Sep
17
2009

USA Today's Afghanistan Non-Debate

USA Today 's left/right op-ed feature today is a doozy– a "debate" on escalating the Afghan War between regulars Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel. The headline gives it away:

Time to Dig In, Not Bail Out

Forget left or right. Forget politics. Think "war on terror." Bob and Cal agree that now is not the time to abandon the war in Afghanistan.

The back and forth between arch-conservative Thomas and TV leftist Beckel ends with this exchange:

Bob: As much as my liberal instincts want us out of this war, I have to agree with you that it's time to stay and fight. The more dangerous path would be to retreat.

Cal: Among the many things I admire about you, Bob, is that you are often able to overcome your instincts when facts get in the way. Your party was once a keeper of freedom's flame when it came to engaging and defeating Communism. Now we have a new enemy. Nothing would benefit America more than to see Democrats and Republicans unite to defeat this enemy.

The thing that Cal Thomas admires about his liberal sparring partner–his inability to be an actual advocate for the left–is exactly the same qualitythat the corporate media look for in liberal pundits. It earns you a pat on the head from Cal Thomas, and a regular gig as a TV leftist.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.