WELL, WELL, WELL

 

David Axelrod, Obama senior adviser, has just been added as a commentator for NBC News and its left wing arm, MSNBC. Robert Gibbs, former Obama press flack has also been added to the NBC lineup. This should come as no surprise to anyone who recognizes the liberal bias endemic to the so-called “mainstream media.” When Fox News added conservative activist Karl Rove to its lineup, NBC made much of the alleged bias of Fox News in an attempt to marginalize the most watched cable news network as nothing more than a right wing outlet. In fact, I suspect most people watch Fox because it’s the only news outlet where you can get both points of view. The liberal whipping boy, Bill O’Reilly interviewed Democratic icon James Carville last night, for example, and Carville gave O’Reilly all he could handle. Alan Colmes, Jesse Jackson’s daughter, Santita Jackson and Bob Beckel, among others, have no problem defending the liberal point of view on Fox News and the Fox Business Channel. While it is interesting to note that Fox has added Herman Cain and former senator Scott Brown to its lineup of commentators, there is no indication that you will ever hear any conservative viewpoint on NBC or MSNBC which continue, like their other mainstream cronies to be more enamored of the President’s golf game than reporting about his absence from the proceedings on the night when our ambassador and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi. 

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A MISPLACED SENTIMENT

 

Having spent some time behind a badge or two, I get it about cops, people generally don’t like them. They don’t like the fact that every time they generally interact with cops, they receive what is often called “negative feedback.” And, as another old cliche goes, when you need one of those guys in uniform, they never seem to be around. And finally, with all the crime, how well can they be doing their jobs anyway? I suppose there was a lot of this kind of sentiment behind some of the public actually trying to make a hero out of killer Christopher Dorner. It seems Dorner left a long rambling “manifesto” complaining about his treatment when he, himself, had been a member of the fuzz. The L.A. fuzz. While it is generally understandable that we often have sympathy for people who make mistakes, violate the law, there has to be a limit to our generosity. “Liking” Dorner on Facebook, for example, is akin to arguing that the Nazi’s must have had some good points even as they slaughtered Jews and burned books. Even worse, there is a very unhealthy undercurrent in the support for Dorner. I suspect that if he hadn’t been Black, his approval rating would have been much less than it has been. Dorner’s allegations that he was the subject of discrimination after he was fired from the LAPD for making, as both the police department and later a judge concluded was a false allegation against a fellow officer, apparently rang a bell with certain curmudgeons who continue to believe that the LAPD is a “racist” organization, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, including the fact that the bulk of LAPD officers are now members of minorities, Black and Hispanic. In reality, Dorner, whatever his mental state, killed innocent people, four in number, in what we thriller writers call, “cold blood.” To lionize someone like Dorner, no matter what his race and no matter what his motivation, is sick in itself. 

REWRITING HISTORY

 

I’ll begin with a disclaimer: I haven’t seen best picture Oscar nominee, Lincoln. Fortunately, for this column, that doesn’t matter. Maureen Dowd, op ed writer for The New York Times, that bastion of liberal pap, is joining what is rapidly developing into, if not, a tsunami, at least a growing chorus calling for Steven Spielberg to correct, at least to its critics, an important error in the film. It seems that the film falsely portrays two Connecticut reps voting against the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. The film’s screenwriter, in response, doesn’t deny the inaccuracy but maintains that the film is, after all, just a movie. Or in other words, since it’s fiction, any inaccuracies don’t matter. As a writer of fiction (and I’m not referring to this column ), I find that explanation from a fellow writer a betrayal of proper writing etiquette and principles. Even a writer of fiction knows that credibility is at the heart of writing good fiction, whether a novel or screenplay. And any seasoned writer knows that violating this principle will not only lead to embarrassment for the writer but a flood of critics who are ready to pounce on the slightest inaccuracy. And this is as it should be, since the writer owes it to his or her readers to hold up his end of the contract which is to allow the suspension of belief, sometimes even stretching belief, while not shortchanging readers with lapses in credibility so grotesque they remind the reader that what they’re reading is fiction. It is very often a fine line, this adherence to credibility in fiction, but as any good writer will tell you, an important line. Having properly criticized a screen writer whose explanation was even worse, as he said he included the inaccuracy to make a political point (stressing the closeness of the vote) by intentionally distorting history, that might put an end to the inquiry. Unfortunately, there is a larger issue here, as well, since Spielberg has made it known that he will gleefully release the film for showing at middle and high schools who request a viewing. At a time when a large numbers of our young people can’t identify even one of our “founding fathers,” and have at best a tenuous grasp of our nation’s history, it is more important than ever that we not only teach history but as has been the norm in the past, teach it accurately and completely. While the motivation of Dowd and other liberal critics of the film undoubtedly lies in their chagrin that the inaccuracy they complain of suggests that Northerners from a current “Blue State” would have voted against ending slavery, they are right to complain and Spielberg should heed their calls to re-edit the film before it is released on DVD or to our schools. And I would suggest that screenwriter Tony Kushner go back to writing school. He obviously missed some of the fundamentals in writing credible fiction. 

 

DRONE STRIKES KILLING OUR OWN

One of the ironies that seems to be lost on many is that we now live in a country where our President can order the killing of Americans without due process of law by simply consulting his “kill list” which he apparently reviews every Tuesday ( I guess there are more important things for him to do on Mondays). During the Bush administration, in response to 911, our government began using unmanned drones to bomb our enemies. Despite condemning their use at the time, this President has not only increased the use of drones to kill people, we now target Americans that someone or ones in the White House decide need to be killed as terrorists. Of course, these people don’t get arrested, they don’t get prosecuted, they don’t get lawyers and apparently the only appeal they get is with God. Whether killing these Americans is justified or not, we are also killing their innocent families and others in what we like to call “collateral damage.” John Brennan, the architect of this program under the Bush administration and this President’s nominee to head the CIA justifies the use of drones because he argues it saves lives by not having to put troops on the ground. He doesn’t apparently address the larger issue of why it has been necessary to put “troops on the ground” in places like Iraq and Afghanistan when it is obvious that we have achieved nothing except delaying these countries slide into sponsoring terrorism at the cost of American lives. Kudos to the Arc of Justice Coalition, a far left group that has been consistent in opposing the use of drones not only during the Bush administration but during the OBOMBa (no pun intended) administration as well. Unfortunately, the so-called mainstream media aka the liberal media has been largely silent on the increased use of drones by this administration and the use of drones to kill Americans without due process of law. While there should be no argument that the sham terrorist trial at Gitmo is not the way we should be dealing with accused terrorists, the answer is not changing who we are as a people to the extent we wipe out the rights we have traditionally guaranteed to our citizens who are accused of a crime. As has often been noted, while the American system of justice is far from perfect, it remains a model for the world. And for those on the Left, they should be concerned what their silence on this issue bodes for the future. What is next, killing Americans in our own country that our leaders deem represent a threat to our welfare? I don’t know about you but it scares me to think that these decisions would rest in the hands of Bush, Obama or any other sleazy politicians we seem to routinely elect to our highest office. 

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