Assigned Reading: Obama’s Frightening Insensitivity Following Shooting
(FROM: NBC Chicago)
After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.
But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a “shout-out” to “Dr. Joe Medicine Crow — that Congressional Medal of Honor winner.” Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?
Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours had to have been stunned. An incident like this requires a scrapping of the early light banter. The president should apologize for the tone of his remarks, explain what has happened, express sympathy for those slain and appeal for calm and patience until all the facts are in. That’s the least that should occur.
I saw this yesterday and was stunned. I knew that, even if I didn’t comment on it, someone else would have — I didn’t expect it to be an NBC affiliate in the president’s home town. I certainly didn’t expect it to be such a ringing indictment of a man who fundamentally holds disdain for the military, and while the account stopped short of that assessment, the use of “frightening insensitivity” in the headline, coupled with the statement that “Democrats across the country have real reason to panic” was more than I thought I would hear.
As incredible as it was, watching this display so staggeringly devoid of compassion, common sense and mere public relations instinct, I cannot help but think that it was planned exactly this way. Indian comments first, Fort Hood comments a distant second. I absolutely refuse to think that Barack Obama’s handlers–Axelrod, Emanuel, et al.–would be clueless and stupid enough to allow him to go down the road he traveled.