Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fox populi, vox dei

Shock outrage scandal! Good thing there's someone to speak on behalf of The People!

President Obama has ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff at the White House and federal buildings across the country to honor the victims of last week's shooting rampage in Chattanooga, Tenn., after facing pressure from lawmakers and others.

The "others" must be The People, right?

... The decision comes after congressional leaders ordered flags at the U.S. Capitol lowered to half-staff earlier in the day -- that decision fueled questions over why the White House hadn't yet done the same. 

And ...?

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a veteran, earlier released a statement calling it "unconscionable" that the flags had not been lowered, as of Tuesday morning. "The flag and all it represents is sacred to our military, and the President must know that lowering the flag is a signal of honor and respect," he said.

Shortly afterward, the White House issued its proclamation, following similar instructions for the Capitol by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner. 

And ...?

Asked about the status of the White House flags on Monday, Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that Obama has offered his "sincere condolences to the families of those who were killed in this attack," without mentioning the forthcoming proclamation.  

Here's the question that appears to have prompted that reply:

Following Newtown, following the Boston bombing, following the massacre at Fort Hood, the President ordered the flags be lowered to half-staff.  There have been questions raised about why the President hasn’t done the same following the Chattanooga shooting.  The White House’s response to those questions is?

Perhaps some of our Washington readers will be kind enough to identify the reporter by agency or affiliation, but in the meantime, you can draw a few conclusions from his follow-up questions:

Q    Without being specific to Donald Trump or to John McCain, broadly, does the President believe that everybody who served representing this country should qualify -- should be considered a hero?

MR. EARNEST:  Well, I think the point that many people have made in discussing Senator McCain’s service to this country is that the courage that he showed as a POW is extraordinary; that this is an individual who was confined for many years, and for many of those years had the opportunity to walk out because his captors recognized that there was a propaganda victory in the offing, and he declined the opportunity to be released from the terrible conditions in that prison because of the code and the respect that he had for his fellow prisoners.

And I don’t think I would be willing to render a judgment on every single individual who has put on the uniform of the United States military.  Certainly we owe them a lot of respect for their service to the country.  But there’s no denying that Senator McCain’s service to the country is extraordinary and qualified him as a hero.

Q    So just by serving, you’re not necessarily a hero?

MR. EARNEST:  Well, again, Peter, I’m not going to render judgment on the service of the millions of Americans who have bravely put on the uniform of this country.  We certainly are indebted to them for their service to the country, but there’s no denying that Senator McCain’s service to this country is extraordinary.

Q    Was Bowe Bergdahl a hero?

MR. EARNEST:  Again, Peter, I’m not going to get into those kinds of classifications.


Enjoy the whole transcript yourself, or just search it for "golf" if you want a sense of how hard the watchdog press is working on your behalf to separate the wheat from the chaff before printing the chaff. But at least we've narrowed "the people" in Fox's hed down to a few editors, kings and .. what's that other category again?

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