Do Right-Wing Media Figures Think Obama Should Have Reversed Time To Stop Japan's Nuclear Crisis?
Blog ››› ››› MIKE BURNS
In an effort to bash President Obama over the earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear crisis in Japan, the conservative media is running with an especially vacuous smear: attacking Obama for playing golf last weekend. But these critics have not come up with any suggestions for what else Obama should have been doing to deal with the situation in Japan, and it's hard to think of what more Obama could do about the situation short of reversing time.
On Monday, Fox & Friends hosted Fox News contributor Dana Perino to attack Obama over his handling of current international disasters, including the earthquake in Japan. After co-host Steve Doocy said, "You've got Libya imploding, you've got gas prices soaring, meanwhile" Obama "went golfing, second weekend in a row," Perino responded by saying: "Then you had the earthquake in Japan on Friday that happened hours before President Obama was to give a speech about the impact of high gas prices on American families. There is going to be plenty of time for President Obama to go golfing in his future, whether it be two years from now or six years from now." Perino added that White House aides should have told Obama it "probably would be better" to "play indoor basketball."
Later that day, Rush Limbaugh, while discussing Japan's nuclear crisis, stated, "Obama's out playing golf. I didn't even go play golf. I stayed glued to gathering the news. Obama's out playing golf and playing basketball," and added: "We've got the world on fire" and "the guy's out playing golf."
Then on Tuesday's edition of America's Nightly Scoreboard, host David Asman ran with the smear, saying, "There is a disaster in Japan, civil war in Libya, and a budget mess in D.C., and President Obama has been criticized for staying on the sidelines, going golfing a lot, and now he is being slammed for filling out his NCAA brackets," and adding that Obama is "keeping his eye on the wrong ball." Guest panelist Monica Crowley piled on, stating: "We're living in a media world. Perception is reality. He's always shooting hoops, he's having Terry Bradshaw nights at the White House, he's in Rio. The world is aflame! Go to work!"
Never one to resist railing against Obama, Sean Hannity picked up the smear that night on his Fox News show, even breaking from serious coverage of Japan to do so. During the segment, Hannity stated: "[O]n Saturday, hours after the quake struck, he went golfing. And later that evening, he attended a dinner with members of the mainstream Obama-mania media, and today, the president spent his afternoon filling out his NCAA brackets for ESPN. Sadly, none of this is a joke." He further said: "I find his lack of engagement now beyond troubling."
Shortly thereafter, on Follow the Money, host Eric Bolling cited a list of current events -- which included the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Japan -- and asked: "So what should the leader of the free world be doing? Planning? Nope, not doing that. Strategizing? Uh-uh. The golfer-in-chief is working very, very hard on his golf game." Bolling then asked: "Optics, tone-deaf, or just plain egomaniacal?"
Fox News' website Fox Nation amplified the attack, linking to Fox News host Neil Cavuto's interview with Donald Trump with the headline, "Trump Scorches Obama for Golfing During Nuclear Catastrophe."
But there's one glaring problem with all of this: Obama's critics have not offered any suggestions as to what more Obama should be doing to assist with the crisis. Obama has already provided military and economic aid to Japan, and made it clear that he will continue to do so. This raises the question of just what else could Obama have done in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis. Perhaps the conservative media expected Obama to rotate the Earth backwards like Superman to turn back time, or enlist the help of the X Presidents to invent a force field and place it around the planet. Who knows? But one thing is clear: conservative media certainly have no qualms about leveling hollow attacks at Obama despite their own inability to offer any viable or unique solutions to serious problems.