RUSH: Now the Politico today: ‘Ever since Watergate hero Bob Woodward revealed a 66-page secret Pentagon report Sept. 22 in The Washington Post that revealed US Gen. Stanley McChrystal was seeking an additional 40,000 American troops for Afghanistan, the White House has deftly controlled the message, shaped the narrative, crafted the president’s wartime image and kept the news media eating out of its hand as it made its way toward a final decision. On the surface, it might appear that publication of the McChrystal report came as a surprise to President Barack Obama, forcing him to scramble to respond before he wanted to and triggering a slow, two-month-plus reassessment that has been criticized by former Vice President Dick Cheney as ‘dithering.’ But a detailed examination of news coverage of the reassessment issue in the major national newspapers, primarily The Washington Post and The New York Times, suggests that many angles and details of the stories were being carefully fed by White House aides to all-too-willing reporters who dressed it up as the inside dope. In reality, many reporters were steered into spinning the story exactly the way the White House wanted it told, with relatively little skepticism or criticism.’
Well, duh! Look, it’s a pretty good story considering where it runs, but every news story that is happening this way, not just this troop story in Afghanistan. ‘And now that a decision will be announced Tuesday night, here is how the media told it: Obama, faced with a difficult and agonizing decision, was wisely taking his time and deliberatively listening to all of the arguments, pro and con, including dissenters on his staff, pushing the military for more details about goals, tactics, cost in dollars, exit strategies and timetables. In short, he was showing the public he was doing the job of managing a war in a serious, thoughtful and cautious way — and by implication, a job that his predecessor, President George W. Bush, who carried on such deliberations in a less public fashion, failed to do.
‘Overall, it was a common narrative — Obama good, Bush bad — that this White House has honed to a sharp edge since the Inauguration nearly 11 months ago. And it worked. In a Nov. 25 Page One Washington Post analysis under the headline, ‘In His Slow Decision-Making, Obama Goes With Head, Not Gut,’ Joel Achenbach wrote, ‘Obama’s handling of the Afghanistan conundrum has been a spectacle of deliberation unlike anything seen in the White House in recent memory.’ Continuing what could have been a spoon-fed Obama White House narrative, Achenbach quoted Lawrence Wilkerson, a chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, saying, ‘[Obama’s] establishing his decision-making process as being diametrically the opposite of the previous administration,’ going on to say the Bush-Cheney style was ‘cowboy-like, typical Texas, typical Wyoming and extremely secretive.” This is the guy who was chief of staff for Colin Powell, the ideal Republican presidential candidate, by the way, in the eyes of the same media.
‘Clearly, the Obama White House was not blindsided by Woodward’s revelation of McChrystal’s report. In fact, it is very likely someone in the White House leaked it to the iconic Woodward to get the already-underway Obama reassessment into the public realm and begin orchestrating the story from their side. How do we know? There are clues: Obama himself, on Sept. 20, only hours before the Woodward report was published on The Washington Post’s website, made the rounds of five Sunday TV talk shows, and in each dropped cautioning hints that an Afghanistan reassessment was coming. Also, the day after the McChrystal report was made public, The New York Times ran a Page One story largely sourced to unnamed administration ‘officials’ revealing that a ‘sweeping reassessment’ and a possible ‘strategy shift’ had been under way since Sept. 13. The article described the meeting in detail and underscored that Vice President Joe Biden had taken on the role of dissenter in calling for a scaling back of US troops in Afghanistan.
‘That narrative, picked up by the media at large and now considered conventional wisdom, was reinforced by a Newsweek cover story in early October framing Biden as ‘An Inconvenient Truth Teller.’ The story was sprinkled with quotes from unnamed White House sources describing in detail the internal debate taking place in White House strategy meetings. Biden himself most likely was one of the sources. In a post-Woodward, on-the-record interview with the Times, James Jones, the president’s national security adviser, polished the hearing-all-sides strategy by painting a picture for the public of Obama being open to dissenting views but still standing tall as commander in chief. … Meanwhile, with American troop deaths in Afghanistan reaching their highest levels in October, and Obama seeking, as he underwent the reassessment, to avoid projecting an image of a president being callous to the needs of the military, the White House was careful to place him in public situations where he showed respect for the fallen. Many newspapers ran Page One photos of the president’s Oct. 29 middle-of-the-night visit to Dover Air Force Base.’
I guess Mr. Benedetto here is confirming what everybody with an ounce of common sense knew, that that was a photo-op. You see, folks, in the Universe of Lies, everything is not real, everything is structured, everything is spin, because these are liberals. Liberals have to cover up who they really are. Obama is not deliberate. He is planning a way to get media support praising him as something new and fresh and smarter and more deliberative than that cowboy Bush and that cowboy Cheney. This is all about continuing the notion that the problems Obama faces are monumental but they all stem from the eight years of Bush-Cheney. This is to then provide cover for what Obama will do elsewhere in his agenda. My only point about this story is that the White House does not have to spin these guys. The White House does not have to tweak ’em. The White House does not have to spoon-feed them.
The State-Controlled Media is the State-Controlled Media. The State-Controlled Media is on his side. They don’t have to be guided. They don’t have to be tweaked or shown the way. They’re on the same page. They already are prepared to write that Obama’s special and greater and better than any president that has ever been, and add to it he’s historic. They hated Bush with a purple passion. It’s not hard to continue that narrative. But at least in the Politico in this one instance we have a former journalist and now a professor outlining how it’s done. The point to take away from this, my friends, is, however, that none of this is honest. We were all set up. Everybody was set up to hear a story, not to learn facts. This speech tonight, to me, is practically irrelevant, because it’s the culmination of a giant spin effort and it’s designed to present Obama as someone who he isn’t. He is not a big fan of the military. He has not spent hours agonizing over this. He did not consult dissenters. He did not go after and have a bunch of advice. He was not undecided. He just created an image to make it look like he is something he isn’t. And this is happening in virtually every area of his presidency, make no mistake about it. They live in the Universe of Lies.
RUSH: And another thing, folks, to consider here about this Politico story and the media not being spun. Remember, they’ve got skin in this game. They created this image of this guy. They helped right along with it. He’s gotta succeed so they can succeed. I mean, they’re the ones that told us this guy is who he was and he went out and said so and they said so. That’s why they have to continue with this mythology about him. They created it. The idea that they’re just a bunch of innocent little babes in the woods being spun here is not true. They are soul mates. They’re so the same page.