Great moments in journalism: “Are you a flake?”
posted at 12:00 pm on June 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
I can understand why Chris Wallace asked this question. Given his guest’s propensity for gaffes, such as picking the name of a dead hero as a live Medal of Honor winner, botching a toast to Queen Elizabeth II, discussing the high points of the Austrian language, and several references to a military medic as a “corpseman,” it might be hard to take the person seriously.
Oh, wait — Wallace wasn’t interviewing Barack Obama after all:
Jim Hoft calls this “awful,” but it’s just the same old double standard applied to Republicans. We have yet to hear any serious coverage from the national media of Obama’s hundreds of gaffes while in the White House, just as we heard little of his “57 or 58 states” remark and other gaffes on the campaign trail, such as the six-month string that produced these doozies:
- The Selma March in 1965 did not contribute to his birth in 1961.
- Kansas tornadoes in May 2007 killed 12 people, not “ten thousand”.
- Afghans do not speak Arabic.
- Within 24 hours, Obama reversed his assertion that Iran did not pose a “serious threat” to the US to an assertion that the threat is “grave”.
- Declaring that Memorial Day honors an “unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today“
- Saying that his uncle liberated Auschwitz
- Asserted that the Nuremberg tribunals offered habeas corpus and appeal rights
- Referred to “the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor“
Did any of the national media ask Barack Obama in the summer of 2008 if he was a “flake”? Bachmann has not been without her gaffes, although she has improved her media interactions substantially since the “anti-American” comment in November 2008. But given Obama’s track record both before and after his election to the presidency, it would take a superhuman effort to vault into his league. And the media still mainly ignores Obama’s gaffes, which have grown into the hundreds, without a single outlet ever asking Obama if he is a “flake” on that same basis.
It could be that Wallace was giving Bachmann an opening to push back against the “flake” meme, but the fact that Bachmann’s having to respond to this rather than the gaffemaster in the White House is the real problem.