BUT WHAT OF THE FORGERY ON THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE?
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 12, 2016) — The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has requested that White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes appear to testify on Tuesday about the Obama regime’s alleged messaging about the Iran nuclear agreement as characterized in a New York Times Magazine interview in which Rhodes was quoted as having created “an echo chamber” with the Washington media corps.
In his article, author David Samuels wrote:
Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations — like military or diplomatic service, or even a master’s degree in international relations, rather than creative writing — is still startling.
Samuels contended that one of Rhodes’s assistants, Ned Price, characterized some members of the media as “compadres” who could be manipulated into “spinning” the White House story line on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Although stressing that Rhodes does not routinely make public statements about Obama’s policies, but rather, works behind the scenes, Samuels maintained that Rhodes’s “aggressive contempt for anyone or anything that stands in the president’s way” can be detected “everywhere.”
One commentary characterized Rhodes’s quoted comments as evidence that Rhodes and the other members of Obama’s National Security Council (NSC) believe they are the “smartest kids in the room.”
Last July, eight days after the Iran nuclear “deal” was publicly announced by Obama, Rhodes wrote on his blog that the agreement “blocks every possible pathway Iran could use to build a bomb while verifying — through a comprehensive inspections and transparency regime — that Iran’s nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful.”
At the time, Rhodes unveiled a new Twitter hashtag assigned to discuss “the deal.” The timeline’s last tweet was issued by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on February 2 of this year. In January, left-leaning media outlet Vox.com is observed having tweeted its story titled, “Thought experiment: what if the Iran nuclear deal had failed?” accompanied by a photo of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking out against “the deal.”
The story appears to have been promoted by Ned Price, one of Rhodes’s assistants.
One of the reporters Samuels quoted Rhodes as having “retailed” to promote the Obama regime’s Iran narrative is Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, who refuted the characterization while revealing that Samuels was once a writer for The Atlantic and that he himself once wrote for the New York Times Magazine. In his commentary, Goldberg criticized Samuels for making an unfounded “accusation” against him.
Goldberg, who described himself as “an opinion writer,” presented evidence in his rebuttal that Rhodes is not as invisible in Washington as Samuels led his reading audience to believe.
In response to Iran’s capturing of a U.S. Navy ship with ten sailors aboard in January hours before Obama was to deliver his State of the Union address, Samuels wrote that Rhodes’s “brain has spun a story line to stanch the bleeding.” Samuels then described the next steps taken by Rhodes and his team as:
Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.” I watch the message bounce from Rhodes’s brain to Price’s keyboard to the three big briefing podiums — the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon — and across the Twitterverse, where it springs to life in dozens of insta-stories, which over the next five hours don formal dress for mainstream outlets. It’s a tutorial in the making of a digital news microclimate — a storm that is easy to mistake these days for a fact of nature, but whose author is sitting next to me right now.
The Atlantic and The New York Times are notably left-leaning publications which tend to portray Democrats and their policies in a positive light. It could be argued that CBS News; ABC News; NBC and its subsidiaries, MSNBC AND CNBC; Bloomberg News, and certain Fox News Channel anchors have demonstrated left-leaning bias in their reporting of the news. Rhodes’s brother is now an executive at CBS News after having worked for both Fox and Bloomberg.
In 2009, a group of left-leaning writers, some of whom are considered “journalists,” formed an off-the-record association called “Journolist” which was described by left-leaning Politico as an “echo chamber.” Its founder, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, told Breitbart in 2014 that he no longer participates in Journolist without denying that it still exists.
Breitbart reported that Journolist’s purpose was to “coordinate coverage among left-leaning members of the media.”
I don’t have any overwhelming moral, theological or political objections to the existence of either list, although my colleague Andrew Sullivan has a point when he wrote that some of what happened on Journolist smacked of secret plotting: “This collusion is corruption. It is no less corrupt than the comically propagandistic Fox News and the lock-step orthodoxy on the partisan right in journalism – but it is nonetheless corrupt. Having a private journalistic list-serv to debate, bring issues to general attention, notice new facts seems pretty innocuous to me. But this was an attempt to corral press coverage and skew it to a particular outcome.”
This writer on Thursday night was unable to locate any stories about Journolist at The Daily Caller through an organic internet search.
A reference found in the Yahoo! search engine contains the text, “Political operatives on Journolist discuss laying the analytical framework within the media elite to shape news coverage.”
However, clicking the headline does not bring the reader to the article.
According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.
