Slip gloss

Media shouldn't cover for president's miscues

Historian Michael Beschloss was apparently going on and on to radio host Don Imus about the president’s IQ.


But when Imus asked what the president’s IQ was, Beschloss had to admit he had no idea.

It doesn’t matter. Barack Obama is the most brilliant man ever to seek the presidency. At least that’s the media’s story, and they’re sticking to it.

Even to the point of seemingly covering up his verbal embarrassments.

As summarized by columnist Jack Kelly, here are some of Mr. Obama’s most glaring gaffes: “there are 57 states; Canada has a president; ‘Austrian’ is a language; America is ‘20 centuries’ old; Arabic is spoken in Afghanistan. He’s called the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) the Maldives, and declared it would be ‘unprecedented’ for the Supreme Court to invalidate a law passed by Congress.”

But that’s ancient history. You need only go back a few days to find more.

Appearing on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno this week, Mr. Obama said we’ve got to “deepen our ports all along the Gulf – places like Charleston, S.C., or Savannah, Ga., or Jacksonville, Fla.”

Of course, those fairly well-known great American cities are on the Eastern Seaboard, not the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Obama also made the odd claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin was once head of the infamous KGB, giving Putin a dramatic retroactive promotion. He never led the agency.

You would think a president of the United States would be more familiar with the résumé of the leader of America’s most bitter rival.

Yet, the former mainstream media have not only largely ignored the blunders, they’ve even gone so far as to cover them up: As columnist Michelle Malkin reported, when others did not, the Associated Press story actually fixed the president’s gulf quote for him – adding this parenthetical to make his elementary geography goof make sense: According to the AP’s original story, Obama called for us to “deepen our ports all along the Gulf — (and in) places like Charleston, S.C., or Savannah, Ga., or Jacksonville, Fla.”

The reporter added his own words to make the president’s quote make more sense – a monumental transgression of traditional journalistic ethics.

And can you imagine a journalist covering tracks like that for a Republican?

Of course not. For a Republican president or vice president or vice presidential candidate, the media would’ve celebrated and repeated the honey boo-boo ad nauseum.

Even to the point of fiction: They managed to convince many voters that Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house.

We wouldn’t impugn the president’s intelligence. Everyone in the public eye makes boneheaded mistakes, particularly in this day and age when cameras and microphones are ubiquitous.

But neither should the media ignore, gloss over and even correct a politician’s miscues – especially in what may be an attempt to salvage a narrative that he is, as Malkin’s blog sardonically notes, “the Smartest President Evah™.”



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Cross doesn’t get it

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Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon