Roger L. Simon

A Dinosaur Lumbers In... Excuse Me, a Mammoth!

People like me who have raised children in Los Angeles are usually familiar with the La Brea Tar Pits, the excavation behind the Los Angeles County Museum where the bones of saber tooth tigers and wooly mammoths have floated up in the muck like the ghosts of dead producers. They put to lie the cliché that nothing much happened hereabouts until DW Griffiths et al pushed aside the Indians with their windup movie cameras. Of course, it can become a little stultifying. Those bones hardly move and, even if you’ve been here as long as I have (thirty plus years), you don’t get to see much change.

I was reminded of those pits this ayem when I saw the LA Times has finally lumbered forth like a dinosaur to report on the Kerry/Veterans controversy. Don’t expect much. It’s a dull and superficial article, more place holding than reporting, which, as Instapundit points out, doesn’t even acknowledge that the Kerry campaign has already backtracked on the Senator’s peculiar Cambodia claims. Perhaps the Times’ reporters weren’t aware of this, but more likely I have the wrong “animal analogy.” The Times is not a dinosaur or a mammoth, but a camel… as in a camel is a horse designed by a committee … because this article, which emphasizes the Swift Veterans ad even though a full foot-noted book is available, reads as if it were rewritten and hacked over by a group of editors until all the life was beaten out of it.

Meanwhile, we are left with the question of why the mainstream media is giving this subject such short shrift. The conventional wisdom is that they are “liberal.” I say no. That term has gone the way of the dinosaur and the mammoth and completely lost its meaning. They are the holographic image of liberal, something that pretends to be there, but really isn’t. It is preserved in its own tar in a manner for which I offer my final “animal analogy” (I promise! I promise!) from (where else?) Orwell’s Animal Farm. What you read in the LA Times and similar periodicals has nothing to do with real political thought and is simply a modern version of the great satirist’s famous incantation: “Four legs good! Two legs bad!”