I think the thing I have regretted most about the news coverage of the last 6-8 weeks has been the wild revisions made to US history of the last 8 years — revisions that have gone by unchallenged either by the press or by any politician on either side of the aisle. I was alive for these years, conscious, and paying attention — and yes, I do recognize when the story has been changed to to serve a particular agenda.
The biggest revision (read: LIE) is that people — the press, the politicians, the Hollywood power brokers, the info-tainment industry, and the late-night comedians all railed at, laughed at, criticized, demonized George W. Bush for the last 8 years.
I’m sorry. There are newspapers, magazines, video, film, and recorded radio commentary where nearly 5 1/2 years of the W presidency went by without so much as a prolonged raised eyebrow from any of those aforementioned powers. Basically, beginning with 9/11, W got a free pass. He was not pressed about his 7 minute silence while somebody decided what he was supposed to do when airliners are used as bombs in U Scities. He was not scrutinized by the press, his party, or any other political party when he dismantled the Bill of Rights with the Patriot Act. He was not pressed to put in place long-term medical care for the first responders who inhaled over 3000 of their fellow New Yorkers, sheet rock, ceiling tiles, office furniture, window glass shards, or pure carbon-black at the Twin Towers site. He was never made to prove the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction before invading the country that embarrassed his daddy. He was never questioned when he opened GITMO — on an enemy-nation island in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico where no one could hold him or us accountable. When the buck should have stopped at his sternum, IT DIDN’T — either for Abu Graab; for allowing Carl Rove and Donald Rumsfield to tell the generals on the ground that they didn’t need more troops in Iraq; or even for running for office with a man who would openly chortle, swear, and name call his opponents when in the campaign cycle.
You would think we would have at least held him accountable for his bad manners and overall disrespect toward other top level and highly honored public servants.
But none of that happened. Here in the nesting ground of uber-conservative, half-educated, red-necked yahoos, we got our cars keyed, tires slashed, and windshields broken out over bumper stickers that only hinted at a liberal thought. We didn’t have to criticize W — we just had to NOT post a W-sticker with a flag in the front yard.
So strong was the suppression of free speech, that people in this country were looking over their shoulders to make sure nobody could over-hear when they even dared to question why we needed torture in this war — when we had declared that we would not use it when dealing with Nazi Germany. When the buck stopped 2 doors short of the Oval Office on Abu Graab — nobody even so much as coughed loudly at the absurdity. Dan Rather lost his job for daring to challenge W’s military absenteeism — and it was swept under the rug for posterity. You have to pat those networks on the back for their consistent liberal bias — who else but liberal-media would have let Rather dangle in the wind for simply doing his job and asking the right questions? (That was a joke — if you can stomach making a joke about the threats that had to have led to Rather’s dismissal.) I don’t even like Dan Rather — as an anchor or as a man, but even I figured out he was the pricetag the networks had to pay to maintain any access to the White House Briefing Room.
It wasn’t until 2005 — in the summer of the hurricanes — that the press came out of its armored closet and dared to question our country’s priorities, preparedness, and leadership. From the “Good job, Brownie, moment,” the flood gates truly opened. Suddenly the no-cohones-press was given the go-ahead to question everything. They took up the mantle slowly, but they DID take it. And as much as I think Anderson Cooper is still too much of a lightweight and a showboat to carry the prime time lineup, you have to give him credit for breaking down the wall and making it okay to call a politician a self-serving, lying, opportunistic idiot when the shoe fits. Everybody on the planet saw him –either live or on the tape loop — calling an elected official on the carpet for congratulating herself and all her cronies for their Brownie-like good job while standing just feet from the bloated corpses of her constituents.
From that moment on, yes. The press never let up. The Democrats never let up. Letterman never let up. Even Republican Leno — who had also given W the pass — never let up again. But that was late in 2005. NOT 2000, as republicans, conservatives, and those anti-American verbal terrorists, wishing President #44 to fail (and thus, America to fail) would have you believe. 8 years of public flogging of 43, they say, is justification enough for them attacking President 44 from day 10 of his administration.
And that is the only reason they are doing it. Self justification. They want to do as much damage to 44 from day 10, as everyone in the media — actually, everyone in the US — damn — everyone from the WHOLE WORLD did from year 5 of W’s reign.
In the weeks following 9/11, George W. squandered the greatest moment of global good will in modern history when he failed to respond appropriately to the outpouring of sentiment and political allegiance the US received Then he did it again when he turned away international offers of engineers, dike and damn builders, designers, construction workers and all manor of professional resources after Katrina — because Brownie was doing such a good job. And yet, most of that truth has simply slipped away into the fog of memory, because there was no Woodward & Burnstein there to follow it. And follow it. And grab it by the tale and follow it some more. Woodward placed himself in the White House, but his follow through just couldn’t keep up with the Valerie Plames, the hunting accidents, and the Supreme Court Follies.
What is it that allows us to let go of the truth so fast? What is it that lets mewling pseudo-authority figures tell us that our own memories are false, and THEIR manufactured substitute memories are the reality. Are we that gullible?