11/25/2005

Would Bush and Limbaugh Kill Journalists?

The question is being asked (about Bush, not Limbaugh; that part's mine), so let's consider it.

Bush is said to have wanted to bomb al-Jazeera headquarters in Qatar, but a cooler-headed Tony Blair talked him out of it. Would Bush kill journalists? No, not if you just put a gun in his hand and Sy Hersh in front of him. Well, maybe Hersh ... just kidding!

No, Bush would never shoot or stab anybody; he's not that kind of killer. But I think we can say that Bush does not hold a soft spot in his heart for the journalistic profession--at least as I believe the profession is understood, which is a purveyor of true interpretation to us citizens out here in teeveeland about the events and personalities of the day (that the craft of journalism on teevee is just about dead is beside the point). As with those unfortunates who happened to come up for execution in Texas on Governor Bush's watch, I think President Bush sheds no tears when this cameraman or that journalist's driver happens to get caught in harm's deadly way. This is especially true when it is our troops doing the firing because our troops can do no wrong, and by the way, we do not torture either.

Americans have twice bombed al-Jazeera headquarters, in Kabul and in Baghdad, so this would be nothing new. In the case of the Baghdad office, where the Palestinian journalist Tarik Ayoub was killed, the building was clearly marked as a press office and the US military had been expressly informed of the map coordinates so they could avoid dropping bombs on it--oops! And let's not forget the Palestine Hotel.

I think the simple fact is that any regime that would perpetrate the horrors of "shock and awe"--not as an aberrancy but as a matter of policy--can certainly be counted on literally to kill the messenger, especially during the "fog of war" when mistakes can be made. The fact that, as Reuters reports, more journalists have been killed in the three years of war in Iraq than were killed in 20 years of war in Vietnam is suggestive in this regard. When the U.S. military won't pledge to even try to protect unembedded journalists, you figure out quick which side of the bread the butter's on.

(The real question, though, is whether Bush would actually have called down an air strike on Qatar, a sovereign, non-combatant, and allied nation, in order to do the al-Jazeera hit. The fact that Tony Blair had to talk him out of doing this should make us wonder about the man who is ostensibly leading us.)

Along with George Bush's itchy trigger finger, I think we can also count on a chorus of support for the killing and intimidation of journalists from people like Limbaugh, Coulter and their ilk. (We already have heard, explicitly, from Coulter on this subject, at least twice that I’ve read.) These people are are widely and mistakenly considered to be journalists themselves rather than court jesters, albeit swinish ones. They are outspoken in their contempt for those who are forthright in their disapproval of what Bush and the Congress are doing in the Middle East (and note that I said Congress, meaning it's not just Republicans who are fomenting and enabling the mess over there).

Let's consider an example. Do Rush and Ann give a shit when real journalists like Dan Rather and Mary Mapes are run out of town on a rail for doing their jobs, albeit mistakenly? Of course not, because these propagandists of the public airwaves are part of the conspiracy themselves, whether they choose to admit it or not, the lying bastards.

Gee, ain't it funny how CBS got suckered in about certain documents--notably not the details that were in those documents--of George Bush's military service that turned out to be forgeries, red herrings. Could CBS have been sucker-punched over forged documents that--oh, my!--were purposely interjected into the national dialogue by someone aligned with Karl Rove, a man with a proven track record of such wanton criminality?

Limbaugh et al. not only didn't stand up for the real journalists here by calling for an investigation into the creation and use of the documents, they aided in and papered over the crime by criticizing CBS for being taken in by forgers. Such was their means of deflecting criticism away from where it really needed to be, which was on George W. Bush's record of "service" during the Vietnam War. No, instead of doing the right thing and protecting journalists who were trying to uncover the truth about Bush's military service, Limbaugh and company led the charge to have Rather fired.

I wonder if that’s because Rather is one of the infamous Press Losers of the Vietnam War, a stupid and ruinous war whose outcome apparently had nothing to do with William Westmoreland’s being a lousy general who never did understand his enemy and who apparently forgot that we weren’t supposed to be getting into any land wars in Asia any time soon. And maybe Westmoreland should have made that perfectly clear to his president and then resigned instead of sucking up and promising to do the impossible, which was to replay World War 2 and be the Great Liberator once again. Fucking social climber.

But I digress.

Instead of coming to the aid of a once-great news organization that was being patently and publicly dirty-tricked, right on network TV in front of twenty million people, professional liars Limbaugh, Coulter, and the rest of their sick company clamored to have Rather and Mapes drummed out of the profession in shame.

Dan Rather gets professionally gang-raped by Karl Rove in front of God and everybody and we are then treated to the spectacle of a hypocritical drug addict like Limbaugh having the nerve to say Rather should resign because he was tricked! Get a grip, America! It’s not about George Bush being a liar, it’s about Dan Rather being a fool.

Thanks for coming down on the side of decency, Rush. Where would Karl Rove be today without the trusty right-wing echo chamber?

And by the way, this is what Armed Forces Radio is feeding to our troops around the world every day and twice on Sunday. Dude, where’s Wolfman Jack when you need him?

So, would Bush kill journalists? I think so:

He’ll merely wish it, and yes, it will be so.
Someone else will have to pull the trigger, though.

Would Limbaugh? He’d support it, for sure. Same thing on the trigger, too.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Steph said...

This story about Bush originated in a tabloid:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/front/
Now there's some great journalism!

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBS bases a story on obviously forged documents that is critical of Bush. A later independent investigation completed by CBS itself documents repeatedly instances wherein Mapes violated CBS's own standards in rushing the story to air. Now you are critical of Bush and other conservatives for not coming to the aid of CBS, Dan Rather and Mary Mapes?

3:24 AM  
Blogger spaghetti happens said...

My point is that Bush would get nowhere without pseudo-journalists like Limbaugh force-feeding the Administration's smorgasbord of lies, mischaracterizations, and diversions down the national foodpipe. And rather than supporting the journalistic enterprise that could bring us better government, Limbaugh and the rest of the echo chamber choose to undermine it at every turn.

Did Rush ever call for an investigation, not of CBS but of who actually produced the forgeries? No, because he's not interested in that--and if you ask me, he probably knows damn well that they were products of the Karl Rove machine. And he certainly wasn't going to pursue the information that was actually in the documents, which was the whole point anyway.

8:01 AM  

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