Skip to main content

Mitt Romney's and Sen. John McCain's and other Republicans' efforts to paint the demise of Osama bin Laden as something any president would have done is calculated to maintain the GOP fiction that Barack Obama—and, of course, Democrats in general—are wimps on national security. On this first anniversary of the special operation that took out Osama, that anybody-would-have-done-it theme no doubt has another purpose as well: keeping people's attention off the ninth anniversary of George W. Bush's propaganda gala aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln behind a Mission Accomplished banner.

Enough has been said over the years about Commander Codpiece's imitation-gloriooooous hero role that day. But what of the role of the press? How much did it swallow on mission accomplished day? Media Matters cranked up its time machine to find out. Here, on May 1, 2003, is Chris Matthews, a fellow who still has a big-time gig supposedly telling it like it is to viewers:

Do you think this role, and I want to talk politically [...], the president deserves everything he's doing tonight in terms of his leadership. He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics. Do you think he is defining the office of the presidency, at least for this time, as basically that of commander in chief? That [...] if you're going to run against him, you'd better be ready to take [that] away from him.
Ready for a shower? As a guest, Matthews had Ann Coulter on. What she said could, of course, have been anticipated:
COULTER: It's stunning. It's amazing. I think it's huge. I mean, he's landing on a boat at 150 miles per hour. It's tremendous. It's hard to imagine any Democrat being able to do that. And it doesn't matter if Democrats try to ridicule it. It's stunning, and it speaks for itself.
Did Matthews interrupt the way he usually does and call anything she said into question? Not a whisper of objection.

But it wasn't just Matthews polishing the president's ... uh ... whatever that day.

Wolf Blitzer at CNN praised Bush's experience as a jet fighter pilot. Non-existent experience, since to be a fighter pilot, one must have actually fought and Bush ...uh ... opted out of that opportunity. Brian Williams, then of CNBC, also called Bush a former fighter pilot who looked "full of energy in a flight suit." Fox News's Greta van Susteren sang the fighter pilot's praises as well.

On the "Face the Nation," Joe Klein said:

Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day. That was the first thing that came to mind for me. And it just shows you how high a mountain these Democrats are going to have to climb.
And the print media did their part. David Sanger at The New York Times wrote:
Mr. Bush was clearly reliving his days as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, more than three decades ago. "I miss flying, I can tell you that," he told reporters who bumped into him as he moved around the ship.
Two stunning performances that day, nine years ago. George W. Bush pretending to be something he was not. And the media, supposedly the nation's watchdog, doing the same.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue May 01, 2012 at 12:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site