In response to the national media attention his comments to Samuels engendered, Rhodes published a written statement at Medium.com in which he defended the Iran agreement and insisted that the media had “vetted that deal as extensively as any other foreign policy initiative of the presidency.” Without mentioning any journalists by name, Rhodes added, “A review of the press from that period will find plenty of tough journalism and scrutiny. We had to answer countless questions about every element of the deal and our broader Iran policy from reporters.”
Rhodes did not specifically contend that Samuels’s portrayal of his statements was inaccurate.
Since publication of the NYTM article and in response to the Oversight Committee’s summons for Rhodes to testify, the White House has claimed that criticism of Rhodes is a politically-motivated effort to “chase cheap headlines.”
During Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, the media declined to investigate Obama’s background, life narrative, associations, and statements.
Early in 2011, Donald Trump, who was then considering a run for the presidency, called upon Obama to release for public inspection his long-form birth certificate to prove that he was born in the United States and meets the “natural born Citizen” requirement in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, an issue which arose in December 2007 when MSNBC host Chris Matthews contended that Obama was “born in Indonesia.”
Since February 2007, however, upon launching his first presidential campaign, Obama claimed that he was born in Honolulu, HI to a U.S.-citizen mother and British-citizen father. He claimed eligibility to the presidency by virtue of the 14th Amendment and his birth on U.S. soil, known as “jus soli” in legal circles.
Many Americans questioned Obama’s eligibility given that his father was never a U.S. citizen. Articles published by various sources had reported before 2007 that Obama had been born in Indonesia or Kenya. Some articles and Obama’s official biography were altered to say that he was born in Hawaii after he declared his presidential intentions.
After focusing months of public attention on the absence of proof of Obama’s eligibility, on April 27, 2011, the White House released what it said was a scan of a certified copy of his long-form birth certificate obtained from the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH). Within hours of its posting, however, experts declared it a forgery.
In September of that year, concerned that a forgery signified that Obama might not, in fact, have been born in the U.S. and could be ineligible, approximately 250 members of a Tea Party group in Maricopa County, AZ approached their sheriff, Joseph Arpaio, requesting an investigation to assure them that their votes in the 2012 election would not be disenfranchised. Arpaio agreed and delegated his Cold Case Posse to study the image, expecting the team to “clear the president” in short order.
After several days of scrutiny, Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo informed Arpaio that the image could not have originated with a paper document, after which the investigation continued, even to the present day.
On March 1, 2012, Arpaio and Zullo held a press conference during which they announced that probable cause existed that the long-form birth certificate image and Obama’s Selective Service registration form are “computer-generated forgeries.” The press did not appear curious as to the findings and restricted its coverage of the revelations to the internet with rare exceptions.
Those in the alternative media who have broached questions about Obama’s eligibility and life story have been met with silence, intimidation, threats, and online ridicule and defamation, with Zullo having reported that he collected sworn affidavits from several members of the media to that effect.
On July 17, 2012, Zullo and Arpaio held a second press conference stating that the standard of probable cause with regard to the birth certificate forgery had been surpassed. Arpaio then called upon Congress and the media to launch their own respective investigations into the posse’s findings.
Congress did nothing, while the media attacked the messengers.
In an interview the following May, Zullo told The Post & Email that the forgery of Obama’s birth certificate was created “with the intent to deceive.” After meeting with several current and former members of Congress at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just two months previously to reveal some of the evidence the posse collected, not one US Senator or member of the House of Representatives initiated an investigation.
On Wednesday, Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward of Watergate fame stated that 20 reporters have been assigned to research Trump’s history as the presumptive Republican nominee for the November general election. No such assignments were carried out to vet Obama in 2008 or 2012.
While certain publications appear to have an inside track with the Obama regime, others have not fared as well. In 2013, a former executive editor of The Washington Post issued a report in which he declared that the regime’s “war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post’s investigation of Watergate.”
Arpaio has called the forgery of Obama’s documents a “national security issue,” yet the media and Congress continue to ignore it. Emails, tweets, phone calls, letters, faxes and in-person meetings with members of Congress raising such concerns have not motivated anyone in Congress to investigate why forgeries were created and disseminated to the American people in place of authentic documents.
In 2014, Arpaio noted that “No politician, nobody will touch this. The media is a blackout. I can’t believe this, and I have the evidence.”
While “White House Narratives” will be the topic discussed this coming Tuesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, “White House Forgeries” does not appear on any committee calendar as of this writing.