Thursday, March 30, 2006

Use their truth against them

I realize Hugh Hewitt's remarks setting himself up as "brave war journalist" for sitting in the Empire State Building are offensive, fatuous, and self-serving, but look at them from another angle: when you further collapse his words, you see he is saying that in a major American city, he feels in just as much danger as if he were in an open war zone in a foreign country in the full throes of insurrection.

In just as much danger. In America as in Iraq. In New York as in Fallujah.

What a revealing admission that even Republicans recognize the extent to which Bush has failed and endangered America.

Don't let Republican journlists frame their silly postures as poses of armchair warrior courage: hang the confessions around their necks that Bush has made even his stanchest defenders and syncophants afraid.

Americans do not trust Bush to keep them safe. That's what Hugh Hewitt just told America.

Hale Stewart of BOP News provides the following transcript of Hewitt's March 28 show with Time's Mick Ware:
MW: Let's look at it this way. I mean, you're sitting back in a comfortable radio studio, far from the realities of this war.

HH: Actually, Michael, let me interrupt you.

MW: If anyone has a right...

HH: Michael, one second.

MW: If anyone has a right to complain, that's what...

HH: I'm sitting in the Empire State Building. Michael, I'm sitting in the Empire State Building, which has been in the past, and could be again, a target. Because in downtown Manhattan, it's not comfortable, although it's a lot safer than where you are, people always are three miles away from where the jihadis last spoke in America. So that's...civilians have a stake in this. Although you are on the front line, this was the front line four and a half years ago.

As long as we allow Republicans to define the terms of public discussion, we can not win.

Their game right now, or to be more precise their full-out PR offensive, is denigrating the commitment, valour, and professionalism of real journalists on the ground in Iraq--in order to downplay the credibility of "bad news reports" coming from Iraq. It is the traditional Republican strategy of "shoot the messenger," instead of dealing with the reality of the message. At the same time, they set up their Republican talking head armchair warriors in pos stateside studios as "credible sources" on Iraq--to plant "good news" stories into the news cycle, and undercut the reality seeping into the American consciousness.(See also this video clip showing a CNN anchor equating journalist Lara Logan's 3 years on the ground in Iraq to Republican apologist Laura Igrahm's 8 days.)

If they want to play this game, when they bring the bring the spin to us, use their words against them to serve the truth back to them.

The truth is that even Republicans do not trust Bush to keep us safe from terrorists. That's the story here.

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