After last week’s episode on the plight of the illegal immigrant, Tuesday night’s episode of NCIS on CBS gives us the plight of the poor, innocent Guantanamo Bay detainee.
In professional-wrestling slang, a bad guy is a “heel,” and in a Tuesday piece, Adam Gopnik likened Republican politicians to heel wrestlers who aren’t completely up-front about how nasty they are: “You’re supposed to be maximally crazy, but you’re supposed to pretend to pay attention to the referee…You’re supposed to hit your opponent over the head with a chair, but you’re supposed to pretend to hide the chair you are about to hit him with.”
Gopnik hinted that another similarity between GOPers and grapplers is that both groups routinely engage in hype and theatrics. As for Republicans specifically, he wrote, “We know that even the most passionate believers in forced birth don’t actually believe that abortion is really like murder, and have no real desire to treat it as such; they just want to do all they can to make abortion once again difficult, dangerous, and heavily stigmatized. They are for torture, but they are ashamed of it, too, and would rather it were done far away and in secret.”
Not long before Joe Biden announced that he wouldn’t run for president, he drove Esquire's Pierce up a high wall (think the Green Monster) by saying, “I still have a lot of Republican friends. I don't think my chief enemy is the Republican party…I actually like Dick Cheney, for real. I think he's a decent man."
Pierce opined that Biden’s comments on Cheney were disqualifying (“Anyone who thinks Dick Cheney is a decent man does not have the judgment to cut his own meat, let alone lead the Democratic party”) and asserted, “Decent men do not oversee the outing of covert CIA agents. Decent men do not help deceive their country into a war and then walk away with the profits… Dick Cheney is the closest thing that American democracy has produced to a Goering.”
During its brief on air tenure, NBC’s Blindspot has already accused the Navy SEALs of churning out professional criminals, painted veterans as ticking time bombs wreaking havoc on their country, and blamed American indifference abroad for terrorism at home. Last night’s episode, “Split the Law,” continued the show’s ignoble trend, this time setting its sights on the CIA.
Monday was a big day for journalists to suggest similarities between mass murderers and Republicans. Newsweek writer Nina Burleigh claimed that certain of Timothy McVeigh’s “militia ideals have gone mainstream” in the GOP, but Esquire's Pierce really put the ideological pedal to the metal when he likened Dick Cheney to one of the all-time worst genocidal maniacs, opining that Cheney’s relatively high current political profile is akin to “giving Pol Pot a late-night TV gig.” (As a lead-in, Pierce also called Cheney “the most inexcusable American who ever lived.”)
Pierce’s item piggybacked on a Washington Monthly post by Ed Kilgore, whose tone toward Cheney was not much less harsh than Pierce’s. After quoting Reince Priebus’s remark that Cheney is “a top fundraising draw, in high demand,” Kilgore sniped, “I suppose this is an example of what the church calls the ‘glamor of evil’ in the Easter baptismal renewal vows."
The ability of tiny numbers of far-left fringe group demonstrators to get undue press attention virtually any time they want continues to be intensely annoying.
In mid-2007, Barack Obama made closing the prison at Guantanmo Bay a core promise of his 2008 campaign. That was 7-1/2 years ago. Obama has been in office six years. Gitmo is still open. So naturally, the aggrieved professional protesters at Code Pink organized a demonstration against Gitmo remaining active on yesterday's 13th anniversary of the prison's opening — at former Vice President Dick Cheney's house. They got far more ink and bandwidth than they deserved from the press, including Reuters — i.e., far more than nothing.
“What the average person is seeing right now,” declares the American Prospect’s Paul Waldman, “is an entire party mobilizing to defend the use of torture, whether they will call it by that name or not. And that looks to be having an effect on public opinion.”
During Monday night's edition of The Colbert Report on the Comedy Central cable channel, the faux conservative host celebrated the fact that “no one’s going to pay me to watch” the host of The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel “anymore, so f**k that noise!”
That comment was made during the final edition of a segment entitled “Formidable Opponent,” in which the blue-tied version of Colbert debated an imaginary, red-tied incarnation of himself.
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell could barely conceal her disgust while reporting on a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing a majority of Americans supported the enhanced interrogation tactics used by the CIA after September 11th: "51% said that the procedures used, the interrogation enhanced tactics, which have been defined as torture, 51% said that they were acceptable under the circumstances. Only 28% said that they went too far."
On Monday night, Daily Show host Jon Stewart mercilessly attacked former Vice President Dick Cheney’s defense of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program after 9/11. During his opening segment, the Comedy Central host accused Cheney of loving “torture” and asked “what if, hypothetically, this treatment was perpetrated on someone who had been detained wrongly, surely that would soften Cheney’s Bronsonlike torture boner.”
With 2015 only a couple of weeks away, Ed Schultz just managed to sneak under the wire in the race for Most Inane Question of the Year by an MSNBC Host. Speaking to Valerie Plame's husband Joe Wilson on the The Ed Show this evening, Schultz suggested: "Your wife was outed by the Vice-President and now he's saying he has no problem with torture. How do you feel about that? I mean isn't it torture what your family went through?"
Wilson wasn't wacky enough to bite on Ed's bait, but in other comments made clear that he would like to see Cheney prosecuted in international and/or domestic courts.
On Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King claimed that Americans were "divided" over the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques after September 11th. However, the latest CBS News poll she cited "shows that 49% of Americans feel aggressive interrogation techniques like waterboarding are sometimes justified. 36% say they are never justified." The remaining 14% said that it "depends" or "didn't know."