Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Empty Middle Seat

Two things strike me about the Helen Thomas "controversy":

Helen's ridiculous geriatric verbal gymnastics, trying to say her apology is "heartfelt" after peppering her commentary with the word "Hell" about where Jews in Israel should go undermines her entirely. Her "passion" on the topic outweighs any rational thought she might have on the subject. Perhaps I can't define hate speech but I know it when I hear it.

Second and more alarming was Robert Gibbs White House press briefing on the first day of Helen's "retirement." Gibbs says, " . . . because obviously those remarks do not reflect certainly the opinion of most of the people in here . . . ."

He seemed to be saying that because no one that was left in that forum agreed with her opinion, that there was a consensus against her opinion, even as vitriolic as it was, that she wasn't welcome in the briefing room and this is what justified their official position. Isn't this just the White House way (formerly the Chicago Way)? Deride any contrary opinions and vilify anyone with a dissenting voice? This is concerning, not because we need more anti-Israel hate speech flying around in the midst of the mounting tensions in Gaza. No, it is disconcerting because the real dissenting voice in that room is the sole voice of Major Garrett. Robert Gibbs’ comment promotes media group-think by demoting the opposition and that makes one wonder how long before the other shoe drops? When will the conservative correspondent gets the bum's rush?

Even though I was shocked by the audacity of her comment I know she has a right to voice it. Of course she's responsible for those words, even more so given the fact that words are, or at least they have been her stock and trade for decades. As a journalist perhaps she should have practiced a bit more economy when using them.

But as shocking as it was to hear Helen commit such a blatant faux pas it hardly was the most egregious sound-bite of the week. That honor goes to none other than the man of the hour, Campaigner in Chief, "Mad Dog" Obama.

Barrack Obama threatened to "kick ass" in one of the most contrived, labored and insincere displays of emotion in his presidency. But that didn't bother me. It was truly laughable. The sound-bite I can't endure even one more time is the one where he talks boldly of firing BP CEO Tony Hayward. I would run out of red ink circling everything that is wrong with this declaration of lunatic hypocrisy.

So is he saying he is incensed by Hayward's lack of competence? If this puts Obama in a "firing" mood then it begs the question, why does Napolitano still have a job as HHS Secretary?

Is it the CEO's insensitive remarks about how Hayward himself is personally plagued by this catastrophe in spite of the fact that eleven others clearly had a much worse day on Day 1, so much so that there was no Day 2, 3 or any other for the eleven who died? Insensitive yes, but Hayward is beset on all sides by this crisis and is showing at least that the overwhelming nature of this situation is eating at his mind and eroding his composure. Although it may not be what is most needed in the situation at least it illustrates a level of complete engagement totally lacking in the other One. And again, if it is the insensitive nature of Hayward’s comments that raises Obama’s dander then why is that “Tard”, Rahm Emanuel still Chief of Staff?

Perhaps it is not so much that the comments were insensitive but that Hayward's words and actions since the Oil Well explosion are "bad form" or inappropriate and therefore inconvenient for all of Hayward’s BP colleagues but oh, wait, again why do any of the Czars still have jobs. I guess if Barrack would man up and take responsibility for firing his doppelganger, Van Jones I’d give him points but that admission has been long overdue. Amidst the oil spill crisis in his rare press conference he refused to take executive responsibility for the firing of the MMS Director, Elizabeth Birnbaum, which makes his comments about firing Hayward even more disingenuous . . . Obama's record of "firing" people speaks for itself at this point . . . but then again . . .

. . . the most ridiculous aspect is that Obama’s real frustration is not in relation to his own ineptitude or the rampant and all too apparent inadequacies of his administration. It is not the faux emotion in his ridiculous blurt about “kicking ass”. It may be that he has revealed his genuine cause for anger over the fact that he has yet to be crowned King of the Known World in which case he would take over BP like he took over GM and Chrysler and then he would be in a position to fire the oil company CEO just like he did with the auto company executives. Right now "British Petroleum" is safe from molestation by Obama if only because it is not an American company.

Or we could still take it a step further and remind everyone that this dime-store messiah promised to make the waters subside or some such hyperbolic nonsense? That would come in very handy right now.

And that’s it. I am out of red ink.

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