Monday, April 19, 2004
If John Kerry were a Republican, the American landscape would be littered with shreds of his dismembered corpse, and the buzzards of ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, et al would still be tearing the last remaining scraps of flesh from the bone. And every scrap would be paraded before us: every item of pork barrel legislation he ever voted for, every bauble in every mansion he ever married for, every ambiguous detail in every purple heart citation he wheedled for himself, every flat-out contradiction in his shamelessly convenient kaleidoscope of policy positions, every instance of rudeness and snobbery with the common folk, every syllable of every sentence in his laughable impersonation of JFK during his push for celebrity as an anti-war activist, and every second of his ugly on-camera contempt for the sitting President he was running against. Each of these would be the subject of editorials, op-ed pieces, talking head interviews with political and media 'experts,' scathing half-witted send-ups by Andy Rooney, punchlines on Law and Order, and cunning innuendoes in a West Wing script.
On the other hand, if George Bush were a Democrat, the same buzzards would be working the ravaged entrails of Clarke, Ben Veniste, Woodward, Kerrey, Gorelick, Kennedy, and all the other nakedly partisan political whores who are determined to drive our political discourse into the hate and filth of the gutter.
In honor of the flagrant self-serving incompetency of the nation's mainstream media, I offer up the following quote from Donald Barthelme, written so presciently more than 35 years ago in the book City Life. These words are part of piece called, aptly, Brain Damage:
I worked for newspapers. I worked for newspapers at a time when I was not competent to do so. I reported inaccurately. I failed to get all the facts. I misspelled names. I garbled figures. I wasted copy paper. I pretended I knew things I did not know. I pretended to understand things beyond my understanding. I oversimplified. I was superior to things I was inferior to. I misinterpreted things that took place before me. I suppressed news the management wanted suppressed. I invented news the management wanted invented. I faked stories. I failed to discover the truth. I colored the truth with fancy. I had no respect for the truth…It goes on from there. Congratulations to all of you who have earned this accolade.