Ed Driscoll

Two Brokaws In One

Tom Brokaw, on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner at noon eastern:

ALEX WAGNER: Sam Tanenhaus, writing today in the New York Times, talks about the sort of electric undercurrent of discontent that was still – that was palpable in and around the time that Kennedy was shot. And that Dallas was a very dangerous place to be at that moment.

TOM BROKAW: And Dallas didn’t have anything to do with the assassination, which is the interesting thing.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yes.

WAGNER: Right.

BROKAW: It was this lone misfit who’d gone to Russia. He was a far-left guy, not a far-right guy. So it’s hard to untangle what was going on. Chris was quite right, the early part of the ’60s had nothing to do with what we think of the ’60s. My own very strong impression is that, yes, the assassination did change us, there’s no question about that. Did you have a mass of people saying, “I’ve had it with institutions and with the government as it stands”? I don’t think that was the case.

Tom Brokaw, on MSNBC’s The Cycle show on Friday at 3:00 PM eastern:

I was a reporter in Omaha. I was the morning news editor. I did the cut-ins for the Today show on the noon news, and it was kind of an exhausting schedule, about nine hours…We didn’t have the network up at KMTV because NBC would give back a local station one hour of midday programming. I ran down, there was a garden show on the air. So I put it on over the garden show and then did that a couple of times. And this was unusual but it was not unheard of. As I came running out of the announce booth the chief engineer – with whom I didn’t get along very well. A really curmudgeonly guy, old, kind of a gnarly guy – and he said, “What happened?” And I said, “Kennedy was shot.” And he said , “About time somebody shot that S.O.B.” That was heard in other places, mostly in the conservative states. But he was, that was reflecting his real feeling, and they had to peel me away from him. I then ran back up and continued to work.

Brokaw is being excoriated on Twitchy for his remarks, which given the bunker mentality that exists within NBC will likely only fuel his convictions — because for the left, it’s always 1963, when it isn’t 1933.

But how does someone reach the level of magical thinking in which a town or region is a giant Transformer robot that can morph itself into lone assassin’s sniper’s rifle? Or, in a more recent vintage of magical thinking, how a jpeg with the wrong clip art on it can similarly also mutate into a lone nutter’s gun? With a powerful assist from Carl Jung, Ace writes, “The Left’s disbelief in God does not free them from superstition — rather, it frees the superstition to infect all other modes of their thought:”

And yet those who preen as being the most Free From Superstition are in fact the most shackled by it, because their very vanity will not permit them to see the ridiculous magical mythology they surround themselves in. Thus, within one single day, the Bad Secularists at the New York Times will posit that magical rightwing sorcerers directed the communist crocodile Lee Harvey Oswald to snatch the Princeling Kennedy from the river’s bank, and the Bad Secularists at the Washington Post likewise weave mythic strands around Lee Harvey Oswald, Marxist, Soviet Defector, and world’s first known Tea Partier.

And thus all the world’s Devils are grouped together, ranked in Might and put into their diabolical hierarchy, Satan on top, Baal and Moloch next, and so on, down to Sarah Palin and the Koch Brothers.

We live in an age of religious hysteria. And the religious hysteria is not coming from the usual quarters, the self-acknowledged religious. Instead it comes from the irreligious, whose liberation from god only loosens the leash of their illogic and preference for mythic structures over reality.

You don’t need God to be religious hysteric.

All you need is a Dogma and a Devil.

Read the whole thing.