Monday, September 8, 2008

A Fauxpology to the Nation

Well, it is a shame newscasters aren’t eligible for academy awards, because I think we have our winner for “best crocodile tears in support of partisan ideology”. In this category there is really only one contender, Keith Olbermann. You may remember him from his days as a host of SportsCenter on ESPN. Well, apparently there is some network called “MSNBC” (Motto: “BSNBC was already taken” ) and Keith Olbermann is its highest rated television personality. This is the equivalent of being the tallest person in midget town.

After a video a tribute to 9-11 was shown during the GOP convention that showed..wait for it…wait for it.. actual footage from 9-11, Keith Olbermann felt it his duty to apologize on behalf of his entire network for having aired the video.

He said “If, at this late date, any television network had, of its own accord, shown that much video tape and that much graphic video tape of 9/11—it, we, would be rightly eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republican Party itself, for exploiting the memories of the dead, and perhaps even for trying to evoke that pain again. If you reacted to that video tape the way I did, I apologize. It is a subject of great pain, for many of us still, and it was probably not appropriate to be shown.”

Let me just say, if you reacted to that quote the way I did (by having your collective IQ drop by 30 points), I apologize. There is so much intellectual scat sprinkled about in this feauxpology that I feel it my obligation to point them out.

“If at this late date” So apparently, the further away from the events you get, the less you are allowed to discuss them. So by that logic, the Boston Massacre is taboo to show, but watching Tom Brady’s knee collapse over and over again in supper slow motion is okay. Maybe that was the whole problem with Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”, it happened too long ago and thus the pain is all too fresh.

“We, would rightly be eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republic Party itself” So the Republican Party would eviscerate you for showing a Republican Party produced video? Man, I knew partisanship in Washington was out of control but I had no idea that even the Republican Party opposed the Republican Party.

“For exploiting the memories of the dead, and perhaps even for trying to evoke the pain again” Well, all I can say, is it is a good thing Keith Olbermann is a talking head of today, not a freedom fighter from yester year. Can you just imagine someone daring to cry “Remember the Alamo” around the self anointed Patron Saint of the martyrs? Don’t bother trying to imagine it, I have already done it for you and it goes something like this:

SCENE: Crowded, early 19th century military camp outside San Jacinto Texas. It is early morning and men are gathered are lining up to begin marching on the unsuspecting Mexican forces a short distance away. PRIVATE KEITH OLBERMANN is seen doing one last spot check on his hair in the side of his canteen. SAM HOUSTON rides his horse to the front of the awaiting troops and begins to address them in a loud boisterous voice.

Men of Texas, today we fight, not just for ourselves or for our families. No, today we fight for freedom!

(Gathered crowd screams in excitement. Private Olbermann, unswayed by Sam Houston, is seen dusting off the shoulders of his uniform)

But it is not for freedom alone that we fight. We fight to honor the sacrifice of the hundreds of men who gave their lives that we might keep ours. Remember who you are and why you fight. Remember the families and the land you love. But above all, remember the Alamo!

(The men scream emphatically, but Private Olberman is seen waving his hand desperately to get Sam Houston’s attention. )

(annoyed) Yes Private Olbermann, what is it?


(Turning to face crowd)

It just seems so icky to exploit the memories of the dead to try and get us to stand up and fight. Surely those who died at the Alamo would be disgusted to hear us use their memories avenge their deaths. Indeed, the best way to make sure they did not die in vain is to pretend they never existed.

If their sacrifice has taught us anything, it is that, rather than fight the Mexican’s we should seek to understand them first. Don’t we see that the only reasons they are fighting us is because we are trying to take their lands and meddle in their politics? If we really want to have an impact the way our fallen brothers would want, we should all come together and craft a sharply worded resolution against Mr. Santa Ana. Huh? Whose with me?

(quietly to soldier standing beside him)

How fast can you tie a noose?


According to Keith Olbermann the only thing I am allowed to remember is the Alamo gift shop. His apology does beget the question, what is the appropriate way to remember 9-11? If showing it and talking about it are wrong, than what is right? Should we commemorate the day by sleeping in and reading Chicken Soup for the Soul? September 11th was an uncomfortable day and there is no way of talking about it that doesn’t bring with it some semblance of that discomfort. The only real way to avoid the pain of 9-11 is to forget it ever happened. Keith Olbermann must have slept through that week of history because we learned far too many important lessons to erase it from our text books by pretending it never happened. Apparently MSNBC should update its motto: “If the truth makes you uncomfortable, then we are the network for you.”

For a video summary of all the fuss’ click here


Shane and Loni said...

Wow, that is unbelievably tragic and weird. Dude, what what the guy honestly thinking saying that? Was he some emergency replacement for Tim Russert and has no idea what's his boundary in commenting on a party's convention?

Especially since he said he lost friends in the attack--does he not want them remembered?

I swear, this election season gets more strange every week.

Neal and Shannon said...

Amen brother! I found the 9/11 video very touching and beautiful, Keith made me want to vomit. Where do I send my letter of disapproval?