April 13th, 2010

Oh, and about Obama’s nuclear summit…

It should come as no surprise that:

(1) Nothing was accomplished; except that…

(2) Obama took the opportunity to snub a few allies; as well as…

(3) “[P]utting on a clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press” (note that’s in quotation marks; I didn’t write it, Dana Milbank of the WaPo did).

Milibank has more—a lot more:

Reporters for foreign outlets, many operating in repressive countries, got the impression that the vaunted American freedoms are not all they’re cracked up to be.

Yasmeen Alamiri from the Saudi Press Agency got this lesson in press freedom when trying to cover Obama’s opening remarks as part of a limited press “pool”: “The foreign reporters/cameramen were escorted out in under two minutes, just as the leaders were about to begin, and Obama was going to make remarks. . . . Sorry, it is what it is.”

Alamiri’s counterparts from around the world had similar experiences. Arabic-language MBC TV’s Nadia Bilbassy had this to say of Obama’s meeting with the Jordanian king: “We were there for around 30 seconds, not enough even to notice the color of tie of both presidents. I think blue for the king.”

President Obama promised to be a uniter, not a divider. And so he has—united Republicans, Independents, and even some Democrats in fierce opposition to him. And now he’s working on unifying the world—at least, the world press:

Lalit K. Jha of the Press Trust of India, at Obama’s meeting with the Pakistani prime minister, reported, “In less than a minute, the pool was asked to leave.” The Yomiuri Shimbun correspondent found that she was “ushered out about 30 seconds” after arriving for Obama’s meeting with the Malaysian prime minister. Emel Bayrak of Turkey’s TRT-Turk went to Obama’s meeting with the president of Armenia but “we had to leave the room again after less than 40 seconds.”

“When you only see the president for 15 or 20 seconds without him asking if you have any questions, it’s very frustrating,” said Laura Haim of France’s Canal+, which persuaded the White House to include foreign outlets in the press pool. “It’s very important for this president, who wants to restore the image of the United States, to have more access.”

Obama’s official schedule for Tuesday would have pleased China’s Central Committee. Excerpts: “The President will attend the Heads of Delegation working lunch. This lunch is closed press . . . The President will meet with Prime Minster Erdogan of Turkey. This meeting is closed press. . . . The President will attend Plenary Session II of the Nuclear Security Summit. This session is closed press.”

And here’s a nice tie-in to my post of earlier today:

Reporters, even those on the White House beat for two decades, said it was the most restrictive set of meetings they had ever seen in Washington. They complained to both the administration and White House Correspondents’ Association, which will discuss the matter Thursday with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

I’m sure Gibbs will be every bit as responsive and courteous as usual in his reply to them. The sad thing is that most of them are still so heavily in the tank for Obama that it probably won’t matter.

And what of Milbank? His piece is certainly not the usual fawning Obama lovefest. Milbank also wrote this recent article praising Rahm Emanuel as the only person in the Obama White House trying to keep the president from being a complete failure. So it’s clear that Milbank has not drunk all the Kool Aid.

But Milbank is no conservative, either (see this, for example). In addition:

Milbank covered the 2000 US Presidential election and the 2004 US Presidential election. He also covered US President George W. Bush’s first term in office. After Bush won the 2000 election, Karl Rove asked the Washington Post not to assign Milbank to cover White House news. In 2001, a pool report penned by Milbank which covered a Bush visit to the US Capitol generated controversy within conservative circles. According to Milbank, the nickname given to him by the president is “not printable in a family publication.

But Milbank also ran afoul of the Obamaphiles quite some time ago, back in July of 2008:

Milbank was criticized for a July 30, 2008 article in which, in part by using snippets of quotations, he portrayed Barack Obama as being presumptuous. A few days later MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann stated that Milbank would not be allowed back onto his show, which Milbank had appeared on since 2004, until Milbank submitted “a correction or an explanation.” However, Milbank had apparently already left Olbermann’s show for another show on CNN. Milbank stated that he has been dissatisfied since he was criticized by Olbermann’s staff over making a positive comment about Charlie Black, a McCain senior advisor, and as a result had already been negotiating with CNN.

Apparently there was something about Obama’s manner that rubbed Milbank the wrong way right from the start. And now a great many other people in the press are agreeing. In this piece, Milbank gets to tell them “I told you so.”

