Politics Biden stages photo-op in Arlington Cemetery, press eats it up
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President Joe Biden staged a photo-op at Arlington National Cemetery this week to promote his announced troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
I am old enough to remember when it was an unforgivable offense for a president to disrespect the memory of fallen U.S. soldiers, including using their graves as political props. But I suppose those were different times.
This is how therecounts Biden’s visit:
Biden walked alone among the tombstones in a section of Arlington National Cemetery for Americans who died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He stood before a wreath, his head bowed, and made the sign of the cross before stepping back slowly and saluting.
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“It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?” he said, approaching reporters. “I’m always amazed at generation after generation of women and men prepared to give their lives for the country.”
“I have trouble these days ever showing up at a cemetery and not thinking of my son, Beau, who proudly” went with his unit to Iraq and gave up “his spot as attorney general in the state of Delaware because he thought it was the right thing to do,” Biden said, wiping his eyes.
“Look at them all,” he said, gesturing to the tombstones.
A reporter asked Biden if it had been difficult to decide whether to bring troops home from Afghanistan.
“No, it wasn’t,” Biden said. “To me it was absolutely clear, absolutely clear.”
You’ve got to hand it to the president: He is nearly as good a showman as his predecessor -- the key difference being Biden’s performances are geared towards a very different, if equally gullible, audience.
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Speaking of gullible, our supposedly fearless, no-nonsense news media has been more than happy to oblige this president’s public relations campaign. On Thursday, photos of the president in Arlington were featured prominently on the front pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times's print editions.
The New York Times’s above-the-fold headline reads, “‘It’s time to end the forever war.”
“Biden: Cycle ‘cannot continue’ in Afghanistan,” said the Washington Post.
The Los Angeles Times likewise went with a headline that reads, “Biden: ‘Time to end the forever war.’”
Again, the photos accompanying these front page headlines were all pulled from Biden’s staged stroll through Arlington. The president not only gets the flattering headline announcing his decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, but he also gets a heroic portrait to boot.
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President— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) announces the end of America’s longest war. This morning’s front page headlines in the and
It shouldn’t be this easy for Biden, but it is.
The White House wanted a good photo-op to accompany the president’s Afghanistan announcement. They set it up this way. They wanted the image of Biden, by his lonesome, walking among the headstones, supposedly lost deep in thought contemplating the bravery and sacrifice of those whose graves he now uses as political props. For those of you playing at home, this is called “propaganda,” and it was all done on the grounds of a cemetery dedicated to fallen U.S. service members. Classy!
“White House wanted the visual reminder of the human cost of war,” CNN’ssaid solemnly, “that sacrifices have been made, that this isn’t just an abstract decision.”
Yes, I, too, understand the purpose and goal of propaganda. We can all see it.
The only thing worse than Biden using Arlington as part of a propaganda push is that our all-too-willing media ate it up, making the photos a key component of their coverage of his announcement. That's our media -- all cheerleading from here on out.
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Three Supreme Court justices tackle U.S. partisan divisions in public remarks .
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer addressed a virtual conference Wednesday, avoiding speculation about whether he plans to retire this year.Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, making his second public address in as many weeks, brushed aside divisive political rancor in Washington and discussed how the justices work through ideological differences to build majorities in controversial cases.