MSM: Sowing controversy, crap and confusion Posted by: McQ
on Sunday, February 19, 2006
The ever colorful (and no longer running for office so he can be quite candid) Alan Simpson remarking on the press coverage of Fuddgate:
SIMPSON: Dick Cheney has become the hate symbol from the beginning. He was the hate symbol when he was with Halliburton. He was the hate symbol when he came in and the votes with South Africa and this and that. And then he was the hate symbol of hiding an energy conference. He was the hate symbol of terrorists, hate symbol of torture.
Let me tell you, those who don't like him have put a big red tail on his bum, and cloven hooves, and horns on his head. And let me tell you, if anybody thinks — if this had happened to anybody else in America, it would have been like a sparrow belch in a typhoon.
WALLACE: Could you be a little more colorful, Senator?
SIMPSON: Well, I don't think I could, because it really is absurd. It's absolutely absurd. I go around the country. I travel all the time. And the American people are just shaking their heads and saying it's a hunting accident, a tragic hunting accident — a victim, a guy who's hurt, and a guy who's hurt because he shot, who's pained, who's anguished. What's new, for God's sakes?
I've turned mole hills into mountains before, but a sparrow belch in a typhoon is pretty descriptive of the importance of the story in real terms, but not of the overwrought nature of the coverage as I recall it. That tended toward mountains and mole hills. And then there was the whining. The infernal and eternal whining.
Simpson goes on:
WALLACE: So summing up here, Senator — and we love your tour of this whole event — what does the last week tell us or should it tell us about Washington, about the politicians, about the press corps?
SIMPSON: Well, it tells you what — you should listen to Lindsey Graham and Evan Bayh and know that, really, there is cooperation, but what it really tells you, what are we going to expect of the national press corps, and especially the Washington press corps, when something really happens.
How are we to trust, after a whole week of absolute dribble, and babble, and people, you know, interviewing themselves — well, what do you think about Dick, oh, you know — and Jay Leno and Letterman — I asked them how would you feel if this happened to you.
Let me tell you, the American people are really waiting with sense of glee when something really, really happens in America, and I suppose they'll just have a catatonic stroke and pitch forward on their faces.
WALLACE: So I take it, Senator, do you really miss this place?
SIMPSON: No, I do. I loved it. I did. I loved it. And I loved it because it was fun. And I have a lot of pals on both sides of the aisle. I worked with President Clinton. I enjoyed him. President Bush, President Carter — good people doing good things.
But let me tell you, you'll never find it if you just follow the Washington media. You'll never know the good. All you get is controversy, crap and confusion.
Heh ... I'm certainly waiting with glee to see the press "have a catatonic stroke and pitch forward on their faces".
You've got to love Simpson unplugged.
I have to agree though... the coverage was over the top and the speculation about what might happen (or did happen) bordered on obscene. Some opined that he may have been drunk, or he was trying to cover it up or, even, that it was done to distract from the Libby/Plame case.
It was truly a feeding frenzy of epidemic proportion over a non-fatal, fairly common hunting accident. Or, as Sen. Simpson so elegantly stated, something which had the real newsworthiness of a "sparrow belch in a typhoon" had it happened to anyone else.