When considering what kind of platform to offer conservative commentators' criticism of President Obama's reaction to events in Iran, the media should remember these commentators' previous discredited claims, predictions, and analysis about other foreign policy issues, particularly the Iraq war.
Many media figures have dubbed President Obama's health care reform proposal "ObamaCare," reinventing the terms "HillaryCare" and "ClintonCare" that were used by opponents of the Clintons' reform proposal. In doing so, these media are often seeking to frame the debate in negative terms.
Media figures have used President Obama's second overseas trip to Europe and the Middle East to stoke fears that he may be too close to the Muslim world or harbors a secret, anti-American agenda.
Numerous media figures have compared President Obama and his administration to the mafia, frequently referencing films and television shows such as The Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos.
Many media conservatives have recently embraced and promoted the accusation, almost in unison, that President Obama has "lied" or broken promises. In many cases, these accusations are based on distortions of comments he has made or misrepresentations of campaign pledges.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed asserted in a column that she "hears rumbles President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds -- dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat!" Sneed added: "A lot of chit-chat? Hot air? Or trouble? To date, Rahm's been mum. Stay tuned." Despite the complete absence of sourcing, many in the media have run with Sneed's assertion, in some cases simply quoting Sneed, in others, paraphrasing the assertion, and in still others, actually expanding on it.
Several media figures are promoting the notion of division among Obama supporters, asserting that "the left" is or should be disappointed with the president-elect's Cabinet selections. But the idea of significant disappointment with Obama runs counter to a USA Today/Gallup poll finding that 94 percent of Democrats "approve of the way Obama is handling his presidential transition."
Bill Kristol characterized Sen. Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate as "Obama's imposition of a glass ceiling." But Kristol showed little concern for "gender equity" in the Democratic Party when he said during the primary that "[w]hite women are a problem" and attributed Sen. Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire primary victory to her "pretend[ing] to cry."
The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama opposed designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. In fact, Obama said he would have voted against the bill Continetti referenced -- the 2007 Kyl-Lieberman amendment -- because it "states that our military presence in Iraq should be used to counter Iran," not because it designated the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Indeed, Obama co-sponsored a different bill in 2007 that also would have designated the group a terrorist organization.
Citing Dean Barnett's Weekly Standard piece about a recent speech by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, radio host Rush Limbaugh and ABC's Jake Tapper promoted Barnett's claim that without a teleprompter, Obama is, in Limbaugh's words, "a different guy." However, in claiming that Obama "improvised" or "ad-libbed" and that the audience "saw a different Obama," Barnett provided several quotes that have been part of Obama's standard stump speech since as early as November 2007.
Echoing other media figures who have made comparisons of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to fictional characters, The Weekly Standard's Joseph Bottum wrote that recent comments by Clinton recalled Lady Macbeth, who in William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth orchestrates the murder of the King of Scotland so that her husband can become king.