Conservative media figures divided over reaction to Chicago's failed Olympics bid


Some conservative media figures are spoiling the celebration for others who have taken joy in the International Olympic Committee's decision to award the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro rather than Chicago, whose bid for the games was supported by President Obama. While Glenn Beck crowed that the IOC's decision was "so sweet," and Rush Limbaugh stated, "I don't deny it. I'm happy," Joe Scarborough argued that "middle Americans that swing elections" will see conservatives celebrating Chicago's defeat and say, "My God, the Republicans have gone off the deep end."

Media conservatives criticize opposition to Olympic bid or express support for Obama's attempt

Scarborough: GOP opposition to Olympic bid "narrow-minded," "just plain stupid." Scarborough stated on the October 5 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, "What would have happened if liberals had cheered against the United States getting the Olympics?" Responding to a clip of Limbaugh celebrating that "the world has rejected Obama," Scarborough added, "I would like Rush Limbaugh to tell me ... who's he helping there other than Rush Limbaugh? Because I will tell you, middle Americans -- Rush is smarter than that -- middle Americans that swing elections see that, they go, 'My God, the Republicans have gone off the deep end.' " Scarborough also wrote, "The fact President Obama failed makes me respect him more for taking the chance, and the fact many right-wing figures opposed the President's mission shows just how narrow-minded partisanship makes us all." He further wrote that "what we saw from some conservative corners regarding the President's failed Olympics bid was just plain stupid." [The Huffington Post, 10/2/09]

O'Reilly: Conservative celebration of Chicago's loss is "kind of strange." Responding to the cheering reaction of Americans for Prosperity conference attendees to the news that Chicago had been eliminated, O'Reilly stated, "Kind of strange. I believe the Olympic Games in the U.S.A. would bring some prosperity. Guess I could be wrong." [Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, 10/5/09]

Brooks: "I'm with Obama on this." New York Times columnist David Brooks stated on Meet the Press: "I have to say I'm with Obama on this. He took a risk. He comes away somewhat humiliated, but he took a risk for his town, he took a risk for his country. He put the country ahead of his own personal prestige. He lost one. I actually don't mind it. I think, I think he was all, all right on this." [NBC's Meet the Press, 10/4/09]

Little Green Footballs: "[T]hey want Obama himself to fail, and if that means America fails too, they're just fine with that." The blog Little Green Footballs responded to conservatives celebrating Chicago's defeat by stating that "they're openly celebrating when America loses, just because Barack Obama is President. And even though this Olympic bid was also promoted by George W. Bush.This completely puts the lie to the excuse that those who say they want Obama to fail really mean they want his policies to fail. No, they want Obama himself to fail, and if that means America fails too, they're just fine with that." [Little Green Footballs, 10/2/09]

Conservative media celebrate Chicago's elimination, bash Obama

Beck: "Oh, it's so sweet" that Chicago's bid failed; "savor this moment." On his radio program, Beck said: "Do not go anywhere. Don't -- do not look at the screen. Don't -- don't go to any other radio stations. Nothing. You don't want to hear this news -- I mean, please, please let me break this news to you. Oh, it's so sweet." After a commercial break, Beck's producer stated that "the first round of voting is up for the Olympic Games, and the first city" -- at which point Beck interrupted, saying, "Wait! Wait for it! Wait for it. Enjoy this -- savor this moment." The producer continued, "And the first city to be eliminated is Chicago." Beck later asked his producer if Chicago's elimination was proof that Obama had "failed." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Show, 10/2/09]

Dobbs: As Matt Drudge put it, "the ego has landed." On his radio show, Lou Dobbs stated, "Lots of folks are going to be going to Rio because they won the 2016 Olympics and Chicago -- Chicago, well, they were smeared, they were wiped out, and the Obamas slammed. And as Matt Drudge over at the Drudge Report put it, oh man, the ego has landed." [United Stations Radio Networks' The Lou Dobbs Show, 10/2/09]

Breitbart website: "It is kind of like the world community saying to President Obama, 'Not only no, but Hell No.' " From a post by Publius -- the pseudonym of the "Editorial Panel" of the Andrew Breitbart-published website -- headlined, "Chicago Drops From 'Second City' to Fourth City":

So, not only did Chicago lose out in its bid for the Olympics, it lost in the FIRST ROUND. It is kind of like the world community saying to President Obama, "Not only no, but Hell No."


