Earlier today we brought you news of the President's sit-down interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos in which the Good Morning America co-host asked Obama to respond to Fox News contributor Sarah Palin's criticism that his policy is "kind of like getting out there on the playground...a bunch of kids ready to fight and one of the kids saying 'go ahead, punch me in the face and I'm not going to retaliate,'" to which the President said the Palin is "not much of an expert on nuclear issues."
Prompted by criticism over bringing up Palin's opinion (who cares?), Stephanopoulos has spoken out. Huffington Post's Sam Stein reports:
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos is defending his decision to ask President Barack Obama to respond to Sarah Palin's criticism of his nuclear non-proliferation policy, after several observers questioned the point of bringing the former Alaska Governor into the discussion.
"Whatever [Washington Monthly's] Steve [Benen] thinks of Sarah Palin," he wrote, "she's a former VP candidate -- and potential challenger to President Obama -- with a strong following in the GOP. She made a pointed critique of a new Presidential policy. By asking the President for his response, I was doing my job."
Pointed critique? Riiiiiight. For the sake of repetition, here's the clip of Palin's criticism of Obama's nuclear policy that Stephanopoulos felt compelled to air for the President's response:
PALIN: You know, that's kind of like getting out there on the playground...a bunch of kids ready to fight and one of the kids saying, "go ahead, punch me in the face and I'm not going to retaliate."
By that standard, I have several questions Stephanopoulos may want to consider asking Obama in their next interview from my ten year old nephew.
Asked by Stephanopoulos to respond to Palin's ummm enlightening criticism that his policy is "kind of like getting out there on the playground...a bunch of kids ready to fight and one of the kids saying 'go ahead, punch me in the face and I'm not going to retaliate,'" the President said the Fox News contributor is "not much of an expert on nuclear issues."
Of course, it was only a matter of time before the former half-term Alaska Governor's Fox News colleagues sprang to her defense saying Obama wasn't acting "presidential." I guess we should just leave the hard hitting analysis to a trio of right-wing media hacks that act nothing like journalists:
Imagine what they would have said if Obama avoided the question and refused to discuss Palin entirely.
Palin really is like catnip to the media. Perhaps we can get someone in the White House press corps to lodge daily requests for comment with press secretary Robert Gibbs on the President's opinion of Palin's Facebook status updates.
From a January 8 PolitiFact.com post:
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and a candidate for president in 2008, appeared on Good Morning America on Jan. 8, 2010, to offer his assessment of the Obama administration's counterterrorist operations. He criticized plans to try suspected Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in a Michigan criminal court and questioned Obama's decision to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Giuliani said U.S. intelligence agencies stand to lose potentially critical information on other al-Qaida operatives and operations if the man at the center of the Northwest flight terror incident is tried in U.S. court. "What he (Obama) should be doing is following the right things that Bush did -- one of the right things he did was treat this as a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We've had one under Obama," Giuliani said. "Number two, he should correct the things that Bush didn't do right. Sending people to Yemen was wrong, not getting this whole intelligence thing corrected was both Bush's responsibility and Obama's."
Giuliani, the mayor of New York City during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, claims there were no domestic attacks under the Bush administration. That's obviously a preposterous statement that would warrant a Pants on Fire rating. We can't help but remember now-Vice President Joe Biden's line during his presidential campaign, "Rudy Giuliani -- there's only three things he mentions in a sentence. A noun and a verb and 9/11."
Unfortunately, interviewer George Stephanopoulos never sought clarification on Giuliani's statement. After the interview, Stephanopoulos updated his blog to say Giuliani was wrong to say there were no domestic attacks under Bush.
Media Matters For America, a liberal group that analyzes the news media, documented other examples of U.S. terrorism:
2002 attack against El Al ticket counter at LAX. Hesham Mohamed Hadayet opened fire at an El Al Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two people and wounding four others before being shot dead. Media Matters found a 2004 Justice Department report that Hadayet's case had been "officially designated as an act of international terrorism."
Campus attack at UNC. In March 2006, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate drove an SUV onto campus, striking nine pedestrians. Reza Taheri-azar reportedly stated in a letter: "I was aiming to follow in the footsteps of one of my role models, Mohammad Atta, one of the 9/11/01 hijackers, who obtained a doctorate degree."
Conservative media figures have politicized the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack to criticize President Obama's handling of national security matters. But their assertions about Obama's and former President Bush's handling of terrorism and national security are replete with myths and falsehoods.
Recently, Glenn Beck has claimed that his audience has seen an increase in its proportion of women and has promoted the website AsAMom.org -- a "Network of principled mothers, grandmothers, daughters, & guardians of our nation's children dedicated to" the 9 Principles & 12 Values Beck established -- and hosted its members on his Fox News show. However, Beck has a history of outrageous sexist comments including calling then-Sen. Hillary Clinton a "stereotypical bitch," telling a CNN Headline News colleague that she was "looking hot in leather" on the air, and reportedly once calling a rival radio host's wife and ridiculing her on the air for having a miscarriage.
During an interview with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer whitewashed the extremism on display during the 9-12 protests by asserting that people at the protests were "saying things like, look at the reality. We're facing a $1.6 trillion deficit. If you're facing IOUs to other countries, where suddenly they own America, our children are imperiled." In fact, far from simply complaining about the deficit, numerous protesters at the 9-12 rallies held signs featuring inflammatory attacks on Obama and other Democrats, and Good Morning America itself previously interviewed 9-12 protesters who said that "every Democratic politician is working for the mafia" and that Obama is a "communist."
Several media figures and outlets have provided Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich a forum to discuss his opposition to the inclusion of a public option and increased insurance regulations in health care reform legislation. But those media have not noted that that his Center for Health Transformation -- a for-profit entity that Gingrich founded and reportedly profits from -- receives annual membership fees from several major health insurance companies, which have a financial interest in preventing the implementation of those policies.
From the August 18 edition of ABC's Good Morning America:
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From the August 14 edition of ABC's Good Morning America:
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On August 13, ABC's Kate Snow and the Associated Press both characterized the established fact that end-of-life counseling under the House health care reform bill would be voluntary as simply something that President Obama "contends." But both ABC and the AP had previously reported that under the bill, such counseling would indeed be voluntary, and both had previously debunked Sarah Palin's false claim that the provision would create a "death panel."
From the August 13 edition of ABC's Good Morning America:
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From the August 6 edition of ABC's Good Morning America:
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On ABC's Good Morning America, Chris Cuomo falsely suggested "a new report" found that $72 billion has been misspent this year under the Obama administration. In fact, according to the Heritage Foundation study that Cuomo cited, "The federal government made at least $72 billion in improper payments in 2008," and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) similarly found that "[a]gencies reported improper payment estimates of $72 billion for fiscal year 2008" -- when President Bush was still in office.
ABC News' Jan Crawford Greenburg uncritically repeated Sen. Jeff Sessions' suggestion that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a judicial activist, advancing the myth that conservative judges are proponents of judicial restraint while liberal judges practice judicial activism.
From the July 10 edition of ABC's Good Morning America:
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