Few right-wing media outlets suffer more from Obama Derangement Syndrome than The Washington Times. Media Matters takes a look back at the Times' most outlandish, bizarre, and inflammatory attacks on President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama of 2011.
OSAMA BIN LADEN'S DEATH
Wash. Times: Bin Laden "Outmaneuvered" Obama With Taped Message. In a May 19 editorial, The Washington Times wrote that Osama bin Laden "outmaneuvered" President Obama, writing that bin Laden's "final taped message was an eerie refutation of President Obama's major Middle East policy address. Even in death, bin Laden launched a surprise attack with impeccable timing." The Times further claimed that the words of bin Laden's taped message "could easily have tracked across Mr. Obama's teleprompter." [The Washington Times, 5/20/11, via Media Matters]
Wash. Times' Green: "Obama To Allah: Pardon Osama." In a May 6 column headlined, "Obama to Allah: pardon Osama," Washington Times assistant editorial page editor Anneke Green attacked Obama over the administration's decision to treat bin Laden's body in accordance with Islamic custom while burying him at sea by claiming that Obama "is more concerned about placating the feelings of Muslim extremists than closure for the American people." Green further wrote that "[t]he subsequent handling of the body and burial ... raises serious questions about Mr. Obama's dominant priority." [The Washington Times, 5/6/11, via Media Matters]
Washington Times' Miller Complained That "Obama Golfs While Troops Hunt Osama Bin Laden." In a May 2 Washington Times column, senior opinions editor Emily Miller complained that "[w]hile the president was playing golf, the highly-trained U.S. special forces were en route to bin Laden's fortified compound." From The Washington Times:
Capturing Sept. 11 terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden has been the nation's top national-security priority for 10 years, but carrying out the final kill didn't stop President Obama from playing golf on Sunday. In a tiny concession to his job requirements as commander in chief, Mr. Obama cut his golf game short by nine holes in order to get back to the White House to monitor the final moments as Navy SEALs killed bin Laden in Pakistan.
While the president was playing golf, the highly-trained U.S. special forces were en route to bin Laden's fortified compound. "The high walls, security features, suburban location and proximity to Islamabad made this an especially dangerous operation," said a senior administration official after the killing. "The men who executed this mission accepted this risk, practiced to minimize those risks and understood the importance of the target to the national security of the United States."
Talking points aside, the suddenly religious president started his Sunday morning as he usually does: skipping church to go hit the golf links. [The Washington Times, 5/2/11, via Media Matters]
Washington Times' Green Cited 2010 Photo Of Jay-Z At The White House To Attack Obama Over Bin Laden. In a May 3 column, Green wrote:
While it's glorious that we finally delivered justice to Bin Laden, cowboy-style, it has been a little odd to see how eager President Obama is to take credit for it. Apart from the method of the military operation -- who knew he had it in him?-- his speech announcing the demise of the world's greatest villain was short on key details and sounded more like an extended pat on the back.
Green further used a photograph from rapper Jay-Z's March 2010 visit to the White House to claim that "Mr. Obama has had to grow into his role as the head of state and occupant of the nation's most revered residence." [The Washington Times, 5/2/11, via Media Matters]
Washington Times Complained Obama "Snub[bed] Bush," Showed "No Class" In Speech. In a May 2 editorial, The Washington Times complained that Obama "snub[bed] Bush" and "praise[d] himself" in his announcement that bin Laden had been killed. The editorial further claimed that the "[b]in Laden assassination wasn't the result of Barack's strategic genius." The Times continued:
Sunday's only mention of Mr. Bush came when Mr. Obama defended himself by quipping that even his predecessor insisted America isn't at war with Islam. Left unsaid was how Mr. Bush setting the groundwork for the conduct of the war on terrorism provided Mr. Obama with the tools to get this job done. The national unity, sense of purpose and offensive posture were largely the result of Mr. Bush's decisive action and strong leadership following national tragedy. Had Mr. Obama been in Mr. Bush's position on Sept. 11, 2001, bin Laden would still be alive today, and probably winning. [The Washington Times, 5/2/11, via Media Matters]
ATTACKS ON MICHELLE OBAMA
Joseph Curl: Michelle Obama "Doesn't Seem All That Happy With The Man She Married 19 Years Ago." In an August 28 Washington Times op-ed, Joseph Curl wrote that Michelle Obama "doesn't seem all that happy with the man she married 19 years ago." Curl also asked, "Man, how miserable is Michelle Obama?" [The Washington Times, 8/29/11, via Media Matters]
Curl: "Michelle's Back, And She's Madder Than Ever." In an October 30 Times op-ed titled, "The very angry first lady Michelle Obama," Curl wrote: "Michelle's back, and she's madder than ever. She was already pretty angry, seemingly unhappy with just about everything." From Curl's op-ed:
Michelle's back, and she's madder than ever. She was already pretty angry, seemingly unhappy with just about everything. As her husband wrapped up the Democratic nomination in 2008, she let fly her real feelings: "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country." A few months into her job as first lady, her French counterpart asked how she liked the gig: "Don't ask!" she reportedly spat. "It's hell. I can't stand it!"
