VIdeo: Shep Smith incredulous as State Department opens briefing ... by ignoring Ukraine plane crash

Via the Blaze, it’s appropriate for America’s diplomatic arm to be cautious in assigning blame, but this isn’t caution. It’s avoidance, and it’s inexplicable given that Psaki knows it’s the only topic anyone’s interested in. Whatever she has to say about Afghanistan can wait until tomorrow. What could State possibly be thinking?

One of Ace’s commenters thinks it’s a simple matter of the administration being paralyzed as their problems internationally get bigger. Obama doesn’t know what to do or say about Russian separatists shooting down a passenger jet, so he goes on his burger run and gives a 60-second perfunctory statement. If he’s calm and treats it like no big deal, maybe everyone else will treat it like less of a big deal too. Psaki might be making the same move. If the White House isn’t treating this like a crisis, it’s unfair to expect them to do much about it, right? There’s something to that, but I think you’re also seeing in O’s and Psaki’s responses how invested the White House is in pushing its daily “message” to the media, no matter what else is going on in the world. Psaki’s job today was to spin Afghanistan and, darn it, she was going to spin it, no matter how many bodies are scattered across eastern Ukraine. Obama did the same thing in his Delaware speech earlier this afternoon, segueing easily from the crash to babbling about infrastructure spending. They’re in control of the narrative, not the media — or at least they want to be. In reality, Shep and Jennifer Griffin are laughing at them and going back to covering the crash. Baffling, but this is where we are with two and a half years to go.