Video: Mainstream Media Unwittingly Collude in Republican Lies About Obama
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Sen. Jim DeMint wants to "break:" President Obama. He said so himself, in the famous blogger call in which he promised that Republicans would make health-care reform the president's "Waterloo".
It should come as no surprise then, that DeMint would use the recent attempted terrorism attack on a U.S. airliner to advance a rack of lies about the president. What should be surprising -- but, alas, has become all too common in the mainstream media -- was the failure of the "Today" show's Matt Lauer to correct the lies laid out by DeMint in response to a question about whether or not he blames the president for the failure of the national security system to detect the threat posed by the would-be bomber:
DeMINT: Again, I don't think we should try to blame -- whether it's the president or any other person right now -- but a lot of us have been concerned over the last year that the president did seem to downplay the threat of terror; he doesn't use the word anymore, he hesitates to say that there's a war on terror. In the last few days he seems to have come around to the idea that there are people, in Yemen and in other places, who are intent on hurting Americans. And I think that puts us all on the same page and, hopefully, we can take the politics out of this, focus on security, and the president seems to be in the right place now.
Now, like every reporter who covers national politics, Lauer knows this is a flat-out lie. One need only recall Obama's speech at West Point, delivered a little over a month ago, in which the president said:
This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat. In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror. [Emphasis added.]
Yet Lauer ignored the lie, and simply dove into his next question, which was about why DeMint has placed a hold on the Senate confirmation of Obama's nominee for the position of chief administrator for the Transportation Security Administration, the agency charged with passenger screening at airports. (DeMint's response to that question was a bit more transparent; he cited his objection to the nominee's potential support for the president's embrace of collective bargaining rights for TSA screeners.)
The Big Lie allowed to go unchecked by Lauer comes from a line of crap excreted by former Vice President Dick Cheney in the pages of Politico, in which the Darth Veder contended that Obama is "trying to pretend we are not at war" with terrorists:
[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren't, it makes us less safe," Cheney said in a statement to Politico. "Why doesn't he want to admit we're at war? It doesn't fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn't fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency -- social transformation -- the restructuring of American society.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.