Limbaugh: For those "upset that I sound gleeful -- I am. I don't deny it. I'm happy." On his radio program, Limbaugh stated: "Folks, the ego has landed. The world has rejected Obama. Chicago, the least number of votes, first elimination in the round of voting for the Olympics in 2016. ... When you stop to think about it, folks, doesn't it make sense? Our president, Barack Hussein Obama -- mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack Hussein Obama mmm, mmm, mmm -- had been running around the world for nine months telling everybody how much our country sucks. He's been running around the world apologizing for the United States of America. Why would anybody award the Olympics to such a crappy place as the United States of America?" Later in the program, after reading a series of headlines about Chicago's elimination, Limbaugh explained why he was "gleeful" and "happy" about the failure of its Olympic bid:

LIMBAUGH: For those of you on the other side of the aisle listening in who are upset that I sound gleeful -- I am. I don't deny it. I'm happy. Anything that gets in the way of Barack Obama accomplishing his domestic agenda is fine with me. I stand by -- I don't want Obamacare to succeed. I want national health care, socialized medicine, to fail. I want cap and trade -- a national carbon tax emissions policy based on a hoax -- I want that to fail. I do not want the government owning car companies. I don't want the government running banks. I don't want the government in charge of loans. I don't want any of it. I want all of that to fail.

And for those things to fail, I'm sorry to say, our president must fail, because they're his ideas. It is the ideas I want to fail, but the architect of those ideals must, by the same sense of logic, also fail at the same time the ideas do. So anything that weakens and helps people to see the real Obama is a step forward. Gotta say it. [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/2/09]

Drudge: "The ego has landed. World rejects Obama: Chicago out in first round." From the Drudge Report:


Kristol: "[Y]ou couldn't help but be amused by it." Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol stated on Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, "Can you imagine if some Republican -- if Bush had done this and we hadn't gotten it? Typical Bush heavy-handedness, cowboy unilateralist, hegemonic imperialist action. Obama falls into that trap and they went for it. I must say you couldn't help but be amused by it."'s Erickson: "World rejects Barack Obama. ... Hahahahaha." From managing editor Erick Erickson's post, headlined, "BREAKING: World Rejects Barack Obama. No Chicago Olympics; Hey Rush, apparently the rest of the world wants Obama to fail too":


I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone.

I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen.

Apparently not.

So Obama's pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him.

Weekly Standard blog post reportedly said "[c]heers erupt[ed] at" magazine in response to Chicago losing bid. Think Progress' Matt Corley reported that a post by Weekly Standard blogger John McCormack originally stated that when the news came that Chicago's bid had been eliminated, "[c]heers erupt[ed] at WEEKLY STANDARD world headquarters." From Corley's blog post:

Soon after news broke that the International Olympic Committee had rejected Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics, which President Obama had personally lobbied for, Weekly Standard blogger John McCormack published a celebratory post on the magazine's blog, titled "Chicago Loses! Chicago Loses!." McCormack wrote that "Cheers erupt at WEEKLY STANDARD world headquarters":


But the post has now been changed. The reference to cheers have been removed and the title has been shortened to a non-exclamatory "Chicago Loses." The current post neither acknowledges nor explains the changes that were made.

HotAir's Allahpundit to Obama: "You're a bigger sucker than I thought, champ." Blogger Allahpundit stated on "It's only right that I eat crap here for having insisted that this was a done deal and that The One wouldn't dare risk his political capital on a completely needless humiliation. You're a bigger sucker than I thought, champ."

Malkin: "This is a big win and a massive relief for taxpayers." Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin wrote: "Goodbye, 'Yes We Can.' Hello, 'No, You Can't.' Like Icarus, President Obama's giddy ego flight has ended with melted wax and fallen wings. This is a big win and a massive relief for taxpayers. But Chicago cronies are not going to take this well. Gird your loins."

Conservative media previously attacked Chicago's Olympic bid and Obama's efforts to promote it

Fox News attack machine smears Chicago as a violent city unsuitable for Olympics. Prior to the IOC's decision, conservative media -- led by Fox News -- attacked Obama's support of Chicago's Olympic bid: smearing the city as unfit to host the Olympics, often by citing individual instances of violence. For example, Sean Hannity, after citing a recent murder and an assault, asked whether Chicago is "a city where we want the Olympics," and Beck said, "Chicago is good at ... organized Mafi -- oops, did I say that out loud?"

Beck led conservative media in raising specter of Chicago cronyism to attack Obama's bid for Olympics. Conservative media suggested or claimed that Obama was advocating for Chicago to host the Olympics in order to return political favors to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley or forward the financial interests of other "Chicago pals." For instance, Beck advanced baseless speculation that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett "may personally benefit" from the Olympics, and Malkin wrote that Daley "cronies" in Obama's circle are "returning the favor for their hometown boss" by pushing for the Chicago Olympics.

Fox News used Olympic bid to attack Obama. Fox News hosts, contributors, and guests used Obama's promotion of Chicago's Olympic bid as an excuse to attack him. Attacks on Obama's efforts include Hannity saying that "it sounds" like Obama "is more concerned about bringing the Olympics to Chicago than winning the war in Afghanistan"; Brent Bozell claiming Obama's trip to Copenhagen to promote the Chicago bid "is evidence that this man just cannot stay away from the klieg lights"; and Bret Baier invoking the "carbon footprint" of Obama's trip to Copenhagen to smear the president.

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