In case you missed the latest bogus narrative being peddled by the pathologically dysfunctional, so-called “liberal” press corps (you know, the folks who are allegedly “in the tank” for Obama), Jonathan Weisman and Dana Milbank, two pseudo-journalists each writing similarly gruesome pieces in today’s Washington Post, were both eagerly flogging it.
The essential gist is that Obama is being “presumptuous” and “self-aggrandizing” — that he’s “beginning to believe his own hype” to use Weisman’s expression and engaging in “premature drape measuring” to quote Milbank (who snidely refers to him as “President Obama”). Too bad this is based on a clipped quote — a “real zinger” Weisman calls it — that he deceitfully unfurls this way:
Obama was waxing lyrical about last week’s trip to Europe, when he concluded, according to the meeting attendee, “this is the moment, as Nancy [Pelosi] noted, that the world is waiting for.”
The 200,000 souls who thronged to his speech in Berlin came not just for him, he told the enthralled audience of congressional representatives. “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions,” he said, according to the source.
On Wednesday morning, House leadership aides pushed back against interpretations of this comment as self-aggrandizing, saying that when the presumptive Democratic nominee said, “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America,” he was actually trying to deflect attention from himself.
No tape of the event exists and no one is denying the quote.
Well that sure sounds pretty damning! Or at least it perhaps would have if not for the inconvenient fact that Weisman’s unnamed source got his “zinger” completely wrong. Actually, it should have read:
“It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign — that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol.”
Whether Weisman was aware of this and chose not to disclose the full context in favour of his preferred story-line can’t be known for sure (the piece has since been updated with the full quote now stitched onto the end of it), but of course the damage has already been done. Right-wing bloggers went berserk at the notion that Obama had described himself as “a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions” and of course the McCain campaign was exploiting it for all it was worth.
And so it goes. You can bet that long after the facts of the matter have been forgotten, the “symbolic importance” misquote will persist as grist for the “arrogance” narrative. And if the word “uppity” hasn’t already come to mind in reading those two pieces, trust me, you’re not alone.