The confusing alliances continue to pile up as conservative media rush to criticize President Obama's foreign policy with regards to Syria and belittle his call to possibly use military force in the wake of allegations the Syrian government gassed its own people. Faced with the prospect of supporting a president they hate for a living, some formerly hawkish commentators, as well as members of Congress, have suddenly turned dovish and are relentlessly criticizing Obama for his call to use force.
Now with the news that Russia is a key player in a diplomatic initiative embraced by Obama to get Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to dismantle the country's chemical weapons, another colossal shift has occurred within America's right-wing media. Fox News and much of the conservative media are touting Vladimir Putin as Obama's superior. They're toasting the Russian president's superior smarts, marveling at his macho persona (a "He-Man"), and claiming he's making a fool out of Obama.
Fox security analyst K. T. McFarland this week suggested, "Vladimir Putin is the one who really deserves the Nobel Peace Prize" for rescuing the administration from "the mess" it had created. Ann Coulter appeared on Fox and repeatedly referred to Obama as Putin's "monkey." And yes, Matt Drudge recently touted Putin as "the leader of the free world."
Not surprisingly, Fox News wasn't always so affectionate towards Russia's president, a former KGB agent. And conservative commentators especially didn't feel so warmly about him when a Republican was in the White House.
In fact, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in 2008 lashed out at America's so-called liberal media for giving Putin too much positive coverage. Specifically, O'Reilly denounced NBC for acting as Russia's "fifth column" in the U.S.; of being secret sympathizers of a foreign government [emphasis added]:
With a network like NBC, Vladimir Putin has a fifth column right here in the good old USA. But most Americans understand that Putin is a villain, a former secret police killer who's intent in imposing Russian influence on border countries.
O'Reilly himself has remained consistent with his disdain for Putin this week. (i.e. He's "a scoundrel.") But as he watches so many of his Fox News colleagues fawn all over the Russian leader, is O'Reilly ready to label the channel another fifth column in the good old USA?