The PJ Tatler

The Media May Finally Have Turned on Obama

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell may not be the sharpest reporter in the drawer, but even she has figured out that the IRS scandal is an abuse of power and Very Big Deal.

On Morning Joe this morning, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell delivered a strong reaction to the news that the IRS targeted Tea Party groups beginning in 2011, calling it “one of the most outrageous excesses I’ve seen in all my years in journalism.”

Mitchell explained that Americans have to understand that their tax returns are private, especially since the Richard Nixon era.

During his presser with UK PM David Cameron Monday, President Obama claimed — again — that “the day after [Benghazi] happened, I acknowledged that it was an act of terrorism.”

Every sentient American knows that that claim is not true. Sentient Americans now include members of the media. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler rates Obama’s claim Four Pinocchios. That’s the max. After walking through most of Obama’s shifting story on Benghazi leading up to the election, Kessler concludes:

During the campaign, the president could just get away with claiming he said “act of terror,” since he did use those words — though not in the way he often claimed. It seemed like a bit of after-the-fact spin, but those were his actual words — to the surprise of Mitt Romney in the debate.

But the president’s claim that he said “act of terrorism” is taking revisionist history too far, given that he repeatedly refused to commit to that phrase when asked directly by reporters in the weeks after the attack. He appears to have gone out of his way to avoid saying it was a terrorist attack, so he has little standing to make that claim now.

Indeed, the initial unedited talking points did not call it an act of terrorism. Instead of pretending the right words were uttered, it would be far better to acknowledge that he was echoing what the intelligence community believed at the time–and that the administration’s phrasing could have been clearer and more forthright from the start.

Even that’s not entirely accurate, and Kessler gives Obama too much leeway to make a false claim during the election, but it’s serious progress.

Update: Et tu, Greg Sargent?