When all else fails…

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

We have tried factual arguments to no avail.  The “We Love Torture” Party and its supporters are not going to change.  But, what about the media that continues to give these pundits and former Bush officials a forum to continue defending the indefensible?

Well, when all else fails, you simply have to show them the true idiocy…

I stated in my introduction, the pundits, the former officials, and even their supporters, are not going to see the error of their position.  The “We Love Torture” Party is alive, if not well.  But, what about media, like the Philadelphia Inquirer, who continues to put these people on their payroll?

Going after the companies who advertise with these media outlets hasn’t worked.  Sure, a few companies pulled their ads, but, all-in-all, nothing has changed.  Why?  The answer lies in the market itself.  If you control the medium, you control the message.

Rupert Murdoch knows this is true.  It is why he lobbied the Bush administration’s FCC to let him buy the Wall Street Journal, and, ultimately, to turn it’s editorial page into “all neo-con, all the time”.  

We can write letters.  We can make calls.  We can put out the facts.  We can mock the pundits, the media outlets, and make them look like the idiots they are.  What we cannot do is control the message, or at the moment, the medium that puts out that message.  

LinkTV and Democracy Now is the best we’ve come so far to getting an independent news organization that does not rely on corporations to function.  MSNBC saw that the political winds were changing and added two new shows, Rachel Maddow and the Ed Show, but, it by no means even comes close to balancing the equation.

So, we are left with two choices; a) Hope that some billionaire liberals actually put their money into the political media arena, or, b) Simply mock the idiots and find some solace in the comedic value.  With that in mind… here is what I sent to the Philadelphia Inquirer…

What a great nation we live in where a person who writes legal “memos” authorizing torture is given a job to write articles for a newspaper instead of going to jail!  That is the current state of affairs at the Philadelphia Inquirer who has given torture architect John Yoo a monthly column.  When the State Department considers your legal opinion to be seriously flawed and fundamentally inaccurate, it makes perfect sense that the person be given a forum in a newspaper to continue printing their opinions.  

Of course, in this time of economic uncertainty, even aspiring war criminals need to feed their family.  And it wasn’t like Bush administration officials were being inundated with job offers from prestigious law firms.  In fact, it seems that a lot of Bush administration officials have found a new full-time job simply trying to defend being torturers in whatever media will give them a voice to do it.  Its tough getting the rest of civilized society to understand just how misunderstood you really are when you want to torture someone.  It’s hard work!  Civilized people haven’t agreed with, nor understood, torture for centuries.  

It should come as no surprise then that Mr. Yoo is finding life difficult after being one of the architects that advocated the torturing of prisoners.  As a law professor at the University of Berkeley Law School, he simply couldn’t take the heat of continued protest against him, so, he left to teach at Chapman University which is located in a more “conservative” area.  Dean John C. Eastman of Chapman University stated that he wanted to foster a “wide range of ideological beliefs” at the Chapman Law School.  I guess Dean Eastman believes that his school should include the ideology that torture is good and can be legally explained away simply by writing a few memos in its classes.  Nothing today says, “I’m a Republican”, like defending the use of torture, an act that our nation prosecuted as illegal during World War II.

Harold Jackson, of the Inquirer, has tried to defend the hiring of Mr. Yoo by stating:

“He’s a Philadelphian, and very knowledgeable about the legal subjects he discusses in his commentaries.”  

Yes, Mr. Yoo was so knowledgeable about legal matters that he is now one of the individuals who may be indicted for war crimes by Spanish courts.  That is quite the coup for a newspaper to tout, that they were able to attract a person to write for them who could be a convicted war criminal.  How many other newspapers were fighting for that honor, I wonder?  Mr. Jackson may be right about one thing, that it will raise the level of discourse at the Inquirer.  From reading the comments left on Will Bunch’s article, I would hate to see the discourse that was at the Inquirer prior to hiring Mr. Yoo, however, if those comments are a step up in discourse.  We should also mention that the people of Philadelphia can write to Mr. Yoo now and ask for a legal opinion from him on how their crime wasn’t really a crime.  Think of the level of discourse that can be had on that alone in the pages of the Inquirer!

Lastly, this could work out well for the Inquirer as newspapers lose readership and advertising revenues.  People will surely flock to read whatever idiocy Mr. Yoo deigns to print each month.  Advertisers will be hiring marketing firms to put together special ads exclusively to run in the Inquirer.  I can see the marketing craze now.  “Buy Depends adult diapers.  You never know when you’ll be tortured for hours at time!”  “Geico Insurance.  So easy, even a sadistic torturer can do it!”  “Heinz 57.  Don’t be caught waterboarding without it!”  I mean, what company wouldn’t want their products associated with the Inquirer and it’s editorial panel of torture advocates?  Michael Smerconish and John Yoo can do lunches together and discuss whether waterboarding or thumb screws gets the false confession the fastest.  America.  Where even torturers can be media stars.


    • kj on May 14, 2009 at 14:28

    this rocks, michael.  thank you!

    admins, if not already slotted, front page, please!

    • kj on May 15, 2009 at 03:10

    like fine, smooth wine.  huge smile, excellent.  another thank you.

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