On last night's edition of Hannity, the end of the Somali pirate standoff seemed to drive a wedge between the show's host and one of his frequent guests, conservative commentator and author Bernard Goldberg. Hannity was bent out of shape, it seems, by the way the Obama White House had been "taking credit" for ending the standoff, which is strange because I don't remember a "Mission Accomplished" banner being hung or any inordinate deal made out of the matter, save brief statements.
Goldberg was apparently of the mind that Hannity was being rather petty, and while he allowed that the media may have made a big deal out of the event, he wasn't going to criticize the President in this instance. "I don't want to put Barack Obama on Mount Rushmore for simply being the commander-in-chief, but we have to stop going out of our way to find fault with every single thing he does," he said.
Hannity would not be moved, because he is apparently of the belief that Politico reporters uncovered the fact that Obama was bound, somehow, by law, to allow the Navy to carry out the mission. As NewsHounds points out, this was a rather bad interpretation of the article:
The Politico article Hannity was evidently referring to is clearly (although not to Hannity) reporting that the snipers could not shoot without Obama's authorization -- not that Obama was required to give authorization:
The exact details of the shooting remain murky. The snipers fired after all three pirates became visible on the enclosed lifeboat where they were holding Phillips, a Navy official in Bahrain told reporters -- giving the snipers the chance to kill all three at once, so that none would be left behind to harm Phillips.
Obama's involvement in the decision to authorize lethal force was legally required, officials said, because it was a hostage situation, not combat, and unrelated to the already authorized U.S. effort against Al Qaeda and other terror groups, officials said.
"It's not a combat operation, so the lawyers wanted to ensure this was done right," said a second defense official.
Goldberg, quite reasonably, added: "If something bad happened here, and thank God it didn't, but if something bad happened here, I'll guarantee you, I'll tell you who would be leading the crusade against him: You. And you may have been right, if something bad happened, you may have said this is because he's seen as soft and they took advantage of him. You might have been right. But it didn't. Look, Sean, the good guy is alive and well. The bad guys are dead. That's all good. It happened on Barack Obama's watch. He gets the credit.
HANNITY: I noticed this right out of the box, that at first, they were very noncommittal, and as soon as the success came in, according to reports it was Rahm Emanuel racing to take credit, which is the opposite of the way Captain Phillips handled it. Your thoughts.
GOLDBERG: Well, first of all, I think it was smart for the President not to say anything while these -- while the hostage was being held. If God forbid something happened to the captain, that would lessen the stature of the President, and if God forbid the President said something provocative and they killed the captain, there would be a lot of critics blaming Barack Obama for that, but there's another issue about this that troubles me, Sean, and it troubles me a lot. You remember when liberals wouldn't give George Bush credit for anything? If he came up with a cure for cancer, they wouldn't have given him credit for that, and, I'm sorry Sean, I see that on the right now. it's like -- I don't want to put Barack Obama on Mount Rushmore for simply being the commander-in-chief, but we have to stop going out of our way to find fault with every single thing he does. Look, I think I've got a little credibility on this issue, I don't like his economic policies, I don't like his tax policies, I wrote that book A Slobbering Love Affair about how the media slobbered all over him, but I'm not going to be like the left was with George Bush and criticize everything he does.
HANNITY: I don't want you to misunderstand, but there's an important point here. I think it was very different. There was an orchestrated effort for them to go out there and take credit for this. And that's according to reports. In other words they wanted the credit. I think you're right. I think he should have stayed silent, but what we've now discovered is according to the Politico he in fact was legally required to sign on to this, there was no great decision here, in other words. So I'm seeing the media praise him or overly praise him for something he legally was told by his team he had to do. So the slobbering love affair continues, in other words.
GOLDBERG: I agree with that, but, Sean, were you shocked when you found out that they were gambling in the back room at Rick's Cafe? Of course the media is going to bend over backwards and see things in the best light for the person that they want to be President. I'm not surprised by that. All I'm saying is -- I'll criticize the media, but what I'm saying is the right has to stop behaving like the left used to behave with George Bush.
HANNITY: But you have to show me where---I guess, by definition, if I'm discovering here that legally he had to do it, and his PR team led by Rambo Emanuel are out there grabbing credit, when the captain is saying "I'm just a byline in this story," wait a minute, there seems to be something wrong, and that whole story isn't being told. He didn't stop it because he couldn't stop it, apparently, Bernie, so where does he get the credit here?
GOLDBERG: He gets -- if you want to use the word, "credit," I'll use that word. He was the commander-in-chief, it happened on his watch, that's the way it goes in the real world of politics. If something bad happened here, and thank God it didn't, but if something bad happened here, I'll guarantee you, I'll tell you who would be leading the crusade against him, you, and you may have been right, if something bad happened, you may have said this is because he's seen as soft and they took advantage of him. You might have been right. But it didn't. Look, Sean, the good guy is alive and well.
HANNITY: I agree.
GOLDBERG: The bad guys are dead. That's all good. It happened on Barack Obama's watch. He gets the credit.
Hannity Skewered By One of His Own for Disparaging the President [The Moderate Voice]