Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Revelations

Two stories this morning that reveal how we should be taking the news we receive through our media with far less than automatic acceptance.

Research: Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt interviewed MSNBC journalist Lawrence O'Donnell in the first hour of his radio program. As O'Donnell started gearing up for his criticism of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Hugh got the network news analyst to make some startling admissions about the priorities on his reading list in this post-9/11 world...: [my transcript]

[22:43] Hugh Hewitt: Did you read The Nuclear Jihadist by Douglas Franz...
Laurence O'Donnell: No.
HH: ... and Kathleen Collins.
LO'D: No.
HH: He's John Kerry's senior investigator on the foreign affairs committee, does he sound reputable to you?
LO'D: Keep going.
HH: The AQ Khan network is gone.
LO'D: I know they're gone, I know... and that's a great thing. But let's just get a couple of things straight: Cheney did nothing about it, not one meeting. From the day he was sworn in, until September 10th, he did NOTHING about Al Qaeda, NOTHING about the AQ Khan network, NOTHING. The guy wants you to rate his job starting on Sept 12th; do you want to start rating the Obama presidency on September 12th 2009?
HH: Larry, that's a specious argument, but I want to get one more piece of data out there... Have you read The Looming Tower yet?
LO'D: No.
HH: What was the last book you read about terrorism?
LO'D: The last... I don't think I've read a book about terrorism.
HH: Ever??
LO'D: [thinking] N-n-n-no.
HH: About Al Qaeda?
LO'D: No.
HH: About... How about the Mullahs in Iran?
LO'D: No.
HH: [pause] I'm... I'm just stunned!
LO'D: Well, I'll tell you, I've read Bob Woodward's books about the accounts inside the Bush administration, from what they were doing, from the day they got sworn in. Okay?
HH: You've never read a book about terrorism??
LO'D: There is no, there is absolutely no evidence, and I defy you... I defy you to point to me...
HH: Larry, You've never read a book about terrorism?
LO'D: ...point to me a citation, of one memo, or one meeting, that Dick Cheney was having, where he said anything about Al Qaeda...
[bumper music starts, signaling the end of the segment and the approach to a commercial break]
HH: Larry, I've got to go lie down. I really do. Do you think you're well-informed MSNBC, by MSNBC standards? Do you think you're above the grade of people at that network?
LO'D: That's a trick question, Hugh.
Context: TV talk show host Bill O'Reilly is so internet-savvy that he doesn't know the technical difference between a blog post and a comment left at one, as he refers to commentors as "bloggers".

It's sad to see guest Amanda Carpenter's non-reaction to O'Reilly's sarcastic comments about Hot, the second conservative site whose comment threads were quoted from in the segment. Amanda Carpenter isn't just any Washington pundit, she also happens to be a frequent guest on Hot Air's Ed Morrissey's daily blog talk radio show. (In case Bill O'Reilly stops by to read this: this is a call-in show done over the internet) Come to think of it, it has been a while since she's made an appearance on Ed's shows; maybe her indifference to O'Reilly's smear comes from agreement, and she really believes that one of the blogosphere's most polite, fair-minded, and cheerful political bloggers could actually have written something as purile as what was quoted by O'Reilly. Maybe she had a tiring day, and out of exhaustion simply didn't hear what O'Reilly was actually saying. Either way, Amanda Carpenter owes Ed Morrissey a big apology.
With friends like these...

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