She even seems to be mad at her silver-tongued husband. When the two were to set off on a luxurious 10-day vacation to Martha's Vineyard, she left early - four hours early - and flew up alone. And those private vacations. She's traveled to some of the world's most plush resorts, taking 42 days off in the past year - that'd be eight weeks of vacay time if she held down a normal job.
Now, she is ready to spew her bilious disgust with America on the campaign trail. A dignified, transcendent first lady? No chance. Michelle is going to break with a hundred years of tradition and play the role of attack dog, heaping derision on her husband's political opponents like no other first lady before her.
That is the America she lives in, and by campaign's end, it will be clear that she's no longer "proud of my country." Maybe she never really was. [The Washington Times, 10/30/11]
Wash. Times Attacked Michelle Obama As "America's First Nanny." In a November 1 editorial titled, "Americans groan: Michelle Obama's new book demonstrates her appetite for green," The Washington Times attacked Michelle Obama, calling her "America's First Nanny" who "admits she can't stay away from French fries herself," yet "that doesn't stop her from lecturing everyone else on what to eat." From the Times:
Liberals love to tell other people what to do. America's First Nanny, Michelle Obama, is no exception. Though she admits she can't stay away from French fries herself, that doesn't stop her from lecturing everyone else on what to eat. Now she wants us to spend our money to buy her new book on tips from the White House garden.
"American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools and Communities," is scheduled to hit the bookshelves April 10, just in time for spring planting - and the 2012 campaign season.
Mrs. Obama, the de-facto national food czar, is backing the effort to redesign the traditional food pyramid. With the help of $2 million from the Department of Agriculture, she converted the pyramid into a food circle. Dubbed "My Plate," the revamped bureaucratic diet regime is supposed to help the hungry eater select correct portions of the various food groups by arranging them as they would appear on a plate just before digging in.
The first lady does lead by example with her crusade for exercise called "Let's Move!" Hitting the road, she visited Chicago on Oct. 25 to warn residents of the dangers of dessert and attend a fundraiser for the Obama Victory Fund. Supporters were offered the opportunity to have their photos taken with Michelle for $10,000.
As Mrs. Obama barnstorms the country for her husband's re-election in the coming year, taxpayers have found her weakness for pricey vacations, costing them $10 million in 2010 alone, a little hard to swallow. While Michelle puts the finishing touches on "American Grown," Americans groan. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau reports 46.2 million Americans are living below the poverty line - the most in 52 years. [The Washington Times, 11/2/11, via Media Matters]
Wash. Times' Robbins Advanced Claim That Michelle Obama Disparaged American Flag. In a September 13 post, James Robbins, the Times' senior editorial writer for foreign affairs, advanced the right-wing media claim that Michelle Obama likely disparaged the American flag during a ceremony commemorating the 9-11 attacks. [The Washington Times, 9/13/11, via Media Matters]
For the truth about the right-wing claim that Michelle Obama disparaged the American flag, SEE HERE.
THE EAST COAST EARTHQUAKE
Emily Miller: "Where Was Obama During The DC Earthquake? Golfing Of Course!" On August 23, shortly after an earthquake struck the East Coast, Miller tweeted:
[Twitter, 8/23/11, via Media Matters]
Times: "Obama To Christians: Forget You." In an April 25 editorial headlined, "Obama To Christians: Forget You," The Washington Times complained that the White House did not issue "official statements for either Easter or Good Friday" and wrote that "[t]his basket of Easter problems underscores Mr. Obama's continuing problem with perceptions of his religious identity." [The Washington Times, 4/26/11, via Media Matters]
For more on the right-wing media's Easter proclamation freakout, SEE HERE.
Jeffrey Kuhner: Obama's Easter Worship Shows His "Black Nationalism." In an April 26 Washington Times column, Jeffrey Kuhner claimed that Obama's attendance at Washington D.C.'s Shiloh Baptist Church on Easter Sunday contributed to "[a] disturbing pattern" that makes it "clear by his actions and affiliations that Mr. Obama has black nationalist sympathies." [The Washington Times, 4/26/11, via Media Matters]
OBAMA'S POLICIES: "BRINGING AMERICA TO THE BRINK OF THIRD WORLD INFERIORITY"
Wash. Times' Knight: Obama Turned Military Into "Largest Homosexual-Sensitivity Training Unit In History." In a September 23 Washington Times column, Robert Knight compared Obama to Rodney King, complained Obama does not speak "on behalf of the United States," and claimed that Obama turned the military into the "largest homosexual-sensitivity training unit in history." [The Washington Times, 9/26/11, via Media Matters]
Kuhner: Obama Wants A "Centralized Command-And-Control System" Like "Fascist Leader Benito Mussolini." In his September 22 Washington Times column, Kuhner claimed Obama is "facing an internal revolt" because "he has not dismantled corporate power" but instead is creating a government modeled after "President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini." [The Washington Times, 9/22/11, via Media Matters]
Kuhner: Obama "Injecting The Heroin Of Class Warfare And Socialism Into" America Will Lead To "Insanity And Death." In a September 8 Washington Times column, Kuhner claimed that Obama is a "reckless ideologue masquerading as a pragmatist" and is "injecting the heroin of class warfare and socialism into our national bloodstream" which will lead to "insanity and death." From The Washington Times:
President Obama is politically insane. This is the real meaning of his speech Thursday night in front of a joint session of Congress. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. By that definition, Mr. Obama is a lunatic leftist.
