A photo made the rounds this afternoon of President Obama watching World Cup coverage from what appears to be Air Force One. Judd Legum responded on Twitter he “can’t believe Obama is doing this instead of answering questions about Benghazi.”
Judd, of course, was kidding. When Fox News’ Keith Ablow appeared on air this afternoon to address the subject, he wasn’t:
“I’m suspect. I am suspect. Because here’s the thing: why at a time when there’s so many national issues and international issues of such prominence, I am a little suspicious of yet another bread and circus routine. Let’s roll out the marijuana, pull back the laws, and get people even more crazy about yet another entertainment event.“I think this is to distract people. This is like Rome. This is like Rome. I can see why Obama would love the World Cup…. I think it’s interesting that at time when there’s so much to pay attention to of such great import people are playing games – more than ever.”
As best as I can tell, he wasn’t kidding.
Note, if the intention of World Cup organizers is “to distract people,” they playing a long game: these events are scheduled many years in advance. The location of the 2022 FIFA World Cup was just recently announced, without any regard for what may or may not be part of current events news coverage at the time.
To be “suspicious” of an international sporting event scheduled literally eight years ago is to take political paranoia to levels that are probably unhealthy.
This certainly isn’t to suggest everyone should be interested in the tournament. But why in the world would someone go on national television to suggest the World Cup is part of some kind of plot to distract people?
The right’s willingness to see every possible development as a deliberate “distraction” from the news they consider important has gotten a little out of hand. Obamacare is a distraction from Fast & Furious, which is a distraction from the IRS “scandal,” which is a distraction from Benghazi, which as of last week is itself a distraction from Benghazi.
There’s nothing wrong with being “a little suspicious,” once in a while, when the circumstances warrant it. But isn’t it possible the “I think it’s interesting that…” crowd is taking this train of thought a little too far?