Right-Wing Media Launches Kitchen Sink Attack On Obama's Afghanistan Speech

››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

The right-wing media reacted to President Obama's address on troop withdrawals in Afghanistan by dredging up familiar, petty attacks, such as criticizing the number of times Obama referred to himself, and claiming the address was a "campaign speech" instead of a "war update." This follows a long history of the right-wing media launching frivolous attacks over speeches Obama makes on all manner of issues.

Attack: Obama Said "I" Too Many Times

Hannity: "I Heard The President Mention Himself, 'I, I, Me, I, I, I,' I Think About A Dozen Times." On the June 22 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity said, "The one thing -- I don't know if you noticed this -- I didn't hear General Petraeus' name. I heard the President mention himself, 'I, I, me, I, I, I,' I think about a dozen times. I didn't hear him mention General Petraeus in this speech. That was an omission? How is that possible?" [Fox News, Hannity, 6/22/11, via Media Matters]

Fox & Friends Counts The Number Of Times Obama Said "I" During Speech. The June 23 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends edited Obama's speech to isolate the number of times Obama said "I." The segment featured a running counter in the corner of the screen. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/23/11, via Media Matters]

Attack: Address Was A "Campaign Speech"

FoxNews.com: "The President Chose To Use The East Room Of The White House To Offer ... A Campaign Speech." In a June 22 FoxNews.com op-ed, DC International Advisory President and former aide to Dick Cheney Stephen Yates wrote:

Americans can be forgiven for wondering what exactly was offered up by their president as he announced his timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan Wednesday night. Quite naturally they would anticipate an update on progress made in the year and a half since he announced deployment of the surge - albeit half of the forces requested by his battlefield commander.

On that count, President Obama delivered as expected, reporting success and announcing the withdrawal of surge forces over the next year. That 30-second bit of information could have capably been delivered from the White House press podium or in a brief televised update from the Oval Office (which this president -- unlike all recent predecessors -- oddly seems to avoid).
Instead, the president chose to use the East Room of the White House to offer a fairly simple campaign speech, not a war update or national security strategy. [FoxNews.com, 6/22/11]

Fox Nation: "In Afghanistan Remarks, Obama Offers A Campaign Speech Not A War Update Or National Security Strategy." Fox Nation linked to the Fox News op-ed under the headline, "In Afghanistan Remarks, Obama Offers a Campaign Speech Not a War Update or National Security Strategy." From Fox Nation:

Afghan Fox Nation

[Fox Nation, 6/22/11]

Attack: Obama Shouldn't Have Mentioned Jobs Or Clean Energy

Obama: Instead Of War, "We Must Invest In America's Greatest Resource - Our People." From President Obama's June 22 speech:

Above all, we are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens here at home. Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America's greatest resource -- our people. We must unleash innovation that creates new jobs and industries, while living within our means. We must rebuild our infrastructure and find new and clean sources of energy. And most of all, after a decade of passionate debate, we must recapture the common purpose that we shared at the beginning of this time of war. For our nation draws strength from our differences, and when our union is strong no hill is too steep, no horizon is beyond our reach.

America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home. [WhiteHouse.gov, Remarks by the President on the Way Forward in Afghanistan, 6/22/11]

Power Line: "The Promotion Of 'Green Jobs' Doesn't Really Belong In This Speech." In a June 23 post on Power Line, blogger Scott Johnson wrote, "Speaking of unintended humor, the promotion of 'green jobs' really doesn't belong in this speech. It may be time to rewrite Samuel Johnson to say that 'green jobs' are the last refuge of a scoundrel." [Power Line, 6/23/11]

Fox Nation: "Obama Pushes Green Energy In Afghan Speech." A June 23 post on Fox Nation linked to the American Spectator blog under the headline, "Obama Pushes Green Energy in Afghan Speech." From Fox Nation:

Afghan green energy

[Fox Nation, 6/23/11]

Attack: Speech Was Obama's "Mission Accomplished" Moment

Ace Of Spades: "Obama's Mission Accomplished Speech." On his blog Ace of Spades, blogger Ace titled a short post on Obama's address "Obama's Mission Accomplished Speech" and went on to write, "We fought this war, but I made all the right decisions." It was posted two minutes after President Obama began speaking. [Ace of Spaces, 6/22/11]

Red State: "Mission Accomplished - Just [Don't] Ask How." A June 22 post on the conservative blog Red State had the subtitle, "Mission Accomplished - Just Don\'t [sic] Ask How." The post went on to state, "Whatever you do, though, don't forget tonight's declaration of success in a war whose purpose most Americans have long forgotten -- just don't ask how that success was achieved, how it's being defined, or how long it can be expected to last." [Red State, 6/22/11]

WSJ: "We Half Expected To See A 'Mission Accomplished' Banner Somewhere In The Background." A June 22 Wall Street Journal editorial stated:

President Obama delivered a remarkable speech last night, essentially unplugging the Afghanistan troop surge he proposed only 18 months ago and doing so before its goals have been achieved. We half expected to see a "mission accomplished" banner somewhere in the background. [Wall Street Journal, 6/22/11]

Fox & Friends Text: "Mission Accomplished?" The co-hosts of Fox News' Fox & Friends discussed Obama's speech several times during the June 23 edition of the show. During one segment, the following text aired on screen:

Mission Accomplished

[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/23/11]

Nothing New Here: Right-Wing Media Consistently Attack Obama's Speeches

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama's 2009 Cairo Address. As Media Matters has noted, the right-wing media attacked President Obama's 2009 address in Cairo, Egypt on relations with the Muslim world.

For more information about the right-wing media's attack on Obama's Cairo speech, SEE HERE.

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama's Address On Libya. As Media Matters has noted, the right-wing media attacked Obama's address on military actions in Libya.

For more information about the right-wing media's attack on Obama's Libya speech, SEE HERE.

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama's 2011 State Of The Union Address. As Media Matters has noted, the right-wing media attacked Obama's 2011 State of the Union address.

For more information about the right-wing media's attack on Obama's 2011 State of the Union address, SEE HERE.

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama's 2010 State Of The Union Address. As Media Matters has noted, the right-wing media also attacked Obama's 2010 State of the Union address.

For more information about the right-wing media's attack on Obama's 2010 State of the Union address, SEE HERE.

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama's Memorial Address Honoring The Victims Of The January 2011, Tucson, AZ Shooting. As Media Matters has noted, the right-wing media attacked Obama's memorial speech following the January 2011 shooting in Tucson, AZ.

For more information about the right-wing media's attack on Obama's Tucson shooting victim memorial speech, SEE HERE.

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