As Media Matters has noted, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote on May 6 that President Obama's decision not to release photos of Osama bin Laden's body was evidence of Obama "displaying both a tin ear and a chronic tendency to misunderstand his own country."
On Morning Joe today, Noonan had an opportunity to directly discuss this point when co-host Mika Brzezinski asked her panel of guests: "To show or not to show the photos -- I think to be able to have a few, key select people see them is going to just have to be enough. We understand the ramifications of releasing those to the world. Does anyone here disagree with that? Anybody?"
Here's Noonan's response:
NOONAN: Well, I have a feeling that once you've shown a few key people the photos, the photos are going to get out there. The descriptions will start. And then these are things that exist in a digital sphere, these photos. They will be getting out there. I think probably the decision not to come forward with more of the evidence surrounding the killer of Osama will launch a thousand FOIA suits.
This certainly seems like Noonan has softened her stance on the bin Laden photos. She didn't demand the photos be released (keep in mind the headline of her May 6 column was "Show the Proof, Mr. President"), and she didn't even mention Obama.
What could have possibly happened since May 6 that would cause Noonan to apparently soften the position she took in her column? Perhaps it was a pair of polls released since her column was published that each found that 64 percent of Americans agree with Obama's decision not to release the bin Laden photos.
Those poll results completely undermine Noonan's argument that Obama's actions since bin Laden's death illustrate "a chronic tendency to misunderstand his own country." It's no wonder why she didn't push this argument on Morning Joe today -- even when given a clear opening to do so.