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Hannity Uses Gen. McChrystal To Smear Obama

Reported by Ellen - September 29, 2009 -

Rather than discuss the war in Afghanistan, rather than discuss General Stanley McChrystal’s rather damning assessment of how Bush prosecuted the war, Sean Hannity and Fox News seized on one bit from McChrystal’s 60 Minutes interview Sunday night, that he had spoken to President Obama only once in the 70 days since he assumed command in Afghanistan, and used that as a speculative club to accuse Obama of being indifferent to the war. There was no attempt by the “we report, you decide” network to tell viewers what the protocol might be. Tim Fernholz, of the American Prospect, took the time to do that. He noted, “McChrystal reports to General David Petraeus, who in turn reports up the line of command.” Fernholz also pointed out that while Bush bypassed Central Command, this is “Obama’s return to normal procedure.” With video.

But on Hannity’s America, last night (9/28/09), in a segment which Fox News subtitled, “Does Obama want to win in Afghanistan?” a banner on the screen read, “Gen. McChrystal reveals he has limited access to President Obama.” Nobody bothered to ask, much less answer, whether that was standard operating procedure for a president and a general.

Hannity has no standing to accuse others of losing interest in the war in Afghanistan. Other than using the war to attack Obama, I can’t remember him ever discussing it in the 4+ years I've been following him. He certainly never showed any interest in assessing how George W. Bush prosecuted the war. Even now, he ducked the opportunity in favor of attacking Obama over McChrystal – and he still didn’t bother to do any actual analysis of how the war is going.

The segment began with Hannity accusing Obama of “stalling” by asking General Stanley McChrystal “to delay his request for more troops.” With his freshly-minted interest in Afghanistan, Hannity now deemed McChrystal’s request urgent, so urgent that there was no time for Obama to think through the strategy. Hannity called Obama’s behavior “a far cry from the rhetoric that Senator Obama used on the campaign trail.” He played a clip of Obama saying, “We need to take more resources and put them into Afghanistan.” Hannity conveniently ignored that, as the Telegraph.Co.UK reported, "One of President Obama's early acts as commander in chief was to pour an additional 21,000 troops into Afghanistan." Hannity also conveniently ignored that since Obama assumed office, there was an election in Afghanistan where our guy didn't come out looking so good. The Telegraph also reported, "The Obama administration is especially worried about propping up the government of Hamid Karzai after widespread allegations of fraud in the recent presidential election." Instead, Hannity added, “Now that’s not exactly the type of commitment that we’re hearing from Barack Obama now that he’s president. In fact, yesterday on 60 Minutes, General Stanley McChrystal revealed just how involved the president is when it comes to Afghanistan.” After playing a clip of McChrystal on 60 Minutes, Hannity took another dig, “Now, it sounds to me like the president’s more concerned about bringing the Olympics to Chicago than winning the war in Afghanistan.”

Now, it sounds to me like Hannity’s more concerned about attacking Obama than he is about the actual war in Afghanistan.