Bill O'Reilly told his radio audience that his mission was to point out errors committed by pin-heads in the media. After we ran columns about meeting an Australian woman who had worked on a war crimes trial connected with WWII and said that Bush qualified as a war criminal and, after looking up what was said about war crimes at Nuremberg, we noted that President Bush might merit some serious consideration for inclusion in a war crimes trial. Then we specifically invited Senor O'Reilly to honor his commitment to scrutinize our performance as his audience's proxy and point out any errors. He didn't challenge us and his "no spin zone" radio show went off the air last week. That settles that.
[Isn't it a sorry state of affairs when the self-proclaimed "World's Laziest Journalist" has (with these two on-line columns) done more to assert and establish that President Bush committed war crimes than (to the best of my knowledge and Google search ability) any writer for any of the major daily newspapers? It's better than no one saying anything but it looks very pathetic to citizens in other countries.]
Should we turn our attention to El Rushbo next, or should we first ask how can we get an invitation to come on Dennis Miller's radio program so that we can compare him with Robert Brasillach? Of course he might not be too eager to be compared to the man who was executed for collaborating with the Germans during their occupation of Paris and environs.
We'd like to hear Dennis Miller's opinion of just how contagious Bush's circle of criminal contamination extends and who merits legal redress at a war crimes trial.
Miller's trying-so-hard-to-be-hip style of unquestioning allegiance to the President reminds us, when we listen to him, of Robert Brasillach who was also very enthusiastic about one particular political ideology.
All during the Bush era we couldn't square the journalists' self-proclaimed image as Edward R. Murrow clones while they all, with the notable exception of Keith Olbermann, acted as if they were the personification of the cowardly lion. Was there one other rebel in the mainstream media whose modus operandi wasn't: "Ya gotta go along to get along!"?
Now that Bush is gone it would be relatively easy for nationally known journalists to say something about how they wanted to speak out, but had some namby-pamby reason for remaining quiet yet they still haven't denounced their own reprehensible professional conduct. Do they think that just because Bush has moved on to the Presidential Library phase of his life that it's all over and they don't have to look back?
When Bush invaded Iraq and the journalists were told to "Sieg Heil" or face accusations of being unpatriotic, no one uttered a peep in protest. Do they think that if Rush engineers a Republican Presidential win again in 2012, that the neocons will be chastened and reformed by the Obama example?
Some Republicans wanted a 1000 year majority in American politics and just because they aren't in the driver's seat this term, doesn't mean that they've folded their tents and (as per a line in a Lord Byron poem) stolen silently away into the night. For Rush and his toadies, seeing Obama in the Oval office is just like a baseball game where the one team has the lead for the first and second inning, but then is behind one run when the third inning is over. Journalists who ignore the continuing threat from the neocon talk radio propaganda brigade are giving them a pass and do so at their own peril.
True journalists who would emulate Edward R. Murrow would do better to think of Rush Limbaugh as being similar to Senator Joe McCarthy. McCarthy's political style was not fair and balanced and Rush's bombastic attacks bring to mind the line asking: "At long last, sir, have you no shame?"
Lion tamers' most important rule is: Never turn your back on an animal while you are in the cage with him. Do journalists honestly think that Rush would hesitate one second to tell his dittohead audience a crucial fib if it would produce the Presidential election results he wants?
Just because the conservative talk show hosts tell people with a Southern drawl: "Your a great American!," doesn't mean they will be accorded the same level of enthusiasm overseas. We know of one fellow who got decked by a sucker punch in the Kings Cross section of Sydney and then he was beaten up rather effectively (broken ribs?) by some locals who weren't as pro-Bush as their country's leaders.
Australians are very well informed about American politics despite the fact that not many of them know who Rush, Sean, and Dennis Miller are, let alone listen to them religiously. If they are knowledgeable about the subject and think that some war crimes have been committed, then, perhaps, the ditto heads are being misinformed?
Edward R. Murrow risked his professional career to take on a political bully. His heirs would do well to point out Rush's shoddy debating tactics or (perhaps) face the prospect of seeing him installed as the person in charge of a Citizen's Press Oversight Commission after the 2012 election of a Republican President.
Meanwhile, Dennis Miller is probably reaching a daily audience bigger than any newspaper writer has available.
Edward R. Murrow said: "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it." Dittoheads detest dissent.