Much of his speech called for more of the same -- government activism; massive spending on infrastructure, bridges and roads; extending the payroll tax cut; and more public aid to states and municipalities. In short, he seeks to perpetuate the dismal policies of Obamanomics. He is a reckless ideologue masquerading as a pragmatist.
Mr. Obama is a man of the hard left. He deeply loathes everything America stands for -- capitalism, limited government, individual freedom and Christian civilization. In particular, he despises our exceptionalism. His stated goal is to create a "post-American world" where the United States is simply one of many countries -- no bigger, better or stronger. He exhibits a form of madness, a self-loathing, reminiscent of the late pop singer Amy Winehouse. Mr. Obama keeps injecting the heroin of class warfare and socialism into our national bloodstream. And he can continue to play on the biggest stage and boast a huge audience. In the end, however, it leads to the same result: insanity and death.
The column also featured Obama's face photoshopped onto recently deceased singer Amy Winehouse's body, adding a sickle-and-hammer tattoo:
[The Washington Times, 9/8/11, via Media Matters]
Washington Times: Obama Policies "Bringing America To The Brink Of Third World Inferiority." In an April 15 editorial, The Washington Times wrote that Obama's "policies have secured America's status as part of the declining world." The Times further wrote: "[T]he president's answer to economic crisis is to heap on more debt. It's this crippling tax-and-spend Obama creed that's bringing America to the brink of Third World inferiority." [The Washington Times, 4/15/11, via Media Matters]
Kuhner Called For Obama's Impeachment Over Libya Policy. In a March 24 column, Kuhner called for Obama's impeachment over his handling of Libya, writing that "[t]he Libyan war is part of a pattern of Mr. Obama's unethical and criminal behavior" and that "[i]f Republicans and conservatives are serious about restoring constitutional government, they will demand that Mr. Obama be impeached." Kuhner further wrote that Obama is a "socialist thug" who "has betrayed his country, his constitutional oath of office and his duty as commander in chief." [The Washington Times, 3/24/11, via Media Matters]
Times Called Obama A "Bigot" And Restrictions On Handgun Magazines "Pointless." In a March 1 editorial, The Washington Times stated that "restrictions on things like the size of handgun magazines" are "pointless." The Times also wrote that President Obama is "a bigoted man who derisively describes small-town America as a place where people 'cling to guns.'" [The Washington Times, 3/1/11, via Media Matters]
Times Declared DOMA Decision Part Of Obama's "Strategy To Force The Radical Homosexual Agenda On America." In a February 23 editorial, The Washington Times wrote that the Department of Justice's decision to no longer defend portions of the Defense of Marriage Act "is the next step of President Obama's strategy to force the radical homosexual agenda on America against the will of the people and Congress." [The Washington Times, 2/23/11, via Media Matters]
Nugent: "It's Hard To Argue" That Obama Isn't "Out To Destroy America." In a February 8 column, Ted Nugent wrote that "there are some Americans who think Mr. Obama is out to destroy America or at to least [sic] reduce the country to the equivalent of a Third World country." He then added, "Sadly, it's hard to argue with the flow of evidence." [The Washington Times, 2/8/11, via Media Matters]
Kuhner: Obama Is A "Machiavellian Socialist" And A "Radical Leftist Who Seeks To Dismantle Capitalism." In his January 27 column, Kuhner wrote that Obama is a "Machiavellian socialist" and a "radical leftist who seeks to dismantle capitalism and the achievements of the Reagan revolution." [The Washington Times, 1/27/11, via Media Matters]
Kuhner: Obama's Tucson Memorial Address "Was A Surreal Spectacle In Narcissistic Self-Congratulation" That "Dishonored The Victims." In a January 13 column titled, "Obama's Tucson degradation," Kuhner wrote that Obama was "cynically exploiting the tragic shooting in Tucson for political gain" and that his memorial address "was a surreal spectacle in narcissistic self-congratulation" that "dishonored the victims" of the shootings. Kuhner further wrote that the shooting victims were "doubly degraded by a narcissistic president who used their suffering as political fodder." [The Washington Times, 1/13/11, via Media Matters]