Weird how things work out among the White House Press Corps and the White House. After eight months, two beheadings, and weeks of being a top story, a reporter finally asked White House spokesman Josh Earnest about President Obama’s January description of ISIS as “JV.”
On the day this finally happened, Earnest just happened to be as prepared for the question as a man can be, “I thought somebody might ask this question today, so I wanted to pull the transcript of the interview[.]”
Amazing coincidence. At least we know there’s no coordination going on.
Anyway, in a terrible betrayal of his very name, Earnest attempted to spin The Smartest President In The History Of America out of the “JV” ditch with a whopper that claimed, “the president was not singling out ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, another name for the group]; he was talking about the very different threat that is posed by a range of extremists around the globe.”
That would be a great answer… if it were anything close to the truth.
Even Glenn Kessler, the “fact-checker” for the Washington Post who is so in the tank for Obama he called Mitt Romney a liar for claiming a president who had never visited Israel had never visited Israel, isn’t buying it. For that pathetic attempt at a rewrite, the White House was awarded the full boat of four Pinocchios:
With the passage of eight months, the president’s “JV” comment looks increasingly untenable, so we can understand why the White House spokesman would try to suggest that what is now known as the Islamic State was not the subject of the conversation.
But in quoting from the transcript, Earnest provided a selective reading of the discussion. In particular, he failed to provide the context in which Obama made his remarks–the takeover of Fallujah by ISIS. That’s fairly misleading. The interviewer was certainly asking about ISIS when Obama answered with his “JV” remarks.
The good news is that the White House is capable of coming up with a strategy. It might be to lie its way out of an incredibly stupid comment, but at least it’s a strategy.
What makes Obama’s “JV” comment all the more troubling in hindsight is that we now know the president was warned about the ISIS threat more than a year ago — months before he made the dismissive “JV” comment.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC