NBC, MSNBC and CNN have showcased a controversial image of President Obama depicted as Hitler during recent news coverage of contentious town-hall meetings and health care reform.
“They run dialogue and video over this poster and clearly imply that either Rush Limbaugh or ‘conservatives’ in general are behind the image, which they use as a symbol of extremism. But look closely, and you discover the real credit. It goes to the Lyndon LaRouche political action committee. You can see it. It’s right there,” Seton Motley tells Inside the Beltway.
The Media Research Center communications director and blogger calls the coverage “pathetic journalism” that fails to inform the public about the origins of the image or important health care legislation.
“Are these major news organizations willfully ignorant? They make a slap at the right when this Obama-as-Hitler poster is clearly coming from the left. It’s absurd, and it’s dangerous. The public is not getting the real story,” Mr. Motley says.
The LaRouche folks deny nothing.
“The image of Obama with a toothbrush mustache was initiated by LaRouche PAC organizers. The captions vary: ‘Is This Your President?’ was one; a recent one was ‘I’ve changed.’ ” spokeswoman Nancy Spannaus tells Beltway.
“Lyndon LaRouche and his organization have declared war against Obama’s so-called health care reform because it is a direct copy of the policy Hitler declared in October 1939, when Hitler issued the order for euthanasia against those determined, by a board of medical experts, to have ‘lives unworthy to be lived,’ ” Ms. Spannaus says.
“LaRouche has also put forward the clear alternative: cancel the bailout and HMOs, implement bankruptcy reorganization of the financial system, and return to the Hill-Burton system that made our health care the best in the world.”
MISSED HIS MISSUS
Uh-oh, winding cultural moment ahead: Bill Clinton is getting better favorability ratings than Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to Rasmussen Reports - 58 percent to 53 percent, respectively.
Fresh from his own diplomacy in North Korea, Mr. Clinton claims he did not see his spouse in her peevish appearance Monday, where she lashed out at a Congolese student who she thought had inquired about the former president.
“Have you seen the video from Africa?” Les Trent of CBS’ “Inside Edition” asked Mr. Clinton Wednesday night.
“No. I haven’t,” he replied.
Well, everyone else has. Mr. Clinton can always go to YouTube, where versions of the video have been viewed close to a half-million times.
What with all the noise about celebrity impersonations on Twitter, FDOTUS also has his imitators and posers. Yes, Bo Obama, first dog of the United States, currently has about 40 other dogs - or maybe humans - pretending to be him.
The fake Twitter identities are many - Pooch in Chief, My Bobama, Bo the Dog, DiddleyDog and White House Pooch, which has more than 3,800 followers. Most Bo wannabes claim to originate from the White House, though one is from Britain and another Germany, where Bo is a “wasserhund.”
“A dog’s eye view of the Beltway,” claims one faux Bo.
“I am an East Wing Porti in a West Wing majority,” claims another, referring to Portuguese water dog, the Bo breed.
Meanwhile, Bo’s master has some 183 Twitterers who claim, simply, to be “Barack Obama.” President Obama, the real one, has over 1.9 million followers on the social-media site.
PAGING EMILY POST
Asymmetrical warfare is now including etiquette and social norms. The Defense Department is serious about “cross-cultural competence,” particularly through the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at Patrick Air Force Base, where a new training program for troops in “cultural readiness” is under development.
The training is “critical” says Gail H. McGinn, deputy undersecretary for plans, who recommends that U.S. military forces “understand the cultural nuances.”
And the small talk. Dari, Urdu, Pashto, Farsi, Arabic or Hindi are big at the Defense Language Institute. The learning of same is deemed “as important as any undertaking that we have in the United States military right now,” by none other than Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“I call that seeing it through their eyes - putting yourself in a position that actually focuses on what they are thinking about, as opposed to how we think of them, or how we think about, in our Western ways, we might solve their problems,” Adm. Mullen said during a visit to the facility on Monday.
POLL DU JOUR
22 percent of Americans say Congress is doing the “right amount” to address global warming.
25 percent want Congress to do more.
28 percent say lawmakers are doing “too much.”
54 percent of Republicans say Congress is doing too much.
65 percent of Democrats say Congress should do more.
Source: A Zogby International survey of 1,005 likely voters conducted July 31-Aug. 4
Squeaks, croaks and press releases to jharper@ washingtontimes .com or 202/636-3085.