, and haven't received one.

However, Marimow's next report on Wednesday showed that I had good reason for asking my questions. The warrant wasn't really unsealed until just days ago.

Did the Department of Justice use this Washington Post reporter to roll out the story as Lois Lerner used a friend to roll out the story of IRS malfeasance or had the paper known about it since some time before the 2012 election and sat on the damaging report? Did one of the Post's own people or sources dig this up? Did a friendly clerk tip Marimow off? Since she's not saying, we can't tell. Maybe Judge Lamberth, who's asking for an investigation into the misfiling, will get to the bottom of this.

As Obama's ratings swirl downward, as the defenses to the scandals get daily revisions, which are soon discredited and abandoned, the president kicks sand in our eyes. He's nominated Victoria Nuland for a new, higher position just as we learned about her key role in revising the Benghazi talking points into an utterly false account.

And then like Lily von Schtupp in Blazing Saddles ("I'm so Tired"), Obama gives an internally incoherent and inconsistent speech saying he's tired of war and suggests that since he is we can just stop -- or something (what is not altogether clear).

The president gave a speech today on our defense posture that was schizophrenic and unrelated to reality. He promised to continue the war on terrorism, yet said nothing about slashing defense spending. He ridiculed his predecessor on civil liberties, but with zero political support and no game plan for those who can't be tried, proposed to send Guantanamo Bay prison camp detainees to the homeland. (How many times must Congress say no?) What was missing was a comprehensive understanding of our enemy -- jihadism. And he incorrectly indicated that we contribute to our own woes ("has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law").

Jennifer Rubin goes on to select ten of the President's comments, italicize them, and underline their weaknesses -- here's one:

"In Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of civilians died in a war where the boundaries of battle were blurred. In Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the extraordinary courage and discipline of our troops, thousands of civilians have been killed. So neither conventional military action nor waiting for attacks to occur offers moral safe harbor, and neither does a sole reliance on law enforcement in territories that have no functioning police or security services and, indeed, have no functioning law." Plainly the man has been traumatized by Vietnam. He defines conventional war as bad because we tragically lose men. The problem with Vietnam is that we didn't win and wasted lives; with Iraq, Obama threw victory away. By defining combat as equally unacceptable as passivity, he overlooked the moral necessity of war in some cases. He also left out the most effective counterexample: Bosnia, where our military action was needed and we achieved our aims. In casting anything more than drone use as virtually never defensible, he signaled to Iran and Syria that they have full rein. This is not a president who will do whatever it takes to keep Iran from gaining a nuclear weapons capability

Bing West's critique was shorter, Obama played Hamlet to distract from the burgeoning scandals:

In seventy lugubrious paragraphs, President Obama today asked America whether as commander-in-chief he should bomb terrorists. He concluded that sometimes he should, and sometimes he shouldn't. He couldn't quite make up his mind. Therefore, he would appoint a panel to advise him. Mr. Obama has already authorized more than 200 such drone bombings. His staff has bragged that before ordering a bombing, he personally reviews who lives and who dies. Imagine if Prime Minister Churchill or President Truman had appeared on television to announce an advisory panel before bombing our enemy. We would be appalled.

To make it seem this nonsensical babbling was a moderate view on the defense issues we face, someone (dare we suggest the White House?) allowed Medea Benjamin of the odious Code Pink to play a demented Greek chorus of one, repeatedly heckling him and then deferring to his admonitions to allow him to continue.

After repeatedly interrupting Obama's speech on counterterrorism policy, Benjamin was escorted out of the room and questioned by police.

Benjamin told the Huffington Post Thursday that she got an invitation to the event from someone whose name she could not disclose and was surprised herself that she was able to get in so easily.

The speech was not open to the general public. "Attendance for non-media was limited to invited guests from the National Defense University faculty, staff, and student body, along with those invited by the White House," the university said.

Maybe it'll work on low information voters. It used to when she schlepped the gormless Cindy Sheehan around and when Congressional confederates allowed her harpies covered in fake blood to confront secretary Rice and interfere with her testimony before Congress. Now that Chavez is dead and Castro mostly dead and their countries' tills empty, who's Medea working for?