Paul Kengor: No media pass on Mideast if Bush were president
Imagine this: The president is George W. Bush.
At the GOP convention, his supporters hoist signs touting his killing of Osama bin Laden. In his speech, he makes fun of his opponent's foreign-policy experience while boasting about his alleged Middle East triumphs, from Egypt and Libya to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Three days later, Israel and Iran heat up. The president, however, has reportedly refused to meet with Israel's prime minister.
All this as the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, approaches.
Then, the kicker: The Middle East explodes on Sept. 11. The U.S. embassy in Cairo looks eerily like a replay of the U.S. embassy in Tehran under Jimmy Carter. Hours later in Libya, a U.S. ambassador is killed, the first since the Carter years. By week's end, there are protests against America in more than 20 Middle Eastern cities, including in Iraq, and a sudden surge in violence that kills some U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Making those anti-Osama signs look haughty and overconfident, demonstrators hoist pro-Osama signs and chant, “We're all Osama!”
It gets worse. Americans learn of amazing presidential incompetence: He didn't attend a single daily intelligence briefing leading up to the 9/11 anniversary. That's right, not one. Worse, he has attended only 44 percent of daily briefings and only about a third this year — while campaigning and meeting with TV personalities and celebrities. This from a man who mocked his opponent's foreign-policy credentials.
But there's more.
In a campaign interview, he says Egypt is not a U.S. ally, prompting a public correction by no less than Carter. Even worse, his administration (including his secretary of State) seems unwilling to call the attacks premeditated or even terrorism and wants to blame an obscure anti-Muhammad video.
On the Sunday talk shows, his U.N. ambassador claims the Libya attack was “not … premeditated.” She is immediately repudiated by the Libyan president, who states there's “no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined.” And media report that U.S. diplomats in Libya had been warned three days before that attack. Then we hear that a terrorist released from Gitmo was involved.
The president, bear in mind, did not attend a single daily intelligence briefing during that period. And still keeps campaigning and talking to celebrities.
Imagine how the media would react if the president were George W. Bush. The New York Times would call for his head.
Now imagine the president is Barack Obama and all this is real — which it is.
Never have I witnessed the media attack a president as they did Bush and protect a president as they have Obama. This is truly extraordinary. Our mainstream media's bias is scandalous.
Paul Kengor is a professor of political science at Grove City College. His books include “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mentor” and “Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.” His column appears the first Sunday of each month.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Sex-soaked culture faulted for fraternity house parties
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, out with concussion
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- LaBar: WrestleMania 31 one of the best ever
- Researchers uncover details to help get GOP candidates elected
- Pirates notebook: Decker leaves game with calf injury
- Carnegie Mellon University’s Speck device monitors indoor pollution
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin