It was a perfect metaphor for the Libya scandal: The administration on Sunday refused to send anyone on “Face the Nation” to discuss Libya. After all, what explanation could someone come up with for the misrepresentations and vast incompetence at the heart of the Libya debacle?
When deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter declared last week that Libya was only an issue because the Republican presidential ticket had made a fuss about, she almost had it right. In fact, Libya for the Obama administration is merely a political inconvenience.
The Post’s Bob Woodward on Sunday observed:
Woodward, Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times and Fox News’ Brit Hume also blasted the media for ignoring the scandal or painting it as merely a political kerfuffle (h/t Erik Wemple):
It is, in the eyes of many conservatives, not simply that the mainstream media is shallow and obsessed with horse-race politics to the detriment of policy (especially foreign policy, which many political pundits ignore entirely). There is of course a partisan element here. The media had no problem discerning that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction was a big story. It had no problem translating the Valerie Plame story into a giant constitutional crisis (while neatly omitting the real leader from the narrative). Do we really think that if the Libya debacle had happened on George W. Bush’s watch it would not have dominated the news week after week? I certainly don’t doubt that it would have been another “Bush lied, people died.” But when Obama is the president, why, we must not jump to conclusions. We shouldn’t “politicize” it, tut-tuts the hyper-partisan media.
In the end, however, the facts really do matter, and they do come out. Now President Obama, with his reelection at risk, will need to face the voters and his opponent, answer some questions that should have been asked long ago and decide on the official White House story: Did it intentionally sweep bad news under the rug or is this one of the least competent and least well-organized administrations in history? You’re right — these are not mutually exclusive.