London Mayor Boris Johnson, who took offense last week at Mitt Romney’s comments that the previously-acknowledged security issues at the London Olympic games were “disconcerting,” found out yesterday just how hard it is to get all the details right.
Mitt’s statement would hardly seem controversial in the context made:
It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out…. There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials. That obviously is not something which is encouraging.
These problems would have been troubling to someone like Mitt, who is used to having the buck stop with him, and who of course knows a thing or two about Olympic security, having run the 2002 Winter Games without incident just months after 9/11. The head of G4S, the security contractor for the London games, had already told the Home Affairs Select Committee of Parliament the security situation at the games was a “humiliating shambles” for his company and the country. G4S’ failure to recruit and train adequate security forces required impromptu use of the UK military to fill in the gaps. One UK report indicates that up to half the security forces on the ground at Olympic park are now service personnel. Disconcerting? Of course.
Notwithstanding, BoJo and the UK media took Mitt’s sentiments and did what some of our own media and politicians do so well: distorted, diverted and blamed someone else:
There are some people who are coming from around the world who don’t yet know about all the preparations we’ve done to get London ready in the last seven years…. I heard there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!”
Why did this reaction seem so natural to the US media and Democrats? Any-who, apparently Boris hadn’t checked the zip lines. The humor starts about the 0:30 mark.
Boris’ plight inspired an internet meme yesterday. (more…)