But “presumptuous,” although correct, doesn’t begin to cover it as a descriptor for Obama. Arrogant and condescending, yes. But this is a man who no longer tries to hide it any more. This is the power trip of an egomaniac who knows the press has rendered itself toothless and impotent in his wake, and who assumes that its members will never strike back no matter how he treats them—or, if one or two do, he intends to hit them back twice as hard.

Lots of presidents haven’t liked the press. But usually that’s been because the press has been hostile to them. Obama reverses this—he’s hostile because the press has been so obsequious to him, and because he’s secretive, and because he has contempt for them and thinks he can quite literally get away with anything. That’s what happens when the press abdicates its responsibility to tell the truth in as objective a manner as possible. A power-mad thug gets elected, and if he acts thuggish to them, they can hardly complain.

59 Responses to “Oh, and about Obama’s nuclear summit…”

  1. Barry Says:


  2. Artfldgr Says:

    Its like we are watching a bunch of people live out a larger than life version of “the wonder years”, as they actually try all the things that deluded people fantasize they would do (without substance) that then would result in adulation.

    The despotic leaders and such always relish expensive food, time to meet without suspicions over meeting, and might even be entertained by Obama.

    AND the reset didn’t take, Russia is playing him for a big fool in Kyrgyzstan.

    here are some images from the country we had, lost, had, lost, and now dont know if we do or dont have a base there.
    [warning some images are a bit graphic]

  3. John Says:

    “President Obama promised to be a uniter, not a divider. And so he has—united Republicans, Independents, and even some Democrats in fierce opposition to him. And now he’s working on unifying the world,,”

    That says it all, Neo. 2 thumbs up

  4. Baklava Says:

    Unifying the states against him.

    Unifying our allies against him.

    Unifying the 20 somethings and the elderly and retired against him.

    Unifying doctors and bankers and plumbers and police officers (Cambridge police anyways….) against him

  5. expat Says:

    Obama wants a press that sends around the world nice pictures of him making proclamations and signing bills. He doesn’t want anyone checking on expiration dates of his promises or revealing the ingredients of his sausage accomplishments. His only concern is getting his face on prime time news.

    This article is mostly about Merkel, but as you read on you find praise for Obama’s getting HCR passed and the new treaty with Russia.


    There is not much press interest in digging deeper into the issue–just the kind of coverage The Won likes.

  6. Baklava Says:

    Sorry off topic:

    I’m laughing hysterically now regarding the NJ governor!


    This is GREAT !

  7. Baklava Says:

    See Florida special election results here:

    Republican by a landslide !

  8. betsybounds Says:

    I think I remember George W. Bush characterizing himself, also, as a uniter rather than a divider. He pointed to his tenure as Texas’ governor as supporting evidence. Interesting that both W. and Obama appear to think of themselves–or at least describe themselves–in that way. I don’t know whether either really believes (or believed) that, but I do think that the fact that both use the conceit, and to no small effect, underscores the very deep fault line in this country’s citizenry. I’ve never been a great W. fan, but I do think he is a fine and decent man. On the other hand, I think Obama a knave (there’s that term again), I can barely abide the sight of him, and will not tolerate the sound of his voice. I know people who have exactly that reaction to W. Were we this divided in the Civil War era? Have we ever before been this divided? I do not know the answers to those questions, and I do not know how to find them out, other than waiting to see how the coming months play out. I remember Mary Chestnut, diarist during the Civil War, being quoted in Ken Burns’ The Civil War, saying, “We are divided, North from South, because we hate each other so.”

  9. Baklava Says:

    Yes, this man is dreamy. And no I’m not gay…


    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    There is now some talk of why Obama went missing this past Saturday

  11. betsybounds Says:


    I’ve gone to your link, and don’t find any results. Maybe I’m just not searching the site properly. If Lynch beats Deutch, it will be huge. HUGE.

    Does anyone know yet?

  12. Steve Says:

    The press is getting their just deserts in the end–no love and a collapsing business model.

  13. betsybounds Says:

    Artfl, I’ve been wondering, myself, what’s up with that. I don’t think it’s that he’s stepping out on Michelle ma Belle–he’s too clever by half to fall into that particular trap.

    But there’s obviously some reason for it. I don’t expect the press to follow up on it–they all seem, in some perverse way, to delight in his giving them the slip. Titter, titter. Though they may feign dismay, I think they like it when he flips them off.

    Bondage. S-M.

    Maybe Michelle can give them all metal-studded belts to wear.

  14. John Says:

    Artfldgr Says:

    April 13th, 2010 at 8:47 pm
    There is now some talk of why Obama went missing this past Saturday

    soccar game


  15. John Says:

    Oops that would be soccer game.

