Greedy Blog

Thursday, January 08, 2004



 
A few notes about TV I've seen recently:

Last night on Paula Zahn, Madeline Albright said that 35 soldiers were killed in this attack. Much to her credit, Zahn quickly said that (at that point) no one had died, but that they had just been injured.
ALBRIGHT: I don't have to concede it. It's evident. I think that Secretary Baker has done a great job on an important mission of trying to get some dealings with lowering the Iraqi debt. But that's only part of the story.
We need people to help us on the ground in Iraq and also to develop the civilian and the civil administration there and to deal with what continues to be a chaotic situation, what you hear, 35 Americans were killed today. And earlier during the week, I've seen numbers, the allies -- nobody else is losing people like this. And so I think, at a certain stage, the American people are going to ask, can we afford to lose this many Americans, if others are not on the ground with us?
ZAHN: I think, before we go any further, I should clarify that Karl Penhaul just reported, although the information is a bit sketchy, we don't believe there was a loss of 35 lives, but, in fact, 35 U.S. soldiers wounded, some of them already back on active duty. They're not telling us how many, but a tragedy nevertheless that this forward base was struck.

I don't know if Albright was lazy or trying to pull a fast one. Either way, I would expect a Sec. of State to get casualty facts correct. I'd contrast this with the careful statements of Robert McNamara on Hardball.


A Conan rerun had Michael Moore. While I hate him, I wanted to see the crowd reaction. There was just a smattering of applause at some points, but in all it was like they told the audience not to boo and the audience responded by not making any noise at all.


Joe Scarborough is campaigning to get troops in Iraq better flack jackets. However, he's only giving half the picture:
Thousands of troops are going without the top-of-the-line body armor they need. And some troops resorted to buying their own vests or asking their families to send them armor for Christmas.
Here‘s an example of what all our troops should have. It‘s called interceptor body armor. It‘s light. It‘s flexible. And it can stop .7-millimeter rifle rounds, the most common kind that is used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I would like to know what they do have. I'm pretty sure it's not nothing. Yes, let's protect them and even make them comfortable, but we shouldn't need to paint a dreary picture to do it.

Joe also had a discussion about Hillary Clinton's Ghandi statement:
And as I introduce her, I want to end with her favorite quote, because I love this quote. It‘s from Mahatma Gandhi. He ran a gas station down in Saint Louis for a couple of years. Mr. Gandhi, you still go to the gas station? A lot of wisdom comes out of that gas station.

Howard Wolfson, her former press secretary, introduced a four-part forgiveness test (almost the exact same as the one given by Marc Morial, New Orleans Mayor, on Hardball):
1. Whether the speaker apologized quickly.
2. Whether the original statement was a joke.
3. Whether the apology is sincere.
4. Track record.

He went on to apply the test to both Hillary and Trent Lott, concluding that Hillary was clearly good and Lott was clearly bad (see transcript). Let's analyze closer.
1. Hillary's statements were made on 1/3/04 and her apology was on 1/6/04 = 3 days. Lott's statements were made on 12/5/02 and his apology was on 12/9/02 = 4 days. I don't see much difference, especially since each was the Monday after a statement made over a weekend.
2. Neither was funny, but I at least recall people laughing at Lott, whether or not he intended it as a joke. Even if assumed not to be a joke, it is plausible to see it as an "unfortunate choice of words." Yes, segregation was bad, but might not even be as bad as forced busing. I think it would be hard to argue that we have solved the race problem after 40 years of anti-Strom policies. Also, there were other issues in that election that Lott might have agreed with. As for Hillary, no one laughed, and there is no possible way to justify it. None. It was outright stereotyping based on race.
3. This will always be a judgment call by the person making the determination. For instance, James Carville accepted Lott's apology, but others didn't. Lott had to apologize over and over again, and still had to resign his leadership position. As for Hillary's apology, I'm not sure how her statement could be "interpreted" any other way.
4. Carl Limbacher, newsmax.com columnist, was able to point out numerous times when Hillary made racially insensitive comments, including adopting a mock black accent during a speech. I'm not familiar with Lott's record, but I think it's probably clean for a few reasons. First, he probably wouldn't be elected in MS (36% black). Second, the media would have brought it out of the woodwork during the remark's aftermath. Instead, all the focus was on the singular incident. I think the general concensus was that he is a Republican and a Southern Senator, so he obviously must be racist.

Ironically, this is also the test that Jim Rome has applied to racist statements in sports. Based on what Rome thinks in in the athlete's "heart" (as he knows it), Shaq gets a pass for saying "ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh" about Yao, but Rush gets lambasted for saying the media thinks McNabb is better than he is, possibly because he is black. Yet again, Republican must be racist. Rome has some bad analysis sometimes, but I think when it comes to race and "apologies" he is at his worst.
Email that didn't get read: "Dear Rome, Vijay only won the money title because he got all that extra gas station money. Sincerely, Hillary."

Posted by Gel 12:15 PM Post a Comment

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