‘Liberal Media’ Joins Republicans In Teeing Off On Obama’s Golfing

FILED TO: White House Reporting

Everyone expected conservatives to slam President Obama for playing golf after his impassioned denunciation of ISIS on Wednesday (or for playing golf ever), but even supposedly liberal media outlets like The New York Times and Ezra Klein’s face-hole are getting in on the act. The lesson they learned from George W. Bush’s “Now watch this drive!” kerfuffle is now being visited on Obama, and so far, he’s not playing along.

Liberal wonksplainer Ezra Klein continued his campaign to concern-blast the President on Wednesday when he tweeted that “golfing today is in bad taste,” a useful sentiment if there ever was one, at least for Fox News:


Guy Benson: “I don’t think the White House cares at this point.”

But Klein wasn’t alone in his rebuke of President Obama’s chosen pastime. The New York Times‘ Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker noted, yesterday, that Klein is joined by many Democrats who “privately…shook their heads at what they considered a judgment error.”

Baker doesn’t simply leave it at the observations of others that the golf outing looked bad, though. He also decides, as a reporter, not a commentator, that he can read Obama’s mind (emphasis mine):

But as soon as the cameras went off, Mr. Obama headed to his favorite golf course on Martha’s Vineyard, where he is on vacation, seemingly able to put the savagery out of his mind. He spent the rest of the afternoon on the links even as a firestorm of criticism erupted over what many saw as a callous indifference to the slaughter he had just condemned.

Then, he adds this bit of color from Democratic strategist Jim Manley:

The video, Mr. Manley added, “was just so shocking that the idea that he was going to immediately run to the golf course was just a little too much for folks; it was tone-deaf.”

Optics aside, there are a few problems with this. Most obvious is the fact that President Obama’s mind is what we White House reporters refer to as “closed press,” so Baker really has no business including it in his reporting. But the factual implication that Baker makes, that the President watched the video of James Foley’s beheading and then immediately skipped off to the golf course, is false. According to White House officials, the President was briefed on the video nearly 24 hours earlier, aboard Air Force One.

Now, about those optics. Baker also brings up George W. Bush’s infamous, “Now watch this drive” moment, and notes that “Mr. Bush later concluded that such scenes sent a bad message, and in the fall of 2003, with the Iraq war raging, he gave up golf for the remainder of his presidency.”

That’s the Iraq War, in case you’ve forgotten, that Baker’s paper gleefully abetted and cheerled us into, and which created the space that ISIS now occupies. The lesson that George W. Bush took from this was to continue the disastrous war, and quit the golf. Given the events that have transpired since then, and the momentous decisions this president no faces, it seems to me that it’s in pretty poor taste for anyone to give a rat’s ass about golf at a time like this.


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  • hck1957

    Thank You!

  • MaryJane Mccarthy James

    The pathetic so called “liberal media” sold their souls many years ago for the big bucks.It has been clear for a long time that they are part of problem not part of the solution.

  • D. Alexander

    The even have some o the left doing it, Bill Press did it last week when he played golf a day after the beheading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

    Ezra, poor little Ezra, you may have spent most of your adult life studying and “analyzing” people who govern and people who make policy, but I’m guessing you’ve done very little of it yourself. Did it ever cross your mind that rest and relaxation is necessary for good cognitive functioning, especially for someone in a position of such profound authority? Exercising may also help President Obama sleep, which is a vital practice for people who need to think thoroughly and effectively. And has it ever occurred to you that a person can play golf and think at the same time, or ponder in a non-linear way that helps the brain sort things out without the person having to sit in a chair with a serious face? Walking is good for that particular kind of thinking.

    Ezra, Ezra, Ezra, you think in your little bubble and take your thoughts too seriously. You’re in the village now, and it shows. President Obama is dealing with reality. Fuck the “optics” being picked over by the vultures that call themselves the Washington Press Corps. What a bunch of whiny little ninnies you are.

  • Michiganmitch

    Since when has golf become such an issue? When the black guy is swinging the club and not carrying the bag. BTW, the corporate world has long demanded that its members play because so much “business” got done on the links. Why would golfing after a day’s work regardless of what went down be objectionable? because the darlke is doing it!Wonder if Boner has suspended his game?

