I feel comfortable handing out the award for "Worst Talking Point of the Decade (So Far)" to the emerging consensus among conservative media figures that President Obama is somehow at fault for reacting quickly to news of the Haiti catastrophe, while waiting a few days to make public comments about the failed bombing attempt on Christmas.
Limbaugh got the ball rolling on Wednesday, sounding incredulous about the fact that Obama waited a few days to address the failed attack while responding to the Haiti news in less than 24 hours. Later that day, Fox Nation echoed his attack with the headline "Pres. Obama Reacts to Haiti Earthquake Faster Than Christmas Bomber." Not content to let Fox and Limbaugh monopolize the insanity, Glenn Beck got into the action on his radio show today, saying that "Obama is dividing the country" by reacting "so rapidly on Haiti." This is certainly true - the country is divided on this. On the one hand, we have rational, thinking humans, and on the other we have Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox Nation. On what planet are these events comparable?
Tens of thousands of people are dead and a country is in shambles, but to Limbaugh, Beck, and Fox Nation, this is on par with a man failing to detonate a bomb on an airplane, killing no one. I'm not trying to minimize the failed attack, but to elevate it to the level of this catastrophe is self-evidently ludicrous.
This is indicative of an emerging trend we've seen this week, where the chief concern among sections of the conservative media has been to use this week's events to score cheap political points against President Obama. (For a perfect example of this, see Fox Nation's headline this morning "Obama Moves to Grant Amnesty to Haitian Illegal Aliens.")
And setting aside the absurd comparison for a moment, this latest inanity from the conservative noise machine has the added bonus of lacking any historical context. As we've pointed out, George W. Bush waited six days to publicly address the shoe bomber incident in 2001.
Discussing Fox News' decision to all-but ignore the tragedy in Haiti on its top-rated programs, Jamison Foser wrote in his column that "I don't even want to think about the bizarre claims Glenn Beck would come up with." Well, these are the results, and they aren't pretty.