Over the weekend, the spouse and I decided to upgrade our cable service, and add a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) for an extra $9.95/month. This was very good timing, as Monday began the televised version of the Al Franken Show from Air America.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it’s one hour (well, technically 45-50 minutes plus commercials) of the radio show, televised on Sundance Channel, featuring some of the guests and comedy bits done during the three-hour broadcast. It’s on at 11:30pm, then repeated at 2:30am and 7:00am; not exactly the best hours for people who have a daytime life, so I record it and the spouse and I watch it the next evening.
Last night, we were watching the telecast of the Tuesday show, and one of the guests was Frank Rich, the New York Times columnist. As the interview went on, talk moved to the Downing Street Memo (or Minutes), and I’m glad I had the show recorded. Here’s the section of the interview I transcribed:
Frank Rich, I think, is being a bit naive here. I also think he’s putting way too much faith in both the mainstream media (MSM) and the mainstream public (MSP).
I think of myself as a pretty politically savvy person. I do a lot of reading, I follow the news to the best of my ability. I spend time on blogs (probably too much time, judging from my lack of housekeeping). But last year was a pretty hectic year. I had a job (which ended in October, but that’s another story). The spouse and I moved from his parents’ home (where we were staying for a year getting our lives together) to a new apartment, and it took a while to get internet access. My mom was dying of cancer and heart disease, and I was concentrating on her as much as possible. I read a few books, but not Clarke’s or Woodward’s or O’Neill’s. I really never heard any mention of the intelligence being “fixed”, of the circumstances being arranged to produce the results desired. How many more ordinary working folks, members of the MSP, are in that same boat?
In addition, just as there’s a difference between “a mistake” and being lied to, there’s a big difference between words in a book that the right-wing talkers can chalk up to “disgruntled ex-employees” and “liberal speculation”, and an actual document that may be a greater ground for impeachment than a stained blue dress. (I could also ask how many members of the MSP actually look “inside” the New York Times, but that may bruise Rich’s tender ego…)
We’ve got to keep up the pressure on the media outlets to cover this story, especially John Conyers’ efforts for a full investigation, and coverage of groups such as After Downing Street. The ordinary person can’t decide if this is important if they don’t know about it.