Media Celebrates Bush's Attempt at Syrian Diplomacy After Ridiculing Pelosi's
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This post, written by Ali Frick, originally appeared on Think Progress
When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi traveled to Syria to visit President Bashar al-Assad last spring, the right wing immediately excoriated her diplomatic efforts.
President Bush said the trip " sends mixed signals" to the Assad government, and Dana Perino called the trip " a really bad idea." Vice President Dick Cheney said Assad's " bad behavior's being rewarded." Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) viciously accused Democrats of being "so drunk with grandiose visions of deposing Bush that they break bread with terrorists and enemies of the United States."
The media picked up the conservative talking points and ran with them:
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux: "Why should the Americans, or even the international community, see this any more as a political stunt here, a publicity stunt, a big wet kiss to President Al-Assad?"
Washington Post Editorial Board: "Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish."
Thomas Sowell of the Baltimore Sun: "All that Ms. Pelosi's trip can accomplish is to advertise American disunity to a terrorist-sponsoring nation in the Middle East while we are in a war there."
NBC's Matt Lauer: "But if the Democrats and Speaker Pelosi appear to be acting irresponsibly or incompetently -- and let's face it, a lot of people think she messed up on this one -- what's the impact for Democrats overall?"
Now that the Bush administration has come to its senses and invited Syria to become part of the solution in the Middle East, the media has missed the administration's reversal, instead praising Bush's "victory" in securing Syria's attendance:
New York Times: "Syria announced Sunday that it would attend the Middle East peace meeting beginning here Monday night, joining Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab League participants in a turnabout that represented a victory for the Bush administration."
The Denver Post: "Victory for U.S.: Syria to attend summit."
The AP's Amy Teibel: "The Bush administration was able to declare a clean sweep when Syria, the last Arab world holdout, said Sunday it would attend this week's high-stakes Mideast peace conference."
Ali Frick is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.