President Bush and Tony Blair answered questions about the Iraq Study Group in Washington Thursday — nothing really new. The president again warning that if the terrorists in Iran win in Iraq there will be big trouble for Americans.
Now, you either believe that or you don't. But the reaction to the study group's report has been very illuminating.
Conservative outlets like the New York Post and Investors Business Daily to name two see the report as a surrender document, cover for a retreat. The left-wing media, including the networks and most big city newspapers have reported heavily on how Bush has failed in Iraq rather than on the group's recommendations.
NBC News, which has taken a dramatic turn to the left in pursuit of liberal viewers, epitomized this spin:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: How can you hear these things and not conclude it's rejection of the president's policy.
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Number one, stay the course, is not the policy and you know the president has been saying that for months.
GREGORY: Are you suggesting that I'm trying to frame this in a partisan way?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And Mr. Gregory is a partisan. He has come to the conclusion that Iraq is a loser and bases his questioning upon that belief. While Gregory may be correct, using loaded questions to bolster his point of view is not what straight news reporting is about.
Then we have New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman who initially supported the war but now believes it's a lost cause. He said on the radio today that the insurgents had defeated the U.S. military on the battlefield. That's absurd. That's like saying the IRA defeated the British military or Hamas has defeated the Israeli forces.
No armies can stop bombings and civilian murders. The truth is that U.S. and British forces have held Iraq together and continue to do so.
Now Talking Points believes the study group's big contribution has been to instill a sense of urgency into the Bush administration and Iraqi government. Prime Minister Maliki must now realize that continued corruption and poor military performance on the part of the Iraqis will result in fewer U.S. and British troops.
And oh, by the way, Americans should begin to pay attention to all of this because it's very important to your well being. A new FOX News poll says 82 percent of Americans have no idea who the Prime Minister Maliki is — frightening — 82 percent.
That's the Memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Don't ask me why but women don't like to wear the same clothing as other women. If Barry is wearing the same sneakers I'm wearing, I don't really care. But apparently, some ladies do.
Sunday night at a White House holiday reception, four women, including Laura Bush, donned the same red Oscar de la Renta dress. Apparently, Oscar is a very popular guy. The dress costs $8,500. And that didn't make the situation easier. And the first lady actually changed, ran upstairs and changed.
Servants on the scene said this was a very embarrassing situation, and I'll take their word for it. It might have even been ridiculous.