Sunday Morning Talk Shows: Fire Hoses of Bullshit (Part II)
This morning’s Meet the Press featured a panel discussion on what we should do next in Iraq.
The four-person panel had two members defending the Administration’s current policy, and two criticizing it. The two people chosen to defend the current policy were Richard Perle and Tom DeLay.
Richard Perle was one of the key planners of the Iraq War. He had been arguing for an invasion of Iraq since at least 1996 — five years before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the fall of 2003, when it was becoming clear that a resistance was brewing in Iraq that was stronger than any of the planners had anticipated, Perle was saying:
The problems in Iraq are ahead of us, but we’re doing better than people think. And a year from now, I’ll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush. There is no doubt that, with the exception of a very small number of people close to a vicious regime, the people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they’ve been liberated. And it is getting easier every day for Iraqis to express that sense of liberation.
Yeah, that’s exactly how things went down.
Tom DeLay is the former Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2006, he stepped down from that office and chose not to run for re-election after he was indicted by a grand jury in Texas for illegal funneling of corporate money into state political campaigns, and after he was connected to now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He was never active on foreign policy issues.
In other words, Meet the Press chose to present a proven idiot and a known criminal as voices Americans should listen to.
Some simple questions: why should anyone care what Richard Perle and Tom DeLay think about Iraq? Why should "respectable" news programs like Meet the Press treat their opinions as worthy of listening to, considering their abysmal histories? And if Meet the Press truly believes their opinions are worth airing, why should it be treated as "respectable" and not tabloid trash?
And exactly how badly does one have to fail these days to be well and truly disgraced?