Kowtowing and Coddling

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

So here’s a good question. Thursday was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s birthday, so Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip Crowley tweeted the message on the right. Shane Bauer, of course, has written for Mother Jones in the past, so we have a personal interest in this case and were happy to see Crowley keeping it front and center.

Sarah Palin, though, not so much. She replied: “Happy B’day Ahmadinejad wish sent by US Govt. Mind boggling foreign policy: kowtow & coddle enemies; snub allies.” That’s a pretty stunning reaction, and Steven Taylor wonders if this deliberate misreading of Crowley’s tweet is going to spread:

The reason I think that it is noteworthy is that I suspect that the notion that the Obama administration is “kowtow[ing]” and “coddl[ing]” Iran via sincere birthday greetings will probably become a meme on Fox News and on talk radio — the further dissemination of false information. This is unfortunate. It is one thing to have a different perspective on how to deal with a problem, quite another to make things up.

So waddaya think? Is the conservative noise machine going to pick up on this meme? I think it’s a stretch even for them, but I don’t plan to turn on the TV or the radio to find out. And they’ve certainly surprised me in the past. So if they do, let us know in comments.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate