During Thursday’s broadcast of Morning Joe, the panel, which included former Democratic Vermont Governor and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, discussed President Obama’s commencement speech at West Point earlier this week. In the speech, the President once again laid out the foreign policy and diplomatic goals for our nation moving forward. While the President pointed out that the world is rapidly changing and that the United States needs to look past military intervention and more towards building alliances, members of the media decided that the President’s vision wasn’t clear and concise enough. Basically, the issue appears to be that the media isn’t able to whittle down Obama’s foreign policy goals into a one or two sentence nugget.
Joe Scarborough started the segment by rattling off a bunch of criticisms from the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page. Because, you know, nothing says impartial, nonpartisan analysis like the WSJ’s opinion section. Anyway, Joe complained that the President still doesn’t have a clearly defined foreign policy strategy six years into his tenure office. Scarborough wanted to know exactly what the ‘Obama Doctrine’ is, obviously making a direct comparison to the previous White House occupant. He then let both John Heilemann and Nicole Wallace comment about the President’s speech. Heilemann stated that people are likely suffering from “speech fatigue” with the President, while Wallace said that the President has lost his friends in the media as the Washington Post and the New York Times gave critical analyses of his speech.
At this point, a visibly flustered Dean was asked to provide his thoughts on the current administration’s strategy in dealing with the international community. After Joe admitted that the President is presiding over a period of time where there isn’t a clear cut divide between alliances, Dean pointedly remarked that the media is the one that has an issue with a more sophisticated world, not the President. Basically, the media can’t easily define foreign policy goals because they aren’t easily defined. Globally, things are just more intertwined and complicated. Sadly, the news media isn’t able to refer to a rigid, bullet-point plan and say that this is the administration’s exact strategy.
In a short statement, Howard Dean nailed the issue with the corporate media and this President. It appears that POTUS is just too intelligent and complex for them. Journalists and pundits would much rather have a simpler, less complicated person to discuss and report on. They’d rather have policy decisions that are black and white. Anything that isn’t specifically spelled out doesn’t fit well when you have to get an article up quickly or fill five minutes on a news show. Nobody has time for complexity or intricacy. The fact that numerous members of the media are using the term ‘Obama Doctrine’ and define it should tell you everything you need to know. It is all about total clarity and simplicity. They can’t deal with anything else, which is why they can’t deal with this President.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).