Only days after administration flak Jay Carney — parrying revelations belatedly exposed in the smoking gun email about how the West Wing scrambled to politicize the aftermath of the Benghazi massacre — lectured White House media , particularly ABC’s Jonathan Karl, about how painstakingly representatives are prepared before they settle in for TV interviews, we got this Thursday from one of its former agency spokesmen, responding to a question any professional would know was coming:
“Dude, this was two years ago.”
This entirely statesmanlike reply — just kidding; actually, it was, as we have come to expect from President Obama’s boss-mimicking acolytes, high-handed, condescending and dismissive — came from former National Security Council front man Tommy Vietor who, in his defense, appeared to have been dragged away from his Playstation 4, scrubbed and pinned into a Men’s Wearhouse suit only moments before he dropped into a chair across the table from Bret Baier, host of Fox News’ “Special Report.”
Baier, we interject here, was cited the other night by reliable lefty Joe Klein, formerly a Time magazine columnist, as the only 6 p.m. network anchor doing credible journalism, so kwitcher your yammering about Faux Noos.
Vietor’s fingerprints speckled the Sept. 14, 2012 memo that helped formulate the specious and belatedly infamous talking points — video, demonstration, spontaneous attack, no reflection on broader White House policies, blah-blah-blah — witlessly regurgitated by Susan Rice, then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, on five morning news-talk shows the Sunday after her colleague, Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were brutally slain at the consulate in Benghazi.
Baier was attempting to settle the “who” question — “Did you ... change ‘attacks’ to ‘demonstrations’ in the talking points?” — as a predicate for asking the central, crucial “why” question, when Vietor went all slacker right there in front of a national audience.
“Dude, this was like two years ago.” In his words are echoes of Ezra Klein’s lack of regard for the Constitution, dismissed a little while back by the Journolist and Vox founder as essentially irrelevant, having been written “100 years ago” when “America had 13 states.” Having grown up accustomed to sell-by imprints, it seems there is nothing — including founding principles and quasi-criminal propaganda activities — on which millennials will not put an expiration date.
But in his attempt to dodge Baier with his fuzzy, allegedly unrefreshed recollection, Vietor hinted at a larger truth, one bursting with hubris: Having successfully schemed to preserve a crucial portion of the Obama reelection narrative past Election Day 2012, the perpetrators never expected to get grilled on this stuff, and they still can’t believe it’s finally happening.
Dude, guess what. You are. It is. As Baier rightly responded, “It’s what everybody is talking about.”
And the people impatient for answers they deserve, the better to learn where the trail ends, are just getting warmed up. Righteous.