  16. PA Cat Says:

    If Baklava’s link is correct, Deutch won with 53% of the vote.

  17. Artfldgr Says:

    actually.. no soccer game…

  18. betsybounds Says:

    No. No soccer game.

  19. ELC Says:

    Mr. Milbank: a lickspittle press is hardly a free press; you give you and your comrades way too much credit.

  20. SteveH Says:

    Palm Beach has twice as many dems as repubs…And the repub won? Holy crap.

    I’m not sure we are close to knowing the disdain that exist for this administration.

  21. SteveH Says:

    Palm Beach has twice as many dems as repubs…And the repub won? Holy crap.

    I’m not sure we are close to knowing the disdain that exist for this administration

  22. betsybounds Says:

    According to Fox, the Dem (Deutch) won. Calm down, my friends. We have work to do.

  23. betsybounds Says:

    Tom Coburn (R, OK) is a fool. What a disappointment. He clearly has no clue what kind of fight we’re in.

  24. betsybounds Says:

    Coburn: When you’re in a fight for your life, why pick on your own side?

    I wonder whether Coburn may be courting Lindsey Graham, all of a sudden. Tame poodles.

  25. Instapundit » Blog Archive » MORE “RUBES” SELF-IDENTIFY: Press, shut out of nuclear summit, unhappy. Related: Obama attends … Says:

    […] MORE “RUBES” SELF-IDENTIFY: Press, shut out of nuclear summit, unhappy. […]

  26. Van Halen Says:

    Don’t get excited. The Press will go to the voting booth on their knees to vote again for this fool. No matter what he does to them. Remember the motto of today’s press:

    Above all else, Liberalism!

  27. M. Report Says:

    Oh, and about Obama’s nuclear summit…
    Nothing was accomplished; except that…

    The US stopped production of replacements
    for aging nuclear weapons, and development
    of new designs.

  28. Van Halen Says:

    Oh, and yes, the Dem won in Florida tonight. No surprise. The Media will go wild on this tomorrow not mentioning that the Dem had to raise literally 15 times what the Republican did in a district that Obama took by 66%.

  29. Nolanimrod Says:

    Were we this divided in the Civil War era?

    Dear Betsybounds,

    When an army invades your state, burns all the crops, eats or burns all the food, shoots the livestock, rapes the better-looking women, and carries off anything of value that isn’t sufficiently hidden, and that force’s newspapers, politicians, and preachers applaud its actions, even the raping, as just and honorable, then you will know we are as divided as we were during the Civil War.

  30. ahem Says:

    If Milbank doesn’t like it, he has only himself to blame.

  31. LarryD Says:

    The way he treats the press is consistant with the way Obama treats high ranked foriegn officials, friendlies get treated with contempt, hostiles are fawned over. The press has been too friendly to be respected, and doesn’t have enough rank/status to be su**** up to.

  32. Julia NYC Says:

    Obama’s condescending attitude is somewhat amusing, because he’s not doing it right. He’s too obvious about his disdain for people. It’s too transparent. True condescension is when you pretend to be nice, but think the person your talking to is an idiot. In fact, the nicer someone is, often times, the more contempt they have for you. And then you, poor feckless you, think that they are on your side the whole time, and then – pow – you have been double crossed! Now that’s how you do condescending. Just ask all of the bosses I’ve ever had. But our boy is just too obvious these days.

    He’s ridiculous. He’s supposed to folksy and funny and humble and kind of aw shucks. Even if he can’t stand us. And then once in awhile he’s supposed to have some kind of straight shooter Take It On The Chin kind of moment. Americans really don’t like it when people are disdainful of them. It probably comes from back in the day when we were scrappy rag tag folk fighting the imperious British. You know, from the folks who actually started this great country. It comes from them.

  33. BrooklynJoe Says:

    @ JuliaNYC:

    110% on the American dislike for those who treat us with disdain.

    A storm is coming, and those who ignore the gathering clouds will soon find themselves soaked.

  34. DelD Says:

    There’s a standard photo that appears on the front page of every Arabic language newspaper in the world: one of the various Arab strongmen (Assad, Mubarak, Qaddaffi) sitting in an opulent chair in an opulent room, next to some visiting dignitary.

    Beneath that picture runs the official, state-propaganda-division version of the meeting.

    The picture and the story beneath it are so universal, so formulaic, that when I was first learning Arabic these stories were among the easiest things for me to practice my translation skills.

    This is what Obama is after. A picture of the great leader doing great leaderly things, such as holding “substantive” talks with foreign leaders on “important” topics.

