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Tag Archives: Ed Henry

Video || Henry Reminds Earnest that Obama Called Bush “Unpatriotic”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday he felt “sorry” for Rudy Giuliani, who called President Obama “unpatriotic.” That is, Giuliani is merely pathetic, in the White House view.

I can tell you that it’s sad to see when somebody who has attained a certain level of public stature and even admiration tarnishes that legacy so thoroughly. And the truth is I don’t take any joy or vindication or satisfaction from that. I think, really, the only thing that I feel is I feel sorry for Rudy Giuliani today.

Aww, such high-minded stuff! Well, turns out someone else tarnished their legacy with such comments – NONE OTHER THAN BARACK OBAMA, who while running for president called George W. Bush “unpatriotic” for running up the debt.

Under questioning from Ed Henry of Fox News, Earnest was careful not to say Obama was “sorry,” lest he cast the same pall of pathos over his own boss.

Note Henry, in his questioning, is incorrect on one matter. Obama was clearly referring to Bush in using the term “unpatriotic.” Henry avows that Obama was referring merely to “the issue” of piling on too much debt.

White House Concealing Names of Muslims Who Met with Obama

A day after the event, the White House is still refusing to release the names of Muslim leaders who met with President Obama at the White to discuss a variety of topics, including the response to Muslim extremism.

The White House may be hiding the names because meetings with Muslim leaders are often followed by articles describing ties some might have to Muslim extremists. It’s also possible that some of the leaders were concerned about a backlash from extremists were it revealed they were meeting with the White House. This, of course, is another commonly citied problem – the lack of Muslim leaders speaking out against terrorism.

Fox News reporter Ed Henry said White House officials had told reporters the names wouldn’t be released because these were “private citizens,” which is a joke because the White House releases the names of private citizens who meet with the president all the time.

“I’ll see if I can do that for you,” Earnest said to Henry about the list of names. “Well, one thing we do know is that the names will be included in the waves records that are released, (but) let me see if I can get them released sooner.”

The “waves records,” which include the names of all visitors to the White House, aren’t released for months – when everyone will have forgotten about the meeting. They’re difficult to wade through and often don’t indicate precisely whom visitors met with.

Earnest even had the chutzpah to say the White House had been “transparent” in that it was said “the meeting was taking place.”

Earnest Works Himself Out of Genocide Jam

I gotta give Josh credit for this one. He was wobbling on a high wire as Ed Henry of Fox News shot spitballs at him, but he managed to find his footing and make it across.

Ed had a question for White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. A question no press secretary would wish for:

HENRY: Is preventing a genocide in America’s core interests?

EARNEST: Uh, well . . .

Oh boy, that’s a good one. No easy escape. Probably thought of it in the Fox news booth downstairs.

Let’s look at Josh’s options here.

Answer “no,” or anything that sounds like “no,” and you and your boss are THE WORST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

What? You like genocide? OMG.

Now, answer “yes,” and Josh is establishing a whole new policy from the podium, a big press secretary faux pas. And then suddenly, everybody’s having a genocide. Yo, America come help us out of this genocide. Send your best ground troops, right away.

Watch the video below. At first, Josh has no idea what to say. He’s thinking as he’s talking, and desperately trying to drop words into some kind of order that will make sense, but not policy.

And then, Ed makes a tactical mistake, asking the same question in a particularly long-winded manner. This gives Josh time to think, and he finds a good formulation. Though he botches the phrasing – too much adrenaline going from the near-death experience – the point he makes is artful and valid.

While the United States, he says, “cannot abide” the killing of people because of who they are . . .

. . . the question is what, and how, the United States can intervene to mitigate that situation. And those kinds of decisions are the kinds of decisions that are made on a case by case basis.

More bluntly put, it depends on the situation and what we, as a practical matter, can do about it. 

Right. We’d like to save everyone, because we’re Americans. But we can’t.

Obama’s Syria Policy Fails. Again.

President Obama’s Syria policy has not just failed once, but twice! Or three times. Losing count. Anyway, the United States lost all credibility some time ago under Obama, so what does it matter?

This morning, we were treated to the headline from the Associated Press that President Obama was “mulling options” on Syria.

Mulling. After 150,000 deaths, he’s still mulling.

Not that there’s much we can do this point. Except to keep ourselves from being disgraced. Which we have not. But then we knew that was coming.

Syria is not even living up to the deal Secretary of State Kerry accidentally proposed and the Russians purposely ran with to give up its chemical weapons. Syria was supposed to have handed all of it over by now.

According to reports, Syria has handed four percent of it over.

You read that correctly. Four percent.

The Syrian’s intention with the weapons deal was not to give up chemical weapons, but to get Obama off his thinkin’ that maybe he’s gonna bomb someone for crossing a red line. Worked like a charm.

Fox News’ Ed Henry held White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s feet to the fire Tuesday. Carney accused Henry of conflating things. The only thing Henry was conflating was seriousness and the president of the United States.

HENRY:  But, Jay, wasn’t it the President himself who, at that podium, set the red line almost two years ago and said, if they were to use these chemical weapons, it’s a red line, enormous consequences.  Where are those consequences?  You pushed back for a time because they were — you said, they were turning over chemical weapons.  Turns out Assad is not turning over —

MR. CARNEY:  Well, Ed, I think you’re conflating the two things.  The red line —

HENRY:   No, the red line on the chemical weapons.  Then you said he was turning them over, but he’s not.

