President Obama has accused Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapon capability, contrary to the assessment of US intelligence agencies. This is not a joke. The LA Times reports,
"In his news conference this week, President Obama went so far as to describe Iran's ‘development of a nuclear weapon' before correcting himself to refer to its ‘pursuit' of weapons capability... The language reflects the extent to which senior U.S. officials now discount a National Intelligence Estimate issued in November 2007 that was instrumental in derailing U.S. and European efforts to pressure Iran to shut down its nuclear program."
Is this covered by our media as if Obama did something wrong? Of course not.
"When you're talking about negotiations in Iran, it is dangerous to appear weak or naive,' said Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear weapons expert and president of the Ploughshares Fund, an anti-proliferation organization based in Washington. Cirincione said the unequivocal language also worked to Obama's political advantage."
Now, the Ploughshares Fund is not what you would call a right-wing group. It was one of the most consistent supporters of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, for example, something even President Clinton could not accept. Michael Douglas is on its board of directors. And these are the people now telling us "it is dangerous to appear weak."
Let's go to the tape, shall we? Below are a few examples of how this same sort of thing was covered when George Bush was President.
Fox News: "Bush Administration Credibility Suffers After Iran NIE Report." Slate: "Artificial Intelligence: President Bush's cavalier dismissal of the NIE undermines our credibility, again." The Progressive: "When the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran came out earlier this week, a lot of people jumped to the conclusion that Cheney and the hardliners have lost, and so we can all breathe a sigh of relief." NPR : "NIE Report on Iran Contradicts Bush Claims." Salon: "The latest NIE on Iran's nuclear program raises questions once again about the Bush administration's veracity in describing a nuclear threat."
I could go on. I did a search on "Bush Iran NIE" and got over 5 million hits.
Oh well. When Barack Obama hit his head while entering Marine One, this is how one objective journalist covered it,
"It looks like those finely honed reflexes sharpened on the basketball court served him well as he appeared to bend in order to soften the blow almost as soon as he sensed it coming."
When Gerald Ford did it, we got Chevy Chase mocking him every Saturday night. When Barack Obama does it, it just shows how honed his reflexes are, and the need for an upgraded helicopter. When the NIE contradicted George Bush (and an earlier NIE), it meant Bush lied. When Barack Obama contradicts that same NIE, he's showing strength and savvy.
We get the message: Obama is wonderful no matter what.