Media Watch: The Sharyl Attkisson approach
Fox News reports that the WH is taking heat over our celebrity President’s decision not to attend the 20th anniversary celebration in Germany for the fall of the Berlin Wall:
The president does not plan to travel to Germany to attend the 20th anniversary celebration Monday of the fall of the Berlin Wall, drawing heated criticism from those who say he’s ignoring a shining triumph of American-inspired democracy.
President Obama squeezed in a trip to Copenhagen last month to lobby, unsuccessfully, for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. He plans to travel to Oslo next month to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that even Obama has said he does not deserve. And this coming week, he sets out on a weeklong tour of Asia.
But the president does not plan to travel to Germany to attend the 20th anniversary celebration Monday of the fall of the Berlin Wall, drawing heated criticism from those who say he’s ignoring a shining triumph of American-inspired democracy.
“A tragedy,” is how former House Speaker Newt Gingrich described Obama’s absence.
Some question whether the decision not to go was a nod to Russia, with which the Obama administration is trying to mend relations, or just another attempt to play down the perception of the United States as an exceptional superpower.
For its part, the administration is citing a scheduling conflict. The White House says the president simply does not have the time to go, with the trip to Asia starting Wednesday.
“Obviously we have a lot to work on here and we have commitments for an upcoming Asia trip,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday, noting that a “very senior delegation” of U.S. officials would attend.
That delegation is led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who traveled to Berlin Sunday ahead of the festivities — the first stop for the secretary on a trip through Europe and Asia.
National Review’s Rich Lowry was right on in his reaction to the news that Obama would be absent from the anniversary festivities:
“John F. Kennedy famously told Berliners, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’ On the 20th anniversary of the last century’s most stirring triumph of freedom, Obama is telling them, ‘Ich bin beschaftigt’ — i.e., I’m busy,” he wrote. “Obama’s failure to go to Berlin is the most telling nonevent of his presidency. It’s hard to imagine any other American president eschewing the occasion.”
Well, hey – this is what I call a “Me” Presidency. It’s all about O, not the country that elected him President. The fall of the Berlin Wall wasn’t his accomplishment, after all, and at this stage in his presidency there’s nothing to be gained from a visit anywhere near the Berlin Wall – unlike the last time – so why bother?
Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.