Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Being a Pundit, Newscaster and Analyst VIII

Sam Donaldson seems like the only level-headed pundit in this group. Listening to George Will, Peggy Noonan and Cokie Roberts I was amazed at the outright sanctioning of irresponsibility and the lack of accountability. These well-spoken clean cut pundits are those that we have listened to and read for years, yet there is a disturbing eeriness to their words. But perhaps I'm taking this too far some might say. "Everything is fair in love and war"--hence, the declaration of the war on terror and the abdication of national and international treaties?

"The problem with transparency is that it's transparent for the terrorists as well," said Will. He continued that "intelligent people of good will" believe the President of the United States can do whatever he wants to "defend the country." What??? Donaldson rightly repeated the infamous Richard Nixon line, "When the President does it, it's not illegal." Brilliant response!

Noonan chimed in, "It's hard for me to look at a great nation issuing these documents and sending them out to the world and thinking, oh, much good will come of that. Sometimes you need to just keep walking." She also believes that some things should be "mysterious." Cokie Roberts added that it was bad that those at the CIA destroyed documents pertaining to torture but she was glad that they did.

Here is Jon Stewart's ever brilliant take on the discussion of torture and Peggy Noonan's comment in particular.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
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What concerns me here is the desire not to hold others responsible and accountable. There is also a recklessness and injustice about the statements of Will, Roberts and Noonan that's rather alarming. It seems like a desire to intellectualize wrong doing and to simply make it go away without acknowledgement or retribution. With this kind of mentality, the ills of history will most likely be repeated.

Responsibility and accountability are essential to a healthy society.


John O'Leary said...

Judith, I see you've written a half dozen books since I last checked in. :-) Well, it appears Barack heard you and is backing off his no prosecution pose, if Congress wants to pursue it. Or perhaps this was his intent all along - to let others take the lead on that so he doesn't burn any bridges with the CIA? He's a clever fella.

I love that ABC roundtable - especially when it's Krugman vs. Will. That's like an Ali-Forman fight.

Speaking of which, have you ever blogged about Ali - perhaps my favorite athlete of all time, for MANY reasons.

judith ellis said...

John - It's good to have you here. Yes, I happen to be quite the prolific blogger; it probably has something to do with how my brain works and my degree of passion being on so many topics. I’m quite the curious person. But I will probably publish fewer posts in the near future. I'm already doing from my hundred plus or nearly so monthly. :-)

Barack Obama is indeed a clever man and this in unnerving for many. They don't seem to be able to pigeon hole him or to hurl insults and they stick. He’s seems utterly unmoved by the ongoing negativity. (Michelle Obama is probably also a grounding support and force.) If anybody followed the campaign at all they would know that this simply does not work.

The ABC roundtable is enjoyable. But I found last's week quite sad. It’s funny or sad, actually, when ideology meets reality. We often become very dismissive and creative in our responses. Last Sunday was not Will's best performance, neither was it of Roberts or Noonan.

I have not blogged on Ali but he too is "perhaps my favorite athlete of all time, for MANY reasons."