FOX “news” is known for a lot of things. News, honesty, integrity, and dignity are not among them. Whether it’s repeated lies about Obamacare, their distortions of history, or the Benghazi Chorus, they hammer President Obama any chance they get. Last Sunday, Chris Wallace sat down with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and attempted to get Gates to join in the Obama bashing – attempted being the keyword.
Wallace began the interview by pointing out that Gates has defended Obama in the past (likely to poison the well), then asking Gates about a comment he’d made in January, when the former Defense Secretary criticized Obama for “setting the red line at chemical weapons” – a statement the president made in 2012 that has come back to haunt him again and again regarding Syria and now, apparently Ukraine. Wallace asked Gates whether or not Obama’s refusal to “fire the pistol” – as Gates was quoted saying in January of this year – had emboldened Putin. Gates responded by pointing out that a number of different things were at play regarding the crisis in the Ukraine:
[box type=’shadow’]… I think Putin is very opportunistic in these arenas. I think that even if we had launched attacks in Syria, even if we weren’t cutting our defense budget; I think Putin saw an opportunity here in the Crimea, and he has seized it. … The ousting of [Ukraine’s former president] Yanukovych was a big strategic set-back for Putin. And I think it’s testimony to how skillful he is, how agile he is, that he’s tried to off-set that by the seizure of Crimea, and throwing this whole situation into a very different light. [/box]
Gates also scored a shot against the Chickenhawks and their “Obama is showing weakness by not starting World War III” rhetoric, in saying, “My own view is that, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force.”
Wallace then, with all the grace and subtly of a punch-drunk boxer playing tag with an Amtrak train, shifted the subject to attempt another personal attack on the President:
[box type=’shadow’] I was just going to say that you talk about Putin being opportunistic, and obviously he’s got a big strategy here, but just in terms of optics: do you think it’s helpful for President Obama to take the weekend off in the middle of what you would call a crisis to be playing golf in Florida?[/box]
Determined to make Obama look bad no matter what Gates said or did, Wallace cut Gates off as Gates was answering and asked the question again, re-framing it: “Would you have advised him to do it this weekend, sir?”
Gates replied that, “[he] was never in the position to advise presidents on what they did on the weekends.”
Neither is FOX, but taking a weekend off is only a bad thing to them if the president isn’t a Republican.
You can watch the whole exchange below.
h/t Media Matters