To sympathize with many of the left’s freakouts, it helps enormously to have a selective memory, and start the clock at the date that the issue du jour has reached critical mass among the left and the MSM. (Apologies for repeating myself at the end of that last sentence.)
Democrats convinced themselves in the mid-naughts that George Bush’s decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power in 2003 was entirely unprecedented and that no one on the left would ever agree to such a crazy idea — let alone that Saddam had WMDs. But to believe such thinking requires ignoring all of the previous statements from Al Gore, along with Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright and others calling for regime change in Iraq in the 1990s. To believe that Watergate was unprecedented was to forget all of the wiretapping, bugging, and recording done by President Nixon’s Democrat predecessors in the White Hose, such as FDR, LBJ, and JFK — or as Victor Lasky titled his 1977 book, It Didn’t Start With Watergate.
In 2008′s Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg perceptively noted that America has virtually forgotten the crackdown of civil liberties during World War I under Woodrow Wilson:
Historically, fascism is the product of democracy gone mad. In America we’ve chosen not to discuss the madness our Republic endured at [Woodrow] Wilson’s hands—even though we live with the consequences of it to this day. Like a family that pretends the father never drank too much and the mother never had a nervous breakdown, we’ve moved on as if it were all a bad dream we don’t really remember, even as we carry around the baggage of that dysfunction to this day. The motivation for this selective amnesia is equal parts shame, laziness, and ideology. In a society where Joe McCarthy must be the greatest devil of American history, it would not be convenient to mention that the George Washington of modern liberalism was the far greater inquisitor and that the other founding fathers of American liberalism were far crueler jingoists and warmongers than modern conservatives have ever been.
Today on CBS’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer reflected on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK and preposterously claimed, “Nothing like this had ever happened” before November of 1963:
BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: We want to turn now to a fateful day you’re going to be hearing a lot about over the next month because November 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy, a day that many believe changed America forever. The first word of it for many of us came from Walter Cronkite.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER CRONKITE: From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official: President Kennedy died at 1:00 PM Central Standard Time, 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: The nation was plunged into shock. Nothing like this had ever happened.
“Yes, nothing like this had ever happened,” Noel Sheppard quips in response at Newsbusters, “as long as you ignore Abraham Lincoln being assassinated in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, and William McKinley in 1901.”
And as Noel writes, “Scarier still, it appears this comment wasn’t made live but instead was part of a video created to set up a discussion about the assassination.”
And it gets worse for CBS. While liberal broadcasting dinosaur Bob Schieffer was screwing up the front-end, CBS’s backroom boffins were botching the B-roll, as well. Ann Althouse catches them not knowing the difference Herbert Hoover and J. Edgar Hoover. “Check out the ludicrous graphic at 0:21,” Ann writes, in the clip she captured of Schieffer talking with Philip Shenon, who wrote A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.
Ann asks, “Oh, journalism! What has become of you?”
Since NBC and its spin-off networks have been the most guilty of flubbed Chryons, B-rolls, and deceptive edits in recent years, perhaps while he’s doggedly tracking down the source of MSNBC’s minimalist ratings, MSNBC president Phil Griffin could also investigate why so many behind the scenes people at the TV networks are even more clueless about history than the on-air talent they’re backing up.