Adventures With NPR

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jun 09, 2006 11:29 AM

I was on NPR's 'On Point' this morning, during which time I revealed that I am, in fact, no Hugh Hewitt. Hee.

There should be a podcast up soon, if you'd like to hear my exchange with Chris Bowers of MyDD and Jack Beatty, the 'On Point' news analyst.

The conversation was fun, though I was fighting hard against the double-defeatism of Bowers and Beatty combined. Yikes, it's amazing that folks can approach such an unqualified good as the death of Zarqawi with such gloom. No, it does not mean that Iraq will be perfect from here on out, but it is very clearly an accomplishment, and a big one.

Bowers was calling from Vegas, but released no secret info from inside the Kos-Fest.

Beatty was the one who cracked me up. The, um, news analyst opined that Santorum should start reading how Freud thought that most homophobia could be linked to latent homosexuality.

To which I replied that I needed to clarify that he had said that support for the Marriage Protection Amendment was born of latent homosexuality because that sounded "a little out there." He did indeed say that, the news analyst did.

Also, a caller pointed out that the Zarqawi strike may be about more than just doing away with Zarqawi because of the "treasure trove" of intelligence found in the 17 subsequent raids in and around Baghdad.

From what I could tell, no one else on the show had heard about this. What news were they watching yesterday? I explained the raids and explained the fact that Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell, head of multi-national forces, had indicated that the haul from those raids was substantial and being acted upon.

I thought that was a pretty big part of the story. It's a lot easier to downplay success if you ignore it when it happens. Here's the update on those raids, which resulted in more raids today:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A series of U.S. military raids based on intelligence gathered from the destroyed hideout of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have yielded at least two dozen captives and a hidden cache of weaponry, Iraqi army uniforms and other materials, a senior U.S. military spokesman said Friday.

Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon by video-teleconference from his office in Baghdad, said that after 17 such raids in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday's airstrike on Zarqawi's safehouse, more were launched on Thursday.

Caldwell displayed digital photographs of recovered items that he said included a suicide belt, a flak vest, passports and identification cards, vehicle license plates, ammunition belts, rifles and other guns and a night-vision device. He said they were found under the floorboards of a building; he did not identify the location.

I thought the news analyst's take on the marriage amendment and ignorance of the raids were both reflective of the position from which he's analyzing the news.

Anyway, a little out of my element, but fun and a cordial conversation.