Skip to comments.Right-wing media continue to savage Clinton
Posted on 11/16/2001 1:06:27 PM PST by DCBryan1
OPINION: Right-wing media continue to savage Clinton
Many things have changed in this country since Sept. 11, but not the brazen distortions of the right-wing media or the craven failure of "mainstream" journalists to confront them.
The result is a decadent national press unwilling to stand up for the ethical standards that supposedly govern the "profession" of journalism and a steep decline in the quality of public discourse in our democracy.
Last week saw yet another ludicrous, but ugly controversy stirred up by journalistic fraud. As usual, the malefactors were The Washington Times, National Review, Fox News, Matt Drudge, and Rush Limbaugh and his army of talk radio imitators. The hyperventilating shills of the World Wrestling Federation have nothing on this bunch. Even a normally skeptical Democrat-Gazette columnist got taken for a ride. Also as usual, the immediate target was Bill Clinton.
Next time you're flabbergasted by some preposterous lie in the gutter press of Baghdad or Cairo, remember that this bunch duped millions of credulous boobs into believing that Wicked Bill told a college audience, as one outraged letter to The Washington Times put it, that "America got what it deserves" at the hands of Arab terrorists. Or, as the Democrat-Gazette columnist suggested, that he delivered a "rant of justifiable homicide" that must have made Osama bin Laden feel vindicated. The fierce intellectuals of the National Review declared that having "pardoned the unpardonable, now [Clinton] has justified the unjustifiable."
Remember, too, that hardly anybody in our vigilant national media pointed out what an alert golden retriever would have suspected, that the whole flap was caused by a comically grotesque distortion of what Clinton actually said. Here's how it happened.
On Nov. 7, Clinton spoke at his alma mater, Georgetown University. A next-day account in the Times was misleadingly headlined, "Clinton says U.S. is paying for its past." The article, written by one Joseph Curl, turned his speech upside down, insinuating that an inconsequential (and factually indisputable) aside he'd made about 19th century mistreatment of slaves and native Americans constituted an excuse for terrorism.
Almost the direct opposite is true.
"I am just a citizen," Clinton said at the outset, "and as a citizen I support the efforts of President Bush, the national security team and our allies in fighting the current terrorist threat. I believe we all should."
Clinton brought up past atrocities only to illustrate his point that terrorism is morally abhorrent and militarily futile.
"The killing of noncombatants for economic, political or religious reasons," he observed, "has a very long history, as long as organized combat itself, and yet, it has never succeeded as a military strategy standing on its own."
At no point did Clinton suggest any causal or moral connection whatsoever between America's ancient sins and contemporary terrorist acts.
He did say that this country is "still paying a price" for its past. Who can deny it? But he also said that "the people who died represent, in my view, not only the best of America, but the best of the world that I worked hard for eight years to build . . . The terrorists killed people who came to America not to die, but dream, from every continent, from dozens of countries, most every religion on the face of the earth, including Islam. They, those that died in New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania, are part of a very different world and a very different world view than those who killed them."
He described the campaign against bin Laden and al-Qa'da as a "struggle with the soul of the 21st century."
In a pungent essay on his Daily Howler Web site, Bob Somerby has shown that the phony claim that Clinton basically said we are getting what we deserve in the terrorist attack was created by techniques journalists profess to abhor: yanking partial quotes out of context and the dark art of malicious paraphrase. Even the Clinton-phobic pundit Andrew Sullivan, after denouncing the former president before troubling himself to read the speech, subsequently admitted that Times account was "appallingly slanted."
Yet scarcely a peep was emitted by the so-called liberal Establishment press. Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz produced a bemused item about the right's obsession with Wicked Bill, but nowhere hinted at the Times' methods. It's simply not done for two reasons.
First, it's seen as futile, like starting a campaign to convince 20 million morons that pro wrestling is fixed. Second, fear. The crack-pot ideologues of the far right are shameless, relentless and well-funded. Why provoke them merely to defend democratic values?
Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient of the National Magazine Award
Say it's not so!
Journalism ain't no profession, it's simply a money making endeavor done by those persons with college degrees who DISDAIN the American public and feel much more comfortable with foreign American-HATERS and with those who wish to MURDER American civilians.
The press in America is a TRAVESTY, a big joke, a stupid circus.
The fact that they were all atrocities committed by Americans was purely coincidental.
Gene Lyons is a Little Rock leftist hack and recipient of the Bill Clinton Buttboy Award.
"If Bill makes too sharp a turn, Gene's nose gets broken."
Gene Lyins is Exhibit A. You couldn't remove his lips from Clinton's butt if you used a plunger and the Jaws of Life[tm].
Amazing how Clinton's apologists never use the precise quote in their contention that Clinton didn't say what he was reported to say. Or that it didn't mean what it appeared to mean.
Just another case of confusion about the meaning of "is", I suppose...
The leftist press continues the Clinton lies to enhance his rapidly failing historical legacy. History must record what a miserable man, leader, and president Bill Clinton was.
"and as a citizen I support the efforts of President Bush, the national security team and our allies in fighting the current terrorist threat. I believe we all should."
"the people who died represent, in my view, not only the best of America, but the best of the world that I worked hard for eight years to build . .
I seem to detect a pattern here...
Cry me a freakin' river, Gene. You and the 20 million who don't think wrestling is fixed and who voted for the big creep.
Talk about "Sore Loserman" disease, wow it's a plague of it. Afflicts the whole Dumpo-sh@t party
News flash for the Gazzette: The media is being soft on Klinton, and he and his skiffy wife are their own worst enemy.
Well, it took him longer than six days, but still it's quite an achievement.
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