A P.S. to An Open Letter to Mark Hyman
Almost everything important to say about “The Point” is captured in the statement in your penultimate commentary:
No doubt the most enduring foreign policy comment associated with
The Point is when the French were referred to as "cheese eating surrender
Indeed. What does it say about the impoverished nature of your editorials when *that* is your claim to talking-head fame?
Well, among other things, it serves as a microcosm of what “The Point” has so often been: infantile, mean spirited, unoriginal, and wrong.
Perhaps it’s fitting that the phrase you point to as the enduring legacy of your commentaries is a phrase cribbed from a cartoon, and which wasn’t even first used in a political context by you, but rather a fellow conservative pundit, Jonah Goldberg long before you uttered it. (Given your high standards when it comes to plagiarism, I assume citing the original source simply slipped your mind.)
While we’re at it, let’s take a whack at a few other items you’ve kindly teed up for me.
You talk about “checking in on the terrorist detainees” at Guantanamo Bay. I’m just wondering: how did you know all of the detainees were terrorists? Apparently, not even the government itself can be sure, since a number of people held there have since been released. And while you were “inspecting their cells” and “examining their medical care,” did you also give waterboarding a try?
You brag about going to Iraq, but oddly, in a commentary devoted to patting yourself on the back for your foreign policy insights, you don’t tout your support of the war in Iraq itself. Perhaps now that even those who were architects of the war are running for cover and disavowing responsibility for the disastrous policies there, you want to keep your cheerleading for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al, on the down low. Understandable. Not terribly forthcoming or honest, but understandable.
You talk about being threatened by viewer mail, but you don’t say anything about your own defamation of people like George Soros, who’ve you told outright lies about, or people like John Kerry, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, etc. who you have said hate the troops and support the terrorists.
You claim that the boycott organized against Sinclair after the Stolen Honor debacle “failed,” but you don’t mention that Sinclair’s stock plummeted, advertisers pulled ads from the broadcast of your propaganda piece as well as from Sinclair’s newscasts, and that the incident shone a bright light on the seamy underbelly of Sinclair’s business practices.
You also claim vindication in being allowed to show political propaganda as “news,” although you cynically refer to it as your “free speech position.” I can’t help but wonder: why does the Sinclair passion for “free speech” not extend to its own offices? When Jon Lieberman, your lead political reporter, argued that it was a mistake to air propaganda and label it news, you didn’t simply offer a thoughtful rebuttal in the spirit of open and free debate; you fired him. So much for Sinclair’s valuing of honest debate.
You say, "All in all, The Point has made an impression and a difference.”
Perhaps it would be better to say “The Point” has left a bad taste in America’s collective mouth.
As for a difference, I must admit that you have. Sinclair, and your commentaries in particular, have been the single best example of the dangers of media consolidation. Those who might have dismissed concerns about relaxed ownership regulations as unfounded have come to see that the threat is very real, and there’s been a groundswell of activism in the fight to take back the public’s airwaves. You’ve single-handedly advanced the cause of a more democratic media, despite the fact that this was the very last thing you wanted to do.
And for that, America *does* owe you its thanks.
And that’s The Counterpoint.