Ed Driscoll

Purity Of Essence

In some sort of thankfully rare harmonic convergence of idiocy, two television news veterans simultaneously go coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs, as Hugh Hewitt notes. First up is Dan Rather:

I am going to have to ask the Columbia Journalism School folks about the “new journalism order.” Before long, Rather will be blaming the Bilderbergers for the forged docs.

Of Captain Dan The (now retired, thank God) Newsman, Roger L. Simon writes:

‘Honest’ Dan Rather comes back from the dead to set us straight in an ’emotional’ speech about the media at Fordham Law.

“It’s been one of television news’ finest moments,” Rather said of the Katrina coverage. He likened it to the coverage of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

“They were willing to speak truth to power,” Rather said of the coverage.

I’m not even going to comment on that bizarre statement, but you’ve got to hand it to Dan. If most of us had been caught lying like he had on national television, we would have moved to South America by now.

Speaking truth to power is certainly a concept that Ted Turner has never heard of. Whether it’s Cuba, the Soviet Union, or Iraq, Turner’s never met a totalitarian regime he didn’t want to prop up with sympathetic coverage.

And these days, North Korea is no exception. One man’s Hell on Earth is another man’s fun vacation getaway, as Ted describes Kim Jung Il’s rotting death trap of a country to Wolf Blitzer, who walks a thin line between being absolutely incredulous, but respectful towards the man who founded the network that employs him:

WB: You spent some time recently in North Korea, Ted. Did this agreement come to you as a surprise?

TT: No. No, I talked with quite a few of the North Korean leaders and South Korean leaders, too, and spent really the most time with the head negotiator for North Korea. And I was really over there to try and persuade North and South Korea to make the DMZ into an international peace park when they sign a peace treaty, which I anticipate will be fairly soon, now that we have these six-party talks. We have agreement there. But I had a great time. I am absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere. There’s really no reason for them to cheat or do anything to violate this very forward agreement. I think we can put the North Korea and East Asia problems behind us, and concentrate on Iran and Iraq, where we still have some ongoing difficulties.

WB: I’ve got to tell you, Ted, given the record of North Korea, especially the fact that in the Clinton administration, in ’93-’94, they made a similar pledge which they violated and they backed out of. I’m not exactly sure that I accept all your optimism.

TT: Well, you know, I was optimistic about the Cold War when I got to Russia, too. But I looked ’em right in the eyes, and they look like they meant the truth. I mean, you know, just because somebody has done something wrong in the past, it doesn’t mean they can’t do right in the future, or in the present. That happens all the time.

WB: But this is one of the most despotic regimes, and Kim Jung Il is one of the worst men on Earth. Isn’t that a fair assessment?

TT: Well, I didn’t get to meet him, but he didn’t look…in the pictures I’ve seen of him on CNN, he didn’t look too much different than most of the other people I’ve met.

WB: But look at the way he’s treating his own people.

TT: Well, hey. Listen, I saw a lot of people over there. They were thin, and they were riding bicycles instead of driving in cars. But I didn’t see any brutality in the capitol, or out in the DMZ. We drove through the countryside quite a bit to down to P’annumjom and Kaesong. We traveled around. I’m sure we were on a special route, but I don’t see…there’s really no reason…North Korea’s got enough problems with their economy and their agriculture. I think they want to join the Western world, and improve the quality of life for their people, just like everybody else. And I think that we should give them another chance. It doesn’t cost us anything. They already have agreements, and then North Korea never posed any significant threat to the United States. I mean, the whole economy of North Korea is only $30 billion dollars a year. It’s less than the city of Detroit. It’s a small place, and we do not have to worry about them attacking us.

WB: You know, they have a million troops within literally a few miles…

TT: A half million.

WB: Well, best estimates are a million. A million troops along the DMZ…

TT: Yes, and we have a half a million troops, of which 28,000 are Americans, and they’ve been there for fifty years. One of the things I’ve said in both North and South Korea is, it’s time to end the Korean War officially, and move on and get those hundreds of thousands of young men that are sitting there back building hospitals and roads and schools in both North and South Korea, and improving the gross national product. It’s just a waste of time and energy for them just to sit there.

WB: I think the bottom line, though, Ted, and I think you’d agree. They had this opportunity in the nineties, when they signed this first agreement, and they cheated. They didn’t live up to it. Now they have a second chance. I hope you’re right. I certainly do.

TT: Well, I hope I’m right, too. But, you know, in the Bible, it says you’re supposed to forgive seven times seventy, or something like that. Just because…in 1940, the Germans were our enemies. For the last fifty years, they’ve been our allies. The same with the Russians…The Russians were our enemies before ’91 when the Cold War ended. Let’s give them a break. Give them a break. Besides, even if they do threaten us again, the threat is non-existent to the United States. They can’t threaten us. I mean, it’s like a flea attacking an elephant.

WB: What about those ground-to-ground missiles, and the…

TT: They can’t reach us.

WB: They can reach Japan. They can reach South Korea. They can reach a lot of our allies.

TT: They can’t reach the U.S.A., and we can pound them into oblivion in 24 hours.

WB: But you don’t want to get to that. There’s some estimates, by the way, they could reach Alaska.

TT: Well, what? The Aleutian Islands? There’s nothing up there but a few sea lions.

WB: Well, you know, this is a serious issue. I hope you’re right, as I said. But…

TT: I know it’s a serious issue. I mean, I didn’t go over there to waste my time.

WB: No, no, no. I’m just saying the point that you said…

TT: Have you ever been there?

WB: I’ve been to South Korea. I’ve been to the DMZ.

TT: Have you ever been to North Korea?

WB: No. I’ve never been to North Korea.

TT: Well, you know, at least go up there and look in their eyes and have a chat with them, before you accuse them of…

WB: I’ve made several requests, but they haven’t let me into North Korea.

TT: Then go on your vacation.

WB: Maybe if I go with you the next time.

TT: All right. I took Christianne Ammanpour with me this time.

WB: Kim Jung Il, I’ll look him in the eyes, and we’ll see how he’s doing.

As Duane Patterson (who also has an audio clip of Ted taking Wolf through the looking glass) writes, “End of lunacy”.

Turner sounds like he’s entered a reverse image of the same alternate reality that General Ripper inhabited in Dr. Strangelove–I wonder what his thoughts on fluoridated water are.

More Duane:

People are thin and ride bicycles instead of cars? What an evil man Ted Turner is to not recognize that countless people have starved to death because of this psycho in pajamas. Wolf at least asked the appropriate questions to follow up, but you know he’s having a bad day when he gets into an argument with the founder of the network he works for, and knows he’s arguing with a crazy person. No wonder Turner doesn’t see a problem with Kim Jung Il. Crazies don’t often see problems with other crazies.

Walter Duranty, call your office!