On Fox and Friends this morning the panel claimed that President Obama’s Iraq speech contained hidden messages about a second stimulus and cap and trade, and that using the term “middle class” was a buzz word. Eric Bolling said, “We must jump start industries, sounds to me like stimulus, and end our dependence on foreign oil, sounds to me like cap and trade.”
Here is the video from Media Matters:
Brian Kilmeade started the paranoia out by asking, “Why would you bring up the economy when you are talking about ending a war? Because he wanted to draw it all together and talk about how we can maybe focus more at home, and many have theorized and who can argue that this president prefers to look at the domestic agenda, that he looks at the two wars we are in, foreign policy challenges as distraction to get his eye off the ball, and this helps us get his eye on the ball, and also focused more at home, and if you read the Sunday New York Times where they did an extensive look at the president’s relationship with the military, you know that he has basically given Secretary Gates carte blanche to represent him in many areas, lead him on many policies. For example, he has been to the Pentagon just one time during this time. He’s made really very little effort it appears to bond personally with his commanders. Many of which might explain why someone like General Conway Commandant of the Marine Corps, would speak out and say, oh by the way, you the president putting a timeline of Afghanistan, you know, our withdrawal has helped theTaliban to the point where we have intercepted some of their communications where they say, we’re just going to wait the Americans out.”
Eric Bolling talked about the secret messages in the Obama Iraq speech, “Real quick, I was listening to it. I was waiting for talking points, I guess the talking points for me that really jumped out, fourteen minutes after the hour when he says we must jump start industries, sounds to me like stimulus, and end our dependence on foreign oil, sounds to me like cap and trade, very, very scary because it looks like he is setting the agenda, going forward I guess into November, and then plowing on towards 2012 watch for those two to jump out. Gretchen Carlson then claimed that the term middle class is a buzz word, “He also said middle class several times, which to me was a buzz word for people who were watching that speech.”
In a whole twenty minute address about Iraq, the Fox and Friends crew seized on the one paragraph of Obama’s speech that was not about Iraq, “Our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work. To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy. We must jump start industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs. This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.”
What Fox News left out was the statement that followed it, “Part of that responsibility is making sure that we honor our commitments to those who have served our country with such valor. As long as I am President, we will maintain the finest fighting force that the world has ever known, and do whatever it takes to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. This is a sacred trust.” Obama was talking about our responsibility to provide our returning veterans with an opportunity to have a good life by getting the economy going.”
There were no references to stimulus packages or cap and trade. This was simply an attempt to distort facts to audience which for the most part probably didn’t bother to watch the speech. The hidden messages that Bolling was pushing was nothing more than an attempt to spread fear made obvious by him coming out and telling viewers that this was, “very, very scary.” Could a fear campaign be more bluntly labeled? By the way, someone needs to tell Gretchen Carlson that if middle class is a buzz word, Republicans better stop using it to push for everything from corporate tax cuts to the privatization of Social Security.
Brian Kilmeade really tried to do a hatchet job on Obama as weak on foreign policy, but his portrayal of George W. Bush as hanging out at the Pentagon was completely false. Bush had nothing to do with the Pentagon unless it was related to 9/11. He visited the Pentagon on September 17, 2001, and he dedicated the Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial on September 11, 2008. It is rare for presidents to go to the Pentagon. The president doesn’t go to the Pentagon. The Pentagon comes to their Commander in Chief. Apparently Kilmeade has forgotten about how George W. Bush frequently claimed that he leaned on his commanders and trusted David Petraeus.
There isn’t a better barometer of how well done Obama’s speech was than the fact that Fox News can’t think of anything in the Iraq speech to criticize the President for, so they are reduced to spreading fear about his domestic agenda. There were no secret messages in Obama’s speech, but there was one loud and clear overt one. As Commander in Chief, Barack Obama ended combat operations in Iraq. This is another major success for Obama that not even the propaganda machine of Fox News can spin into failure.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association