Wednesday, December 30, 2009

President Obama Can't Rebuke Janet Napolitano When He Is Busy Agreeing With Her

Yesterday afternoon Chris Good had a post over at Marc Ambinder's spot entitled
"Systemic Failure": A Full Rebuke Of "The System Worked" in which he used the right wing out of context framing of Janet Napolitano's words on CNN over the weekend to profer that President Obama was rebuking what she had said.

It was also a complete 180 from what Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on CNN's "State of the Union" two days after the attempted attack was foiled--that "the system worked"--a direct and total rebuke of that initial assertion.

Except, that is not what Napolitano said on CNN's "State of the Union" AND he evidently missed the part of President Obama's speech where in fact he agreed with and endorsed what she actually DID say, in context, on Sunday as is evidenced in this Rachel Maddow clip from last night.

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See when her whole quote is allowed in context and you can see that she was speaking of the RESPONSE to the attempted terrorist attack and not the events leading up to it that allowed the attempt to take place at all she sounds perfectly reasonable and in this case perfectly right. But that never stopped wingnuts from shrieking of course and so they took it out of context and ran with it for the last few days. And unsurprisingly they found someone in the quasi mainstream media realm to validate their shrieking in Chris Good who obviously didn't hear the part in the speech where President Obama agreed with her lest his whole post lose its relevance. Thankfully a commenter pointed this out to him and today he posted a retraction. But notice how he is still unwilling or unable to fully call bullshit.

Obama, as I failed to mention in that post, cast Napolitano's analysis as correct, saying that "once the suspect attempted to take down Flight 253, after his attempt, it's clear that passengers and crew, our homeland security systems and our aviation security took all appropriate actions."

Obama's "systemic failure" spoke to a different part of the security process than what Napolitano had originally addressed. When Napolitano said that the "system worked," she was talking about the response to the incident, not the cause.

"Everybody played an important role here," Napolitano said on CNN's "State of the Union." "The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action, within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight."


I still feel that Obama's remarks in Hawaii were a response to criticism of Napolitano--to the notion that the system didn't, in fact, work to prevent the attack from almost occurring--which is something Napolitano had already said. After the protestations against Napolitano's comment, whether or not they were merited, it became somewhat necessary for the president to come out and say that the system had failed.

But to call this a "rebuke" of Napolitano was misguided.

Whether or not they were merited? Its pretty fucking simple, THEY WEREN'T MERITED. And the proof is in the fact that he had to post a retraction in the first place. But you just can't call wingnuts liars in this day and age I guess. You have to give them "the benefit of the doubt". Funny, but it didn't seem like Good gave Napolitano the same benefit of the doubt though, did he? If anything was rebuked it was the right wing framing of what she had said, but you won't get that post title anytime soon I am sure.

I guess I should just be glad he posted a retraction, because you can best believe if this was the Washinton Post no such retraction would be forthcoming. But you still have to marvel and despair at how the right wing can frame any story even in the face of evidence easily accessed to the contrary.

Wired for Republicans, Washington still is...

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