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Random Thoughts


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A few items of interest as the Monitor catches up after a break from the regular routine:

Reporting on the defeat of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in an Aug. 20 Democratic primary, the Prince of Palestine, aka Peter Jennings, once again exhibited his bias and unreliability on all matters pertaining to Israel.

In a brief statement on the Aug. 21 edition of ABC’s World News Tonight, Jennings referred to McKinney simply as “a vocal critic of President Bush’s Middle East policy.” McKinney, he added, “was beaten by another Democrat who got large donations from out-of-state supporters of Israel.”

That was it. Not a word about the fact that much, if not most, of McKinney’s campaign money came from out-of-state Muslims and Muslim organizations, some of whom either support or fund Islamic terrorism or have connections to those who do. (One of those McKinney supporters was reported by the Washington Post to have declared, “Let us damn America, let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.”)

Nor did Jennings bother to explain that this (in his words) “vocal critic of President Bush’s Middle East policy” had strongly suggested that Bush knew in advance about the Sept. 11 attacks and didn’t act because somehow they were good for American oil interests.

Equally as biased and unreliable as Jennings is The New York Times, which on Aug. 8 ran the following propaganda disguised as “news” in a dispatch from reporters Evelyn Nieves and Elisabeth Bumiller:

“The vice president’s speech, billed as a talk on the economy and national security, sounded at times like an address a chief executive might give to shareholders….He credited the administration’s tax cuts with helping the country to ‘climb out of the recession and to weather the terrible financial effects of Sept.11,’ although the recession has not abated and the stock market today continued its decline [italics added].”

The inevitable correction was published one week later, on Aug. 15: “An article on Aug. 8 about speeches by President Bush and Vice President Cheney defending the administration’s stewardship of the economy referred incorrectly to the 2001 recession and to the direction of the stock market on Aug. 7. Economists agree that the recession has ended, not continued. The Dow Jones industrial average rose the day of the speeches, by 182 points; it did not decline.”

The Times could save all of us a lot of grief if it would just change its pompous and inaccurate slogan from “All the News That’s Fit to Print” to “All the News We Fit to Print.”

Must reading in this week’s New Yorker for those of you still enamored of Bill Clinton. (The Monitor receives two or three e-mails a week, and at least one letter a month scrawled in pastel-colored chalk sent from a certain post office box in Miami Beach, from readers who still pine for the days when Monica’s boyfriend was doing the country proud in the Oval Office.)

In the kind of lengthy, in-depth piece that was once the magazine’s specialty, writer Lawrence Wright delved into the roots and growth of al Qaeda, and in the process shredded whatever might have remained of Clinton’s reputation as the nation’s commander in chief.

As the always provocative Andrew Sullivan notes in the “Daily Dish” section on AndrewSullivan.com, “What Wright shows is that Clinton’s passivity and inconsistency in the face of Islamist terrorism undoubtedly made matters far worse than they otherwise would have been. By engaging in piecemeal, ineffective and disastrous retreat and half-hearted swipes, Clinton not only failed to stop al Qaeda, he gave it new strength and vigor.”

Wright, Sullivan points out, is hardly an anti-Clinton conservative, and The New Yorker has never been mistaken for a conservative magazine. Which, of course, makes the indictment all the more damning.

“No,” writes Sullivan, concluding his review of Wright’s article, “Clinton is not responsible for al Qaeda, just as Chamberlain wasn’t responsible for Hitler. But Clinton is absolutely responsible for the consequences of his inaction and his appeasement. And it’s vital, if we are to prevent a repeat of the fecklessness of the 1990′s, that we remember this lesson and take it to heart.”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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