Wednesday, December 15, 2004


NBC Nightly News, Totally Ridiculous.

After I got home Tuesday night, I caught a little bit of the NBC Nightly News.

Their number two piece was about Secretary Rumsfeld. You can watch it for yourself here (click "launch").

The Brian Williams pitch? About how there's "growing criticism from Republicans about his leadership," or words to that effect.

Wanna guess which "Republicans" they mentioned?

C'mon. . . Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

Oh, what the hell: Senators John McCain and Chuck Hagel.

I know, you're shocked; have a seat, catch your breath.

Of course, McCain's long been a critic of Rumsfeld, but ever since the recent SECDEF press conference in Kuwait, McCain's been walking off the reservation in his criticism.

Now, am I going to argue that there's nothing to criticize Donald Rumsfeld about? No. But that's not important right now.

What *is* important is finding one moment, any moment at all, where our favorite Republicans-In-Name-Only (RINOs) Senators McCain or Hagel have said something charitable towards the Republican Party and its members.

Hell, even at the Republican convention, McCain pulled his punches. He long ago decided that he'd much rather be on TV than take a stand.

Oh no, can't possibly be partisan; that might mean Tim Russert won't return his phone calls.

As for Hagel, the less said about him, the better. He's Mini-McCain, the Verne Troyer of RINOs.

As for the NBC report, had it stopped at the RINO circle jerk, I would never have brought it up. Nobody reports when dog bites man, after all.

But no, NBC had to drag out other critics, like Jack Reed-- a Rhode Island Democrat. The only critic they did put up worth listening to was Norman Schwarzkopf; but even then, his comments over the last few years haven't been particularly insightful. I apologize, but I tend to discount anyone who ends up as a regular contributor to Chris Matthews Hardball.

NBC also offered the usual phantom mystery complaints from those always unnamed "Pentagon generals" who grumble that Rumsfeld is a big poopiehead.

Listen, I can tell you two things that I know for sure that you may not know:
1. All Generals (and Admirals) are egotists.
2. Even the lousy ones.

Rumsfeld's been making a lot of people in the Pentagon mad since day one. You know what I say? So what.

If they think they're being treated unfairly, have the courage to resign. It is not the job of the Secretary of Defense to coddle those with stars on their shoulders. His job is to ensure those stars fight.

If getting along with your military leadership is the prime requirement for civilian control of the military, than Lincoln and Churchill were abject failures. By that standard, Lyndon Johnson was a brilliant success. His generals *never* argued with him. But don't take my word for it; someone a lot smarter than me has made the case before--read Supreme Command by Eliot Cohen.

Speaking of Lyndon Johnson, my favorite moment in the NBC tonight? When, for no obvious reason whatsoever, NBC reporter Jim Miklaszewski dragged out the *Robert McNamara* comparison. Just in case you didn't have the Vietnam analogy already beaten in your head after the Kerry campaign, NBC was nice enough to provide file footage of another mean old Secretary of Defense in eyeglasses.

See-- they both slick back their hair! Call Daniel Ellsberg!

This isn't reporting, folks. This isn't "constructive criticism." If you stepped off the saucer from Mars, you would have been provided no facts in the NBC reporting, only bias.

Whether that bias is true-- whether it is supported by facts-- again, we can have that debate. But NBC simply takes it as a ground truth that Rumsfeld is in a hole of his own making, and that he essentially deserves the shovel he's holding.

I disagree, but who can I have that discussion with? Not someone who relies on NBC news for their information, that's for sure.

Nice shot. P.S. How is this "news" its not new and it doesn't mean squat.
I don't have the background to ascertain whether Rumsfeld's ideas on defense are revolutionary superior thinking or bad neo-con budget cutting philosophies.

By the way, I heard that Zell Miller criticized John Kerry.
I always thought it was a good sign if you came into an organization at the top and immediately starting pissing people off. That meant you were accomplishing something important.
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