Some 32 years ago when I organized Free Congress Foundation, as it is now called, I swiftly acquired a reputation for holding some paper in my hand while shouting "This is an outrage." My staff soon began to mock me. I would hear myself declaring my outrage 100 times over. So by and large I phased it out of my vocabulary. Perhaps I should bring it back.
My recent commentary about the woman who was holed up in a Methodist Church in Chicago to keep the immigration authorities from going after her drew an unusually high response. I began the commentary declaring that I was angry. So were many of my fellow citizens, as I learned.
Perhaps I should begin an "outrage of the week" series, because I don't mind telling you, what the British are doing on Channel 4 Television is a docudrama on what? The assassination of an American President. And who is that President? None other than George W. Bush.
Regular readers of this Commentary know that I am an advocate for and defender of free speech. Free speech here is not the issue. I don't know of anyone who is saying Channel 4 doesn't have the right to air this. What I am arguing is that at the very least this docudrama is in extremely bad taste and perhaps may strain relations between the United States and Great Britain.
The producers go to great length to advertise how real this docudrama will look because of the enormous file footage Channel 4 has acquired after six years of Bush in office and Channel 4's ability to create new figures through the digital approach. The President attends a political rally in Chicago. The President is killed by a sniper and the investigation quickly centers around a British citizen born in Syria.
Read what Channel 4 says in its release announcing the film: "It's a pointed political examination of what the war on terror is doing to the American body politic." Other promotional materials, according to Adam Patrick of Reuters News Agency, describe the program as a "thought provoking critique of the American political landscape."
Really? You mean to say that as much as the left hates President Bush the leftists would want him killed so that Vice President Richard B. Cheney would serve out his term? I don't think so. I am also outraged that no one in the Blair Government has said a word about this. Although they can't order the program discontinued, they surely ought to condemn the film for what it is. It is a thinly disguised invitation for those who see the docudrama to transpose fiction into reality.