Skip to comments.Dr. Phil vs. Medea Benjamin
Posted on 04/06/2003 5:57:31 PM PDT by SeenTheLight
I never thought Id be saying this, but Dr. Phil is my new hero. Although Im not a talk show fan, on a personal level, Ive always appreciated his frankness and down-to-earth manners, but up until now, I was unaware of his political views. Well, after Fridays (4/4) show, I think its safe to say that Dr. Phil is on the right side of the fence.
I was dreading another depressing panel discussion on Washington Week in Review, so I flipped the channel and just happened to run across a preview for the Dr. Phil show. U.S. military uniforms caught my eye, followed by an excerpt from an interview with the mother of Shoshana Johnson, one of the POWs in Iraq. That would have been enough to rope me in, but suddenly I saw a face on the screen that unfortunately, I know only too well. Medea Benjamin, the anti-war activist from Global Exchange and Code Pink, was going to be interviewed. And not only that, but from the look of it, Dr. Phil and his audience were going to give her hell. Now this I had to watch.
Dr. Phil began somewhat gingerly and assured Ms. Benjamin and her companion, far too many times in my opinion, that they certainly have the right to feel however they want to feel and to express those feelings. Things were getting a little touchy-feely for me, but then Dr. Phil shifted into high gear. His attempts to elicit an answer from Benjamin as to whether protesters anti-war activities could be used by Saddam Husseins regime as a propaganda tool, or that they might undermine the morale of our troops, was unsuccessful. Apparently Dr. Phil had to learn what many of us have already discovered; that liberals are incapable of answering direct questions.
Time and time again, Benjamin avoided those questions and instead launched into a well-rehearsed rant about the unjust, illegal, and immoral war and so on. Finally, Dr. Phil got her to admit that she does occasionally think about what effect her activities have, but in the end, she has to go with her conscience. Too bad her conscience is such a selective one.
She kept insisting the oft-repeated claim by the left, that she supports our troops so much that she wants them home. Its a little hard to swallow this coming from a person who routinely accuses the U.S. military of being butchers, but thats a minor point. She also referred twice to her experience protesting the Vietnam War, and managed to get in the word quagmire at least once. After detailing her activism and expressing her frustration that she hadnt been able to get through to President Bush for the last four months (as if he didnt have better things to do), Benjamin pronounced that our democracy isnt working. Not missing a beat, Dr. Phil replied that its working alright, but maybe it just doesnt agree with you, causing the audience to howl.
Benjamin and company were definitely not in their element with Dr. Phil and his show. Many in the audience were families of soldiers in Iraq and active military members, and there was anger on the faces of more than a few of them, as they were forced to listen to Benjamins ravings. When she expressed her conviction that we should pull out of the war, and send in the UN instead, the audience erupted in laughter. Then, in a condescending tone, she informed us all that its not the United States place to interfere with Iraq, which went over real well. And as usual, she expressed her concern for the innocent people of Iraq, while simultaneously, opposing the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and his regime.
It was clear that Benjamin was convinced of her own righteousness in this matter, to the point of fanaticism. In one of her rants, she described waking up each day in frustration at the state of the world and how she just wanted all the killing to stop! For some reason, this doesnt seem to extend to the killing that goes on in Iraq under the direction of Saddam Hussein. Dr. Phil assured her, in a tone you would use with a madwoman, that we all hate war and want peace, but the fact is, were at war right now and weve got to support our troops while their fighting. Benjamin didnt look like she was ready to accept this news, and she continued with her lamentations.
The last ten minutes of the show consisted of audience involvement, and their comments were very telling. One woman stood up and spoke sincerely about how she loves her country, and supports President Bush, who she called a God fearing man. You could see the incomprehension on the faces of Benjamin and her friend, who squirmed uncomfortably in their seats. Others made comments against pacifism, while many reacted with barely concealed anger. A planted Code Pink colleague got up and said her bit, while Medea looked on approvingly, and one confused soul, expressed her uncertainty about the war and what to think about it. You could just imagine Benjamin making a mental note to approach this potential convert after the show.
