Members of the conservative media, including Fox News, are attacking President Obama for not attending the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But when Obama has traveled abroad in the past -- including a trip in which Obama commemorated D-Day -- Fox News and figures at other media outlets have criticized him for supposedly going on an "apology tour."
Fox, others attack Obama for not going to Berlin
The Fox Nation: "Obama skips Berlin Wall anniversary." Fox News' The Fox Nation linked to a FoxNews.com article that quoted Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich calling Obama's decision to not to attend a "tragedy." From The Fox Nation (quoting a FoxNews.com article):
President Obama squeezed in a trip to Copenhagen last month to lobby, unsuccessfully, for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. He plans to travel to Oslo next month to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that even Obama has said he does not deserve. And this coming week, he sets out on a weeklong tour of Asia.
But the president does not plan to travel to Germany to attend the 20th anniversary celebration Monday of the fall of the Berlin Wall, drawing heated criticism from those who say he's ignoring a shining triumph of American-inspired democracy.
"A tragedy," is how former House Speaker Newt Gingrich described Obama's absence. [The Fox Nation, 11/9/09]
From The Fox Nation:
Gingrich: Obama decision not to attend Berlin commemoration is "a tragedy." In a Washington Examiner column, Gingrich wrote:
Some consider President Barack Obama's refusal to attend next week's commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany an outrage.
I consider it a tragedy.
The message of human dignity that led to the toppling of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago is a true message of hope rooted in the spiritual nature of man and the freedom to know God.
And so it is a true shame that the president of the United States -- this man who cloaks himself in the rhetoric of hope -- won't be pausing to remember. [The Washington Examiner, 11/6/09]
Breitbart's BigGovernment, other blogs "apologize" to Europe for Obama. On Andrew Breitbart's website BigGovernment.com, John Loudon, who formerly served in the Missouri Senate as a Republican, wrote a post titled "To Our Friends in Europe, We Apologize for Our President." From the post:
Now we have a new face of America. We elected Barak Obama [sic], and he does not feel that moral duty to you as Reagan did, at least not enough to stand up to the shrill American voices that hate the American military. So he will not be there on November 9th to Celebrate the Fall of the Berlin Wall. I do not think he sees it the way you do. He will also not participate in the festivities on the campus of my College. Westminster College, in my State of Missouri, is where the great Allied leader Winston Churchill gave the Iron Curtain Speech. He told the World how millions of our fellow human beings were being stuffed into the cage, the very cage I was privileged to help dismantle. He had a way with words. On the campus of another American College he gave his shortest speech "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give in." But I digress.
Our new President believes that you are on your own. As the KGB agent-turned-billionaire, puppet master of the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin conducts war games of an assault on Poland, Obama has decided to tear down the American missiles from Poland. We knew that he cared less as he promised to remove our protection from the Iraqi people. 150 of them were slaughtered just this week. He really wants to find a way out of Afghanistan and pull our soldiers out just as you are pulling your U.N. workers out right now.
So my new President will not be there with you, like John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were there for you. He has other priorities. I really wish I could be there to celebrate with you. Unfortunately, with the passing of time, I have five children, our economy is bad, and I too, have other priorities. So I am sorry that my President, the American face to the World will not be there for you. I feel just a little better knowing that you asked America to give him to you. I hope you like him. [BigGovernment.com, 11/8/09]
NY Post editorial: "Pathetic," "dangerous" that Obama won't be in Berlin. From the New York Post:
World leaders past and present will be in Berlin today for the 20th anniversary of the fall of communist repression's most visible symbol: the 112-mile concrete wall that split the city for more than a quarter-century.
Conspicuously absent: the president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Obama's folks say he's too busy to accept German President Angela Merkel's invitation to attend today's festivities
It's pathetic that Obama won't be there -- and telling, as well.
Gone, it seems, are the days when America championed freedom, led by presidents whose oratory was matched by commitment and determined action.
It's not only shameful -- but dangerous. [The New York Post, 11/9/09]
Fox, Limbaugh repeatedly attacked Obama for supposed "apology tour"
Fox, others attack Obama for trip in which he went Normandy as "apology tour." Obama took a trip in June in which he traveled to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, and France. During the trip, on June 6, Obama visited a cemetery in Normandy to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Focusing on an address to the Muslim world that Obama gave in Cairo, numerous conservatives attacked Obama for conducting an "apology tour" on that trip, notwithstanding Obama's visit to Normandy. For instance, Fox News' Sean Hannity aired an Obama "apology tour" video montage, while Fox & Friends asked if Obama would continue his "'apology-looza'" in Saudi Arabia. The theme was also repeated by CNN's Lou Dobbs. Additionally, in a June 2 segment on Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott asked if "the president's upcoming trip [would] be what conservatives might call another apology tour," and on-screen text aired during the segment advanced the "apology tour" smear. Furthermore, during the June 3 edition of Fox & Friends, Carlson said, "President Obama is on a big trip over to the Middle East for the next couple of days. ... Last time, a lot of people said, Steve [Doocy, co-host], that he was on an apology tour of sorts, so we decided to put a little bit of video tape together," and proceeded to play a video montage including excerpts from Obama's previous foreign trips, which took comments Obama made while in Strasbourg, France, out of context. Doocy then stated, "So, what will he say during this trip? Keep it right here on Fox." And on June 3, The Fox Nation featured a front-page headline that read, "Humiliating a Superpower? Obama's Top 10 Apologies."
Conservative media repeatedly refer to "apology tour" when discussing Obama's trips abroad. As Media Matters for America has documented, in addition to their characterization of Obama's June trip, Chris Wallace and conservative media figures have incessantly asserted that Obama has been on an "apology tour" while abroad.
Lowry combines apology tour, Berlin Wall decision into one attack. In his November 3 syndicated column, Rich Lowry asserted: "Obama's failure to go to Berlin is the most telling nonevent of his presidency. It's hard to imagine any other American president eschewing the occasion. Only Obama -- with his dismissive view of the Cold War as a relic distorting our thinking and his attenuated commitment to America's exceptional role in the world -- would spurn German President Angela Merkel's invitation to attend." He later tied in the supposed apology tour, writing: "Rather than a warm-and-fuzzy exercise in global understanding, the Cold War was another iteration of the 20th century's long war between totalitarianism and Western liberalism. The West prevailed on the back of American strength. But Obama doesn't think in such antiquated, triumphalist terms. Given to apologizing for his nation abroad, he resolutely downplays American leadership." [The National Review, 11/3/09]