Media slam Obama's Paris snubBy DYLAN BYERS |
Several members of the media are criticizing President Barack Obama's decision to skip an anti-terrorism march in Paris over the weekend, even as leaders from 44 other countries stood together in solidarity against the killing of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices last week.
Neither President Obama nor a single member of his cabinet showed up to the rally, which drew 1.5 million people in Paris, including French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On NBC's "Today" show Monday, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell called the snub "stunning," and cited one former U.S. official who said the handling of the situation seemed "ham-handed."
In an editorial for CNN.com, chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper said he was "ashamed by U.S. leaders' absence in Paris."
"I only wish our leaders had done a better job of showing solidarity with the passion for the freedoms exemplified by the rally," Tapper wrote.
Both of New York City's major tabloids led Monday's editions with bold headlines condemning the absence: "Sorry, Charlie: Obama's team goes AWOL at Paris rally against terror," read The New York Post. "You let the world down," read The New York Daily News.
The Paris slight was especially confounding, because Obama seemed to have nothing else doing.
"Obama wasn’t far from the march in D.C. on Sunday that wended silently along six blocks from the Newseum to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Instead, he spent the chilly afternoon a few blocks away at the White House, with no public schedule, no outings," our colleague Isaac Dovere reports. "Joe Biden was back home in Wilmington, Delaware. Neither they nor any high-level administration official attended either event."
Media figures like Mitchell and Tapper joined a chorus of frustrated current and former U.S. officials, including Aaron David Miller, who served in the State Department under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
“It’s stunning, truly stunning,” Miller told Dovere. “It’s a poster child for tone deafness.”