Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Off With His Head

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs shocked — shocked! — the press room yesterday by taking a few digs at former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Over the weekend, Dick Cheney — at John King’s prodding — accused Barack Obama of, among other things, lying to the public about his proposed domestic policies, taking advantage of the financial crisis to foist enlarged government on unsuspecting citizens, and leaving us all more vulnerable to slaughter by the Terrorists. When asked about those comments, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: “I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy, so they trotted out the next most popular member of the Republican cabal. . . . Not taking economic advice from Dick Cheney might be the best possible outcome of yesterday’s interview.”

A horrified silence ran through the press corps; they were stunned to silence until CBS’s Chip Reid recovered enough to say, with barely suppressed rage,

Can I ask you, when you referred to the former Vice President, that was a really hard-hitting, kind of sarcastic response you had. This is a former Vice President of the United States. Is that the attitude — is that the sanctioned tone toward the former Vice President of the United States from this White House now?

ABC’s Richard Klein was also flabbergasted; he twittered, “Gibbs on Cheney critique: ‘I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy.’ wow — we’re talking about the former vice president here.”

Oh, dear! Bring forth the smelling salts! I feel the vapours coming on! Such insolence! Such arrogance! Such lack of respect for the Dark Lord!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is your so-called “liberal media.” To hear the right-wingers, the Washington press corp is made up of latte-sipping socialists who are in the tank for Barack Obama and fawn over every bon mot, every radiant smile, and who loved to make fun of George W. Bush at every turn. Yeah, right. If this little contretemps proves anything, it’s that these reporters, contrary to the cynical and skeptical image they like to put out there as hard-bitten ink-stained wretches, are stuck in the sycophancy mode for an administration that left office two months ago and stopped earning the right to scare the crap out of people with their boogedy-boogedy stories about terrorism and 9/11 long before then.

The most unshocking thing about this is that instead of calling out Mr. Cheney for his demagoguery and outright lies, Mr. Reid and Mr. Klein turned on someone who called him on it.

HT to Glenn Greenwald.