    Who care’s if it’s a load of bullshit, it’s the picture taken of the two people sitting together that matters most. It’s the picture that convey all that the great leader wishes to have conveyed.

  35. RickZ Says:

    Oh, and about Obama’s nuclear summit…

    It should come as no surprise that:

    (1) Nothing was accomplished;

    Obama got to make another bow to another world leader. Anytime Obie can diminish the Office of the President, that’s something!

  36. John Says:

    Speaking of propaganda the NYT’s spins the summit differently.


    “WASHINGTON — When he took office last year, President Obama told his foreign policy advisers that he had two baskets of issues to deal with. The first would be the legacy issues left from his predecessor, like Iraq, Afghanistan and America’s image in the world. The second would be his own agenda for the future.”

    As for America’s image, who loves us now that didn’t two years ago?

  37. rickl Says:

    We’ve never been this divided since the Civil War.

    But it’s coming. As Lincoln said, “This nation cannot remain half slave and half free. It will become either all one thing or all the other.” About half the population wants to keep our traditional freedom and the other half wants totalitarian slavery. With them in charge, of course.

  38. larry Says:

    Love Krauthammer!


  39. Michael Smith Says:

    Just who the hell does Obama think he is? Berzelius Windrip?

  40. larry Says:

    This is nyomythus — wow I’m beginning to see that I’m not banned but that it’s only when I try to sign in as ”nyo” or ”nyomythus” that am I restricted, why?

  41. Tatyana Says:

    Julia NYC: did we work for the same bosses? They perfected it here, in NY. Although my former boss used to tell me this is how they did things in the South…

  42. larry Says:

    What we need to be focusing on in regards to nuclear weapons is modernizing our arsenal, along with mass production and dispersion, we need deep core penetrating bunker buster type nukes and low yield small area nukes … this includes renewed underground testing.

  43. Trimegistus Says:

    Among the “pick-up artist” community there’s a slang term: “negs.” These are ways the Pick-Up Artist uses to express distance and disinterest in the girl he wants to seduce. Apparently making yourself a little unapproachable only stokes her desire.

    Obama is “negging” the press. He doesn’t call, he’s brusque and sometimes rude. And they’re doodling his name in the margins of their notebooks surrounded by little hearts.

  44. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    knave (n):
    * Knave (magazine), a British adult magazine
    * A male servant
    * A journeyman
    * Another name for the Jack in a deck of cards
    * An unprincipled, crafty person

    So, when you call Obama an incompetent knave, you’re really saying that he doesn’t know Jack, right?

    (Sorry, I couldn’t resist…)

  45. Artfldgr Says:

    Obama says terrorist nuclear risk is growing
    Critics see hype, cite no new information

    [lets see… increase risk, then call it a crisis, then reap what the action sowed]

    Nuclear blast victims would have to wait

    The White House has warned state and local governments not to expect a “significant federal response” at the scene of a terrorist nuclear attack for 24 to 72 hours after the blast, according to a planning guide.

    President Obama told delegates from 47 nations at the Nuclear Security Summit on Tuesday that it would be a “catastrophe for the world” if al-Qaeda or another terrorist group got a nuclear device, because so many lives would be lost and it would be so hard to mitigate damage from the blast.

    A 10-kiloton nuclear explosion would level buildings within half a mile of ground zero, generate 900-mph winds, bathe the landscape with radiation and produce a plume of fallout that would drift for hundreds of miles, the guide says. It was posted on the Internet and sent to local officials.

  46. Artfldgr Says:

    But there’s obviously some reason for it.

    when he became president, he was cut off from being able to talk to everyone he could talk to before.

    as president, everything he says, everyone he meets, and so forth eventually becomes public knowledge, either now, or later.

    so, the ONLY way for him to contact those who he wants no record of and to talk to that he is not supposed to or unseemly is to use a go between (remember Monroe and frank Giancarlo?), go there yourself, or trust who you think is a friendly contact within your reach (which is fraught with double jeopardy).

    his going to a soccer game that never occured and that affords him the means to meet with factions that they support (panthers? BNS? crips/bloods? who knows), but can no longer coordinate with.

    if something critical is to happen, and they are to exploit it, some message has to pass in some way, and if they never worked out a way… or, if some information changed or something was different that they thought, again contact is necessary.

    the whole thing basically amounts to a 20 minute disappearance into a bad neighborhood, with no soccer game, and no one knows why.

