How to make embarrassing news disappear--if you're Team Obama
Last Sunday reports began to emerge that after months of negotiations with Iran, no agreement had been reached by the agreed deadline. Instead the talks would be "extended"--for the second time. Given the huge emphasis by both Obama and the media on the unequaled diplomatic and negotiating skills attributed to the former community organizer, it wasn't hard to see this as bad news.
At 8a.m. Monday morning, the failure and extension was confirmed.
8:53 a.m: an administration official announced that Secretary of State Kerry would speak around 10 a.m.--barely an hour later--presumably about the failure of the Iranian talks. Team-O swung into damage-control mode.
Barely ten minutes later the NY Times announces the resignation of Secretary of Defense Hagel.
9:28: The White House announces that Obama will announce Hagel's departure in a live speech at 11:10--just over 90 minutes later.
10:14 "An administration official" announces that Kerry is now expected to speak "around 11 a.m." ET instead of 10.
11:10 Obama and Hagel announce the latter's departure.
11:30 Kerry announces events in Iran. His speech--and the Iran story--are totally swamped by the stories about Hagel's firing.
One wonders how well the media would have cooperated if the Bush administration had tried such an obvious maneuver.