The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Monday, March 03, 2003

O'Reilly apologizes, sort of! Apocalypse clearly near

History Watch

Look for some very important work this week from Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler. He is revisiting what happened to Naomi Wolf in the fall of 1999 in today's edition. Wolf was an advisor to the Gore campaign. You may remember her from the "earth tones" flap (which Somerby is promising to address later in the week). Although I don't remember the trashing of her he describes in real time, it is amazing to go back and look at what was written about her in retrospect. She was discussed in the most sexually vile and dismissive way by the "liberal" media, which didn't bother to read her writings. Her crime? Advising Gore. Also linked from today's Howler is another classic from Somerby, showing just how programmed and monolithic the press is (also showing how under-the-thumb of the Republican spin machine they are. Actually, I guess that should be showing how much a part of the Republican spin machine they are). Follow this link, and scroll down to the heading "Where does spin come from? The Bush Pop Quiz" for an amazing portrait of a propaganda machine.

Iraq Watch

Here is a quick, funny, and interesting analysis of opinion polls about the coming war in Iraq. What is interesting is that support for the war drops off very rapidly once you start adding very real possibilities to the question, like would you support the war if people get killed? Apparently, many war supporters have never thought through the implications of the coming conflict. Which is a relief, I guess, except their support for a phony baloney "war" in which there are no bad consequences doesn't help us stop the very real war which is about to happen. Wake up, America!

Bad American Watch

Here is an interesting little tale. Bill O'Reilly recently wrote that dissenters from the war were Un-American. Check out this bone-chilling quote, straight out of Joseph McCarthy and HUAC, or perhaps Goebbels:

Once the war against Saddam Hussein begins, we expect every American to support our military, and if you can't do that, just shut up. Americans, and indeed our foreign allies who actively work against our military once the war is underway, will be considered enemies of the state by me. Just fair warning to you, Barbra Streisand and others who see the world as you do. I don't want to demonize anyone, but anyone who hurts this country in a time like this, well. Let's just say you will be spotlighted. Talking points invites all points of view and believes vigorous debate strengthens the country, but once decisions have been made and lives are on the line, patriotism must be factored in. This does not give the government carte blanche to do anything, but it does give the government the benefit of the doubt at least until that benefit is proven wrong as it was in Vietnam.

You can find this quoted, with commentary, at the MWO archive, under "O'Reilly threatens dissenters".

Now, I can't find that quote today on Mr. O'Reilly's website. Apparently it has been taken down, and he has written a sort-of apology. One can only surmise that enough Un-American people told him where to shove his spotlight. The "apology" begins this way:

I made a mistake yesterday. Can you believe it? That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. For those of you who say I'm never wrong, I never admit I'm wrong, well, you're wrong, because I was wrong when I said that Americans who continue demonstrating against the war once the shooting begins are being un-American. I'm taking that back.

You can read the rest of the "apology" here, where the newly enlightened Mr. O'Reilly changes his name calling from "un-American" to "bad American". So that obviously changes everything. Now, he will only be interested in "spotlighting" "bad Americans". I'm getting air-quote fatigue with this guy. Also, what is up with this jackass that he would actually write, "I made a mistake yesterday. --_Can you believe it?_--". He also thinks there are people out there who would say he's never wrong. Don't worry, the humble Mr. O'Reilly freely admits when he should have called Americans who don't want to be in more danger from terrorism "bad Americans" instead of "un-American".

Vomit Watch

Newsweek's cover story, "Bush and God", by presidential fellator-extraordinaire Howard Fineman, should be all you need if you don't prefer the finger-down-your-throat method of inducing hurling. The picture at the top of the story alone should induce waves of disorienting nausea. We will get into this more later, but wouldn't it be nice to have our governmental policies determined by people who don't think an invisible superman from space are dictating/approve of their every move? Wouldn't it be nice if we could, oh I don't know, separate church and state? Wouldn't it be nice if our leaders weren't probably figuring out exactly when in the next 5 years they have calculated that the world is going to end (brought about by their own "Left Behind"-fueled dreams of conquest)? This article should be entitled "Stumbling Towards Ragnarok". I mean, we all read "The Late, Great, Planet Earth" when we were kids, but do we actually have to try to bring it about? Here's an example from the story. Bush tells religious broadcasters (who often manage to put the worst public face on the Christian faith), that "the terrorists hate the fact that ... we can worship Almighty God the way we see fit". George of course conveniently forgets that we can also worship Allah, Zeus, or double-yolked eggs the way we see fit, as well. I doubt Al Qaeda cares a fig for how we worship - their biggest beef is having US troops in Saudi Arabia. The only people who seem to care how we worship are . . . religious fundamentalist Christians in this country. Who are of course Bush's natural allies. Oh well. Insane religious zealot or opportunistic hypocrite? With George W. Bush, the choice is yours.

Conservative Idiots Watch

Good Top Ten Conservative Idiots this week. Enjoy all 10, but when you read #1 it will lead to directly to . . .

What the F___? Watch

According to this article, Secretary of War Rumsfeld was on the board of a Swiss company, ABB, which made $200 million dollars selling nuclear reactors to North Korea. Of course, no one admits that the ABB board was even aware of what it was doing. "Maybe it was a discussion point, maybe not" a company spokesperson says coyly. Here's what I know: This administration keeps blaming Bill Clinton for the deal he made with North Korea in 1994 (even though they were happy to profit from it). I also know that if Rumsfeld would quit arming these guys (his fingerprints are all over our supply of "weapons of mass destruction" to Saddam AND now also the supply of nuclear materials to Kim Jong Il) they would be less of a threat. Rummy, no doubt, is laughing all the way to the bank, even as he sends young American men and women to their deaths to fight the very people he helped arm.

Good American Watch

Thanks to Paul for this wonderful essay about the flag and public displays of patriotism by the always sterling Bill Moyers.

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