Beneath the veneer of respectability Newsmax has been trying to build over the past few years is a seething hatred of liberals that has been part of its DNA since its founding by Christopher Ruddy as an outlet dedicated to attacking President Clinton. That hatred pops up every once in a while, such as when columnist John L. Perry advocated for a military coup to solve the "Obama problem."
It has popped up again in a Dec. 20 article by David Patten, which cites "some observers" claiming that Obama's push on the START treaty means he "may be trying to justify the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded just nine months into his presidency. Patten's apparent inspiration was a New York Times blog post calling the START vote Obama’s "hope of living up to that expectation" of the Nobel.
As is his wont, Patten quotes only right-wing "critics" of Obama speculating on this pressing issue:
- "Author, columnist, and national security expert Andrew McCarthy" said that Obama should proceed with a treaty “on the basis of his own merits and what it might do for our security, rather than fixing his place in history.”
- Dick Morris isparaphrased as saying that "he believes Obama is more interested in bolstering his standing with his party’s left wing than in proving he deserved a Nobel Peace Prize."
In his attack on START -- Newsmax has issued a separate editorial opposing it -- Patten fails to report the fact that the entire U.S. military leadership, led by Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, supports ratification.
Patten also utterly fails to demonstrate that Obama would not be pursuing START ratification if he had not received the Nobel. That idea is belied by the fact that the New York Times blog post Patten cites as justification for his article points out that Obama signaled his pursuit of START ratification well before he received the Nobel:
Just three months into his presidency, Mr. Obama made the audacious pledge to pursue “clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”
Even then, he understood how dramatic a promise he was making. He declared himself “not naïve” and said he understood that such a result would not be achieved quickly, perhaps not even in his lifetime.
But he outlined a series of steps that he would take, including an effort to seek ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and aggressive new approaches to stopping the spread of nuclear material that could be used by rogue nations or terrorists to create nuclear weapons.
And, he said, he and President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia would complete a new strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty by the end of the year. He promised it would be “legally binding and sufficiently bold” and would set the stage for further cuts.
This is nothing more than a biased hit piece on Obama. But that's what Patten does.