Dr. Phil said a couple of times that he didnt know enough about the war or the politics involved to have an opinion. I found his humility refreshing, considering that hes a talk show host, and I only wish other celebrities would follow suit. But he did describe his familys military background, held up a photo of his brother serving in Iraq, and expressed very strong support for Coalition troops. In summing up his opinion about Media and her ilk, he reiterated their rights, but recommended that they consider the responsibilities that come with them.
Somehow, I doubt he got through to those two, but the experience must have been a jarring one for them. It reminded me of the stunned expression on the faces of the Hollywood gliteratti at the Academy Awards when Michael Moore was booed. All of a sudden, Americas elite was face to face with the American heartland, and they found themselves out of their league and vastly outnumbered. Thanks go to Dr. Phil and his audience for giving a couple of these phonies the straight dope. Now, how about getting Martin Sheen on the show next week?
Personally, I find his statements cowardly. His failure to take a stand is a bottom line decision.
We went to Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, and Haiti.
To our everlasting shame we ignored the gathering storm in Rwanda.
So thank you. Maybe I'll even tune in to one of his shows sometime.
Suzie "Medea" Benjamin certainly has the appearance of a wacko, but appearances can be deceptive.
If she were a wacko, Benjamin could just be ignored.
Unfortunately, she is a dedicated revolutionary putting on the appearance of a pacifist or near-pacifist.
Benjamin's Code Pink group is simply a marketing gimmick targeted at housewifes, mothers, and grandmothers. The Code Pinko top leaders soft pedal Marxist rhetoric. They tap funds, get bodies to populate demonstrations, and get access to potential recruits by the marketing ploy.
In similar fashion, Benjamin and cohorts have other groups to market to students, particular minorities, left-handed leprechauns, etc.
DC Chapter has had numerous counterprotests against Code Pink including most recently outside Fox News (click here for thread) and one where several FReepers suffered minor assaults from Code Pinkos (click here for thread).
A brief excerpt of background about Code Pink from this FrontPageMag.com article follows below:
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Naturally, theyve toned their Marxist rhetoric down for their stint with Code Pink. Though theyve taken great pains to differentiate themselves from the other, more radical anti-war protesters, they are one and the same. The leaders of Code Pink didnt merely take part in the Washington and San Francisco protests that made international headlines they also organized them. In the process, theyve provided a rare public glimpse of the faces behind the modern, highly organized American Marxist movement. Needless to say, these women have little in common with the carpool moms of America.
At the center of Code Pink is legendary leftist organizer Medea Benjamin, the 50-year-old mother of two widely credited as a chief organizing force behind the 1999 Seattle riots in which 50,000 protesters did millions of dollars worth of property damage in their effort to shut down meetings of the World Trade Organization. In addition to Code Pink, Benjamins San Francisco-based human rights organization Global Exchange was the founding force for United for Peace and Justice coalition, the nexus of the anti-war protests.
The mindset of Benjamin and her friends can best be summed up by her description in the San Francisco Chronicle of how she felt on her first pilgrimage to Cuba in the early 1980s. Compared to life in the United States, the communist social equality of Cuba "made it seem like I died and went to heaven," Benjamin enthused. Now it appears that Benjamin is trying to recreate it here . . .[emphasis added]
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Aw come on. Ole Dr. Phil has an "opinion" on EVERYTHING! If he was deaf, dumb and blind, I'd buy into his not having any knowledge of the war. The truth is he DOES have knowledge of the war. He used this knowledge for some ratings by EXPLOITING it for ratings.
A better translation is that the left is still giving him some room, hopeful that he'll be one of their pawns for the liberal agenda. Oprah got him started and she's a raving liberal so ... there hope that ole Dr. Phil will hold the liberal line.
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