The Spectacle Blog

On His Way Out

By on 11.8.05 | 12:44PM

Are you getting sick of Democratic pols whining and dining out on all the usual talking points and distortions? Consider this one:

"If the administration was really doing what it ought to be doing, they -- everyone from the president on down -- would have explained we have to remain in Iraq with such clarity that everyone would understand the sacrifice of 2,000, or even 20,000, lives is essential," he says. "My complaint is that the administration has done a poor job of explaining why we're in Iraq. You don't fight a war and allow just a tiny fraction of the population to carry the burden. It's hard to make the case that the rest of us are sharing in the burden of being at war when our taxes have been cut, not increased. There are no victory gardens. No one is being asked to do anything, really...."

Problem is, the speaker is no elected pol, but ABC's mighty Ted Koppel, on the eve of his unlamented departure from Nightline. Howard Kurtz is dutifully polite in his farewell profile today, but even he notices that "sometimes, it seems, [Koppel has been] conducting his own foreign policy." Has he ever said that of other TV big feet? Can you imagine Dan Rather conducting his own foreign policy!

Incidentally, Kurtz doesn't report what if anything Koppel has done to share the burden -- give up his helicopter rides to the office? Take fewer vacation days? Nor does Kurtz look more closely into Koppel's conduct of foreign policy. For instance, when Ted ostentatiously covered the Iraq war in 2003, all dressed up in military gear, according to Nightline transcripts from that period, he offered no special insights into the trouble we were getting into and the challenges ahead. Shouldn't he be telling us know why he failed us then?

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