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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Katherine Kersten's Korner

Well, Katherine is back from her vacation or coven or wherever it was she went for the past week or so, and she has a new kolumn up. She must be rested, because she comes out with all of her krazy guns blasting the DFL over the pro-Iraq war ad that certain independent groups are trying to foist upon the citizens of Minnesota.

Wingnuttia Level: 10 (She's gonna blow!)

Here's the recap: a group puts on TV an ad that says the media is only reporting the bad news in Iraq, there's a lot of good news there, and that in Iraq we are fighting al-Qaeda, the same people who caused 9/11. KSTP refused to air the ad because they disagree with the ad's portrayal of the media, i.e. KSTP news. The DFL also thinks the ad should be pulled because it is misleading and crazy. Kersten and the pro-war people she manages to find think this is un-American.

Is this a freedom of speech issue? That depends on what freedom of speech means. Just as it is not okay to slander people and call it "free speech", I don't think it is okay to air misleading ads. How is this ad misleading? Take the Iraq and 9/11 connection, which wingnuts are still pushing over four years after 9/11, and after expert after commission after reality has shown that there was NO CONNECTION BETWEEN IRAQ AND 9/11. Are we fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq? Yes, because al-Qaeda moved in there after we invaded Iraq and created the wonderful terrorist training ground that it is today. Pro-war wingnuts, whose numbers are dwindling every day, still continue to grasp at straws to find some kind of reason as to why we invaded Iraq. The fact that people still push the Iraq/al-Qaeda connection is disgusting, misleading, and pathetic.

Then there is the question of whether the media is only reporting the bad news. Are there a lot of people in Iraq who are doing great things, painting schools and whatnot? Of course there are. But that doesn't mean that everything is hunky-dory. I seem to remember a recent story about a guy who merely traveled to Iraq and was all but kicked out because it was too dangerous to even walk around in public. That doesn't sound like Iraq is a terribly normal place to be, does it? Also, just this week there are very real worries that the latest mosque bombing could trigger a civil war. Good news, anybody?

I know that people who see the good things have their perspective, and people that are blown up by IEDs have theirs. Hell, both can be correct. But look at it this way: what if 95% of America was perfectly okay, with people getting electricity, water, well-painted schools, and all of that stuff. And 5% of America was blowing stuff up. Now, do you think that the news would focus on the 95% of people who are doing as well as can be expected, or the fact that 15 million Americans are killing each other with suicide bombs and IEDs? I think the latter, even though the vast, vast majority of news for most people could be considered "positive." That's how it works. Always has, always will.

"But the DFL is supposed to be the party of free speech, of diversity and tolerance" says some upset war supporter. Yes, but that does not mean that the DFL is the party of pulling things out of your posterior. If I say that the Minnesota Department of Health should not put out a brochure that says abortion can lead to breast cancer, it's not because I don't believe in "free speech," it's because I don't believe in "making stuff up." The ad, with its misleading Iraq/al-Qaeda claims, is "making stuff up."

Kersten ends by saying that the DFL should be labeled un-American for having a problem with the ad, and says that if the Republicans tried this the media would howl. With all due respect, Katherine, you are full of it. I have been called un-American by just about every Republican from the lowest peon to the President of the United States for about four years now because I didn't support this stupid war and I haven't from the get-go. Have you forgotten "you are either with us or against us?" Have you forgotten all those cautionary notes from this administration to the media not to question the President, because it gives aid and comfort to the enemy? Have you forgotten people like Ann Coulter calling liberals traitors and saying we are guilty of treason? No, there are a bunch of people who are not acting like Americans, and it's not the DFL for taking issue with a misleading ad. It's people who say that Timothy McVeigh should have blown up the New York Times building.

Aside from the "pissing on the corpse of Wellstone" kolumn, this has to be the worst.


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