Thursday, September 07, 2006

Swiping Ideas From Hewitt

I was reading Hugh Hewitt’s column at Townhall.com about the upcoming ABC mini-series, “The Path to 9/11”, and the reaction from the Clinton contingent to the film. I enjoyed the article, as Hugh is a good writer with interesting thoughts, but what really grabbed my attention were the comments.

Now, Hugh Hewitt is a fine and responsible columnist, who is not in the habit of responding directly to comments from his readers. I, on the other hand, am sometimes a shameless opportunist, and the things written in the comments were to my mind telling about the whole matter. So, since Mister Hewitt will not be responding to the noise from the gallery, I have swiped that prerogative unto myself, and herein submit my thoughts. Let me be clear, that the opinions I present are my own, and in no way should suggest that Mister Hewitt agrees with me on any point. Maybe he does, maybe he does not, but this is my own opinion. I just grabbed the reader comments for material.

I printed out the comments section as of 2 PM on Thursday, September 7th. Lord only knows what else will show up there while I am plunking words down here. And in advance to anyone who might be unhappy with me quoting them, I would remind you all that there is a comment version of Caveat Emptor, to the effect that if you put your words out there for anyone to hear or read, they can and will be within their rights to quote you, so long as they do it accurately. Mwahahahaha, and all that.

So, to the text. I read ninety-five comments from fifty-four usernames. I can’t tell you whether anyone used multiple names, but it seems accurate enough. There was representation from people who sounded reasonable, and from people who seemed quite unbalanced. While I will say that the unbalanced contingent was entirely from the Left in this case, I would warn the reader that Hewitt is a reasonable person who attracts reasonable readers; I have no doubt that if I were discussing, say, a Michael Savage piece, I would have to discuss quite a bit of mental abnormality from the Right. With that in mind, however, the Left spoke its mind in a way that hardly suggests that mind is in good order.

Tanabear started off with a smear, calling the film “more fiction”. Shortly after that, Rod shot back for the Right in what became something of a false focus, saying that Bill and Hillary Clinton “are very smart and very egocentric. Neither cares about anything but themselves”. One Phylo Se Fizer tossed out proof of his own bias and inability to post civilly, by starting out with the claim that “Hugh Hewitt is a shameless propaganda artist”, instead of making at least a token effort to address the topic on its merits. Without a desire to give Phylo the attention he so obviously craves, I found it amusing that Phylo stated as fact alleged scenes from the movie which he has not seen one second of yet, a film he already slams as “The BS right wing television version” of 9/11. I found it amusing that Phylo even saw a right-wing conspiracy in the fact that ABC limited early distribution of the film to media critics – not “conservative hacks” as Phylo pretends, but professionals in the media business, as is common with every major release for which the network wants publicity. Phylo gets angry because former elected officials did not get the media copies, even though he is clueless to the fact that the present elected officials also did not get copies. Phylo, however unintentionally, demonstrates the conspiracy mindset of the Left, taking a blameless situation and twisting out of context to pretend it’s a set-up to hurt the Left.

Apparently excited by the rush of adrenalin from Phylo, lefty Kimberly joined the choir, unable to maintain the pretense of rational commentary long enough to even avoid calling ABC’s production studio a tool of “wing nuts”, suggesting that censorship by people who might be embarrassed by the film would be “proper vetting”. She went on to blame President Bush for the 9/11 attacks, solely on the basis that he was President when they occurred. Since by that point even Phylo had mentioned the 9/11 Commission Report, it seems strange that Kimberly was unaware that the planning and preparation by Al Qaeda began years before George W. Bush took office. This peculiar non-seqitur was taken up soon after by Left Angle, who seemed content to parrot whatever other Leftists had already tossed out. To be blunt, the Left could do little but blame Bush for being President when Al Qaeda carried out its plans, and try to find ways to insult people for bringing up inconvenient facts, however salient. One reader, Kimberly, was quite energetic in, well, lying, to pretend the 9/11 Commission had blamed Bush and praised Clinton. But I must not be cruel. Where Clinton is concerned, History will be quite cruel enough on the facts.

