On the December 4 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle attributed the resignation of United Nations ambassador John R. Bolton to the Bush administration's inability to find an "easy way around" the "unyielding enemies in Senate" who opposed Bolton. Angle did not mention the many U.N. officials who reportedly expressed disapproval with Bolton, who was given a recess appointment by President Bush in 2005 after his nomination failed in the Senate.
In his report on Bolton's resignation, Angle noted the opposition of Sens. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and Chris Dodd (D-CT), and asserted that Bolton "got much better reviews from one of his counterparts at the U.N.," quoting Japanese ambassador to the U.N. Kenzo Oshima expressing support for Bolton. However, in a July 23 article on Bolton's performance, The New York Times reported that "more than 30 ambassadors consulted in the preparation of this article, all of whom share the United States' goal of changing United Nations management practices, expressed misgivings over Mr. Bolton's leadership." Angle made no mention of Bolton's critics in the United Nations.
Further, Angle contrasted Oshima's comments with those of Dodd, quoting Dodd's December 4 statement regarding Bolton's resignation. Angle did not report, however, that Dodd has pointed to U.N. members' disapproval of Bolton in opposing Bolton's renomination. In a September 6 floor statement, Dodd cited the Times' July 23 article and said, "Once again it's those who have worked most closely with him who are his biggest critics. More than thirty Ambassadors with whom Bolton serves at the United Nations -- all supportive of UN reform -- questioned his leadership abilities."
From the July 23 edition of The New York Times:
But over the past month, more than 30 ambassadors consulted in the preparation of this article, all of whom share the United States' goal of changing United Nations management practices, expressed misgivings over Mr. Bolton's leadership.
In the aftermath of a 170-to-4 vote last spring on creating a Human Rights Council, which the United States opposed, Peter Maurer, the ambassador of Switzerland, characterized the American approach as "intransigent and maximalist."
"All too often," he said, "high ambitions are cover-ups for less noble aims, and oriented not at improving the United Nations, but at belittling and weakening it."
From the December 4 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
ANGLE: The president noted that critics initially predicted Bolton would fail miserably in the job, but said he proved the critics wrong.
BUSH: On issue after issue, Bolton delivered. And so, you're looking at a man who's deeply disappointed. And I would call it shallow politics of the Senate, in this case.
ANGLE: The combative Bolton was extremely controversial when first appointed, but won respect for his handling of some of the most difficult issues before the U.N.: building a coalition for sanctions against North Korea, helping keep international pressure on Iran, and pushing for a U.N. peacekeeping force in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered by government-backed militias. Those efforts won enough support, the White House argues, that he would have easily been confirmed had his nomination gotten to the Senate floor.
TONY SNOW (White House press secretary): There were 58 announced votes in his favor. That's bipartisan.
ANGLE: But Bolton never got that chance because his nomination was held up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by critics such as defeated Republican Lincoln Chafee and especially Democratic Senator Chris Dodd, who released a statement celebrating today's developments, saying: "I'm glad to see the Bush administration has decided not to press Mr. Bolton's nomination any further. I would encourage the administration to put forward an individual who believes in diplomacy and has strong bipartisan support." But Bolton got much better reviews from one of his counterparts at the U.N.
OSHIMA: To me, really disappointing to see Ambassador John Bolton goes. He has been exceptionally skillful diplomat at the United Nations at a time when the U.N. faced very challenging issues like reform.
ANGLE: To some, of course, Bolton was a bit of a lightning rod, a man who did not mince words even in the mushy business of diplomacy. That clarity won him some admirers at the U.N., but some unyielding enemies in the Senate, and the White House could find no easy way around them.