You’ve got to hand it to the folks at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press. No news organization on earth is as consistently effective at burying the substance of a story while appearing to cover it.
Take this evening’s unbylined coverage of the Obama administration’s noncommittal, substance-free positioning on the situation in Egypt. It takes a special talent to get through a few hundred words in a story such as this without ever mentioning the name of the ousted Mohammed Morsi or his Muslim Brotherhood party, and whoever wrote the AP story was up to the challenge (bolds are mine):
OBAMA: US NOT BACKING ANY EGYPTIAN PARTY OR GROUP
President Barack Obama on Saturday reiterated that the U.S. is not aligned with and is not supporting any particular Egyptian political party or group and again condemned the ongoing violence across Egypt.
Obama made those points during a telephone conference with the National Security Council about developments in Egypt, according to a statement issued by the White House. He was spending the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
“The United States categorically rejects the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that we are working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt’s transition should proceed,” the White House statement said. “We remain committed to the Egyptian people and their aspirations for democracy, economy opportunity and dignity. But the future path of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people.”
The White House statement repeated key assertions Obama and other U.S. officials have made since the Egyptian military ousted the democratically elected president of Egypt, calling for an inclusive process allowing for all groups and parties to participate, urging all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and to prevent further violence, and urging demonstrators to conduct themselves peacefully.
The rest of the report contains the publicly pronounced pablum of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry, who presumably spoke from somewhere other than his yacht. Earlier this week, the State Department initially denied that Kerry had gone to his yacht, even after pictures of Kerry doing that were published. State later backed away and said that Kerry was briefly on his yacht but didn’t do any work there. ABC disgracefully tweeted in Kerry’s defense: “Kerry Focused on Egypt Despite Yacht Visit.”
Getting back to the AP report — It is one of many by establishment press organs throughout the world emphasizing that Morsi, the AP’s new mystery man, was “democratically elected” while conveniently failing to mention that he forfeited whatever legitimacy that election provided him when he assumed near-dictatorial powers in late November of last year.
The AP report also conveniently failed to note that the Muslim Brotherhood, the group which apparently cannot now be named if U.S. officials are also included in a news story, has promised a campaign of terror in response to Morsi’s ouster, basically heralding a return to its terrorist roots which it had never really renounced.
Once again, as I noted on July 1, AP, at least on matters relating to the Egypt and the Middle East, “acting like an organization which has been compromised.” As long as it does, we can expect more of the same word avoidance — and reality avoidance — in the coming weeks.