Daily Archives: April 5, 2004

Is AirAmerica Rush-Left?

A man who used to work for the Defense Dept just called Randi Rhodes to tell her that the procedure for de-classifying documents can be as simple as having a Senator or Congressman with access to the document stand up on the Floor–and read it. That’s it. She’s checking it out.

A word here. Some people–NPR-types, I suspect–are complaining because AirAmerica doesn’t teach them anything. One reader wrote:

“I must confess I learn little from listening to one-sided messages be they from Republicans or Democrats regardless of how well they are produced. I rarely say ‘ditto’.”

The people who say this are almost always extremely well-informed folks who’ve been tracking the news for years because they care and they’re involved. Unfortunately, they are a serious minority–20% at most, and I’m being extremely optimistic. To them I say:


Relax and enjoy it. This isn’t about you. It’s about the other 80+% of liberals who don’t already know this stuff. Right now Randi’s going through the history of the Bush family with Saddam and Saudi Arabia. You know this stuff. Most of the people who are listening don’t. They know there’s something wrong with Iraq but they haven’t figured it out yet. Go back to NPR–you’re way ahead of the curve.


You’ve got the wrong end of the stick. Remember Will Rogers? “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” The idea that liberals (much less progressives, who will argue about how many clones of Chomsky can dance on the head of a pin) are going to turn into “dittoheads” from listening to Air America is laughable. Diversity of opinion isn’t our problem–we’ve got more than we know what to do with. What we lack is a sense of community. Our natural diversity has fragmented us so severely that we tend to operate like terrorists–in little cells largely unconnected to each other.

This presents problems that have been, up to now, almost insurmountable: lack of co-ordination, lack of shared context, a lot of wasted time and lost opportunities from the clashing agendas of single-issue groups. The Publicans have been able to divide and conquer because, basically, we’ve been doing it for them. We made ourselves easily divisible and they just played us off against each other.

The opportunity that AirAmerica represents doesn’t revolve around increasing your knowledge–you’re perfectly capable of doing that for yourself as you’ve proved over and over. This is primarily about bringing everybody else up to speed and creating a dialogue between the cells that helps centralize the message for the great undecided middle. This can only be a good thing.

But don’t give up on learning stuff. This is as good an information-disseminator as the internet. Better. It’s going to make new info available instantaneously to a wide audience. Somebody called Randi a few minutes ago to tell her about the Rush-Holt bill, which I, for one, had never heard of.

Finally, don’t underestimate the cathartic therapy of having a place, finally, to sound off. Maybe you don’t need to do that, but there’s an awful lot of us out here who do. We need to know there’s other people who agree with us, we need to be able to express our anger, and we need to share our pain, as Bill C understood so well.

AirAmerica gives us the chance. Yay!

So Karen Hughes Is a Terrorism Expert Now?

If you’re looking for proof that the media has finally lost its marbles, one sure sign would be Sunday’s Meet the Press interview with Karen Hughes.

Also appearing on “Meet the Press,” Karen P. Hughes, one of Mr. Bush’s closest political advisers and an important strategist for his re-election campaign, rejected the suggestion that the attacks could have been prevented.”I just don’t think, based on everything I know, and I was there, that there was anything that anyone in government could have done to have put together the pieces before the horror of that day,” Ms. Hughes said

As NYT reporter Philip Shenon accurately notes, Karen Hughes is a “political advisor” and campaign strategist. She is NOT a member of the NSC, the CT Task Force, or any other agency or group assigned to fighting terrorism. What possible point could there be to asking her “opinion”? Who cares? Or is MTP so desperate for additional Bush-friendly spin that they just had to go out and get somebody who does it for a living? It couldn’t have been because they’re running out of sycophantic Bush apologists, could it?

Oh, one other teensy weensy little problem, hardly worth mentioning, I guess, since Shenon doesn’t: “I was there…” Um, actually, she wasn’t. She left the WH before Junior took his first vacation in August. Something about Rove being a scum-sucking pig and she’d rather get strung up by her toenails in a wetsuit than work for him wanting to spend more time with her family. “I just don’t think, based on everything I know…” But you don’t know anything, Karen.

“Um, well, they told me about it. It was terrible. I saw it all on television. I was shocked.”

“Yes, we all were. What steps did Condi take to prevent such an attack?”

“Every one possible.”

“Spoken like a trooper, ma’am, but I’m asking you which specific steps did she take?”

“She says she–”

“I know what she says, Ms Hughes, I’m asking you what you saw.”

“Oh. Well. Nothing, really. I was in Cancun getting a tan. All I saw there was sand, sea, and sky. Look, no tan lines–”

“That’s enough. Get her outa here. This is a family show.”

The blatant use of a political advisor, a shill, as an “expert”, on CT or anything else except for politics or the campaign, is bad enough. And in an election year, yet. But to pick one who was 3000 miles away at the time? Only two explanations present themselves: 1) NBC was pandering to the WH; 2) they’re just plain stoopid.

Your choice.

Quotes of the Day

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.–James Madison (Thanx to Randy Paul)

I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.–Reuben Blades

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.–Will Rogers

I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what’s moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves.–George W Bush

Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.–Samuel Johnson