Via the Washington Post‘s Petula Dvorak, from Obama’s summer playlist. In reference to:
— David McLemore ?? (@dave_in_sa) July 27, 2023
The always smart & readable Julia Ioffe, for Puck, on gatekeeping foreign affairs at the Aspen
Civility Security Forum — “Where the Wild Things Are”:
The Security Forum has always been about Blobby chumminess, but this year, when the ranks of corporate sponsors—and attendees—ballooned and when the organizers made a concerted effort at bipartisanship, it seemed, at times, to go a little too far. The British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, a Tory, was interviewed by Fox News’s Martha MacCallum—as I heard, on the embassy’s insistence.
It made for quite the bizarre conversation, with MacCallum asking Cleverly about sources of disinformation and, later, Cleverly waxing philosophical about why more Americans don’t support Ukraine, as if a representative of one of the main outlets undermining that support—and sowing disinformation—weren’t sitting right next to him…
And then there were the interviews, which could be so friendly as to be pointless. How, when you have the director of the C.I.A. on stage with you at a foreign policy conference for a very limited amount of time, do you ask him, “Is there any aspect of your job that’s fun?” How do you have the Secretary of State for a one-on-one interview, and with all that’s going on in the world, ask him extensively what he thinks about women’s soccer? Then again, it’s how you demonstrate to the principals that they will be treated well here, like the humans that they are, nothing too mean or challenging, and that they should come back next year. Which, given the Aspen Security Forum’s aspirations to become the American version of the Munich Security Conference, would make sense.
But beneath this thick schmear of civility, there was, of course, drama…
Just outside, NBC colleagues were hugging a furious Andrea Mitchell. (Mitchell, who is 76, is a kind of doyenne of foreign policy journalists—in part because, despite her stature, she still acts like a hungry cub reporter one-third her age—and conducts most of the highest profile interviews at Aspen.) A minute earlier, having absolutely no idea what was going on and just saying hihowyadoin to her, Mitchell frowned deeply and said, “bad” and gestured to all this. Right at that moment, newly minted NBC natsec editor David Rohde stepped in with comfort. “I’ve never been angrier in my 45 years” in the business, Mitchell fumed.
The reason for her fury, it turned out, was that she was supposed to conduct the interview with Volodymyr Zelensky, billed as a special anonymous guest, on the conference’s last day. But Zelensky’s people insisted on having CNN’s Fareed Zakaria do the interview and the Aspen people didn’t back Mitchell up, even though NBC was an official partner of the forum—and CNN wasn’t. Said one fellow journalist, shaking their head, “You just don’t do that to Andrea Mitchell.”
Welcome home, WaterGirl!
terrifyingly strong Post pic.twitter.com/JunV8yrF6R
— gdp breatharian (@revhowardarson) July 26, 2023
Oh, Ron DeSantis is threatening to sue because trans people like beer or something.
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) July 27, 2023
Honestly, a country whose journalists not just can't resist, but RELISH being distracted NOT by the news of Hunter Biden but by the political impact of him, is not a country that can, or wants to, sustain democracy.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) July 26, 2023
"the general public has zero interest in Hunter Biden but we the DC Newsmedia can't get enough!!!! Wait why is readership declining?" https://t.co/sLzxI9Ra8M
— The okayest poster there is (@ok_post_guy) July 26, 2023
Bet ….. lol pic.twitter.com/L9gV1vNypF
— Mazie Mae……. (@LifeisG65042359) July 20, 2023
This is *not* gonna make President Biden’s walk-on list… but it has a good beat, you can dance to it: