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May 6, 2016 5:37 pm

Obama Adviser’s Gloating Admission to Manipulating Public Over Iran Nuclear Deal Prompts Uproar Among Washington Media, Pundits

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Obama foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes. Photo: White House.

Obama’s foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes. Photo: White House.

A senior White House official has caused an uproar among journalists, political pundits and policy officials after he admitted to manipulating the public with “misleading or false” information to garner support for last July’s nuclear deal with Iran.

In a New York Times Magazine profile published on Thursday of President Obama’s foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes, journalist David Samuels writes, “The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false.”

Rhodes, who heads the communications team tasked with selling the Iran nuclear deal to the public, gloats about how he was able to create an “echo chamber” where journalists and think-tankers would discuss and report on the deal based almost exclusively on information provided by the White House. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them,” Rhodes said.

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“We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked,” he said.

Regarding Washington reporters, Rhodes said, “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” Reflecting on this, Samuels writes, “In this environment, Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once.”

New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, writing in a Thursday oped, said the White House “played us for fools” to sell the Iran deal, adding, “Congratulations, liberals of the Washington press corps and elite organizations: You’re a bunch of suckers. We all know this because the Obama White House just told us so.”

Omri Ceren, a senior staffer at The Israel Project (TIP), a group which strongly opposed the Iran deal, took to Twitter to attack Rhodes. “When Rhodes and company brag about how they manipulated their favorite journalists, you don’t get the sense they respect those journalists,” one tweet read. In another post, Ceren poked fun at journalists and policy advisers who still fail to challenge Rhodes.

Michael Doran — former White House senior director in the National Security Council under President George W. Bush and current Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC — also took to Twitter, writing, “Obama’s favorite aspiring novelist spun tales about Iran for the press, which repeated them uncritically.”

Thomas E. Ricks, a former Washington Post military correspondent, who says he voted twice for Obama, wrote in an oped for Foreign Policy magazine that Rhodes comes across as completely “unsympathetic” for his actions, “which makes it all the more devastating.” His article, titled “A stunning profile of Ben Rhodes, the a**hole who is the president’s foreign policy guru,” calls out Rhodes for coming off “like an overweening little schmuck” and “a real a**hole.”

Referring to the Washington propaganda machine during the Vietnam War, Ricks warns, “Fact check: Obama’s hasn’t been an original foreign policy as much as it has been a politicized foreign policy. And this Rhodes guy reminds me of the Kennedy smart guys who helped us get into the Vietnam war. Does he know how awful he sounds? Kind of like McGeorge Bundy meets Lee Atwater.”

Major Western powers and Iran are currently working to finalize the implementation of the nuclear agreement signed in July. In September, Republican-led efforts in the Senate to block the deal failed, with 58 senators voting against and 42 in favor of the agreement.

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  • Wm. J. Levy

    Obama is responsible for his Security Team of naive children from speech write Ben Rhodes whose father is Episcopalian and his mother is a Jew, to Susan Rice and Samantha Powers, all anti-Israel to the core including Obama.

    Mark Zuckerberg, Max Blumentahl, George Soros and so many more self-hating Jews.

    I wonder if science can find a cure for them?

  • JarredS

    The Iranians used and abused Kerry like a two bit crack whore….

  • JarredS

    The best and only thing about Obama is that he gave us Trump…

  • JarredS

    The media knew/knows the score but refuse to expose this nasty Anti-Israel president and his administration…Certain parts of the media believe that the sun rises and sets from Obama’s tachat….

  • Yale

    This gives Hillary the perfect context in which to repudiate the Obama foreign policy, even though she was “in charge” of it for four years. I’d keep my eyes and ears open to see what she does in response.

    As for the 42 Democrats who were fooled, maybe they should all consider resigning.

  • judorebbe

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter.

    • jon

      and the American Jews will still vote democrat and work for the liar Hillary Clinton.

    • Yeah. THeyre all Democrats.

  • Perry Mason

    You state above that there are 38 comments. Why can’t we read them?

  • racy we

    He lied about Obamacare; he lied about the Iran deal; his entire administration was a lie because he thinks the American public is stupid; are we? That’s why Trump has the nomination. The Obama presidency gave rise to Trump.

  • Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz

    I am outraged not for the first time by Ben Rhoades who trouts out his Jewish grandmother or greatgrandmother’s name like John Kerrt or Madeleine Albright or Brian Roberts of NBC/MS NBC or Pinch Sultzberger or Cameron in the UK or the Milbanks or the aweful Sir Harold Pinter did to justify Israel bashing or snide anti-Semitic remarks. But whst this article omits is a great many of these reporters – 27 or not are Jews n Jews under 40 certainly ynder 30 could care less about either the Jewish Religion or Israel. ThatThat’s the real issue n its be ignired as the problem gets worse.

  • Lia

    Let’s not forget that Mr Rhodes did what his master told him to do: he is not, alone, responsible. He merely reflects the Obama admin. contempt for the USA and her people, just as the Obamacare architects enjoyed bamboozling the USA and her people, because the latter are so easily taken in’.

  • Marian Lewis

    What price Netanyahu’s speech now!

  • The issue is not Israel-hater Ben, but the incompetence of media owners, who hire little elitist snobs to suck up to politicians for so-called access. Few of these twerps could cover a borough government, let alone national news.

    I was hired by the great William B. Dickinson, when i was just 17, and learned by observing his class and ability. He led The Bulletin to two Pulitzer prizes while I was there, and the newspaper boasted the largest evening circulation in North America. Google him and you’ll be in awe at what the Press used to be.

  • Barry

    ” and 42 in favor of the agreement. ”
    So those senators were also played for fools if not complicit in the rip-off.

  • David Weiss

    I believe that we should not be surprised that this (and other) administrations manipulate that the public. What I am surprised about is that the press is regularly manipulated and they just don’t get it. The press does a poor job of covering the administration and then has become part of the system when they only report the administrations side and not both sides.

    The Iran nuclear deal is a bad deal and is worse than no deal at all.

  • What did anyone expect…the media has lost all its credibility and has been in the pocket of obama since he was president! For all it purpose, the media has been dead for a long time! To think all those journalists who think they are so smart are the real fools…what a foolish government we have and to think of all those fools who votes not once…but twice for this fool in the white house made everyone look like stupid fools…in your face fools!!! LMAO…..

  • Michael Hall

    “Unsympathetic”, that’s the best you can come with to describe Rhodes? Who cares if Rhodes is sympathetic or not. He helped Obama lie, again, to the nation. I drive a limousine for living a knew from day -270 that Obama was an empty suit,a fool and liar throughout the 2008 campaign and specifically knew Obama was and is lying about Iranian nuclear deal from the minute he announced he was pursuing it. Its not that the reporters are young that buy Obama’s lies hook line and sinker. Its because they are democrats, therefore, stupid.

  • Yadja

    Everyone with a lick of sense who followed the “Deal” from day one knew all this. O again ran to the UN and tried to pull one over til Congress stopped him and he had to give some information. But the “Deal” is not a Treaty. He did not go through the Senate, get their input and have it Ratified so it is null and void when a new president comes into the WH.

    Just as Obama made it clear to the Ukraine anything the last president had said to them about the U.S. helping them didn’t matter because it was not a Treaty.

    So this along with much more over when America gets a Real President.

  • so all this time and Netanyahu was right, he was telling the truth. The names that they called him, and all the time it was them. That U.S Government is no better than ISIS and now it turns out that Obama is the real chicken. We should call him The Colonel.

    • Yale

      Reserve “the Colonel” for Bernie Sanders

  • Ani

    No surprise unfortunately . I know Netanyahu was right. It’s the same thing with support for Palestinians, Hamas. BDS and their ilk. Millennials are champions of those groups and movements as they get their limited info from the PR of those who have figured out how to sell it to them. Kind of a scary prospect really.

    As for Obama, what happens as a result of his legacy Iran deal is on his head and on most of the Democrats who supported it. The Democrats lost me as a voter for good with that one.

  • g.ben-nathan

    We are told never to blame the messenger for the message. This may be so. But this piece about Obama’s Press Adviser, Rhodes, suggests otherwise. With an average age of only 27, ‘rookie’ messengers need to be scrutinised. They are like ‘putty’ in the hands of experienced sophisticates.
    Be wary! Reader beware !

  • Robert Davis

    Ben Rhodes at least is honest the only Obama honest adviser. Not only the reporters they chose are Young and ignorant but they also are totally stupid. Of course Obama manipulates American as he did from the start as a candidate but he also literally GAVE iran the nukes and was more intent to givfe them than the irania&ns to receive them. Only fools and corrupt opportunists do not want to admit it.

  • HAGER

    Another lie perpetrated by OBama. The public has been f*** again.

  • Zucker

    Also, the iranians are great diplomats by manipulating the manipulaters.
    Engaging the iranians in this manner
    reinforces the credibility of the Ayatollahs. No great believers in the separation of Church and State.
    Another failed attempt of spreading democracy.
    Jefferson for the principles and Washington for courage and clarity
    must have turned more than ten times in their tombs.
    Wish that someone with a vision will come on the horizon so they could at last R.I.P.
    Until now ….

  • Elliott

    Netanyahu vindicated. Emperor Obama’s nakedness should be apparent to the left wing chattering class by now (well, maybe half of them – the other half are snow blinded for life).

  • Leslie Benjamini

    How do you say HOODWINKED! No surprise PM Benjamin Netanyahu tried to tell the world but Obama & Company made him look like a fool. Who looks like a fool now?

  • lee balch

    Interestimg .In so much as Journalists are the new foot soldiers and cannon foder in the digital age of instant ignorance. Sad ..As for this puppet master Ben Rhodes. He will be a prize well rewarded im fakery and manipulation. As for The President All smoke and mirrors With no lasting strategy. A hollow man .

  • nat cheiman

    This has been the characteristic of Obama’s term in office.
    Sleight of hand and wagging of tongues, before putting the brain into gear.

  • I guess Obama’s DOJ doesn’t care that lying to the public is a crime. lying is the most basic form of theft: it’s the (at least, attempted – and even ‘only’ attempted crimes, are still crimes) theft of the Truth. All crimes are forms of theft, which is why lying (aka “fraud”) is a crime. It’s not a magical power which lets you get away with stealing, just because you conned people into agreeing with your fact-free lies.

    The ends don’t justify the means – they only ever really DEFINE the end results: If you lie, murder and steal to get your way, in the end, you’re NOT “a great success” – you’re still really only a lying, murdering THIEF!

  • John Glueck

    Ricks is the schmuck and back door man… Obama and his Deal will soon be gone… the Iran deal will be repudiated. This man is seeking a nuclear armed Iran to bring Israel to her knees… glad Rhodes ridicules the 27 year old know nothings too… they are obviously suited to their jobs, qualified by their willingness to take any bait put out by the administration. Just like our court Jews, they have no interest in truth, objectivity or reality, but to just lap up the kool aid for more access.

  • JarredS

    This is what happens when you elect a community organizer Twice….A clueless president who surrounds himself with creepy advisers like these two up there…I’m not sure whether Trump is good for Israel…But nobody could be any worse for Israel than Hussein Obama was…..

    • Reform School

      You haven’t followed Hillary very closely, have you? Throw your TV(S) in the trash. They keep lying to you! In the 1992-2000 White House, Bill had two scandals (both sex) and Gore had two (Chinagate and envirosteal). All the rest were Hillary’s. Having already been President two terms and SOS a third, Barry is a pussy by comparison. Dumbocrat U.S. Jews will help her finish them off. Socialism is a mental disorder nearly as rife among liberal Republicans. The universal character assassination aimed by the media at its former darling reveal just how far up the government’s butt their heads are, and how far outside and unafraid of them Trump is. Support for Trump comes from rank-and-file members of both major parties who take their voters for granted while abusing them. The way ACORN and its sympathizers have infiltrated local election boards, Trump will need to train a huge corps of knowledgeable poll watchers to keep the election officials honest. As Joseph Stalin said, how people vote is less important than who counts votes.

    • Reform School

      You haven’t followed Hillary very closely, have you? Throw your TV(S) in the trash. They keep lying to you! In the 1992-2000 White House, Bill had two scandals (both sex) and Gore had two (Chinagate and envirosteal). All the rest were Hillary’s. Having already been President two terms and SOS a third, Barry is a pussy by comparison. Dumbocrat U.S. Jews will help her finish them off. Socialism is a mental disorder nearly as rife among liberal Republicans. The universal character assassination aimed by the media at its former darling reveal just how far up the government’s butt their heads are, and how far outside and unafraid of them Trump is. Support for Trump comes from rank-and-file members of both major parties who take their voters for granted while abusing them. The way ACORN and its sympathizers have infiltrated local election boards, Trump will need to train a huge corps of knowledgeable poll watchers to keep the election officials honest. As Joseph Stalin said, how people vote is less important than who counts their votes. Israel cannot trust their Dumberican ally.

  • JarredS

    Amoral AHoles the Bloodyyy lot of them,starting from the top to the bottom….This Democrat administration would have to be the worst in US history…Lying cheating backstabbing creeps…Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

  • Michael Kaplan

    I can assure those of you who are shocked by this revelation that the Barack Obama administration has been engaged in this type of duplicity since before his first term in office.

  • fred

    Perfidious admission. Rhodes takes pride how he outsmarted the journalists with lies thus showing the treacherousness of the Iran deal akin to the Hitler/ Chamberlain deal.That he undermines the credibility of the US Gov. is a point of pride & arrogance. What about the American people do they deserve such treachery ???

  • I always knew this bastard was a slimy snake who is unworthy of being called an American.

  • Frosty7530

    I salute Algemeiner for having the courage to publish this story. In spite of Mr. Rhode’s slick spinning of this topic, I think there were and are, many concerned and even dismayed about this “Iran Deal”. Who knows where this dangerous policy will us?

  • SteveHC

    “New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, writing in a Thursday oped, said the White House ‘played us for fools’ to sell the Iran deal.”

    – No, Mr. Podhoretz, the “White House” did no such thing. “It” merely saw fools already present, ready and eager to be used and then did so. PLEASE notice the difference.

  • Francis Figliola

    Ben Rhodes bona fides are a joke with respect to the office he holds. Google him to have a laugh. This latest vomit emanating from him only underlines his lack of substance and Obama’s fraud perpetrated on the Republic and its citizens!

  • Scott Rose

    In December, 2015, Iranian President Rouhani held an Islamic Unity Conference in Teheran attended by 300 Muslim leaders from different countries. Their conclusion was that they must improve the image of Islam by uniting to destroy Israel.

    The New York Times did not report on Rouhani’s conference at all.

    Several days after it ended, Times’ columnist Roger Cohen published an op-ed in which he praised Rouhani’s “diplomatic style.”

    A week later, Cohen published an op-ed lambasting Netanyahu.

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