We shall see the depth and breadth of MSNBC's apology for the remarks of the perennially gullible, uninformed, arrogant, shallow-headed balloon of conventional wisdom known as Chris Matthews, who earlier yesterday declared Osama Bin Laden "sounds like" Michael Moore. It is possible the bubble of self-animated Abramoff-tied Washington sewage will, yet again, receive the support of the NBC offices, which have on many past occasions decided that any gross insult directed at half the citizens of this country was well worth the momentary ingratiation of the select few.
The comparison of terrorist, and filmmaker? The comparison of mass murderer and religious homicide to the tart political speech of a presidential critic? Are we kidding? Was there ever a moment of media history in which such an astonishing political assertion would ever have been deserving of anything less than the end of a career?
It is, for Chris Matthews, a Michael Savage moment tucked into a slightly more expensive suit. Can he fart and bluster his way out of it? Will NBC defend even this? We shall see.
For such a profound and unintentionally telling statement -- and here, visions of Trent Lott praising the bigotries of a repugnant age come to mind -- empty apology means nothing. The Washington Post is currently under all-out assault for a single flat lie, left rotting and untended, by their thickheaded and addled ombudsman. But this is worse, and the surge has not even begun to rise.
As for Fox News' John Gibson -- now there is something different entirely. In John Gibson, we find the quintessential anti-patriot. Part Benedict Arnold, part Tokyo Rose, his is a media voice which, presumably much like the organization that surrounds him, holds a profound and venomous hatred of true America, the history, the words and deeds of the country, the voices that fill it, the population that, from the great heights of his own ego and self-promotion, must look merely like ants swarming on his owned and chosen land. It is a land where his own interpretation of religion is, alledgely, under constant assault by the personal religions of all others. It is a land where his own interpretation of political advantage is pure, and that of millions of others not only dismissible, but condemnable. For John Gibson, spokesman of the Fox News monument of yellow journalism, an obelisk made entirely of cash and still-warm faxes, even the birth of Christ itself is a hollow charade, compared to the sure glory of momentary and venomous self-promotion.
America belongs to the rulers, and he fancies himself among their number. America is a divisible land of fiefdoms, and John Gibson, the gullible, polished and self-gilded fop known only too well by the true patriots of our own Revolution, will sneak notes even to killers, if it gains him those acres in which to preen and strut.
Yesterday, John Gibson was faced with a vivid reminder of the War on Terrorism, and in doing so, decided the war against half of America was a more worthy battle. Yesterday, terrorists probed the defenses of America to see where the weaknesses might lie; John Gibson not only took them up on the hidden offer, but validated their very premise.
With nothing resembling the self-consciousness of any shell of a man still containing the remnants of a soul, or any wisp of intellect more substantial than a flitting, passing hate buzzing through his ears, John Gibson decided that in this presumed War, his own first enemies would be American.
But the far lefties ought to pay attention to the other things he said. He was quoting our own far left and Europe's as they have cheered the polls showing Americans support for the war waning, that some Americans want to pull out from Iraq.
That's the basis for bin Laden's truce offer. He is talking to America's far left and saying, "You know what. We're on the same side. So why don't you work on that hardhead George W. Bush?"
Bin Laden told us Thursday that our far left has been working for him. It's their poll results he quotes.
What a thundering idiot, to believe the voices of the terrorists. What an incompetent boob, to read the marketed proposed "truce" as an actual one. As if the motives, goals, and propaganda of these most evil of men were not already well known, well understood -- still, here we have the thickest-of-thick Fox News walking into it with both feet, embracing it with open arms, writing the very scripts and blustering with the same words that the message itself was intended to provoke.
John Gibson believes this latest bin Laden love note to the rationales of terrorism was an earnest plea to Americans? Then he is as stupid as he is venal, if such a thing is even within the realms of possibility.
John Gibson believes that the "polls" against President Bush and the rest of the blundering, half-interested incompetents masquerading as statesmen are the things motivating bin Laden's attacks -- that poll numbers cause terrorism? Truly, in order to believe that you would have to pretend the myriad hatched thugs of terrorism were each individually well-armed Karl Roves, watching the polls with each attack, wondering whether a kidnapping in Afghanistan or car bomb in Malaysia would move the numbers better on the state-by state charts.
How fucking stupid, this man is. Not just stupid, but treasonously, venomously, dangerously stupid, of the sort that, in every war movie, manages to get a half-dozen killed under pretenses of faux valor before someone graciously puts a pinless grenade in his backpack for the good of those still living.
The terrorists do indeed seek to split Americans, and turn the fight against terrorism into a self-directed injury: John Gibson, anti-patriot, leapt to the very task.
The terrorists do indeed wish to use terrorism not for the mere purpose of killing, but to disable America's capabilities for unified action: John Gibson, tool of their movement, showed them where to land the blow.
And what the polls show, unknown to the infected inner ear of Fox News' John Gibson, is not a secret desire to side with pseudo-religious madmen in a worldwide killing spree -- I assure you, we have plenty of pseudo-religious madmen walking the corridors of publicity and power, in our own country, muttering under their breath at the various things G-d does or does not want to see bloodshed done to -- but stems from the very issue that we are not safer, these four years later, then we were.
