Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hyman Slanders Kerry--Again



Man, I don’t want to write this rebuttal to Hyman. Not because it’s going to be tough. Quite the opposite. Does faux outrage really need to be rebutted?

Hyman joins (in a timely fashion—more on that in a moment) the caterwauling of right wing talking heads who’ve spent several days delivering dinner-theatre-level performances of pseudo-outrage at the alleged “slur” of American troops by John Kerry.

Never mind that Kerry’s prepared remarks showed that he was making fun of the president, not the troops, and merely flubbed the joke.

Never mind that even if you think Kerry is Beelzebub himself incarnate on earth, you can’t possibly believe he’d be stupid enough to make a scripted slam of American troops the week before midterm elections.

Never mind that even right wing zealots like Tom DeLay and Bill O’Reilly have said Kerry obviously didn’t mean to insult the troops with his comments.

Nope. Never mind all that. If there’s political hay to be made by willful ignorance, there are some, such as Hyman, who are only too happy to do it.

Hyman tries to claim this is just one of a long series of Kerry blasphemies regarding the honor of U.S. troops, tying it to his testimony in 1971 before Congress (ignoring the fact that Kerry was testifying on behalf of the troops and ripping the civilian leadership for sending them into a war, and lying that Kerry said U.S. troops “routinely” committed atrocities) and a comment on ABC news last year in which he said U.S. troops shouldn’t be “breaking down doors” of Iraqi civilians (ignoring the fact that Kerry’s remark was made in the context of saying why he—like the president—thought it was important for the Iraqi military to take a more active role in maintaining order in the country).

But the pattern isn’t in any alleged Kerry slander of the troops. Let’s remember, he was a combat soldier himself, for crying out loud!

No, the pattern is in Hyman’s continual willingness to lie about a decorated combat veteran because he disagrees with the man’s politics.

Let’s remember that during the 2004 campaign, Hyman delivered a slew of commentaries demeaning John Kerry’s war record, including charging him with shooting an unarmed, wounded child.

And let’s remember Hyman’s role in hyping the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth [sic] and the running of anti-Kerry propaganda on Sinclair stations days before the election.

While were at it, let’s add to Hyman’s list of repeat offenses his attempt to swing elections. I know from some inside folks at Sinclair that Hymn tapes his editorials about a week in advance. Given that schedule, I was expecting to have to deal with Hyman’s predictable piling on regarding the Kerry comment on Election Day, or so.

But Hyman clearly rushed back to the studio to crank this editorial out mid-week to get it out quick (the better to sway voters, my dear). Not only that, but it clocks in at a bloated 300 words, Roughly 75% longer than his editorials have run of late. And, if there was any doubt about his intentions, Hyman closes his diatribe with this little gem:

Imagine how much damage Kerry could do to the troops as Senate Armed Services Chairman.

Meanwhile, the theatre of the absurd that’s gone on this week, with right wingers pretending to be outraged and the rebuttals and corrections by others, including—groan—yours truly, has taken away time from talking about *real* affronts to our troops.

This past week, the Bush administration caved in to the Iraqi government by calling off checkpoints in an area where a U.S. serviceman was kidnapped. We’re now leaving soldiers behind when the ragtag government of Iraq, in order to curry favor with the likes of Moktada al-Sadr, tells us to take a hike.

Then, you’ve got Republican
John Boehner defending Rumsefeld’s handling of the war by saying that he’s not in charge—it’s the generals on the ground.

This is shades of Condi’s infamous statement about how thousands of “tactical mistake” (i.e.,, mistakes made by the troops on the ground) have been made in Iraq, but no strategic ones (i.e., those made by Rummy, Cheney, and Dubya).

So tell us again Mark: who’s slandering the troops?

And that’s The Couterpoint.

Hyman Index: 6.00

13 Comments:

At 11:23 PM, Blogger EPUnum said...

Never mind that Kerry’s prepared remarks showed that he was making fun of the president, not the troops, and merely flubbed the joke.

What "prepared remarks"? Interesting that nobody heard of these till Kerry's spin machine had a chance to (cough) remember them.

 
At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted,

Thanks for that illuminating review of Hyman's latest propaganda. Too bad Hyman's "exhausted" by doing The Point and intends to trade in his nightly diatribe for spending more time with his kids. (Good luck, kids!)

And my condolences to all...it appears that ol' Mike Thayer has once again come back to spread his Limbaugh-esque wit and vitriol onto Ted's normally enjoyable blog site. Oh well, into each's blog a little rain must fall.

But I recall Michael J. Fox's comments about Rush Limbaugh's dispicable attack on Fox's medical state. Fox stated that there was no point in engaging bullies like Limbaugh because nothing will change the minds of bullies (truth cerainly doesn't stand in OxyMoron's way) and engaging such dolts only risks another "punch in the nose".

