Ed Driscoll

Weapons Of Mass Distraction

Linking to a Reuters article spotlighted by Matt Drudge, Tom Blumer notes the latest appearance of the D-Word. Tom writes:

Reuters is only the latest wire service to go way over the top in taking pity of President Obama for having to deal with nasty things that intervene to disturb Dear Leader’s apparent solitude.

At the same time, Reuters seems to be characterizing the situations in Iran and North Korea as “distractions” as equivalent to that being posed by the Somali pirates.

I don’t know how else you can interpret the way this Reuters article by Steve Holland currently appears.

Here some highlights from the article that Tom links to:

Pirates pose annoying distraction for Obama

Ragtag teams of modern-day Blackbeards are posing an annoying distraction for Barack Obama, forcing him to add Somalia to an already long list of foreign policy challenges.

* * *

Democratic strategist Doug Schoen, who worked in the Clinton White House, called the crisis “a real test of national resolve” that the Obama White House and opposition Republicans need to work together to deal with.

“It’s an annoyance and a distraction,” he said. “On the other hand, if we don’t take this seriously and we don’t stamp it out we will face what other countries are facing, which are repeated acts of piracy.”

But what isn’t a distraction? Back to Blumer:

According to this Google News search, The words “Obama” and “distraction” have both appeared in 2,425 articles in just the past 30 days; excluding duplicates, it’s about 450. Of course, all of them don’t necessarily tie in to the administration’s current activities, but a quick cruise through the results shows that at least the following items are potentially or actually distracting President ‘Prompter and/or his administration:

  • Any debate over the trade embargo with Cuba.
  • That a bid to renew the Clinton Era’s assault weapons ban.
  • The Korean rocket incident.
  • The war in Afghanistan (as seen through the eyes of Europeans).
  • The AIG bonuses (according to Rahm Emanuel).

By contrast, this final page of a Google News archive search from January 20, 2005 through November 1, 2008 shows that “Bush” and “distraction” appeared together in 809 articles in almost four years. Comparability between the two metrics isn’t perfect, but I sympathize with anyone who finds that the press’s obsession with the supposed distractions the White House’s current occupant faces is driving them to, well, distraction.

In previous administrations, the buck stopped at the president’s desk. These days, it–and he–are much more easily distracted.

Update: Never let a serious distraction go to waste! “Obama Reaches Out to ‘Moderate’ Pirate Community”; meanwhile, even more moderate pirates in support of middle-age millionaire Massachusetts sportsmen spotted here.

(The latter link found via Michelle Malkin, who was also kind enough to link to us.)