Right-wing media have rushed to attack President Obama for responding to criticism that he spends too much time consulting experts rather than "kick[ing some butt]" by saying, "I want to know whose ass to kick." Many conservative media figures previously hyped criticism that Obama lacked emotion in his response to the oil spill.
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Fox, right-wing media hyped criticism that Obama lacked emotion in oil spill response
Carlson compared Obama's response to Bush's 9-11 "bullhorn moment." On the June 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson said: "People can remember back to other crises. And they remember George W. Bush down at 9-11 in the pit, and they remember Ronald Reagan with the family members of the Challenger hugging them. And those are poignant moments that are forever emblazoned in people's heads, and that puts emotion in their hearts as well. They're still waiting for that picture from President Obama."
Briggs: "[W]here is the fire and emotion?" On the June 5 edition of Fox & Friends Saturday, after playing a clip of Obama's Larry King Live interview, co-host Dave Briggs claimed, "Some Americans saying where is the fire and emotion that this country's been begging for?"
Bolling: "Emotion, right? A little emotion!" On the June 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday, guest host Eric Bolling said: "President Obama has been facing a lot of criticism in his handling of the Gulf oil crisis, not only for showing a lack of emotion, but for failing to do much beyond pointing the finger at BP." Later, while introducing a guest, Bolling asked him, "I mean, emotion, right? A little emotion!"
Drudge: "Spike Lee Tells Obama: 'Go off!' ": On June 3, the Drudge Report blared the headline: "Oil Balls Bobbing Toward FL; Spike Lee Tells Obama: 'Go Off!' "
Hannity: "[T]he rap now is the president -- he's so cool under pressure that he hasn't been able to ... show enough emotion to the American people." On the June 3 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said: "I find it interesting. Spike Lee saying -- well, the rap now is the president -- he's so cool under pressure that he hasn't been able to -- or show enough emotion to the American people. I don't think it's going to fly." (transcript accessed via Nexis)
Ace of Spades: "Mr. Spock is trying to do emotion and it's not working well." A May 28 Ace of Spades blog post responded to Obama's remarks during his second trip to the Gulf Coast by saying: "Ah, here's his 'I feel your pain bit'...'you are not alone'. The media will leave you at some point but I won't. Mr. Spock is trying to do emotion and it's not working well."
Fox, right-wing media also criticize Obama's "ass to kick" comment
Obama responded to criticism that he was spending too much time consulting "experts and advisers" rather than "kick[ing] some butt" by saying "we talk to these folks" to get answers "so I know whose ass to kick."During a Today show interview which aired on June 8, co-host Matt Lauer asked Obama to respond to critics who say: "This is not the time to meet with experts and advisers. This is a time to spend more time in the Gulf and -- I never thought I'd say this to a president but -- kick some butt." Obama replied: "I'm going to push back hard on this, because I think that this is a -- just a -- an idea that got into folks' heads, and the media has run with it. I was down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago I was meeting with fisherman down there, standing in the rain, talking about what a potential crisis this could be. And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."
Kilmeade calls the comment an "artificial, I'm tough because you wanted me to be tough" moment. On the June 8 edition ofFox & Friends, after playing the clip, co-host Brian Kilmeade called it "artificial, I am tough just like you wanted me to be tough." Carlson admitted that Obama is "in a no-win situation" regarding the emotional appeal but criticized him for "us[ing] the language that he used," calling it "phony," while co-host Steve Doocy called it "less presidential."
Fox & Friends hosts Ingraham to attack Obama's comments as "defensiveness" and un-Presidential. Later on the June 8 Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham said Obama "is now leading by being defensive. So he's -- 'People say I'm not tough enough in my response, so I'm going to use an expletive on television. I'm gonna be really tough.' That's not leadership. That's defensiveness, and it just doesn't look all that presidential." After playing the clip of Obama's comments, Kilmeade called it a "tough guy act," while Doocy joked, "He's blown his top."
RedState: "Obama tries tough guy act on for size." A June 8 RedState post claimed Obama had "decided to try to inherit something else from Bush: a spine and fortitude. However, in true incompetent Obama form, he failed, as always." The post called Obama's comment "[p]itifully feigning an attempt at opening up a can of whoop arse" which "fails miserably when we've all seen Obama daintily sip beer, pinkie extended."
Hoft: "Oh Brother...Obama Ready to "Kick Some A$$." In a June 7 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft wrote: "Is this real or some kind of weird joke? Obama's looking for some a$$ to kick."
Allahpundit calls Obama's comment "a feeble show of command." In a June 7 Hot Air post, Allahpundit wrote, "I thought nothing would top 'plug the damn hole' as a feeble show of command in the teeth of pure federal impotence, but never underestimate The One." Allahpundit also wrote:
So here's his attempt at damage control with another two months of this nightmare (at least) still to go, imitating the same sort of bravado that the left used to detest in Bush in hopes that it'll stop their caterwauling about his dispassion and give them a happy new meme to push. "See? He's mad. He cares." It's completely out of character with his Cool Hand Luke persona and roughly six weeks too late, which means it's as phony as a three-dollar bill, but so what? This is all about changing the subject from the spill itself to Obama's engagement with it, and for low-information voters, it'll do nicely. Three cheers for the cynical scripted soundbite!