Fred J. Eckert
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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.

If Team Obama truly wanted us to focus on what Obama actually says, NBC and the rest of the major media Obama cheerleader squad would simply salute and do so.

They’d zoom in on what he actually says in his speeches, emphasize it -- as opposed to stressing such fringe foolishness as exactly where he stood as he said it, that he took off his coat, etc. -- and follow through by asking him to explain to the American people in detail exactly why he said what he said and give us in his own words without filter his full thoughts behind those words.

Here’s a sampling of the sort of giddy gibberish Obama uttered in his Berlin speech and a sampling of questions the media somehow never thought to ask:

For all the power of militaries, for all the authority of governments, it is citizens who choose whether to be defined by a wall, or whether to tear it down

Obvious questions media forgot to ask: If these citizens were the ones who got to choose whether to tear down the Berlin Wall, what took them nearly three decades before they decided to do so? Why did they have such great difficulty making up their minds? Or are you saying that they kind of liked it for 28+ years but finally grew tired of it?

“We can forge a new international framework for peaceful nuclear power, and reject the nuclear weaponization that North Korea and Iran may be seeking.”

Obvious questions media forgot to ask: May? May be seeking? You saying you don’t know if North Korea and Iran are seeking nukes? They may or they may not be? You indicate that whether they are or are not we can forge some new framework you have in mind that would enable us to reject this – explain what exactly this framework is and how exactly it would insure rejection of nukes for North Korea and Iran? If we can do this, why haven’t we? Are you absolutely certain that one or both these two countries don’t already have one or more nukes already? You’re not aware that some think North Korea already has a nuclear weapon and that the reason they test long-range missiles is because they’d like to use them to propel nukes at us?

“We may strike blows against terrorist networks, but if we ignore the instability and intolerance that fuels extremism, our own freedom will eventually be endangered.”

Obvious questions media forgot to ask: Eventually? You said our own freedom will “eventually” be endangered – so right now it’s not being endangered with all these terrorist networks running around bent on killing Americans? But it might “eventually” be if we do not pay attention to instability and intolerance because it’s instability and tolerance that causes these terrorist to do what they do? Couldn’t it be the other way around? Aren’t these terrorists causing instability? Isn’t causing instability something they delight in doing? Are you suggesting terrorists become terrorists because we aren’t tolerant of them? You don’t see the terrorists as being intolerant? Is that what you were thinking when you said in your speech in Cairo back in 2009 that, “Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance”? Oh, by the way, we forgot to ask back then: Which words? Which deeds?

“Our efforts against al Qaeda are evolving.”

Obvious questions media forgot to ask: What in the world is this supposed to mean? We understand what’s meant when it is said that war efforts are succeeding or failing – but evolving? Is this like when you announced that you had al Qaeda “on the run,” weeks later they ran over and through US diplomatic posts? If our efforts are “evolving” they are changing from something to something else – from what to what?

“We must move beyond a mindset of perpetual war. And in America, that means redoubling our efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo.

Obvious questions media forgot to ask: So it’s our mindset that’s the problem? Not the mindset of those who oppose us? And how many times can you close Guantanamo? Isn’t that what you said you were doing when two days into your first term you issued an Executive Order requiring that it be closed down within one year? Didn’t you state just two months into your first term, “I closed Guantanamo. That was the right thing to do.”? Didn’t you let the closing date you had ordered come and go with no closing of Guantanamo? Didn’t you then in 2011 issue another Executive Order regarding Guantanamo that became the justification for keeping it open indefinitely? So isn’t talk of “redoubling” efforts just more talk with no real meaning?

"After a comprehensive review, I've determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third. And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures."

Obvious questions media forgot to ask: A comprehensive review? A president who says he learns about scandals breaking out around him through the media the same way the average American does, thinks we should believe that he is proposing this because he personally did a comprehensive review? You sure you weren’t just looking to change the subject and needed to find something to say in this speech that was somehow different? Why one-third? Isn’t it true that even if the US and Russia each reduced by way more than that it would not make all that much of a practical difference? You spoke to Vladimir Putin just before you came here – what did he say about this? You did mention it to him, didn’t you? So you would have known his reaction before you announced your proposal, right? What do you think of the fact that Putin and other high level officials are now mocking what you said here? And what do you say in response to those who say that in today’s world it is less of a danger that Russia has many nukes than that Iran gets any?

As Iran and North Korea prepare for a time when they can hurl nuclear weapons at the US and its allies; as radical Islam spreads across the globe; as the economy of our country and the economies of Europe swirl toward crash; as China and Russia increasingly seek to undermine us with both our friends and foes, there stood the President of the United States in Berlin last week speaking about wind power and solar power and declaring that “we need to confront a changing climate...This is the global threat of our time.”

It was a monumentally mindless speech. So badly conceived and delivered that not only did MSNBC’s chief Obama propagandist Chris Mathews not get a tingle up his leg, he felt a need to apologize for it: “I think a lot of the problem he had today was the late afternoon sun in Berlin ruined his use of the teleprompter.”

True, poor ole Barack Obama is our first president to suffer from thought-crippling dependency upon the teleprompter, and perhaps we will be asked to accept that global warming is indeed “the global threat of our time” based upon the proof that the Berlin sun ruined Obama’s speech last week but didn’t ruin Kennedy’s 1963 speech or Reagan’s 1987 speech.

But just wait and chances are good they’ll soon be telling us they have a solution: sun control.

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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.”