During a House hearing Tuesday morning, Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) wondered aloud how the media could “literally know nothing” as Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes had claimed in the extraordinary expose published in The New York Times a couple of weeks ago.
With no star witness to cross examine during the Oversight and Reform “White House Narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal” hearing, Gowdy spent his five minutes of allotted time showcasing his notoriously dry sense of humor.
He began by expressing his disappointment that Rhodes had bailed from appearing before the committee, costing them the opportunity to question not only him, but Senator Cotton, who had been happy to testify.
“The background contrast would have been interesting to me,” Gowdy drawled, noting that the White House has been very critical of Cotton in recent months.
“When [Cotton] was serving tours of duty in the United States Army in Afghanistan and Iraq, Ben Rhodes was navigating the mean streets of of a creative writing curriculum,” Gowdy snarked. “I mean that literally, not figuratively. He has a Masters in creative writing.”
Gowdy continued, “If you’re interested in writing haikus and novellas and sonnets, he’s probably the right guy. On the other hand, if you’re advising the leader of the free world on foreign policy matters, I don’t know how a haiku helps. But I would have enjoyed the opportunity to ask Mr. Rhodes how his background prepared him to sell the Iranian deal, but yet Tommy Cotton’s background didn’t prepare him to criticize the Iranian deal.”
Gowdy also bemoaned the missed opportunity to ask Rhodes about the “echo chamber” the White House had created, and which reporters were part of it. “Which ones call him to find out what’s going on?” Gowdy wondered.
“This is what really concerns me,” he continued. “In talking about those reporters he said they literally know nothing.” Gowdy paused for dramatic effect before asking, “How do they literally know nothing?”
He noted that Rhodes said the average age of the Washington reporter is 27 years old, “which suggests they probably have a driver’s license at that point — you have to know something to get a driver’s license.” Taking a thinly veiled swipe at the liberal media he said, “If they’re 27 they would be eligible to vote in the Democrat primary more than likely, so they have to know something! “
There was another missed opportunity for bipartisanship, Gowdy lamented. “He said he expressed contempt for the editors and reporters at The New York Times and Washington Post and The New Yorker. THAT might have provided an opportunity for some bipartisanship. It would have given us an opportunity to share our own frustrations.”
He sighed, “But he didn’t come.”
The disgusted congressman concluded, “If you have time to make these comments to a reporter, you ought to be able to come and explain yourself. And if you have time at the White House to send a bunch of mean tweets about a guy who served two combat tours — and he’s willing to come — but the creative writing expert isn’t willing to come? At some point this body is going to have to be willing to stick up for itself.”