WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Brian Williams, main character of the dark, prime time NBC satire called "Nightly News," is now a finalist, with Newsweek magazine and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., for the title of "Revisionist Historian of The Year." The honor goes to the creator of the biggest whopper defaming America and/or Americans, for which an apology is required. The judges have to decide whether the recipient created the fiction out of malevolence or ignorance. No extra points are awarded for stupidity.
Newsweek had the inside track on the prize until the editors retracted an unsubstantiated charge that Americans had flushed a Quran down a toilet at the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Then, a few weeks later, Durbin claimed the honor by imaginatively comparing members of America's Armed Forces with those of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Cambodia's Pol Pot. He subsequently kind of apologized for giving "some people" a "mistaken impression."
Now, Williams has moved to the fore with a delightful fiction that America's founding fathers are no different than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Islamic radical who was recently selected as the next president of Iran. On June 31st, following a report that Ahmadinejad might have been one of those who sacked our Tehran embassy and seized 52 American hostages in 1979, Williams said, "What would it all matter if proven true? … The first several U.S. Presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called ‘terrorists’ by the British crown."
In order to qualify for the award as "Revisionist Historian of the Year," the statement made must be patently untrue, but widely accepted as the truth. In the case of Newsweek's "Quran in the Guantanamo toilet" claim, the charge was thoroughly refuted by reputable investigators -- but widely accepted as fact in the Islamic media. Mr. Durbin's fabrication was mathematically implausible since more than thirty million people perished in Khmer Rouge, Nazi and Soviet detentions, while none have died at Guantanamo. Nonetheless, it continues to be repeated throughout the Islamic world.
Judging Williams' creation is a more difficult task, requiring knowledge of both Ahmadinejad's words and deeds -- as well as those of "the first several U.S. Presidents." Since recent polls show that most of Williams' viewers cannot even recite the names of "the first several U.S. Presidents" -- and know even less about the new Iranian president -- awarding Williams the prize is problematic. If he wants the recognition he deserves, Williams should spell out some of the following facts:
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.