The other King

THE OTHER KING…. Most of the time, when a Republican congressman named King is in the media saying bizarre things, the culprit is Steve King of Iowa. But let’s not overlook just how nutty Peter King of New York is, too.

Over the weekend, for example, King appeared on CNN and said the Obama administration has “refused to use the word ‘terrorism.'” That’s obviously false. More specifically, the Republican lawmaker said, “Even when the president gave his speech at West Point about the troops going to Afghanistan, he didn’t use the word ‘terrorism.’ He spoke of ‘extremism.'”

That would be an interesting observation if it weren’t completely wrong. From the president’s West Point speech:

“America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda’s terrorist network and to protect our common security….

“Gradually, the Taliban has begun to control additional swaths of territory in Afghanistan, while engaging in increasingly brazen and devastating attacks of terrorism against the Pakistani people….

“In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror….

“Years of debate over Iraq and terrorism have left our unity on national security issues in tatters….

“We will strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to target those groups that threaten our countries, and have made it clear that we cannot tolerate a safe haven for terrorists whose location is known and whose intentions are clear….

“And that’s why I’ve made it a central pillar of my foreign policy to secure loose nuclear materials from terrorists….

Now, the point isn’t just that King is a rather confused partisan clown who routinely says things on national television that aren’t true. The point is King remains a prominent Republican spokesperson on national security issues despite being a rather confused partisan clown who routinely says things on national television that aren’t true. Is there no one in the House or Senate Republican caucuses who can speak intelligently and honestly on these issues?

What’s more, is there no one in the media who cares that King routinely lies to national television audiences? As Jason Linkins explained, “It seems to me that if the aftermath of the Crotchfire Attack on NWA Flight 253 proved anything about Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.), it’s that his main strength as a national security expert is to have excellent intel on the location of various television cameras and the means to get in front of them very quickly. His alacrity, naturally, comes at the expense of his ability to say anything sensible to those cameras once he’s found them, but in the current media universe that doesn’t matter: the shininess of pointless political static supersedes the need to actually broadcast anything remotely intelligent.”