May our country see better, more civil, times.

 
At 11:57 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Thanks Anon!

And to Epunum--remember what I said in my post: to believe Kerry was actually insulting combat troops (a group of which he himself was a member), you have to not only believe that he's a despicable person, but to be unbelievably, almost willfully, stupid.

As I said, even O'Reilly and DeLay, among many conservatives, have admitted that Kerry wasn't intentionally belittling the troops. If you want to argue that Kerry is a humorless automaton, fine. I might even agree with you. But please bag the feigned outrage. It's dull.

tjr

 
At 12:23 AM, Blogger EPUnum said...

And to Epunum--remember what I said in my post: to believe Kerry was actually insulting combat troops (a group of which he himself was a member), you have to not only believe that he's a despicable person, but to be unbelievably, almost willfully, stupid.

Ahhh but your strawman argument doesn't wash. To suggest that Kerry's insult was "intentional" is the stuff of lunacy or ignorance of the issue. Nobody worth listening to is making that argument...save for the strawman manufacturers, not unlike yourself.

Nope, Kerry started to "wing it" and what emerged from his mouth was the same left wing elitist disdain for the military that he built his career on...and you can put a fork in him now, he's done.

 
At 1:13 AM, Anonymous Billy K. Wilson said...

god i must be smart! and i love to argue!. let me tell you how smart i am. i have just learned not to try and argue with you because anyone who says night is day can only be usefull as a laughing stock. keep it up, faster faster, more more. god it's a burden being so superior.........

 
At 1:34 AM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Epunum--

Glad you've conceded that Kerry's remarks were off the cuff.

You might find the following quotation interesting from a fellow conservative:

“I know it's politics. I'm not naive. But it's also revealing about someone's character that he could authorize and exploit such a thing. Most fair-minded people will have to concede that, in retrospect, this was a very, very, very low blow. It hadn't sunk in for me till last night how low. In retrospect, this incident says much more about Bush than about Kerry. I'll bet I'm not the only one mulling that over this morning.”


SOURCE: Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Dish Blog

 
At 2:20 AM, Blogger EPUnum said...

[i]Glad you've conceded that Kerry's remarks were off the cuff.[/i]

I'm not quite sure how one goes about "conceding" a point not debated. I think, perhaps, you mean stipulated.

As to Sullivan's:

[i]“I know it's politics. I'm not naive. But it's also revealing about someone's character that he could authorize and exploit such a thing"[/i]

Perhaps his libido-fixation and subsequent Bush Derangement Syndrome has affected his recall of history (see Kerry anything circa '71)...which leads us to the crux...

[i]Meanwhile, the theatre of the absurd that’s gone on this week, [B]with right wingers pretending to be outraged[/B]...[/i]

There is no pretense my friend...but there is one tremendous sense of justice served and copious amounts of that dish that is best served cold.

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Ah yes, apparently Bush's own former campaign strategist is part of deluded folks who don't believe that a decorated war veteran whose fought for veterans (he gets a "B" from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association, while many of his conservative, war-supporting brethren, get D's and F's) was insulting the troops.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200611010012

Meanwhile, U.S. troops are dying on a daily basis in a war the Pentagon begged the administration not to start, Bush recently gave Donald "You go to war with teh army you have" Rumsfeld tenure at the Pentagon despite a large number of retired generals calling for his resignation, we backed off looking for a kidnapped soldier because Moktada al-Sadr told us to, the military itself says Iraq is sliding toward chaos, our troops are getting killed because the administration put in inexperienced political hacks and corporate pals to "rebuild" Iraq and it hasn't happened . . . and the list goes on.

tjr

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger EPUnum said...

....he gets a "B" from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association...

Really? Did those "right wingers pretending to be outraged" append it to this?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
CONTACT: Will Coghlan, IAVA, (212)-982-9699, will@iava.org

Iraq Vets Call for Apology from Senator Kerry
Inappropriate Comments Are a Distraction from Important Issues

NEW YORK - The nation's first and largest Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans organization, IAVA (iava.org), released the following statement today from Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff in response to Senator John Kerry's remarks Monday.

"Senator Kerry should issue an immediate apology for his misguided and inappropriate remarks," said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq War veteran, and the founder and executive director of IAVA. "His comments, and his refusal to offer an apology, have angered many troops and veterans, and have become an unfortunate distraction from the real issues that face this nation."

