In the wake of Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes boasting about how he managed to hoodwink the news media and the public regarding the negotiations with Iran, this disgusting display is not so much surprising and it is clarifying.
Monday’s edition of the Charlie Rose show on PBS featured Charlie chatting with former Obama speechwriters David Litt, Jon Favreau, and Jon Lovett to discuss their collaboration with the President to assist his (over-praised) communication skills. Much of the discussion centered on Obama’s stand-up comedy chops—Ah, what might have been! I’d gladly take my chances in that alternate universe—until the discussion turned to this:
CHARLIE ROSE: My point is do you have equal impact on serious speeches? Because it’s about style, use of language, etcetera?
JON LOVETT, FORMER OBAMA SPEECH WRITER: I really like, I was very — the joke speeches is the most fun part of this. But the things I’m the most proud of were the most serious speeches, I think. Health care, economic speeches.
JON FAVREAU, FORMER OBAMA SPEECH WRITER: Lovett wrote the line about “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.”
LOVETT: How dare you!
LOVETT: And you know what? It’s still true! No.
Observations, somewhat diminished because this made MY HEAD EXPLODE:
1. Who are these creatures? What kind of leader hires people like this? “Yup, we helped the President lie to the American people and saddle them with an expensive, dysfunctional, probably un-fixable insurance scam that none of the legislators voting for even read! Huzzah!”
2. This is in the same, slime and vomit-coated territory as Harry Reid’s “He lost, didn’t he?” justification for his lies about Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign. Of course, the news media didn’t seem to mind that, either: the ends justify the means, when the ends mean electing Democrats. Seldom, however, do you see supposedly respectable mainstream media types like Rose openly applauding Presidents who lie in the American people’s face. Smug, arrogant, contemptuous–I’m going to get my Thesaurus. For now I’ll have to settle for “yecchhhh.”
3. The episode was probably deemed safe by Rose and PBS, since the network is hardly watched, and the chablis and brie crowd that mostly tunes into Charlie when no “Downton Abbey” re-runs are available and who can afford their premiums undoubtedly approve of Obama faking out the rubes with the assistance of these jerks.
This is another propitious time to note that this is an irresponsible waste of public funds, welfare for the liberal rich. Charlie could surely find a home on HBO: all he would have to do is use words like “twat” and “fuck,” like Bill Maher. He’s already funnier than Maher…
4. Is this what Trump voters and the disgraceful, corrupted pundits who enable them mean when they talk about “elites”? The previous evidence indicated that the term meant “those who are capable of rational thought,” but maybe “elites” means “assholes.”
5. If Trump runs against Hillary, I wonder if he will have the wit to make her defend the horrible conduct of the President and her party in the Obamacare debacle. He should; someone should. From The Weekly Standard:
“Hillary Clinton was stunned Monday when a small business owner told her that the cost of her health insurance had increased nearly two fold.
“A $400 increase, assuming you didn’t have some terrible healthcare event, which it doesn’t sound like you did,” Clinton said at a campaign event in Virginia. “I don’t understand.”
The voter told Clinton that her health insurance plan had a rigid income cut-off that was preventing her from qualifying for subsidies.
“I have seen our health insurance for my own family go up $500 a month in the last two years,” the voter said. “We went from $400-something to $900-something … we’re just fighting to keep benefits for ourselves.”
The woman said that she was also finding it difficult to provide benefits for her employees.”
Hillary doesn’t understand.
6. Blogging Professor Glenn Reynold mused about what the reaction of the news media would have been if ex-Bush speechwriters high-fived each other on TV over Bush lies they foisted on the American people. I am sick of this reflex cliché from the Right, but sometimes, as in this case, it is justified. We should have one, clear standard regarding Presidents manipulating public opinions with intentional dishonesty and deceit. It is wrong. It is wrong no matter what its objective.
This should not be a difficult ethical concept to absorb.
7. It is very difficult not to hate these people, everyone like them, those who hire them knowing what kind of people they are, and those who continue to support and enable the officials who do. I have to keep reminding myself that they are the product of an unethical political culture supported by an ethically bankrupt profession, journalism, and that the goal must be to find cures for the sick culture. Anger and hate focused on the symptoms of the crisis, like Rose, Litt, Favreau, Lovett, and anyone who would inflict the last three on the American people, doesn’t accomplish anything. Circulating the message of why their conduct and their atrocious values are intolerable might.
8. I have to admit, however, that the quartet’s laughter indicates that the message isn’t getting through.