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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Bin Laden death brings lots of praise on Fox News, not so much for Obama

May 2, 2011 |  4:29 am

AndyCard A couple of hours into television coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden, commentators rightly congratulated a host of winners: the U.S. military, intelligence officials, the victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families.

But on Fox News, at least, credit was faint, at best, for one other individual: President Obama.

The conservative cable outlet quoted a string of former Republican officials who seemed unaware, or unwilling to acknowledge, that the commander in chief had ordered the mission that took out the world's most wanted man, with no American casualties.

Stephen Hadley, President George W. Bush's assistant for national security, told Fox the successful mission by U.S. forces was a "great moment" for the military, intelligence officials and Muslims who had been victimized by Bin Laden.

Former Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card recounted how Bush had promised the mother of one of the firefighters killed at the World Trade Center in New York that he would never forget her son. Card said it was Bush's resolve that "led to the resolve that President Obama showed."

Regular Fox commentator Charles Krauthammer called the successful attack on the Al Qaeda terrorist leader a "great day for the United States." He said the mission showed America's resolve. Krauthammer didn't say anything about Obama's resolve, though the Democratic president had said getting Bin Laden was his top national security priority.

I switched to several stations through the night, so I might have missed a tip of the Fox cap to Obama. The first words of clear praise I heard came just before 2 a.m. EDT, when Greta Van Susteren said Obama would have been blamed if things went wrong. She added that, because of the mission's success: "He gets lots of credit, so does our military." 

Out on Twitter, political consultant Mike Murphy acknowledged the boost that the winning end to the 10-year manhunt would give the president. "Huge American victory," Murphy wrote. "Politics are great for Obama, not so great for continuing the current mission in Afghanistan."

Indeed, the complications and continuing threats from Muslim extremists can't be underestimated. That's as much the news in the decade-long war on terror as the death of a terrorist mastermind, in an operation ordered by President Obama.

-- James Rainey

Photo: Andrew Card.  Credit: Alex Wong / "Meet the Press" / Associated Press