IAVA

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous hyman's turtle said...

epunum,
there's good reason the "angry right" would not append their righteous indignation to the IAVA press release.
indeed, the release suggests an apology is in order, which kerry did in fact make. but consider the fact the IAVA only calls kerry's remarks "misguided and inappropriate" while making no judgements as to whether it was an intended insult, something even you have conceded/stipulated is not the case.
furthermore, had you included the entire release, you might have been forced to acknowledge that the IAVA also appears to believe that those who would attempt to make political hay out of kerry's comments are also turning their backs on our troops.
the release continues:
"Let's not forget that while our politicians are busy fighting each other, our troops are busy fighting the enemy. Right now there is a US Soldier missing somewhere in Iraq, but our leadership in Washington and the American media is consumed by this latest example of politics at its worst... It's time to get back to the issues that matter."
and by the way...
I also found this at the IAVA website press room... not exactly the kind of thing bush & co. might want to advertise:

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Iraq Vets on President Bush’s Speech to American Legion: “If the President truly supports America’s veterans, he should do more than just use us for photo ops.”

Bush’s speech a stark contrast from reality

NEW YORK – The nation’s first and largest Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans organization, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, released the following statement today from Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff in response to President Bush’s speech to the American Legion:

“President Bush had an opportunity to show the nation that his policy on the Iraq War was adapting to the evolving situation there, but instead he went with the same, tired pep-rally speech that has been his script for the last three years,” said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq War veteran and the executive director of the nation’s largest organization of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. “Furthermore, it’s time for the President to fully commit himself to addressing the needs of this new generation of veterans.”

“The President continuously touts his leadership in the war on terror, but his leadership on veterans’ issues is conspicuously absent,” Rieckhoff said. “Iraq Veterans face issues ranging from PTSD, to high unemployment, to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), yet the president addressed none of these issues. If the President really has a commitment to the Troops and Veterans, he should do more than just use us for photo opportunities.

“Congress is currently planning to cut half the budget for research and treatment of TBI – one of the leading causes of injury for Troops in Iraq – but the President has been silent on the issue,” Rieckhoff said. “If the President truly supports America’s troops and veterans, he should call on Congress to restore funding for TBI research and treatment.”

so tell me now, who is it really who doesn't support our troops?

 
At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Bradley said...

"Nope, Kerry started to 'wing it' and what emerged from his mouth was the same left wing elitist disdain for the military that he built his career on...and you can put a fork in him now, he's done."

But again, this reading of the situation would suggest that not only does Kerry hate American troops (which his entire career-- rightwing spin aside-- indicates is not the case), but that he's also so monumentally stupid that the moment he strays from the text of a prepared speech, he can't help but spit out his true, impolitic feelings on the matter. I realize you don't care for Senator Kerry-- I don't either, to be honest-- but I just find it inconceivable that a person this stupid could successfully run for City Council, let alone have such a long career in the U.S. Senate. Inevitably, such a moron would have revealed himself long before now (or, perhaps, died while trying to wash an eletrical socket).

At times like these, I think it's useful to think about what William of Occam would probably say. The simplest answer here is that Kerry is telling the truth, and that he messed up his punchline. The only strawmen being built are those constructed by conservatives desperate to paint the Democratic Party as the party for those who hate America and its troops.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Ditto to Turtle and Bradley. The IAVA asked Kerry to apologize because he said something unintentionally dumb that was being deliberately misinterpreted by others. It's perfectly reasonable to suggest Kerry should apologize for unintentionally hurtful remarks. Just as someone should say they're sorry if they belch loudly in polite company or accidentally say "fuck" when they meant to say "fact," Kerry should have apologized for unintentionally saying something that could have given offense. He was late in doing so, but he did it.

What's not reasonable is to pretend that Kerry intentionally insulted the troops. As the IAVA themselves note, the damage of Kerry's remarks is that it took the focus away from the real issues facing vets, not that it revealed some inner animosity toward veterans.

The IAVA rightly notes both that Kerry might have inadvertantly hurt some feelings and should apologize and that he's been a supporter of causes that directly support Iraq and Afghanistan vets.

If that's your position Mike, er, Epunum, then you, me, and IAVA are all in agreement.

But from what you've said, your position and IAVA's have little in common.

Look, I get it: you hate Kerry and at a time when Republicans have been participating in a circular firing squad, it's tempting to go to town on any strand of pseudo-scandal that might embarass the other side. Fine. Go to town with it.

Oh, and your lack of any defense for the ways the administration has not only insulted but actually harmed our troops is noted. ;-)

I'd just point out for your own sake that it would make far more sense to spread that faux outrage at websites where you might actually find people persuaded by it rather than among people who know better.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with those who say it is ridiculous to think that Kerry meant to insult troops. I disagree with you though Bradley that the holding of an elected office should be seen as proof of intelligence. Such a logical syllogism would inevitably lead to the conclusion that Bush isn't a moron, which is obviously false.

Ginny

 

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