This column by Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl has received some well-deserved criticism, largely for its peculiar claim that reforming the U.S. healthcare system is a lot like invading Iraq. What jumped out at me was this supposed parallel between George W. Bush and Barack Obama: After September 11, Diehl wrote, "The president failed to ask a willing nation for sacrifice." Likewise, in explaining his stimulus program, Obama said, "You will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut . . . [...]
Consortium News' Robert Parry (3/5/09) uses New York Times do-gooder Nicholas Kristof as an example of blatant corporate media hypocrisy: Kristof–like many of his American colleagues–is applauding the International Criminal Court's arrest order against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for his role in the Darfur conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives…. By all accounts, Kristof is a well-meaning journalist who travels to dangerous parts of the world, like Darfur, to report on human rights crimes. However, he also could be a case study of what's wrong with American journalism. While Kristof writes movingly about atrocities that can [...]
I don't know whether George W. Bush will issue a slew of pardons in his last weekend in the White House, but I would expect such pardons to receive less scrutiny than those issued by his predecessor. And if he attempts to pardon those who committed crimes on his behalf, you can count on large sectors of the media to welcome that self-exculpating behavior as a way of letting bygones be bygones.
By now most people have seen the video footage of the Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi throwing his shoes at George W. Bush. The New York Times helps you put it in perspective: The shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad punctuated Mr. Bush's visit here–his fourth–in a deeply symbolic way, reflecting the conflicted views in Iraq of a man who toppled Saddam Hussein, ordered the occupation of the country and brought it freedoms unthinkable under Mr. HusseinÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s rule but at enormous costs. From the Times' account, al-Zaidi yelled at Bush, "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in [...]
At a screening of the film Frost/Nixon, Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace defends George W. Bush against the assertion–which doesn't seem to have been made by anyone present–that Bush's crimes were worse than Richard Nixon's (Salon, 12/2/08): It trivializes Nixon's crimes and completely misrepresents what George W. Bush did. Whatever George W. Bush did was after the savage attack of 9/11, in which 3,000 Americans were killed, it was done in service of trying to protect this country. I'm not saying that you have to agree with everything he did, but it was all done in the service of trying [...]