- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 15, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Unfortunately, Tom Matzzie is cut from the same cloth as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck (“Presidential salute,” Inside Politics, Nation, Oct. 30). He is just another media wonk trying to make news instead of reporting it.

Personally, I think it was thoughtful of President Obama to go to Dover, Del. Although Mr. Matzzie can point out that President George W. Bush never went, can he name another president, Democrat or Republican, who did the same? Most presidents wanted to share the grief with the families.

The event would not have been exploited as just another photo op had Mr. Obama’s staff, who have failed him time and again, not shown the president trying to play soldier by snapping him in a salute looking like a 6-year-old playing at war. Although commander in chief, he is not a soldier. The other civilians were quite proper in their honor of our troops. I wonder if the families had given permission, as is the regulation, before these pictures were taken.

The bottom line is that Mr. Obama did the correct thing but that there should have been no photo. A good journalist, maybe even Mr. Matzzie, could have described the scene in such a way that brings tears to eyes. Mr. Obama, then, could have been shown as commander in chief through millions of personal visions. The president’s staff bungled another one, and Mr. Matzzie came across as another foolish blogger with an ax to grind.

WILSON FARIS

Gaithersburg

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