This Rhodes guy

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/book-party/wp/2016/05/06/why-the-ben-rhodes-profile-in-the-new-york-times-magazine-is-just-gross/

The big admission is what, the White House lies at its convenience with the understanding a supplicant media will megaphone it all and shout down critics.

I have observations:

The noteworthy example is Iran, and I’m sure it’s a noble lie eh, that these maniacs be painted as moderated in some way so that we can give them nukes and money.

I feel comforted something like global warming is not susceptible to being exaggerated with noble lies, being sciency and all.

Ben Rhodes seems like a douchebag.  Haven’t used that word in a long time, lest it lose its power.  But it seems apropos.

He’s not a handsome devil.

I can’t imagine Denis McDonough by comparison being that douchey, his upbringing obviates that.

Figure anytime Rhodes and the WH start a spin cycle, Ezra Klein and Vox is a button they push.

In the NyTimes, Rhodes is compared to Holden Caulfield.  ….Caulfield is a sympathetic character, but a comparison to him isn’t actually flattering eh.  And…. the comparison seems to rest on an assumption that both Rhodes and Caulfield hated phoniness.  Thing is, Rhodes is something of a phony as a duplicitous douchebag, fighting phoniness with phoniness…. I guess.  The accuracy of Caulfield’s observation of phoniness in the world is in doubt, you would say, because the larger point you should take away from the book about Caulfield is he was manic depressive misanthrope, maybe a little psychotic.  IE, Rhodes to Caulfield is not a comparison.

I think Douthat pointed it out….  Not a huge operative difference here between what Suskind observed in ‘reaility based community’ in 2004 re the Bush administration.  Cept say, the Obama administration seems to know they can lie with impunity and a compliant press will support them.

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3 thoughts on “This Rhodes guy

  1. pm1956

    No, there is no admission of lying at all– rather, just that the media is often incapable of countering spin. They are too young and inexperienced, and, certainly, too gullible. Clearly much the same went on with the Bush “weapons of mass destruction” spin–just that Cheney et al won’t admit to it being a total fabrication (as we know now).

    But the example of Iran is’nt a noble lie–it is accurate. They really are our natural allies in the region, and would still be if not for our having overthrow their democratically elected government and then supporting and maintaining a despotic authoritarian regime for so long.

    Reply
    1. W.E. Peterson Post author

      Well, I looked for that with proper skepticism, ie, what set of circumstances / facts calls Rhodes out as a liar. It’s the author, in the nytimes article, saying Iran’s new moderation justifying negotiations wasn’t really true, and you basically have Rhodes acknowledging that premise.

      Reply
  2. pm1956

    I think that there is plenty of suggestions that there is new moderation in Iran–the problem is that different parts of the Iranian government are giving different messages. For example, the Grand Ayatollah has rebuked the Iranian government for negotiating at all with the US, and has called again for the destruction of Israel, but has also approved the results of the negotiations. it would be easy for anyone to interpret that as an example of moderation or as an example that nothing has changed. Yet, the government has engaged in direct discussions with the US, which is in and of itself a huge change in the stance of the Iranian government.

    The facts are that there has been a generational shift in Iran. A huge portion of the countries population currently were not yet born when the US Embassy was occupied. The youth are not happy with the Revolutionary government, and they look to the West and the US in particular with longing and hope for a better and more prosperous future. Obama’s move to engage the Iranians is brilliant long term strategy.

    The people who want us to bomb the hell out of Iran are Saudi Arabia (the ones responsible for 9/11) and Israel (who wants us to fight their wars for them). I am not saying that we should abandon them, but we certainly need to look at their interests and motivations more skeptically than we have done in the past. They would gladly use us as they have in the past.

    Reply

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