October 28, 2017

HE TAINTS EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES:

The transformation of Gen. Kelly (Jules Witcover, 10/28/17, Baltimore Sun)

By marching into the White House press room last week and assailing Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida for listening in on the call and criticizing Trump for it, Mr. Kelly risked his reputation as an honest broker in curbing the president's excesses.

Now, wittingly or not, he has signed on as part of Trump's war on the American press. He has been eagerly joined by the latest White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who later insisted it was "highly inappropriate" for a duly accredited reporter "to get into debate with a four-star Marine general" over Wilson's version of the story.

Mr. Kelly, in his understandable desire not to have the slain soldier's sacrifice lost in the whole affair, has inserted himself into unfamiliar terrain. He said twice that he would take questions only from reporters who were Gold Star parents or siblings of the deceased or who knew a Gold Star family. Such a caveat clearly is outside the bounds of a functioning free press.

Mr. Kelly up to now has been seen and admired as a self-disciplined military man who by his own demeanor and career training knew to leave politics to the politicians. His public life has been marked by acceptance if not reverence toward civilian leadership in the realm of national governance.

But in this instance, he not only attacked an elected legislator but was also guilty of the worst offense in press relations, by being demonstrably wrong on the facts. He accused Rep. Wilson of grandstanding by claiming credit for the funding of a new FBI building in Miami that Congress authorized before she was a House member.




Posted by at October 28, 2017 6:37 AM

  

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