Backhander in Chief
Two stories this week paint a picture of President Obama’s relationship with the military. And with the rest of humanity, for that matter.
First, from Michael Warren at the Weekly Standard:
There may be an overtly political reason that moviegoers will be seeing the story of the Osama bin Laden raid just before they vote for president. Sony Pictures, the company distributing next year’s film, hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama on their studio’s premises in California last April. So far, Sony is the only major studio to hold a political fundraiser this cycle. According to Deadline Hollywood, Sony will release the bin Laden movie, directed by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, on October 12, 2012–less than a month before the presidential election.
Second, from Lolita C. Baldor of the Associated Press:
A White House photographer was allowed to take and widely distribute a photo from the ceremony Tuesday for the return of the remains of 30 American troops killed in a weekend helicopter crash in Afghanistan despite the Pentagon’s claim that any public depiction of the scene would violate the wishes of bereaved families.
News media coverage of the ceremony had been banned by the Pentagon over the objections of several news organizations.
Pentagon officials had said that because 19 of 30 of the American families of the dead had objected to media coverage of the remains coming off a plane at Dover Air Force Base, no images could be taken. In addition, the Pentagon rejected media requests to take photos that showed officials at the ceremony but did not depict caskets.
President Barack Obama attended the ceremony, called a “dignified transfer,” for those killed in the worst single loss of the nearly 10-year war. An official White House photo of a saluting Obama was distributed to news media and published widely.
So: The Obama administration is helping one of their fundraisers make a movie about his greatest — some would say only — victory as president, to be released just in time for the 2012 election.
And: The Obama administration has now gone against the express wishes of the grieving families of the men who actually achieved that victory, in order to ensure that everyone can see Obama “honoring” them.
That seems worth pointing out.
P.S. Jeannie DeAngelis: “What the Pentagon didn’t anticipate was the President’s falling poll numbers putting him in dire need of a good saluting-dead-soldiers photo op.”