  47. Daniel in Brookline Says:


    What gets to me is not that he dropped off the radar for an hour or so. I don’t feel the need to know everything my President does or where he goes. Nor does it bother me that he totally dissed the press in the process; that’s their problem now. (What they do with it remains to be seen. So far they seem quite willing to swallow it, as they’ve swallowed most of the garbage he feeds them.)

    What makes me shake my head in wonder is this: if President Obama needed to have a secret meeting with someone, out of sight of the press, did it have to be done so incompetently? Couldn’t he have gone to a real soccer game, and taken a long bathroom break or something? This is Spycraft 101; I’d think someone on his staff can help him do it so that no one notices anything. Instead, we see something as obvious as a cat trying to cover up on a tile floor.

    Administration of Amateurs, indeed.

    Daniel in Brookline

  48. neo-neocon Says:

    larry-nyomythus: My spam filter never explains itself. It sometimes does these odd random things. I certainly never banned you.

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    About the soccer game: I don’t have the link right now, but a blogger (who is not an Obama supporter) pointed out that there are a bunch of soccer leagues for 12-and-under girls in DC that had games that day there. He thinks one of those may have actually been the soccer game O’s daughter was at, rather than one from her school.

    That said, it’s still odd that Obama wouldn’t let the press come, and stayed such a short time. Perhaps, though, he’s protecting his daughter’s privacy.

  50. Bob from Virginia Says:

    According to the MSM oodles of stuff was accomplished by the great one at his inspired conference. See Newsbusters.

    These are indeed amazing times. Somebody mentioned something about Alice in Wonderland. I believe she is currently writing copy at ABC.

    Alas reality will only intrude once the bodies start piling up on the doorstep, of course then it will be Bush’s fault.

  51. Ouch! Why can’t more people see and understand this arrogance? « Musings of Captain Justice Says:

    […] via neo-neocon » Blog Archive » Oh, and about Obama’s nuclear summit…. […]

  52. Sergey Says:

    Spengler has measured the man perfectly:
    “I’ve been screaming about this for more than two years: Obama is the loyal son of a left-wing anthropologist mother who sought to expiate her white guilt by going to bed with Muslim Third World men. He is a Third World anthropologist studying us, learning our culture and our customs the better to neutralize what he considers to be a malignant American influence in world affairs.”

  53. larry Says:

    larry-nyomythus: My spam filter never explains itself. It sometimes does these odd random things. I certainly never banned you.

    It’s cool — computer stuff can have a mind of its own — thanks for noticing/responding to my comment. 🙂

  54. Perfected democrat Says:

    “That’s Weird?… Obama’s Nuclear Summit Logo Is an Islamic Crest
    Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 5:40 AM
    Jim Hoft
    That’s weird.”

    Just what to expect from our Traitor in Chief …

  55. Artfldgr Says:

    Daniel in Brookline

    not a bad point..

    but i dont know what happened, only what was reported
    and my ideas, are just that…

    though remember, that a whole lot of the left were in it for the fight, not the win.

  56. Artfldgr Says:

    pointed out that there are a bunch of soccer leagues for 12-and-under girls in DC that had games that day there.


    Update: The Stoddert Soccer League (club soccer, not school soccer) had matches at the same park on April 10th.

    See the schedule here: http://www.stoddert.com/docs/STODDERT_2010_Spring_U12_FINAL_-_Rev_1.pdf.

    Note that the first match is scheduled for 10 AM, which is the time the President would have had to leave the match to return to the White House at the time he did. The estimable Tom Maguire suspects that the 9 AM match was scrubbed from the schedule.


  57. Artfldgr Says:

    however, i still say Daniels point is a good one, in that the point is thinking the situation through..

    even though there is now this information that validates the soccer game, it doesn’t invalidate the point that someone didn’t think the situation through.

    de facts are de facts… i can only update em as they come along and are confirmed…

  58. br549 Says:

    BrooklynJoe, I agree a storm is brewing. I think almost everyone does. It will boil out, eventually, into two distinct camps. The severity remains to be seen. Had the U.S. been a less “successful” nation than it has, much more would have already happened.

    nolanimrod, I still concede, as i have my entire life, that Sherman should have been hanged.
    The south was invaded. And as sad and barbaric as it was, we all know the slavery facia was for the history books. Wasn’t it Chuchill who said the first casualty in war is truth?

  59. G6loq Says:

    Errr …

    You guy seem to have overlooked this doozy:
    Video: …wether we like it or not …


    … wether we like it or not Democ.rats live imbedded among us.

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