There had to be a reason…..
But the Lizza story quickly developed legs outside the conservative blogosphere. In the Week-in-Review section, the New York Times’ David E. Sanger had chimed in with a piece describing Obama’s policy as “Letting Others Lead in Libya.” On the Monday morning the Lizza piece broke on the blogs, Eric Alterman in The Daily Beast posted an opinion piece headlined “Obama’s Awful ’70’s Show Echoes Jimmy Carter.”
Full stop: in a 48-hour period, the New Yorker, the New York Times, and The Daily Beast had all published highly critical pieces of President Obama’s foreign policy in general and his response to the Arab Spring in particular. Somewhere, a dam had been breached. The whole story was acquiring critical mass.
It got worse. On Tuesday, Hugh Hewitt interviewed Ryan Lizza on his nationwide radio program and posted the interview on-line, urging his followers to read both the New Yorker article and the interview. On Wednesday morning, Terry Gross interviewed Ryan Lizza for a half hour on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” It went up on NPR’s website.
The New Yorker piece — and its devastating “leading from behind” quote — had entered the mainstream media. The whole thing was, shall we say, about to metastatize.
Time to change the subject. And a topic was readily at hand,.
That very morning, the White House released the President’s long-sought Hawaiian birth certificate. The President himself appeared at the podium of the White House Press Room to denounce the birthers and their enablers as “circus barkers.” Then he left to see Oprah and talk it up some more. Donald Trump, meanwhile, was grandstanding on the subject before all available television cameras.