Rounding out the news of the past couple of weeks, the media elite struck two contradictory themes — with journalists saluting the “courage,”“guts” and “cool hand” of Barack Obama in ordering the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, even as the liberal media were “repelled” and “appalled” by the “vulgar” and “idiotic” celebrations of everyday Americans to the news of the terrorist leader’s demise.
The latest edition (PDF) of MRC’s bi-weekly Notable Quotables newsletter captures the flavor of liberal media coverage since bin Laden’s death, including the bitterness of some on the far left, including the left-wing journalist who griped that it “was not justice” but rather “one killer [the United States] killing another.”
Here are some of the best quotes from the issue; for the entire edition, visit www.MRC.org:
“Appalled” by “Vulgar” Celebrations of bin Laden’s Demise
“Some Americans celebrated the killing of Osama bin Laden loudly, with chanting and frat-party revelry in the streets. Others were appalled — not by the killing, but by the celebrations.... ‘The worst kind of jingoistic hubris,’ a University of Virginia student wrote in the college newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. In blogs and online forums, some people asked: Doesn’t taking revenge and glorying in it make us look just like the terrorists?”
— New York Times reporter Benedict Carey in a May 6 news story, “Celebrating a Death: Ugly, Maybe, but Only Human.”
“At the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, thousands of people — most of them college-aged and in requisite flip-floppy collegiate gear — whipped up a raucous celebration right outside the White House gates that was one part Mardi Gras and two parts Bon Jovi concert....It felt a little crazy, a bit much. Almost vulgar....When I saw that folks were celebrating in the streets at the news of bin Laden’s death, my first reaction was a cringe. Remember how we all felt watching videos of those al-Qaeda guys dancing on Sept. 11?”
— Washington Post “Metro” section columnist Petula Dvorak, May 3.
“It’s idiotic to treat these kinds of international events like sporting events, like it’s the World Cup that we’re cheering for here....I think that this kind of jumping up and down, chanting ‘USA, USA,’ sends a message of almost sort of blood lust. I think we need to be really careful about that.”
— Correspondent Jeremy Scahill of the left-wing The Nation magazine, on PBS’s Tavis Smiley, May 2.
Awed by the “Almost Biblical” Nature of Obama’s Success
“President Bush tried, President Clinton tried, but Barack Obama was the one who had the courage and the guts and the coolness, and took that chance....It was enormously, enormously courageous.”
— ABC’s Barbara Walters on The View, May 4.
“Professor Obama turned into General Obama and ran this incredible, incredible raid. That took a lot of guts, the kind of thing you do see in a Hollywood movie.”
— Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, May 4.
“By calmly and meticulously overseeing the successful targeting of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama just proved himself — vividly, in almost Biblical terms — to be an effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States.”
— Ex-Newsweek correspondent and editor Howard Fineman writing at the Huffington Post, May 2.
Now, Barack Obama Is “Unbeatable”?
“Gas prices may finally be going down. The report last week shows jobs were added to the economy, and, of course, Osama bin Laden is dead. Does this make Barack Obama unbeatable in the coming election?”
— Anchor Carol Costello on CNN’s Newsroom, May 9.
Touting Obama’s “Cool Hand” vs. GOP “Clown Show”
“Barack Obama: The cool hand directs the operation, step by step. All this time, the crazies were talking birth certificates, he was working, planning, leading, bringing America’s strength and brains to the enemy hideaway....Will this make the Republicans look for someone who can do what Obama can do? Or will they keep on celebrating the clown show? Will they stop enjoying their passion and go from cheering their buffoon parade to finding a real pick to put up against a proven master and commander?”
— Chris Matthews opening Hardball, May 2.
The “Devoted” and “Pious” Mrs. Osama Bin Laden
NBC’s Ann Curry: “After more than 10 years of marriage, Amal was known to be devoted to him....She was in the room when her husband died. Amal is from Yemen, a country Osama considered his ancestral homeland, and she was much like him: simple, pious, not interested in luxuries like his other four wives. And it appears she lived his life on the run.”
Terrorism expert Evan Kohlman: “She joined bin Laden and she traveled with him during one of the most difficult parts of his life, which is when he was mostly on the run traveling across Pakistan, Afghanistan with few luxuries. And yet, she stuck by him.”
— NBC’s Today, May 6.
Far Left Whines Over bin Laden: “One Killer Killing Another”
“I’m glad he’s gone. But I just feel something has — we’ve lost something of our soul here in this country. And maybe I’m just an old school American who believes in our American judicial system.... [Snarls] ‘What do we need a trial for, just get rid of him.’ The second you say that, you’re saying that you hate being an American. You hate what we stand for, you hate what our Constitution stands for.”
— Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, May 5.
“People cheer because they thought they saw justice, but this was not justice....This was one killer killing another, a big killer, the United States government, killing another, someone who’s actually a smaller one, bin Laden.”
— Journalist Allan Nairn on the far-left Democracy Now radio program, May 2.
“So when does SEAL Unit 6, or whatever it’s called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn’t he, or am I wrong here?”
— Left-wing radio host and former CNN producer Mike Malloy on The Mike Malloy Show, May 2. (Listen to the audio)