Fred J. Eckert

It’s always interesting to notice what the mainstream media emphasizes when reporting on a speech delivered by Barack Obama – and always even more interesting to notice what they choose not to bother questioning.

Here’s ABC News on Obama’s speech last week at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin: “Today President Obama will invoke two of the most memorable presidential speeches in modern history — Kennedy’s 1963 “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech and Reagan’s 1987 “Tear down this wall” speech — both delivered here….The idea, White House officials say, is to tap into the energy and legacy of those great Cold War moments, calling for the kind of effort that won the Cold War to be made to confront today’s major challenges — especially climate change and nuclear proliferation.”

Get it? We are supposed to think of Obama as in the same league with Reagan and Kennedy. And ABC News is not about to question the ridiculous assertion that “climate change” is a top, perhaps the top, challenge facing us today. So they don’t report that the Obama White House claims that it is, as sound journalism would require, they instead fall in line and report it as fact. And, by the way, the invoking of Reagan to which ABC referred did not include quoting anything Reagan said in Berlin or anywhere else, did not even include mentioning him.

The New York Times noted: “While Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton each gave memorable addresses there, Mr. Obama was the first to speak on the eastern side, long closed off by the Berlin Wall…Mr. Obama’s address came 50 years after President John F. Kennedy, in another celebrated speech here, spoke outside a town hall.”

Ah! Notice that what the Times’ deems of such importance as to stress right upfront: Not anything important that Obama said in his speech. No, they take special notice of yet another first for their guy. He spoke at a different spot than those other presidents. Another first they can cite next time they claim their guy is “historic.” Only the Times seems to remember Bill Clinton’s Berlin speech as “memorable,” even giving it billing ahead of Kennedy’s, while nearly no one else even remembers he gave one there.

NBC News informed us: “The hope for the Obama White House is that, hours from now, more are focused on what he said TODAY rather than what he said FIVE YEARS ago.”

Give us a break! The last thing the Obama White House would ever hope for is that the American people would focus on what Barack Obama actually said in either his Berlin speech of last week or any other speech he’s ever given.


Fred J. Eckert

Fred J. Eckert is a former Republican congressman from New York and twice served as a US Ambassador under President Ronald Reagan, who called him “a good friend and valued advisor.”