Howard Fineman (source: Wikipedia)

MSNBC’s Howard Fineman used his prowess at gather information while traveling in London and Paris last week and came to the conclusion that Obama’s "star is dimming" and Washington DC is no longer the place to be, based on what Fineman read — or didn’t read — in newspapers overseas.

Specifically, Fineman said,

I was in London and Paris last week while Obama was making his first trip to Asia. I kept paging through the local papers for stories about the trip. They were only few — almost none. He was all but invisible, except when bowing deeply to the emperor of Japan. There weren’t many stories about the United States, either.

Fineman is unable to read French or English, or he’s just plain lying.

I ran across reporting during the same time frame in French news outlets, all of which reported on President Obama’s attendance at APEC. Le Monde, France24, Agence France Presse, to name a few, reported on Obama at APEC before, during and after, with the latter outlets publishing substantially more content in English pour le bénéfice des idiots comme Fineman.

(Let me know if you can’t understand the last handful of words in that graf, Fineman; I’ll be glad to interpret them for you.)

Here’s one example of the coverage Fineman apparently couldn’t read:

Barack Obama défend une Toile sans censure en Chine (Le Monde, 16 Nov 2009) [English version here]

They couldn’t make it any easier for Fineman; the president’s name appears in the headline along with a picture of Obama talking with Chinese students about the internet and censorship.

AFP also published video clips of Obama at APEC on the internet for folks who struggle with reading.

For non-Asian countries, the big news emerging from the APEC summit last week was that Obama and China’s President Hu Jiantao had a meeting of the minds on climate change. The big news was not the fucking bow to a Japanese leader, which would have been non-news for countries with any couth.

Note France24’s coverage of Obama’s pre-APEC meeting in Japan; see anything about subordinating American power to a foreign leader in this piece, let alone anything about bowing?

And if Fineman was in Paris combing over the newspapers for news about Obama, why didn’t he note that Richard Holbrooke, special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, drew considerable attention the day before APEC began because of a meeting in Paris? French outlets which cover diplomatic events took notice even if Fineman didn’t; very few American outlets covered this meeting, but Fineman was too busy trying to avoid news about Obama in Asia to notice that his own employer missed (avoided?) a news story.

Hasn’t Fineman noticed stories in overseas financial news outlets about money running to other global investments like those in BRIC countries for more than two years? Hasn’t Fineman read our own American news outlets and seen the same news for over a year?

Didn’t Fineman notice that the rest of the world expressed great relief when this oldest of democracies transferred power from the Bush administration to the Obama administration? Perhaps he was struggling with reading all those foreign papers which were covered with photos of Barack Obama…

Has Fineman been asleep over the last ten years as American manufacturing and services fled to China, India and Brazil? No need to even read a paper in London or Paris, no proficiency in a foreign language required — just go through the archives of newspapers in Detroit to read up on automakers’ plants moving overseas.

Of course America’s profile has fallen, but it’s not news after eight years of illegal warfare based on arrogant hegemonic power. Of course the global financial markets are flocking elsewhere; our banks have been jacked up for years and can’t be trusted. But blaming this on Obama’s ten months in office and claiming the world has turned its back on him and on Washington is just plain ridiculous.

Why does Fineman think we can’t see through his stupidity and/or lies? Doesn’t he know about "teh Google" and that Americans actually do know how to use it to access foreign news media? I’ll leave proof below we are perfectly capable of finding let alone reading foreign media; note the examples of French media reporting on Obama at the APEC summit and his tour of Asia.

And why does MSNBC’s editorial team allow Fineman’s special kind of crap as news?

Don’t answer that, it’s a purely rhetorical question. Fineman’s work must be one of those synthetic attempts at balancing — like offsetting Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow with insulting idiocy.

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Examples of stories by French news outlets covering Obama and APEC; there were plenty of UK outlet coverage as well if only Fineman had really made and effort to look (try the BBC for starters):

Le président Obama entame au Japon sa première tournée en Asie (AFP, Tokyo, 13 Nov 2009)

Le président américain BarackObama à Singapour pour le sommet de l’Apec (AFP, Singapore, 14 Nov 2009)

APEC leaders douse hopes on climate pact (AFP, Singapore, 15 Nov 2009)
(This one is in English; note the last graf, which would have explained to an idiot like Fineman why so much news last week about BRIC countries. God but he’s a fecking moron.)

Obama veut renforcer l’engagement des Etats-Unis en Asie (Le Monde, 13 Nov 2009)
(Take note: although this article discusses Obama’s first meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, there is NO mention of any bow. That’s because it’s not news, Fineman.)

A Shangaï, Obama veut l’amitié de la Chine et insiste sur les "droits universels" (Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui, 16 Nov 2009)
(Where Le Monde is considered the paper of record in France, Aujourd’hui is the largest newspaper in terms of circulation. Here’s just one of the stories on Obama’s APEC summit appearance from Aujourd’hui; they also carried some of the AFP stories on the same.)

Rayne

Rayne

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, FDL community member since 2005, geek since birth.

Fan of science and technology, wannabe artist, decent cook, successful troublemaker and purveyor of challenging memetics whose genetics may be only nominally better.

Assistant Editor at Firedoglake and Editor at The Seminal.

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