We wiretap randomly -- to the extent that the FBI has complained bitterly about the valuelessness of the "leads". We fight in Iraq, yes -- and provide both impetus and proving ground for terrorist recruitment that all educated parties agree has made the situation worse. We remove the shoes of children at airports, but our ports sit unprotected. We listen to the bluster of men like Cheney and Rumsfeld -- whose every prediction and strategy for five years has been vomited back up as acidic, shattered failure as soon as put into practice. We have people like Ted Kennedy with their names on no-fly lists, while meantime the money intended to be dedicated to solidifying actual security against actual known avenues of attack is spread like butter among a thousand pork projects by a Republican Senate and House that cannot bear to watch dollars pass through the hallway without coming out from their offices, in a line, to each pocket what they can carry.
And so Gibson shows the last refuge of an armchair patriot, a man whose love for his actual country extends no further than his own arms, his own pockets, his lapel pin, and the sound of his own voice. I hardly need such urgent, bulbous threats as Gibson's to see where the terrorists can gain their moment of advantage; I can merely turn on cable television, and see the pronouncements of the Fox News foppery, humping the so-called War on Terror with the jiggling gracelessness of a dog wooing a well-worn couch, and know that the ultraconservatives of all involved countries are the ones who have spent the most spittle on these fights, to the least service.
In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, as the wreckage of the Towers and Pentagon were being searched, shoved, tunneled through and held up as touchstones of remembrance, and as the still-unsolved anthrax attacks made their way through a narrow list of media and political figures, Democratic leader Tom Daschle included, it was always clear that the most dangerous flames of those attacks could have been still yet to come, and could yet be self-inflicted, depending on how we reacted as a nation, and if, among our ranks, there were groups among us willing to capitalize on and thereby endorse the bloodshed, in subservience to the same principles of power and manipulative nationalism held as philosophy by the terrorists themselves.
In fact, a fairly prescient prediction of our reaction to the attacks was part of the longer term plan, a plan which has been bleated about widely, by bin Laden himself, to enemies and supporters alike. It is lost on nobody in the world, save the most dull and stupid among us, that the War On Terrorism, so called and crafted, has rapidly devolved into precisely the original objectives of the terrorists: a longer-term war of religious extremism crudely marketed as nationalism, or faux-populism, or whatever other -ism the most bloodthirsty on either side can willingly agree to between them. And throughout the world, in nearly every country, those of us not quite so gullibly medieval in our so-called philosophies look on and wonder, from all countries, how to kill these terrorists, wiping their small, crude movement from the earth, while at the same time pulling these ridiculous populations of eager and willing tools on all sides back from the brink of wanting still-larger conflicts, for the sake of faux-Godly titillation or general race-based dumbfuckery.
Our response to September 11th, however crude and rapid the devolution once Mr. Bush decided to look for terrorists not in the back alleys, but where the light was better, was a heartfelt if momentary unity. I wonder, would the response be the same, next time around? (Because that, we can presume, is what the terrorists themselves have been calculating, with benefit of having all voices of media from which to pick and choose their truly silly, transparent wedges.) In a world where O'Reilly has already endorsed the premises and targets of a terrorist attack -- if another attack hit a major American city, would the condemnations of the O'Reilly's, the Gibsons, and the other purple patriots be forthcoming with the same vigor, or would the attack be looked upon with the grim satisfaction that Pat Robertson held up for New Orleans? Is that what we are foresaging, with these newest comments from the Fox News teleprompters?
Whose ends do the terrorists best serve, shall we honestly explore the matter in earnest, with more analysis than Gibson can muster? Whose network would become a masturbatory fantasy of blood and shattered glass, led by well-fed cowards donning suit and tie to pretend at a fiction of leading the heroes from the safety of a teleprompter, while pointing in earnest at a smoking Reichstag and demanding vapid political subservience in all matters, even suspension of plain rules of law? What rancid treats would we find forced upon us, in those days, printed over the blasphemed colors of a flag, if even the mere threat of terrorist action is enough to prompt this kind of bleating mess of cowardice and vapid, yellow political pus -- an unprompted defense of lawbreaking by the President, a cry against an American philosophy, even a pudding-mouthed warning against the goddamn outrageous sin of answering polls incorrectly?
We -- and by that I mean America, the America that is fighting this war, the America to be, in coming years, the America that is watching the planners and self-proclaimed patriots flicking American soldiers into the void of death with the sleepy disinterest of men tossing treats to a dog -- have had, at this point, enough of this.
No more. And I mean that, earnestly, from a higher point of patriotism and general common sense than a hollow fool like Gibson can muster.
There are some media figures which are vapid and ininformed through raw stupidity; others choose to be, as a marketing tool. Then there are few like John Gibson -- voices of pure and perfect malice, for whom America itself is an exchangeable prize, to be traded for a fleeting vision of a wisp of a dream of bit more power attached to the right suit, and a bit louder voice in the right ears.
There are few among us for whom political advantage and insinuation of American accomplices would be the first, and indeed the only response to a terrorist ransom note. For Fox News, John Gibson was willing to claim that foul prize for himself and for his execrable, unforgivable network.