The press and the president: Sins of commission and omission

febrero 18 15“It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots…who randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” — Barack ObamaVox.com Interview Jan. 2015.

Team Obama’s tendency to not use words that describe killings in sectarian ways gets it in trouble. Feb. 10, the  White House: “There were people other than just Jews who were in that deli.” State Department: “I remember the victims specifically there were not all victims of one background or one nationality.”

Just cite the Department’s remarks the day following the Jan. 9 attack on the supermarket: “We condemn in the strongest terms ‎yesterday’s cowardly anti-Semitic assault against the innocent people in the kosher supermarket,” State told The Jerusalem Post. The attack confirmed fears of France’s Jewish community because there were several preceding assaults on Jewish institutions.

The White House and State used Twitter feeds to clarify. White House: “Terror attack at Paris Kosher market was motivated by anti-Semitism. POTUS [President of the United States] didn’t intend to suggest otherwise.” State: “We have always been clear that the attack on the kosher grocery store was an anti-Semitic attack that took the lives of innocent people.”

Washington Post journalist, Jennifer Rubin, calls “appalling” the denial of “Jew-hatred” as a motivation for assault on the kosher market. Neither Rubin’s critique nor mine suggests the Obama administration is anti-Semitic. But clumsy wording to the press raises questions about its difficulties speaking clearly about the threat of violent Jihadism.

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