Get PJ Media on your Apple

Roger L. Simon

The Dictator WILL Be Televised

September 18th, 2013 - 9:11 pm

Remember Gil Scott-Heron’s 1970 hit “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised“?  (“You will not be able to stay home, brother./You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out…. Because the revolution will not be televised.”)

How quaint that seems now.  Not only will the revolution be televised.  EVERYTHING will be televised, ad tedium, ad nauseum, whether we like it or not.

Wednesday on Fox News, the Dictator Was Televised… meaning, of course, Syria’s Bashar Assad.

And I don’t think that’s a good thing — not just because Assad obviously gassed and/or murdered tens or hundreds of thousands of his own people — but  because television is a great equalizer.  You don’t have to be a slavish follower of Marshall McLuhan to realize that the minute someone is given a formal interview on television, he or she is elevated. In fact, in some ways it’s hard to tell him or her apart from any other interviewee.  They have been chosen.

And that is what happened to Assad, who sat there in what appeared to be his presidential palace, nicely lit and neatly dressed, being questioned by Dennis Kucinich (yes, Dennis Kucinich!) and the network’s senior correspondent Greg Palkot.

Both men asked the dictator rather banal questions and referred to Assad repeatedly in the traditional, deferential manner as “Mr. President” (as in “Chancellor Hitler, was that really Zyklon B you used at Auschwitz?”).  And Assad did a superb job (he’s no dummy) of replying to their questions while lying about just about everything.  It was a big win for him. Indeed the Syrian dictator’s office has helped promote the interview. They urged their citizens to stay up and watch it!

This was Assad’s second question-and-answer session with high-level American television this month. (The last was Charlie Rose.)  Maybe it’s time to think about giving him a series.  Fox may be too successful and they’ve already announced their new lineup, but CNN is hurting.  Their revival of Crossfire seems to have misfired.  How about giving Assad and Putin a shot?  Hey, the network was willing to resuscitate Eliot Spitzer.  Why not go that extra yard or three?

I know — not funny.  And that’s the point.  We do live in McLuhan’s world where “the medium is the message.”  The Fox panel on Bret Baier’s Special Report, which initiated the “”exclusive” interview seemed to realize that.  They were at great pains to emphasize the degree to which Assad had lied, I assume for fear that the audience might miss it.  Charles Krauthammer was quick to acknowledge how skillful Assad was — far more skillful than Palkot and Kucinich.

That, alas, was to be predicted.  Our television commentators are not used to dealing with dictators.  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a fool of the supposedly hard-hitting late Mike Wallace.  The dictators, in essence, have us by the you-know-whats.  They know who we are. They take advantage of our open society and use it against us. They also know which media outlets to speak with and which interviewers at those outlets to allow the privilege of talking with them. (Stalin was brilliant at this in his time.)

Next up on that agenda will be the Iranian “moderate” president Hasan Rouhani, who will soon be in New York where he will be talking with the usual media suspects.  He’s already given a TV interview to NBC (natch!) “vowing” that his government will never develop nuclear arms.  

Ah, well, not to worry.  We have such great leaders, right? They’ll set things straight.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Did someone in Syria use chemical weapons? Yes

Did Assad order them to be used? We don't know.

When you compare him to the rebels who murder Christians and eat the hearts of enemy soldiers, well, which one do you think is the monster?

The enemy we are fighting is Islamism. That's the rebels. Assad is an evil man, but petty tyrants like him have existed throughout history and always will. Helping Islamist rebels to overthrow him and turn Syria into another Afghanistan is not going to help anyone...except Islamists.

And that comment about Hitler and the gas is a bit misplaced. Syria has lived next door to Israel how long? Almost 65 years, since Israel has been around. I think the real worry (and for the Christians in Syria) will be the Islamists getting gas.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't see a huge difference, though some difference, between providing a platform to Assad and the daily feting of an American President and spokespersons of an Administration that has openly supported the most significant ideological and organizational base of Jihad in the world today, the Muslim Brotherhood.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Charles Krauthammer, Fox News, claimed that everything Assad said was a lie, but that's not true. Assad was not lying when he said that there are governments backing the rebels and those governments could have provided the chemical weapons.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (37)
All Comments   (37)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
hello. painting Assad as a ruthless dictator, will not get you the coveted new $2 million home Exxon/Qatar has offered: for the securing of the liquid natural gas pipeline. had you published for BP, and explained how Assad sleeps with boys, texts lewd photos, keeps women as sex slaves, and regularly beheads Christians for sport- you may have won! Assad is an honest man.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
When Mr. Simon ( or any writer ) says"obviously" you know there are no facts that support the position...........so one wonders why the alternative media is descending into MSM agitprop...................
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
A lesson from life, and that worked very well in understanding liberal tactics, is that when a lot of people are jumping on an erroneous argument to make a broader point, there is an agenda far different than just exposing the truth. And that agenda will not be helped by highlighting the the obvious truth.

To this end, I've seen numerous commentators, so-called journalists actually, purportedly REPORTING the news, but instead pointing out a single "obvious" "inconsistentcy.

That so-called inconsistency is that on the one hand, saring gas is too hard to woirk with such that only specially trained units can use them, and yet it's so easy to use that anyone, including the rebels can use it.

But the truth is that sarin is as easy to pruduce and use in Syria as it was in the Japanese subway.

But sarin in Assad's government is certainly under guard, held by specialized units, and may be stored in specialized containers with specialized utility, with special nozzles (perhaps) for special systems for transfer to rockets, mortars, etc. And on top of that, use of the sarin, if used by Assad's men, must be used with as little effect on his own troops and movements. It's sort of like the difference between a mainstreet bicycle shop repairing your bike, and Walmart repairing it.

I'm not saying Assad did or didn't do it. And I'm not saying that Assad isn't lying. But for media personalities to essentially put words in Assad's mouth and then use those misinterpretations as inconsistancies, and the manufactured inconsistancies as proof of lies shows there is an agenda presnt that they are willing to lie and deceive to promote.

The agenda? Attacking Assad. The effect (inadvertant of otherwise) is advancing the muslim Brotherhood and other Caliphate-promoting jihadis.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can't recall the last time a sitting U.S. President sat for an hour interview with someone other than a fawning toady who wanted to discuss his relationship with his outgoing Sec State. Even then it wasn't an hour.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Pee Wee Herman had a son, he would look like Dennis Kucinich.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin and Assad?

They can title it "Evil!, and Eviler!"
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Were it not for the picture, I would have thought the headline was about obama giving another lame speech.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did we send the WMDs to the "rebels" from Benghazi??? Car bombs that kill civilians & Christians???

Who are the bad guys here???
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
What exactly makes him a "Dictator".............was he appointed by the military??

Or is that just an Obama 'talking point'........answers, please.!!
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Probably a dictator.

Spoke very smoothly yesterday about how he couldn't survive without the support of the majority of the Syrian people and how free elections were scheduled for 2014.

But you get the impression, the vibe, that the Assad/the Alawites have no intention of relinquishing the rule in Syria.

More questions than answers.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
sort of like the Democrats in Chicago, Detroit, and Newark, huh ???
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm appalled that anyone should suggest we not hear the other- and in this case "accused's" - side on an issue. We're being spoon fed the White House line, for the most part, through our mainstream media. Is there anything wrong with listening to someone who might have a different take on the Syria situation?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin already called Kerry a liar.........not something he throws around lightly...
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All