But there were some worthwhile comments made. Gc asked ”is it true that Clinton cannot get a copy [of the film ahead of time]?” Icedog01 wrote a damning comment, simply by noting the series of terrorist attacks during the Clinton Administration, and the response – or rather its lack – by President Clinton. The list is so good, I will simply repeat it here:

02/26/1993 – World Trade Center bombed
03/08/1995 – Two U.S. diplomats in Pakistan murdered
06/25/1996 - Khobar Towers bombed
11/12/1997 – Four U.S. businessmen kidnapped and murdered
08/07/1998 – Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya bombed
10/12/2000 – U.S.S. Cole attacked by suicide bombers


President Clinton's response to any and all of these events? Excuses, nothing more.

And a reader known only as J.R. asked what also struck me when I read all the feigned outrage from the Left. When Michael Moore took images and facts out of context in a deliberate smear attempt on the Bush Administration, not one Liberal voiced a concern for context or accurate portrayal of events. And when President Bush was asked about the film, he did not worry himself with the lies and distortions posed by Moore, or threaten to sue, as Clinton has done here. Bush simply smiled a little and remarked that he did not expect he would take the time to see the movie. That Bill Clinton cannot manage as much grace, at all, in his case, suggests to me the difference in character and competence between these two Presidents.

12 comments:

smh10 said...

Why would you need Character or Competence when you have the MSM in your pocket. The age of the blog is the worst thing that happened to the former President and his followers.

It is impossible to have a reasonable dialogue in a comment section with many from both sides of the aisle but it can get particularly nasty when anything negative is provided in a post which involves Clinton (either one). I wish many of us could achieve the level of "perfection" which so many have told us his past administration achieved.

In a perfect world, 9-11 never would have happened which is something perhaps all should take the time to remember.

obp said...

The most important thing is to prevent another 9/11. After the 93 bombing of the WTC, two of the terrorists were arrested, tried, and convicted. One of the commentors on Mr. Hewitt's article cited that as a big victory. He or she did not seem to notice that the conviction of two AlQuida terrorists didn't stop 9/11.

Anonymous said...

"Michael Moore took images and facts ..."

That says it all. The difference between Moore and this movie is that he relied on FACTS and IMAGES, as you state. You may not like those facts and images, but that is what they are.

This movie apparently invents events which did not occur and presents them intermingled with events that did.

It is telling that you believe fiction and fabrication is the best bet for smearing Clinton.

badger said...

There is a difference Daniel. First off, MM made a documentary film and released it as such. It was not a 2 part miniseries being released by a major network...sans commercials... to be shown on the anniversary of the event. The number of people even today who have seen Fahrenheight 911 is a fraction of the number who will see this piece of propaganda.

I actually have seen several clips of the movie on news shows that are patently false, directly contradicting the findings of the 9/11 commission report. We are not criticizing something that we have never seen.

MM also did not add on "based on the 9/11 commission report" at the end of his movie. This addition means that it will be taken as fact by people who don't know better.

There is a difference between taking artistic license, and inventing events wholesale for the purpose of making one president look bad while making one look better.

This includes a scene where Clinton refused to allow CIA agents in place in Afghanistan to kill OBL (never happened), Madeline Albright tipping off Pakistan as to a missile launch intended to kill OBL (never happened, actually it was pentagon officials), assertions that Monica Lewinsky scandal took president's eye off of the ball (directly refuted in 9/11 commission report).

Oh yeah, and then there is the fact that ABC tried to partner with Scholastic to send out educational material based on this piece of contrived fiction to be taught as fact in high schools accross the country.

At least Scholastic had the brains to pull out on them.

oh yeah, how do you know that MM took things out of context...as far as I know, you have never watched the movie.

Even if MM lied wholesale...it is nothing compared to this piece being released by a major network, on the anniversary, right before election season.

This is nothing other than right wing propaganda. Otherwise why would Rush Limbaugh be able to get a copy but President Clinton could not?

DJ Drummond said...

