Tuesday, April 01, 2003

IRAQ RIDGE

Hello Bloggy's Pentagon correspondent, Mel Brooks, has acquired a classified transcript of a secret meeting where the Defense Department planned its new Iraqi war strategy, dubbed "Operation Blazing Saddles."

DOD assistant undersecretary Hedley Lamarr was wondering how the allied coalition could overcome resistance in the key crossroads town of Iraq Ridge, where villagers loyal to Saddam Hussein were blocking the allied advance to Baghdad.

The situation seemed hopeless, until Lt. Gen. Taggart offered a helpful suggestion ....


Taggart: I got it! I got it!
Hedley Lamarr: You do?
Taggart: We'll work up a "Number 6" on 'em.
Hedley Lamarr: "Number 6"? I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that one...
Taggart: Well, that's where we go a-ridin' into town, a whompin' and whompin' every livin' thing that moves within an inch of its life. Except the women folks, of course.
Hedley Lamarr: You spare the women?
Taggart: NAW! We rape the shit out of them at the Number 6 Dance later on!
Hedley Lamarr: Marvelous!

Monday, March 31, 2003

ARNETT AND ALTERMAN
Peter Arnett gets fired by NBC for giving an interview to Iraqi state TV, saying "Iraqi resistance" had thwarted allied war plans.

This shows, I think, why left-wingers like Eric Alterman can claim that there is no liberal bias in the media. Alterman supposes that "liberal" means what most of us would consider "far left" -- anti-capitalist, anti-development, anti-American. By Alterman's political calculus, an ordinary conservative Republican is "far right," while liberals like Joe Lieberman and John Edwards are "centrist." To Alterman, "liberal" means Maxine Waters, Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich. And indeed, that fringe-left socialist perspective is not much in evidence in mainstream broadcast news reporting.

The Arnett incident shows why there is no "liberal media" in the Altermanesque sense of the term -- Americans simply won't stand for it. Arnett has once before been burned by his anti-American bias, when his CNN "Valley of Death" story claimed that the U.S. had used nerve gas against American deserters in Vietnam. Plenty of folks gripe about less-than-patriotic coverage of the U.S. military on the major networks, but when a subtle slant becomes outright slander -- well, you just can't get away with that.

And it's the same throughout the media. Folks will gripe and grumple about liberal bias in stories about the economy, the budget, elections, crime, race, religion, and the environment. But that bias is only effective to the extent that it is too subtle for the average viewer or reader to catch -- subtle enough that Alterman can pretend it doesn't exist. What Alterman wants -- a media with an explicit socialist agenda -- cannot find an audience in America. We may not be an outright conservative nation, but we are definitely not a socialist nation, and Alterman can't understand that.