What a busy news week this was. Here are a few things that caught my attention.
First up, Rosie O’Donnell. This week Rosie O’Donnell announced that she is leaving “The View.” Many who have written about O’Donnell, as I have, mourned the loss of a steady stream of mockable moonbat material. Some others expressed concern that this followed the Imus firing as a case of free speech being squelched. As for the loss of rude and ridiculous Rosie quotes available to talk radio show hosts, bloggers, and entertainment reporters, I have no doubt that, even away from “The View,” she will continue to provide plenty.
The free speech issue concerns me, but not in this case. It does not appear that ABC/Disney did anything to silence O’Donnell. From most recent reports it appears more likely that O’Donnell decided to leave The View because she was not as comfortable there as she would like to be, due to network and specifically Barbara Walters’ reaction to the various controversies. That is not the same as being censored. The right to free speech comes with responsibility and even if ABC had decided to fire O’Donnell because she did not put forth the image they wanted, it would not have been a blow to free speech. It would have just been a blow to ignorant speech.
Second up, Harry Reid. Last week Reid said the war in Iraq is “lost.” It’s breathtaking that the Senate Majority Leader would say such a thing with troops in harm’s way and with Democrats lacking the courage to then defund the mission and bring them home immediately. This week he went further and admitted to not believing what General Petraeus says about the situation in Iraq. If he doesn’t believe the general in charge of the mission, and he doesn’t believe the commander in chief, and he obviously doesn’t believe those on the ground in the field who say (many through milblogs) that the war is not lost, then who does he believe?
I would not be surprised to see Reid lose his job before 2008. It looks unlikely that Joe Lieberman is going to fire him, but Reid continually makes statements even many Democrats can’t defend. This week he slammed Dick Cheney by saying he would not engage in name-calling, as he claims Cheney had, then he called Cheney an “attack dog” three times in less than five minutes.
In Thursday’s Washington Post , David Broder said Reid is “a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance” and “assuredly not a man who misses many opportunities to put his foot in his mouth.” Broder said the Democrats and the country deserve better.
That brings me to Rudy Giuliani, admittedly my favorite of the current crop of GOP hopefuls, who said this week what too many Republican candidates are afraid to say about the prospect of a Democrat presidential victory in 2008.
“If one of them gets elected, it sounds to me like we're going on the defense... We've got a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. We're going to wave the white flag there. We're going to try to cut back on the Patriot Act. We're going to cut back on electronic surveillance. We're going to cut back on interrogation. We're going to cut back, cut back, cut back, and we'll be back in our pre-September 11 mentality of being on defense.”
Amen. Thank you Mayor Giuliani. I wish more Republicans would come out and say the same, but know why so many won’t. They don’t want to be pounced on by Democrats and the media as Giuliani was this week for daring to state the obvious. Aren’t we pretty much past worrying about that though? We can’t even expect good economic news to be accepted by Democrats and the media as such, so we certainly should not expect anything other than the same on the subject of Iraq and the war on terror.
Speaking of economic news, last, but absolutely not least, this week we saw the reappearance of the Evil Rich. When unemployment figures are low and the Dow hits an all time high of 13,000, what are liberal Democrats and the media to do? Put the news in as negative a light as possible, of course. During the Clinton years good economic figures were always good news. Conversely, during the Bush years they are almost always bad, evidence the Evil Rich are getting richer, or at the very least the good numbers are to be taken with skepticism, just setting us up for impending economic devastation. Right on cue, ABC reported the Dow story with the following graphic, “Will Dow Hit 13,000 Today? Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?” and an ABC.com headline read, “Dow Hits Milestone....But It May Not Be Worth Cheering.” That was just the beginning though.
NBC pulled the Evil Rich card the following day in a Today segment titled, “Share the Wealth?: The Rich Get Richer.” Mark Finkelstein at Newsbusters quoted Matt Lauer, who reportedly makes $13 million a year, asking “Do you feel like you’re working harder and harder nowadays just to stay financially afloat while fat cats get richer and richer? It’s not just a feeling, and you’re not alone.” Also in the segment CNBC's Scott Cohn said, “Not only are the rich getting richer, they’re leaving everyone else behind. In fact the last time the rich were this much richer than everyone else . . . was the Great Depression.” Got that everyone? Rich people during the Clinton administration were evidence of prosperity and happy days. Rich people and low unemployment and a record Dow during the Bush administration is evidence that the little guy is getting the shaft. The little guy isn’t just getting shafted, but shafted big time – Depression era style.
I hit on only four topics that were in the news this week, leaving out many including Alec Baldwin’s now infamous phone message and the Democrat presidential candidates debate, which has not yet occurred as I write this. It looks like there will be no shortage of material for political observers anytime soon, and as the 2008 elections near things should only get more and more interesting.