AP Avoids Reporting Obama's Callous 'We Have Contained ISIS' Statement

As of early this morning, Matt Drudge was carrying a link to a story headlining how President Obama is "under fire for saying ISIS 'contained' just hours before Paris attack."

Well, Obama is under some fire, but Drudge's link is to coverage at the UK Daily Mail. That's unfortunately unsurprising, because there is little to no mention of Obama's naive, foolish and callous statement in the U.S. establishment press. So Obama may be "under fire" from people who are paying attention, but low-information news consumers (and voters) who didn't happen to see the original Thursday interview will likely remain unaware of it. In one such example of convenient oversight, the Associated Press published a Thursday evening story on that interview, and decided that its only newsworthy element was Obama's immigration-related criticism of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Since none of Obama's interview with former Bill Clinton operative, current Hillary Clinton operative, and Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos had yet been broadcast at that point, it seems reasonable to believe that the unnamed AP reporter who prepared the following dispatch had access to an interview transcript, and didn't believe that Obama's "we have contained them" statement about ISIS was newsworthy.

That was absurd even before the Friday evening's terrorist attacks in Paris for which the Islamic terrorist group has claimed responsibility. But in AP-Land, only Obama's predictable Trump-bashing mattered (presented in full because of its brevity, and for fair use and discussion purposes):

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Obama's statement should have been important news even before the Paris attacks occurred, or even if they had never occurred. Here's the related interview segment:

Relevant transcript (beginning the 0:52 mark through 1:38; bolds are mine):

OBAMA: ... Our goal has to be militarily constraining ISIL's capabilities, cutting their supply lines, cutting off their financing —

STEPHANOPOULOS: But ISIS is gaining strength, aren't they?

OBAMA: Well, I don't think they're gaining strength. What is true is, is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq, and in Syria, it — they'll come in, they'll leave. But you don't see the systematic march by ISIL across the terrain. What we have not yet been able to do is completely decapitate their command-and-control structures. We've made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters.

Those who live in the places in Syria where ISIS (or ISIL, as Obama insists on calling them) "come(s) in," and "leave(s)" would probably not agree that the Islamic terrorists have been "contained." ("Yeah, they come in and kill off a few of us, terrorize many others, and take anything that we have which might be of value. Then they leave. But at least they're contained.")

Similarly, would anyone with a brain expect someone living in a gang-infested neighborhood who has their house broken into every month or so ("yeah, they break in, then they leave") to then say that their area's crime problem has been "contained"?

We're supposed to be relieved and almost satisfied that ISIS/ISIL in Syria isn't engaging in a "systematic march ... across the terrain." They're "only" marching in and marching out, merrily committing terrorist atrocities. But that's okay, because President Obama has assured us that they're "contained."

There isn't a chance in Hades that the U.S. establishment press would let a Republican or conservative president get away with a monstrously callous misrepresentation such as this (nor should they). But they won't dare engage in any kind of meaningful pushback against Dear Leader. Instead, as will be seen shortly, they're enabling him.

Searches this morning at the AP's main national site on "Obama ABC" and "Obama contained" each returned no other relevant stories and one story about the Democratic Party's Saturday night debate, respectively.

In the debate story, the AP's Ken Thomas misrepresented what Obama said:

(Hillary) Clinton defended the Obama administration's initial approach to the rise of the Islamic State group, including her actions as secretary of state, and blamed former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for failing to maintain stability. She cited President Barack Obama's recent remarks about containing the Islamic State militants and said it "cannot be contained, it must be defeated."

That's great propaganda work, Ken. Obama talked about "containing," so you're technically correct. But the news was that he said that the Islamic State has been "contained," as if it's a completed accomplishment — and in Syria, by any rational, compassionate yardstick, it's not.  But, in yet another example of after-the-fact cleanup by the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, you blew it off.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.