Ben Rhodes–just the right kind of man for an Obama AdministrationBy Dave Andrusko
At first, I was going to just let it pass. I mean is there anything new about anyone connected with the Obama administration so in love with himself as to put Narcissus to shame–while dripping with contempt for mere mortals?
But then I read some pushback from reporters who were on the receiving end of the latest put-downs, in this case by Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. In a looooong and adoring profile that appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rhodes bragged of how he manipulated reporters into accepting the Administration’s blatantly dishonest portrayal of the nuclear deal with Iran.
The issue, obviously, is not ours, so we won’t talk about the particulars. But what it says about Obama, the kind of people he likes around him, his less-than-wholehearted admiration for the truth, and the willingness of reporters to serve as mindless conduits for pro-Obama propaganda is worth pondering for a few minutes.
Remember: we wouldn’t have ObamaCare if the President hadn’t been–to be charitable–disingenuous about a phony baloney “executive order” that did nothing (contrary to his assurances) to rid this massive restructuring of our nation’s health care system of its many abortion-promoting features.
David Samuels’ profile/puff piece went on forever and some of the criticisms were as harsh as his was soft and would have been equally as long had their editors been willing.
So let me make three points, starting by quoting the lead of the story written by the Washington Post’s Carlos Lozada:
I just don’t know anymore where David Samuels begins and Ben Rhodes ends.
Samuels’s massive New York Times magazine profile of Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, is already prompting debates over the administration’s truthfulness in promoting the Iran nuclear deal, as well as over the disdain with which Rhodes regards the Washington press corps, the U.S. foreign policy establishment — basically anyone who is not himself, President Obama, or fellow West Wing narrative pushers.
So the piece, posted Thursday and titled “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” is, in straightforward terms, a real talker, a success. Even if it is, as a piece of nonfiction writing, kind of gross.
#2. The Post’s Paul Farhi chimes in
In the article, Rhodes speaks contemptuously of the Washington policy and media establishment, including The Washington Post and the New York Times, referring to them as “the blob” that was subject to conventional thinking about foreign policy.
“We had test-drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like [the anti-nuclear group] Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked,” Rhodes says. Speaking of Republicans and other opponents, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rhodes adds that he knew “we drove them crazy.”
That he was vicious towards the Republicans running to be his successor is no surprise; politics ain’t beanbag. That reporters still acted as if being debased by the President is cool tells you all you need to know how–seven years into his presidency–they still cut Obama enormous slack. Stockholm Syndrome anyone?
Rhodes, 38, said in the article that it was easy to shape a favorable impression of the proposed agreement because of the inexperience of many of those covering the issue.
#3. Farhi also wrote
Rhodes’s freewheeling and cynical comments reminded several White House and national security reporters of an infamous 2010 story in Rolling Stone magazine in which Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and aides mocked civilian government officials, including Vice President Biden. McChrystal apologized for the comments but later tendered his resignation, which Obama accepted.
We’ve come a long way. Perhaps the only thing worse is the way White House press secretary Josh Earnest vigorously disputed the idea that the administration had mislead anyone when Shapiro’s whole point was they had–and he was proud of it.
Source: NRLC News