Answering the lies, just because I have the time:

1. Moore called "Fahrenheit 9/11" a documentary, even though he admitted taking things out of context. And anonymous, I noticed you shut your mind right before dealing with the fact that Moore was caught in lies. In fact, he's being sued for a few of them right now, by a combat veteran whose words he twisted. Karma, dude. The ABC movie, on the other hand, has clearly and repeatedly been called a fictionalized account, complete with disclaimers. You are simply lying to try to turn things around this way.

2. As I already stated, and again quite plainly, elected officials did not get copies of the film, because movie producers send media releases to - what a shock - people in media, not the government. President Bush did not get a copy, nor did Cheney, nor Rumsfeld. Pretending Clinton was wronged somehow, because he did not get a copy which was not sent to ANY present or former elected official, is dishonest and petty.

3. I dissent with your "never happened" claims. People who know say differently. I am hardly surprised that the people embarrassed by their blunders coming back on them would choose to deny their responsibility, but that's just too bad. I choose, for example, to believe a field officer on the scene who reported a version of an event, far more than I would ever trust a convicted felon like Berger - which reminds, me, if he had nothing to hide, why was he stealing and destroying classified documents?

4. There are a lot of facts available about what happened on 9/11. Some of them show honor on individuals, like SecDef Rumsfeld, whose first action after the plane hit the pentagon was to help the trapped and injured. Some of them show blunders and mistakes, and that's good for the nation. President Bush is hardly cast as perfect on that day in the movie, but to pretend Bill Clinton is not due for some harsh reckoning is petulant denial.

Grow up and learn your History.

And finally, I notice you did not touch my most obvious point; when a movie came out which slandered him, President Bush did not threaten to go after the company which produced the movie, or throw a tantrum, or any of the things the Clinton people are doing. That is very, very telling about the respective characters of these men.

smh10 said...

DJ: It is the same tired arguement. It makes Clinton look bad so therefore it cannot be correct. That is the entire arguement in a nutshell although many try to frame it differently.

I guess all of these people were in Afghanistan when the CIA and Special Ops had their opportunity to take out Bin Laden. We will probably never know the exact series of events on the ground at the time but I for one sure would trust boots on the ground over Mr. Berger.

One final thought, the 9-11 Commission report which is touted by so many on the left as a bible, must have been absolutely untrue or the head of the Commission is a liar as he has been seen on television recently stating that he reviewed much of this piece as each segment was being shot and found it to be factual based on what the commission knew.

Anonymous said...

The Left must defend its narrative at all costs. The 90's were a time of peace and prosperity brought on by them. Terrorism was kept under control by Clinton and the whole world liked us dammit. Then Bushco came in and blew it all.

Anonymous said...

"I notice you did not touch my most obvious point; when a movie came out which slandered him..."

In point of fact, f911 did not slander GWB. You can pretend it did, but it did not.

Anonymous said...

"One final thought, the 9-11 Commission report which is touted by so many on the left as a bible, must have been absolutely untrue or the head of the Commission is a liar as he has been seen on television recently stating that he reviewed much of this piece as each segment was being shot and found it to be factual based on what the commission knew. "

This is not true. Kean is a paid consultant to ABC. Ben Veniste, the other chair, has been up and down the dial pointing out the numerous instances in the film which are directly contradicted by the committees findings.

Anonymous said...

"3. I dissent with your "never happened" claims. People who know say differently"

Again: Not true. There is no dispute that the scenes in question did not occur.

Anonymous said...

"1. Moore called "Fahrenheit 9/11" a documentary, even though he admitted taking things out of context. And anonymous, I noticed you shut your mind right before dealing with the fact that Moore was caught in lies."

Not true either. He has not been "caught" in any lies. You want to pretend so, go ahead, that's great. Whatever makes you feel better. Once again: because you disagree that for example, bush was influenced by his families close ties to Saudi Arabia, does not mean those ties do not exist. They are what they are.

Anonymous said...

"The Left must defend its narrative at all costs. The 90's were a time of peace and prosperity brought on by them. Terrorism was kept under control by Clinton and the whole world liked us dammit. Then Bushco came in and blew it all."

That kind of is the timeline, isn't it?