MR. CARNEY:  The President — well, first of all, there is no question that the Assad regime has blown some deadlines on the transport and delivery of its chemical weapons supplies.  The regime is still committed to ridding itself of those supplies, and Russia is on the hook for making sure that, as the regime’s significant ally, that those chemical weapons and the supplies are delivered and the regime is fully rid of chemical weapons as part of that agreement.

Now, the fact is the President said that was a red line.  He threatened the use of force in response to that.  And because the threat was real, we saw the Assad regime go from refusing to acknowledge it even had chemical weapons stockpiles to acknowledging that it had them and to reaching an agreement that they would give up those weapons.  And we are going to — and the international community is going to hold both Syria and Russia responsible for the fulfillment of that agreement.

HENRY:  Why would anyone believe you’re going to hold them responsible when this has been going on for years?  And in answer to Jon’s question when you said “the review is ongoing,” if the review is always ongoing, doesn’t that suggest that you’re more likely to spin your wheels because you’re just reviewing and reviewing, but there’s not an endpoint to this?

MR. CARNEY:  Again, you’re conflating a bunch of things, Ed. When we’re talking about policy as a general matter — not just with regards to chemical weapons, but as a general matter in Syria — we are constantly reviewing options that would allow us to provide more and more effective humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, that would allow us to provide more and more effective support for the opposition, and that would allow us to advance the essential cause of diplomatic negotiations that could lead to a peaceful political settlement to the conflict and a transitional government.  And those are the range of options that the President is constantly asking for and evaluating, because we all recognize that progress has not been coming quickly on Syria and we need — together with our partners — to press for a solution here on behalf of the Syrian people.

Here’s the video.

Ed Henry: Why Negotiate with Iran but Not the GOP?

Fox News White House correspondent Ed Hnery asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a reasonable question, which amounted to, why are you talking to murderous mullahs and not the GOP?

I’m taking some liberty with the “murderous mullahs” description – Henry didn’t exactly say that.

After responding in customary attack mode that Henry was engaged in the “reassertion of GOP talking points,” Carney seemed to hint that there may be talks but that he currently has “nothing new to report on the president’s schedule.”

The latest: The Senate has rejected that House bill that would fund the government but delay Obamacare for a year. Reports indicate the next step by House Republicans would be to move a similar bill but add on a cancellation of the Obamacare exemption for lawmakers.

Carney Accuses Ed Henry of “Editorializing”

The White House habit of attacking the press, which America finally became familiar with after Bob Woodward complained about it a few weeks ago, was on full display in the briefing room Tuesday as Press Secretary Jay Carney incorrectly accused Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry of editorializing.

Henry asked Carney a question about a decision within the Department of Homeland Security to postpone furloughs of border patrol agents. In February, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano appeared in the briefing room issuing dire warnings that if the sequester goes into effect, the hours of work cut back would amount to the loss of “up to 5,000 border patrol agents.”

Carney responded with a typical – and in this case skillfully applied – White House press secretary tactic: change the subject and the question to something else. But he also sought to turn the tables by making the questioner seem the bad guy, rather than an administration that had changed its tune and been misleading.

Henry just as skillfully parried back, repeatedly yanking the focus back to the White House’s changing sequester narrative.

Here’s the key portion of the exchange.

After acknowledging furloughs of border patrol agents may take place a little later, Carney attacked:

CARNEY:  . . . but feel free to convey to your readers and viewers that the sequester doesn’t matter. And then —

HENRY: Okay, well, first of all, let me just stop you, because I didn’t say it didn’t matter.

CARNEY: — and explain — nobody said it wasn’t dire.

HENRY: I said that the Secretary came in here and said that we were going to be less safe, that people were going to be crossing the border because there are less Border Patrol agents. And then they announced yesterday, actually, we’re not doing that. So I’m not saying it’s not important. I’m saying, did she mislead the public?

CARNEY: Absolutely not. And I’m saying that this is — I mean, you’re editorializing enormously in that, but the —

HENRY: How so? February — I’ll give you — February 25th she said, “If you have 5,000 fewer Border Patrol hours or agents, you have 5,000 fewer Border Patrol agents. That has a real impact.” Those are her words. That’s not politicizing.

CARNEY: Right. And how is that not the case?

HENRY: They announced yesterday they’re not doing that.

CARNEY: Well, but there are reductions. And whether it’s those Border Patrol —

HENRY: Well, what are they?

CARNEY: Go ahead and report that, Ed. We’ve made clear, look —

HENRY: Okay, she said 5,000. They said yesterday, we’re not doing that.

CARNEY: Talk to those who have been laid off at defense industries. Talk to those who have been furloughed in the —

HENRY: Let’s talk about Border Patrol first.

Here’s some video of the exchange:

Is the White House Making Nice with Ed Henry?

Poor Ed Henry.

I’ve worked with him for years at the White House, and I have no idea what his political sympathies are. And yet, since he departed CNN to take up residence at at Fox News earlier this year, he’s been treated by the White House  like he was president of the John Birch Society.

In the midst of a heated briefing room discussion last July, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney accused Henry of making TV drama for his new employer.

And then earlier this month President Obama himself accused Henry of shilling for the GOP.

“Well, I didn’t know you were the spokesperson for Mitt Romney,” Obama snarked.

But today, there were signs of incipient detente. Henry asked how Obama was going to pass his unpassable American Jobs Act. Carney replied, in all seriousness, “I appreciate that, Ed,” and then launched into his grateful reply.

Carney had a well prepared answer, so he might have just been pleased to get a chance to read his homework out loud to the class. But I sensed a bit of warming in the tundra there as well.