Obama Attacked for Beer With Honored Marine

What could be wrong with giving a Medal of Honor recipient his wish? Apparently, a lot.

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President Obama and Dakota Meyer (Pete Souza/the White House)

Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer earned the Medal of Honor, the highest honor given to members of the armed services, by charging five times into heavy enemy fire in Taliban-held areas in Afghanistan to aid fellow U.S. service members.

Before presenting the award, Obama honored the 23-year-old's request: to have a beer with the president. Yesterday he sat at a patio table and chatted over a mug of ale with Meyer, perhaps talking about how the Marine located the four Americans -- all of them dead -- and extracted their bodies with the help of Afghan government troops, or how he saved the lives of 36 Marines and soldiers.

Guess what kind of public reactions this garnered. Patriotic? Emotional? Proud? Yes, but also totally cynical.

It started when White House Press Secretary Jay Carney posted a picture on his Twitter account and White House press corps members retweeted the picture, which was taken by official White House photographer Pete Souza. Among them were Jake Tapper of ABC News, who has more than 138,000 Twitter followers, and Ed Henry of Fox News, who has more than 35,000.

While many who saw the image praised it, others dismissed the meeting as a staged photo op for Obama. Tapper and Henry shot back, the Washington Post reports:

"It would be nice to be able to post a photo of the president having a beer with a Marine without being [besieged] with snark. #GrowUp," Tapper later wrote on his account.

Henry wrote: "Come on folks, just because WH released a photo of President's beer w/Dakota Meyer doesn't mean its 'just a photo-op'"

Then he added: "Surely you can disagree with President on issues, if that's how you feel, but still appreciate him recognizing uncommon valor by a Marine."

Not surprisingly, that might just be too much to ask.