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sábado, 13 de enero de 2018

Barack Obama claimed Libya a “sh** show” – no media outrage

Yesterday the media led a worldwide attack on President Trump for supposedly using vulgar language in an oval office meeting to refer to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. The media’s response allows for the opportunity to do a little comparing and contrasting. It turns out that Trump is not the first president to use an expletive behind closed doors to refer to a foreign country.

In an article from April 2016, The Atlantic reported that former President Obama privately called Libya a “sh**show.” This is similar to the recent incident with Trump in every way except one: Obama’s comment received virtually no media coverage. 

The media, in attempting to stir up hatred towards Trump, has managed to further expose its pervasive bias.

The Media Overlooks Obama’s Remark

Obama’s remark came during an interview he did in 2016 for The Atlantic, in which the topic explored was his foreign policy.

There came a point in the interview when Obama was asked about Libya. This is what Obama had to say on the record:

So we actually executed this plan as well as I could have expected: We got a UN mandate, we built a coalition, it cost us $1 billion—which, when it comes to military operations, is very cheap. We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that, Libya is a mess.

But, according to The Atlantic, the former president had much more to say off the record:

Mess is the president’s diplomatic term; privately, he calls Libya a “shit show,” in part because it’s subsequently become an ISIS haven—one that he has already targeted with air strikes. It became a shit show, Obama believes, for reasons that had less to do with American incompetence than with the passivity of America’s allies and with the obdurate power of tribalism.

In what The Independent called “an unprecedented attack on a British leader by a serving US President,” Obama went on to blame most of his failures regarding Libya on David Cameron, and in general the inaction of American allies.

What was the media’s response to this? Virtual silence.

Media Backlash After Trump’s Comments

The Washington Post was the first to report Trump as saying, “Why do we want all these people from ‘sh**hole countries’ coming here?” This remark was said, apparently, on Thursday at a closed-door oval office meeting regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the countries referred to were Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.

Subsequently, the media was quick to lead the world in condemning Trump, in stark contrast to its handling of Obama’s comments. The compulsive newsreader can quickly find article after article of newspapers from around the world critical of Trump’s remark.

Since these reports, Trump denied using the language in a string of tweets.

Double Standard

What we have here are two very similar incidents with two very different responses: Obama privately used an expletive to refer to a foreign country, just as Trump did. The media kept quiet regarding what Obama said, but launched a worldwide attack on Trump.

The media coverage of Trump’s language is just another attempt to hurt the president’s reputation in a way that will one day lead to his impeachment. But, what it really did was continue to expose the heavy bias of mainstream media.