Well, at least they’re willing to fight someone. When Fox News reporter James Rosen explained to Bill O’Reilly that Jen Psaki didn’t have a very good answer for the contradictory messages coming from Barack Obama yesterday as to the goals of his administration in dealing with ISIS, Psaki’s colleague Marie Harf took exception to the discussion, which included a criticism of Psaki’s “gravitas” and her ability to handle the job. Rather than dealing with the actual issue of the Obama administration’s utter incoherence on the approach to ISIS, Harf and State have decided that the real enemy is … Bill O’Reilly:
— Marie Harf (@marieharf) September 4, 2014
Just in case the State Department belatedly comes to its senses and has Harf delete that tweet, here’s a screencap:
Well, here’s the actual segment tweeted out by Harf, and the segment doesn’t seem to be all that remarkable. Critics have peppered Psaki’s performance, especially her emphasis on hashtags for messaging, for a while. O’Reilly’s criticism didn’t tip over into unprofessional commentary or classlessness in any way, unless one defines class as “don’t criticize Obama or the State Department.” In fact, Rosen seems almost complimentary to John Kerry toward the end:
Let’s get this straight. Russia has all but seized eastern Ukraine, Islamist terrorists have seized a large part of Syria and Iraq, Libya has collapsed into a failed state run by other Islamist terrorists, and Boko Haram has declared its own caliphate in Africa, and … this is what gets Harf’s attention? A run-of-the-mill segment breaking down the same incoherence on messaging that practically everyone else noticed and highlighted yesterday?
We're going to destroy ISIS. Or manage them. Or shrink their sphere of influence. Or follow them to the gates of hell.
— Ali Rogin (@AliABCNews) September 3, 2014
Good to know that the State Department has its priorities in order. Maybe Harf can start a hashtag for the new offensive: #WeveGotNothingBetterToDo.
Update: David Steinberg calls this another example of “the State Department’s self-parodizing.”