Another SOTU Editorial Masquerading as News (Update: 'Doesn't Ted Kennedy Look HAWT???')

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jan 24, 2007 12:03 PM

This one's a humdinger: "President's Portrayal of the 'Enemy' Often Flawed"

This one comes in the news section of the Washington Post, and isn't even marked "analysis," which is usually how they take swipes while calling it news. Any suspicions you've ever had that the MSM doesn't understand the nature of the "enemy" (Gotta keep quotes around it! After all, there's no such thing as "enemies' except in Bush's black-and-white world.) are confirmed in this story.

In his State of the Union address last night, President Bush presented an arguably misleading and often flawed description of "the enemy" that the United States faces overseas, lumping together disparate groups with opposing ideologies to suggest that they have a single-minded focus in attacking the United States.

Disparate groups with opposing ideologies who just happen to all enjoy the same pasttimes-- veiling, beating, and generally brutally oppressing women and homosexuals, sending suicide bombers out for pizza, a passionate committment to wiping both the Jooos and the Great Satan from the planet, a strategic disregard for civilian and school-child life, and all for the love of Allah. Can the writer of this article really not think of anything that unites all these foes. Like, oh, I don't know, radical lslam? Sure, there are differences, which the President later addresses, but to pretend that it's all completely unconnected is ridiculous.

Under Bush's rubric, a country such as Iran -- which enjoys diplomatic representation and billions of dollars in trade with major European countries -- is lumped together with al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat," Bush said, referring to the different branches of the Muslim religion.

Umm, yes, he's right. Seeing as though Iran and al Qaeda fund the exact same terrorism in Iraq in an attempt to undermine U.S. efforts and kill American soldiers, it's fairly reasonable to say they're the different faces of the same threat.

Similarly, Bush asserted that Shia Hezbollah, which has won seats in the Lebanese government, is a terrorist group "second only to al-Qaeda in the American lives it has taken." Bush is referring to attacks nearly a quarter-century ago on a U.S. embassy and a Marine barracks when the United States intervened in Lebanon's civil war by shelling Hezbollah strongholds. Hezbollah has evolved into primarily an anti-Israeli militant organization -- it fought a war with Israel last summer -- but the European Union does not list it as a terrorist organization.

Well, I guess that just makes both the writer of this article and the E.U. woefully ignorant. After all, even Nicole Kidman, Dennis Hopper, Sylvester Stallone, and Kelly Preston know Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Once you're dimmer than Hollywood in your foreign policy pronouncements, are you allowed to be a political reporter?

Hezbollah, your friendly, neighborhood soup kitchen proprieters and nothing more. We've seen this from the Post before. I'm searching for the link, but they did a whole video/photo piece on Hezbollah's good works during the Israel Hezbollah war this summer. It was heartwarming.

Newsbusters took issue with the Post story, too.

Update: Also in the Post's coverage. "Doesn't Ted Kennedy look HAWT???" We've gone from plain bias to sheer insanity with that one.

Update: John Hawkins rounded up all the underwhelmed response to the speech from Righty bloggers. Pretty good read to get the feel of things.