Don’t miss John Leo’s hilarious interview of the fictitious Dr. No, the voice of the mainstream media, in U.S. News. An excerpt:
I thought you did a nice job on the walk-up to the elections, about how the vote would be small and therefore illegitimate, the U.S. didn’t have enough troops to guard the polls, mass violence would probably break out, and maybe we were headed for a theocracy or a civil war.
Thanks. Nobody works harder than us negativity professionals, though it’s true that the actual voting turned out badly for us. The biggest blow was that the Arab press reported positively on the vote. As you know, previously the most recent positive reports in the Arab media were all in the eighth century. But we still had a big impact. I was particularly proud of one postelection newspaper report in New York, “Premature Jubilation as Iraqis Go to Polls.” It complained that Shiites took voting instructions from their leaders, the Kurds had only one slate, and some association of Muslim scholars had declared the voting illegitimate. Everything that anybody could view as wrong was piled into one doom-and-gloom article. I loved it. Working to tamp down premature jubilation is what our profession is all about.
Tell us about some of your other efforts in Iraq.
Well, we recommended stressing the daily count of dead American soldiers. We also pioneered all those references to terrorist attacks as “the bloodiest since” some day or other–January 1, maybe, or any date picked at random, like Lincoln’s Birthday or Groundhog Day. Nice. Nobody thought to make that “bloodiest since” comparison during World War II or Vietnam. It’s been a big breakthrough. Now we’re working on the theme that American soldiers murdered a lot of journalists in Iraq, but people tend to want evidence when you bring that up, so it’s a problem. We’ve also generated two years’ worth of claims that Iraqi women are no better off and in some cases worse off today than they were under Saddam. Of course under Saddam they were turned over to rape squads, sexually tortured, and beheaded. So we have some work to do there.
Via the indispensable Real Clear Politics.