How exactly is Barack Obama expecting to get away with attacking the self-made Mitt Romney as being out of touch while he pals around with the lofty 1%? He's already partied at George Clooney's house and has another one on the calendar hosted by Sarah Jessica Paker and my personal fav, Syria propagandist Anna Wintour.
Earlier this month we made fun of Wintour, Vogue's oh-so chic editor-in-chief, after she starred in this borderline creepy fundraising video inviting all the little people to take advantage of an opportunity to dine with her and the Obamas.
In the video, Wintour talks about how lucky she is in her work to meet some of the "most incredible women in the world," including First Lady Michelle Obama and Sarah Jessica Parker. Someone Wintour doesn't mention, though, is Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad. I don't know if Wintour's ever met Syria's First Lady, but under Wintour's management, Vogue sure did everything in its power to turn her into some kind of international Jackie O.
In February of 2011, Vogue published a gushing and glowing profile of Syria's First Lady. This was smack in the middle of what was known as the Arab Spring, when citizens of Middle Eastern countries were rising up against dictators, like, say, the one Asma al-Assad is married to.
Within days of the article hitting newsstands (with the appalling title "Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert"), true to form, Mr. al-Assad had already killed about 300 innocent people and jailed upwards of 10,000 for daring to protest in favor of personal liberty. Since then, as we all know, things have only gotten worse. 10,000 innocent Syrians have been massacred by Mr. Assad's troops and as of this very day, all hell is breaking loose.
And tomorrow night, in the face of all this, the President and First Lady will elegantly dine and raise money with Syria's own Walter Duranty.
In a bit of the ole left-wing memory-holing, Vogue has since removed the Asma al-Assad profile from its Website, but it lives on elsewhere and is nothing more than a jaw-dropping piece of fluffy propaganda. Complete with harmonious and very American-ized photos of the Assad's at home with their children (the dictator wears blue jeans!), you'd swear the author, Joan Juliet Buck, was profiling the Kennedy clan:
Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She’s a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” She is the first lady of Syria.
Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East, possibly because, as the State Department’s Web site says, “the Syrian government conducts intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Syrian citizens and foreign visitors.” It’s a secular country where women earn as much as men and the Muslim veil is forbidden in universities, a place without bombings, unrest, or kidnappings, but its shadow zones are deep and dark. Asma’s husband, Bashar al-Assad, was elected president in 2000, after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, with a startling 97 percent of the vote.
Did you catch that? 97% of the vote.
Yesterday, on behalf of Barack Obama, who unlike Mitt Romney, IS in touch with the common man -- donchaknow, Ms. Wintour debuted her "Bark for Obama" designer pet products. Oh, and after months of defending the al-Assad profile, Wintour finally condemned what was happening in Syria and expressed regret about the Vogue profile:
Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms.
Obama's Media Palace Guards will now give Wintour a pass and never consider asking Obama to distance himself from one of the media's own and someone who's raised millions for Obama's re-election. She's not Donald Trump, after all. But that doesn’t mean Wintour's statement holds water, most especially this part:
Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society.
Hopeful? Based on what exactly? The fact that Ms. al-Assad looks elegant in designer clothes?
Fine, Wintour couldn’t see the future. But prior to publishing, she could've easily researched recent history using this new-fangled gizmo we call Google, where in just 0.27 seconds, she would've discovered that the year prior to the Vogue profile, organizations like Human Rights Watch had been sounding the alarm about the Assad regime's pattern of having secret police disappear and torture dissidents.
But who cares? It's all to très radical chic and very much in keeping with the character of a President who spent twenty-years in Rev. Goddamn America's church and lied about his relationship with a domestic terrorist and the socialist New Party.
None of this matters because, you know, Obama and his *air kissy* relationship with Ms. Wintour-Duranty-Designer-of-"Bark for Obama" is much more in touch with the everyday American than the freaky Mormon who went out into America and made something of himself.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC