The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

If You Take Her Out of Context, Then Yes, Napolitano Said Something Dumb

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | December 28, 2009 | Thomas Dixon
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How hard is it to watch a clip of an interview? Yesterday on ABC’s “This Week,” Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano made the following observation about the aftermath of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempted detonation of Northwest Airlines Flight 253:

Once this incident occurred, everything went according to clockwork, not only sharing throughout the air industry, but also sharing with state and local law enforcement. Products were going out on Christmas Day, they went out yesterday, and also to the [airline] industry to make sure that the traveling public remains safe. I would leave you with that message. The traveling public is safe. We have instituted some additional screening and security measures, in light of this incident, but, again, everyone reacted as they should. The system, once the incident occurred, the system worked.

An uncontroversial point, no? Somehow this has rocketed around journalistic circles as Napolitano defending the system that allowed Abdulmutallab to board the plane. Marc Ambinder wrote it up that way. So did Mike Allen. Andrew Sullivan followed on Ambinder. Bill Kristol not only echoed them, he’s also saying Napolitano has now “conceded” the system didn’t work. All for saying exactly what she said on “This Week.”

It takes about thirty seconds of effort to watch the relevant clip from “This Week” and process what Napolitano said in context. Jake Tapper’s headline even makes it easier than that!

Thomas Dixon | He creates the ideal marketing experience by connecting online brands with their target audiences. He recently completed a research paper on consumer conversion and took part in a community project on SEO optimization. Thomas is working on his Bachelor of Arts in Communications and plans to intern in an online marketing department soon.

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