There’s tough media coverage, there’s harsh media coverage, and then there’s … brutalmedia coverage. The New York Daily News, not exactly a bastion of conservative voices, provides the latter on Barack Obama’s “now watch this drive” moment yesterday:
An early look at tomorrow's front page. http://t.co/orsS8nH93j pic.twitter.com/H3Y657jSds
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 21, 2014
Their article didn’t pull any punches, either:
President Obama put his own spin on the oft-quoted advice of predecessor Teddy Roosevelt: speak strongly and carry a nine iron.
The vacationing commander-in-chief returned to the golf course Wednesday after calling for justice in the brutal killing of an American journalist by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) terrorists. …
The president zipped quickly from a local school to a Martha’s Vineyard golf course after his 12:45 p.m. media session. Obama delivered a short statement and took no questions from the assembled media.
And it doesn’t get any better for Obama at the Daily Mail. The British newspaper ran pictures of a laughing, jovial Obama on the links immediately following his five-minute statement about the beheading of an American citizen:
President Barack Obama reacted to the on-camera slaying of photojournalist James Foley for five minutes on Wednesday, telling a global audience that ‘when people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.’
Less than 10 minutes after leaving the podium Obama teed-off and was seen laughing with friends and fist-bumping them during a five-hour game Farm Neck Golf Course on Martha’s Vineyard – his seventh round in ten days. …
ABC News political director Rick Klein told Fox host Greta van Susteren that the White House is ‘well past the point of caring about the so-called “optics” of things like this. And the president himself clearly doesn’t … care about the way it looks.’
Klein said he found it ‘jarring to see him on the golf course just minutes after giving an address like this.’
What puzzles the NYDN’s Larry McShane is why Obama came back to work earlier in the week, but didn’t after the Foley beheading by ISIS and the subsequent revelation of the failed hostage rescue. Most of Washington’s been wondering about that too, and Investors Business Daily’s Michael Ramirez had some thoughts about that as well. If the videotaped butchering of an American journalist by the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization can’t encourage Obama back to the Oval Office, what did? Ramirez tees it up:
The juxtaposition of the two photos: Obama smiling in his golf cart, the Foley’s crying is the ultimate in bad optics.
But had we paid off ISIS (ISIL or IS) with the $130 million they were demanding as ransom for Foley that would have been a worse precedent.
There are other options.
It’s not like we are in a dilemma.
We can engage ISIS at many levels from all-out war to targeted un-manned drone strikes.
I saw how we took out an truck full of ISIS with a several thousand dollar missile the other day.
50 caliber machine guns from a chopper or a jet might have been cheaper.
Too bad we don’t have GPS and self-destruct systems on all our own equipment.
Then all we’d need to do is find one and push a button.
Actions define a leader. Obama has continued to define himself.
Obama on his Blackberry, on hole 3 (in the afternoon, not the morning round), “Hello, IRS? Yeah, I have something I need you to check into….”