Friday, October 09, 2009

Cheers and Jeers: U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to Barack Obama for his award. Obama becomes the third sitting U.S. president to win the Peace Prize (Roosevelt in 1906 and Wilson in 1919).

Peace Prize a 'call to action': Obama

CBC reports:
U.S. President Barack Obama says he is deeply humbled by the Norwegian Nobel committee for selecting him as the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize and will accept it as a "call to action." Obama said in a press conference from the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning.

But the president said he isn't sure he "deserves to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honoured by this prize," Obama said, adding that previous Nobel laureates have been an inspiration to setting his own global goals. "I will accept this award as a call to action — a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century," The president said he does not "view [the award] as a recognition of my own accomplishment," but rather a recognition of goals he has set for the United States and the world. The award must be "shared by everyone who strives for justice and dignity," he said. READ MORE

Criticism, congratulations on Web over Obama Nobel

AFP reports:
Facebook groups celebrating the achievement appeared within minutes of the announcement along with one titled "Obama does not deserve the Nobel Prize" started by a user in Switzerland which attracted more than 170 members. Three of the top 10 "trending topics" on micro-blogging service Twitter were related to the announcement -- "President Obama," "Nobel" and "Barack Obama."

Some Twitter users welcomed the choice while others derided it.

"Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize! How cool is that?" wrote "jimmyjamx."

"Congrats President Obama on winning the Nobel Peace Prize! You have filled the world with hope -- now you must make peace happen," said "MMFlint."

"When we said Obama was the second coming, you mocked us didn't you," joked "vcgriffin."

A user who goes by "krishgm" tweeted in a similar vein: "Well his obvious next step is to eradicate world hunger. That or cure cancer."

"Gosh, you think the Nobel will make it awkward when President Obama sends more troops to Afghanistan?" said "elhai."

A number of Twitter users expressed skepticism about honoring a president who has not yet completed a year in office.

"Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize? I mean I voted for him, but what really has he done? There are pleanty of more deserving people out there," said "StephanieJeanXO."

The inevitable jokes were also prevalent on Twitter.

"Obama wins $1mil Nobel award, asks to be paid in Euros," said "jtsmith24."
"Wow. George W. Bush was so bad, the Norwegians gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize just for being President," said "JoshFlaum."

A number of users noted that the peace prize award coincided with NASA firing two rockets at the surface of the moon on a mission to look for water below the lunar surface.

"So, President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize EVEN AFTER declaring war on the moon?" said "gmcelyea."

Media figures call on Obama to turn down the Nobel Peace Prize

Media Matters for America reports:
Following the news that President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, numerous media figures have called for him to "turn it down" or "give it back," often asserting that he has not accomplished enough to deserve the prize.

Glenn Beck: "Obama has to turn it down. ... It's the only way for him make a win out of this." On his October 9 radio show, Beck said: "Let me give you my rundown on this Obama Nobel Prize. First of all, he has to turn it down -- because it is such a joke -- that he'll turn it down and it's the only way for him make a win out of this. Only his arrogance will stop him from doing it. But I can guarantee you that there are people that are saying right now, you got to turn it down, you got to turn it down, you got to turn it down. ... So I believe that's what he'll do. I mean -- I can't say -- his arrogance is so incredible." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 10/9/09]

Chip Reid: "Did he consider turning it down?" During an October 9 White House press briefing, CBS' Chip Reid asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs whether Obama "consider[ed] turning it down," after noting that "the president in his statement today said, 'I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of these transformative figures.' " In a follow-up question, Reid said: "I think the point a lot of your favorite people, pundits, have been making is that the response to this has been like this -- I mean, most Democrats have praised it and most Republicans have said, you have got to be kidding me. Ronald Reagan didn't get one, but Barack Obama, nominated 12 days after he was sworn in, gets a Nobel Peace Prize. And the fear among some, even some Democrats, is that this is going to widen the partisan divide and make things even more difficult to accomplish on every front." [MSNBC, 10/9/09]

Drudge: " 'For What'? Will He Turn It Down?" On October 9 as late at 9:58 a.m. ET, Matt Drudge linked to an Associated Press analysis headlined, "He won, but for what?" with the Drudge headline: " 'For What'? Will He Turn It Down?"


Nobel prize win 'humbles' Obama

BBC reports:
US President Barack Obama has said he was "surprised and deeply humbled" to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, less than 10 months into his presidency. Speaking at the White House hours after the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee named him as a surprise winner, he said the award should be a "call to action". The world faced challenges that "cannot be met by one person or by one nation alone," Mr Obama said.

The committee said he won for efforts to boost diplomacy and co-operation. "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the Norwegian committee said in a statement. "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."

In the US the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, asked a simple question: "What has President Obama actually accomplished?" Attributing Mr Obama's win to his "star power", Mr Steele said it was "unfortunate" he "outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights".

Senior Democratic figures rebuffed Mr Steele's remarks, with former Vice-President Al Gore, a joint recipient of the award in 2007, calling Mr Obama's win "extremely well deserved".

"I think that much of what he has accomplished already is going to be far more appreciated in the eyes of history," Mr Gore said.

Watch video here.

Gasps could be heard in the room where the award citation was read when Obama's name was announced.

CBC reports:
Norwegian Nobel committee chair Thorbjorn Jagland told CNN that the five-member committee had unanimously voted to select Obama as the Nobel laureate.

The Norwegian Nobel committee said the president was selected "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between people." The committee attached special importance to Obama's vision and work for a world without nuclear weapons in the prize citation, which was read in Oslo on Friday. "The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations," the citation said.

Though Obama's name had been mentioned in speculation before the award, many Nobel watchers had believed it was too early to award it to the president and the selection is drawing mixed reaction from around the world. Obama would have been in the White House for less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline for this year's prize.