Ed Driscoll

The Size 10 Mobius Loop

At NewsBusters Kyle Drennen spots CBS with their shoe in their mouth:

According to CBS correspondent Richard Roth, in a report on Monday’s CBS Early about an Iraqi journalist throwing a shoe at President Bush during a Baghdad press conference, the incident was reminiscent of the toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein five years earlier: “Mr. Bush’s message of progress was eclipsed in Baghdad by a sign of his unpopularity…The symbolism wouldn’t have been lost on Iraqis, for whom shoes can be used to show extreme contempt, as with the footwear beaten against the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled by Marines five years ago.”

Of course, in 2002, when Saddam held his last “election”, CBS hilariously reported:

(CBS) Iraq declared Saddam Hussein the winner Wednesday – by an 11 million-to-0 margin – in a war-shadowed referendum on his two-decade military rule, sending celebratory gunfire crackling from the streets and rooftops of Baghdad.

The 100 percent turnout, 100 percent ‘yes’ vote shows all Iraqis are poised to defend Saddam against American forces, the country’s No. 2 man said.

“If they come, we will fight them in every village, and every house,” said Izzat Ibrahim, vice chairman of Iraq’s Revolutionary Command Council, announcing results on what Iraq billed as a people’s referendum on keeping Saddam in power another seven years.

“Every home will be a front, and every farmer, every shepherd, every Iraqi, will play his role,” Ibrahim said. “All Iraqis are armed now, and by God’s will we will triumph.”

* * *

CBS News Correspondent Tom Fenton, reports voters going to the polls in Baghdad faced a simple choice – to vote “yes” or “no” – and everyone seemed to be voting “yes.”

Whether that’s because they love their leader – as many people said they did – or for other reasons, was hard to tell.

A United Nations human rights report says 500 people were jailed in the last referendum after they voted “no.”

Some voters went to extremes to make it clear where they stood.

“I love Saddam more than myself,” one man told CBS News, as he wrote “yes” on his ballot in blood – his own blood.

Ibrahim, announcing the vote, said all 11,445,638 eligible voters had cast ballots, and all for Saddam.

“Someone who does not know the Iraqi people will not believe this percentage, but it is real,” Ibrahim said. “Whether it looks that way to someone or not. We don’t have opposition in Iraq.”

Iraqi officials said popular outrage at the U.S. threats to Saddam’s regime made the turnout and percentage even higher than in 1995, when Saddam received a 99.96 percent ‘yes’ vote.

Iraqi media compared it to Bush’s 2000 election victory, eked out in the Electoral College despite losing to Al Gore in the popular vote.

“The truth of the matter is that he (Bush) won by a fraction of the votes, and this fraction was engineered by sly lawyers’ games,” said the state-run Iraqi Daily. “Maybe this is one of the main reasons for his hysterical threats on the Iraqi choice!”

Of course. More explorations of the Memory Hole, here.

Meanwhile, Power Line reviews HBO’s whitewashed miniseries about Saddam and finds more than a little equivocation:

There is much more that could be said. But let us sum up: HBO and the BBC want us to see Saddam as a family man, a tyrant at home, a dictator at work, who became this way because his stepfather beat him. He was, in this version, an ordinary kind of dictator and this was an ordinary kind of Middle Eastern authoritarian regime run as a family business. The trouble is it was not. Saddam was uniquely brutal in his rise through the Ba’athist Party. His regime sought to eliminate entire groups from the nation. He launched two aggressive wars against neighbouring states. This was not a normal authoritarian regime, nor even a bad one. Saddam was a genocidal dictator who terrorized his own people. This attempt to normalize him is a disgrace.

Saddam became a dictator “because his stepfather beat him”? Moviemakers seem remarkably generous when it comes to forgiving a tyrant’s excesses when they can blame them all on a dysfunctional childhood.

More Hollywood forgiveness offered here.