Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brent Bozell's Moral Lapses

It's funny how conservatives claim the moral high ground but end up wallowing in their own stench. In Seeing Moral Grays in 9/11, Brent Bozell, president of the right-wing Media Research Center, breathlessly asks, "Does The Washington Post really think that the death and destruction of 9/11 'could' be right, or 'could' be wrong?"

Well, no they don't. There is not a hint of that question in the article he fusses over.

Bozell is first bothered by the headline: "9/11 trial could become a parable of right and wrong: Before worldwide audience, both prosecution, defense seek control of narrative." But this is simply laying out the stakes. There is no attempt to make a case for or against moral certainties. The Post's "news analysis" is not about matters of right and wrong, nor is there any reason it should be.

But a propagandist like Bozell demands stories with his peculiar point of view. Apparently the world revolves around Bozell. If stories don't focus on his favorite theme he'll simply lie about them and refocus the "analysis" in his terms. This is the heart of a liar.

Does Bozell deny that "both sides hope to use the case to define Sept. 11 as a parable of right and wrong?" Careful readers don't need to "dismiss" this prediction as what Bozell deceptively terms "willful moral ignorance." Morality is no part of it. The article merely makes a prediction about what both sides will do. And because Bozell is itching so badly to cast the trial as a parable of right and wrong, he's proving the prediction correct.

Bozell asserts: "Liberal journalists always admonished President Bush for his 'arrogance' and 'certitude,' and this is what they meant: He remained certain that the Americans who died on 9/11 were victimized, and were denied their civil liberties in the most complete and horrific way." But the Post article contains no evidence for Bozell's weird accusation. Nowhere does the text imply the victims of 9/11 were not "denied their civil liberties in the most complete and horrific way." Bozell simply invents a lie. This is how the Media Research Center comes up with its bogus evidence. It crafts lies and depends on eager, uncritical followers to swallow every falsehood.

Bozell may be correct, "most Americans would prefer hustling KSM to the top of the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty and throwing him off." But we are a nation of laws, not of mobs. Did conservatives stop believing in the rule of law?

Bozell takes offense that the article quoted David Cole without calling him a liberal. But the article also quoted Frances Fragos Townsend without calling her a conservative. So Bozell has no use for fairness. His game is called Tag All Liberals. When someone doesn't play his game and follow his rules he cries foul like a spoiled child.

Bozell ends with a whopper: "Why can't our media have enough respect for facts and for their fellow countrymen that we can all see a mass-murderer like KSM as a much greater villain than say, our naked-pyramid builders at Abu Ghraib?" But does Bozell offer a shred of evidence that either the article or our media sees our naked-pyramid builders at Abu Ghraib as greater villains than KSM? No he doesn't. He imagines what is not there. No evidence is required in his craft. He's a true propagandist. No doubt his big lies will take root in uncultivated fields.

-- Don Jindra

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