Hollywood execs should have seen this coming. For six years, the world has seen how President Obama betrays and belittles friends of the United States while extending the hand of friendship and acceding to the demands of dictators from Moscow to Havana. It was only a matter of time, then, before the president threw the Hollywood elite — who raised money by the boatload for him, gloried his presidency, swooned at his speeches, populated his parties and ignored his blunders — under the bus. Had the glitterati vilified him instead, raised money for the GOP and snubbed White House state dinners, he might have treated them better. Instead, his best friends are treated like America’s best friend, Israel.
With Obama, it invariably means blaming the victim. In the case of Israel, he blames the Jewish state for the death of peace talks, condemns it for civilian deaths which the IDF strenuously tried to minimize in the Gaza war and excoriates the government for every new building complex. In the case of Hollywood, Obama blames the film studio for being bullied by North Korean threats.
At his Friday news conference, Obama declared Sony Pictures Entertainment “made a mistake” pulling the film. He lectured the beleaguered studio: “Again, I’m sympathetic that Sony as a private company was worried about liabilities and this and that and the other. I wish they’d spoken to me first. I would have told them, do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.” The notion that he, as the leader of the free world, would have taken the initiative to reach out, provide security and political support in defense of the First Amendment never seemed to cross his mind. In an interview on Sunday he made matters worse by declaring this to be a mere act of “cyber vandalism,” dismissing the idea it was an act of war. (Obama’s preference for ignoring or downplaying provocations, which invite further aggression, is well established.)
And wait. Sony Pictures says it did consult with the White House.
“Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton on Friday contradicted President Obama and said he had spoken with a senior White House official about the controversy surrounding “The Interview.” “A few days ago, I personally did reach out and speak to senior folks in the White House and talked to them about this situation and actually informed them that we needed help,” Lynton said during an excerpt of an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, which airs in full Friday night on “Anderson Cooper 360.”
You mean the president passed the buck, didn’t own up to his own passivity and sought to blame the innocent victim in a grotesque instance of aggression which he, as commander in chief, should have addressed? Well, it sure wouldn’t be the first time.
Unfortunately, Hollywood sycophants will learn nothing from this incident. They won’t re-examine the president’s character or credibility, nor will they consider the possibility that his own serial weakness has signaled to rogue states that they can take pot shots at America — even them!
It has been a bad year for the anti-George W. Bush crowd. Media elites considered Bush 43 a dunderhead and cowboy who didn’t understand how to get along with others and insisted on being the world’s policeman. (The cowboy continues to paint and this year wrote a beautiful biography about his father, in between trips to Africa to help AIDS victims and work with Wounded Warriors.) A smart sophisticated guy like Obama would use diplomacy to keep the peace, liberal elites declared. They cackled together with Obama over the people in fly-over country (the gun ad Bible huggers), pondered the fate of the planet together and mourned the midterm losses together. Now, after the film is pulled, he blames them?!
They should have caught on a long time ago. Obama has signaled weakness over and over again to America’s enemies — their enemies and the enemies of all free peoples. It is now time for dictators and terrorists (whether Islamist or North Korean) to press their advantage, confident that there will be few if any repercussions. Maybe now the need for a robust military and intelligence-gathering operations will be a little more meaningful in the Manhattan and Santa Monica salons. They, thank God, were not incinerated in a terrorist bombing (in part because of the water boarding of Khalid Shek Mohammad, an act they consider to be “torture”), but their lives have been turned upside down and their fortunes put at risk by cyberterrorism. And they have to suffer the indignity of this president telling them they made a mistake and they were cowards.
I know, it’s all so unfair. They were cooing this week over the president’s decision to lift the embargo against their BFF Raul Castro’s regime. Fidel, they considered to be a Renaissance man. One studio exec whose office I sat in a number of years back displayed proudly a painting on his wall by El Commandante himself. (Imagine Louis B. Mayer hanging Stalin’s art work in his office.) But now their liberal icon (the president, not Castro, in this case) has kicked them to the curb. How hurtful. How disloyal. How perfectly fitting.
Next time the Hollywood elites might be a little more circumspect about whom they anoint as the next political messiah. And they might begin to take national security seriously. They might consider how precarious is their own safety (financial and otherwise) without a decisive commander in chief, a well-funded military and an adept intelligence community. When it is about them, by gosh, it might be time to get serious.