It was a moment, I gather, that some nonswimmers experience when a child falls into the deep water and nobody else makes a move. As time slowed, they invariably recall, they waited to see who else was going to dive in. Upon realizing nobody was, the thought formed, not of heroism or of urgency but of resignation....
This does not always turn out well. Some drown, some don't, some prevail and everyone lives. But in the moment, you understand that if you're going to go down, at least you're going to go down for something worthwhile.
I started scribbling the first 'Comment' by hand, on the back of my trip itinerary. We were somewhere over the Rockies by the time I finished."
-Keith Olbermann, Truth and Consequences, (c) 2007
Twenty-five years beyond Orwell's 1984, and nearly two years and five months into the life of his MSNBC Countdown broadcasts, history repeated the Murrow-against-false-patriotism era with Keith Olbermann: a man steeped professionally in sports, privately in the love of history and of the simple values of his country. His "Special Comments" punctured the facades of the false patriots, the rule-by-fear mongers; the traitors pointing fingers at us. Olbermann's nightly rants against the liars and the war mongers drove up his viewership and, likely, were critical to the, eventual, resistance to and near-universal repudiation of the most criminally corrupt Presidency in American history. Olbermann groomed Rachel Maddow for the timeslot after him and, perhaps, to guarantee truth will survive should he not.
Yet, justice still evades. In spite of a warehouse of evidence of Bush Administration law breaking-from illegal spying, lying to Congress and to the American People to make war, from renditions to torture and other war crimes that likely include murder-no prosecutions, no prison sentences; only duo-party political posturings and sham Congressional hearings.
And the 21st century McCarthy still reigns, puking his poisonous bile into the public airwaves: dangerous not because millions of people listen to him, but because too many politicians fear his audience may be swayed not to vote for them. Limbaugh, the "Face in the Crowd" who cares only for his enormous wealth, maintained by the powerful instrument of talk radio, as with all historical demagogues when the walls of change closed in on them, has, now, so inflated his demands on the Republicans, manufactured false causes to attack everything Barack Obama, and stripped naked, from indifference to outright contempt, his views of all who are suffering under the weight of the greed-driven recession-many of which are or were his own audience. Driven to utter madness under the weight of preserving his own wealth and influence, Limbaugh has finally reached the point of McCarthy overreach, awaiting the new Joseph Welch with a sharp enough pin to burst his media balloon.
In spite of the media's attempt to sweep Wanda Sykes's blistering comments about Rush Limbaugh off their news desks the day after, tomorrow is another day. Olbermann and Maddow will surely give Wanda's branding of Limbaugh as a traitor to his country new life. I can hear the whistle of air leaking evermore rapidly from out of the "dittohead" universe.
For, in fact, all of history's demagogues were traitors-loyal only to themselves. Rush Limbaugh is a traitor to both his audience and his country. Very soon his audience will desert him just as surely as they did McCarthy and that Andy Griffith character in the movie "A Face in the Crowd".
Wanda knows. She knows we know the truth, too.
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