    • Dennis

      Presidents have always been criticized for playing golf. It’s nothing new. Other than to you and a few others here apparently who wish to make an uninformed statement about race out of it.

      • Michiganmitch

        Yeah troll boy, cops roust kids for j-walking all the time, only black kids get executed for it.

  • https://twitter.com/DrMatthew Dr. Matt
  • CL Nicholson

    Beyond sending AG Holder and launching an investigation, what else could Obama do realistically and legally? He’s not a King and the little matter of state sovereignty. It’s like the American activist left and the Beltway failed US history and Civics in High School

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Yeah, he’s not a King. But these assholes think he acts like one. He’ll never catch a break with them.

  • Ashes Defacto

    Just more proof of something that has been known for a long time. There is nothing that this President will not be criticized for. But what this is really about is the fact that when Barack Obama go’s golfing the beltway press is not invited. So they are acting like petulant children upset that the kids up the street have a bedtime one hour later than them. Go figure.

    • Kerry Reid

      If only he’d set up a tire swing for them like John McCain did!

  • Peter James

    >>>>>”That’s the Iraq War, in case you’ve forgotten, that Baker’s paper gleefully abetted and cheerled us into, and which created the space that ISIS now occupies. ”

    Self-awareness does not exist in this dojo.

    This morning (or was it yesterday morning) I watched notorious Republican constipator Will Cain GOPsplain (TM) to the audience on CNN how tactically and strategically inept this administration was in it’s handling of the situation in Iraq leading to the growth of the ISIS threat both there and in Syria where Foley’s beheading occurred.

    This is the same GOP……they of the Iraq War, WMD’s, No exit strategy, Not knowing their Shiite,(from their Sunni), ……talking about tactical and strategic ineptitude.

    The levels of lack of self-awareness were a wonder to behold.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      My partner and I had a conversation with a cab driver yesterday. He said you can look at a newspaper and see that almost all the problems this country has is attributable to the Bush Administration. I don’t read newspapers, but probably should because I’m dreadfully ignorant of local and state happenings.

      The Bush Administration is the worst thing that’s happened to this country and the world, especially the MidEast in my lifetime. The way that the press protects his administration’s legacy, and the way they helped Bush become POTUS is just mortifying. Our Fourth Estate is the biggest threat to democracy right now.

  • HoneyBearKelly

    Bill Press was on this fake shit this morning too.
    Long distance mind reading needs to be outlawed as well as the word “optics.”

    • undsoweiter

      Wholeheartedly agree on “optics” except when discussing lenses. I’ve had just about enough of that crap.

  • xServer

    If anyone in the world needs some quiet time away from things to center and get settled, I would imagine it is the President. It’s not like he’s Congress, getting almost zero accomplished, after all…

    • D_C_Wilson

      Yes, but pointing out that Congress is on a five week vacation and not likely to do a damn thing for the rest of the year wouldn’t fit into the current narrative.

  • Truth Hertz

    Maybe he should just stick to shooting hoops…


    • Ashes Defacto

      Oh yes. I recall the headlines when the President played basketball with “thugs” as in black people mostly former NBA players.

  • sweetlucy47

    I for one am glad the President has an outlet like golf to try to get his mind off all the terrible things he sees and hears every day. From the video, which I could never watch, to hearing the BS criticism all day every day over anything he does. Yes, there are things for which he could be criticized for, but playing golf is not one of them.

    • Michiganmitch

      Yes, when conservative’s have hair on fire every day over size of flags (el Rushbo), lapel pin, singing the anthem, bowing too deeply, not putting his hand on heart, not wearing a tie, putting his feet up on his desks and hundreds of others, it gets real hard to take any of this seriously.

      • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

        “Yes, when conservative’s the press have has hair on fire every day over size of flags (el Rushbo), lapel pin, singing the anthem, bowing too deeply, not putting his hand on heart, not wearing a tie, putting his feet up on his desks and hundreds of others, it gets real hard to take any of this seriously.”


        • Michiganmitch

          Agreed, they are complicit in the fraud.

  • formerlywhatithink

    Ezra Klein is continuing his crusade to turn himself into a caricature of what he used to be.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      Was he not a too clever by half douchebag before?

    • Otto66

      This bit of none sense satisfied any doubt of him reaching that goal.


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