Saturday, October 01, 2005

Good grief -- Republicans go all nuance-y and contextual

William Bennett gets the Dick Durbin treatment, and Republicans cry "victim." Don't you just love this nasty little game that endlessly goes around and comes around?

For comparison, here are the headline and dek for the WorldNetDaily article on Dick Durbin's Senate speech on the conditions under which Americans have been holding detainees in the war on terror.
Democrat senator: U.S. troops 'Nazis'
Dick Durbin sparks national fury after likening treatment of terror detainees to KGB, Pol Pot
Okay. So the WND editors position the word Democrat right up front (have to name the enemy) and state that Durbin called American troops Nazis (he didn't). They also state that he likened American treatment of detainees to the good fellas of the KGB and Pol Pot. Did Durbin do that? Well, normally that's where one might go all nuance-y and contextual. And Republicans and WND readers just hate that kind of crap. So just call Durbin evil and get it over with.

The article features comments from the great Republican sage, Rush Limbaugh, who declared he was "embarrassed Durbin was an American and a senator." And there are comments from blogger Art Green, who thunders, "I think this is one of the grossest and sickest statements to be made yet…. This is beyond hyperbole and rhetoric."

Which of course is itself beyond hyperbole and rhetoric.

There also is a special WND poll so readers can "sound off" -- truly a public service since no one wants WND readers imploding from rage.

Now, here are the headline and dek for the WordNetDaily article on Bill Bennett's no black babies = less crime in America comments.
Bill Bennett fires back at 'racist' charge
Won't 'take instruction' from Kennedy,
who 'shouldn't be in the Senate'

What a difference. Bennett is ever the warrior, "firing back." The word racist is enclosed in quotation marks, thus already questioning the legitimacy of its use.* Then there's the mention of Ted Kennedy, an object of Republican loathing in perpetuity, plus the zinger that Kennedy is not worthy of being a senator. And all that is before we even get to the article proper.

And the article incorporates a generous excerpt from Bennett's appearance on the "Hannity & Colmes" program, in which he defends his statement and places it in context. Suddenly, nuance and context are not crap and no one is in a rush to call Bennett evil and get it over with.

For good measure, Bennett also takes an expanded swipe at Kennedy:
"I'll not take instruction from Teddy Kennedy," he said. "A young woman likely drowned because of his negligence. I'll take no moral instruction with him. That's much worse than legal gambling what Teddy Kennedy did. He should make no judgments at all about people. He shouldn't be in the Senate."
My, my, my. WND plugs one of Bennett's books, Bennett gets to explain and defend his racist remarks, plus he works in references to Chappaquiddick. Does it get any better than this -- a Republican trifecta.

Also note: there's no need for a special WND poll so readers can sound off. Very little likelihood of imploding heads among WND readers on a topic like this.

*According to the WND article: "Kennedy called Bennett a 'racist.'" However, I cannot verify this via Google. Did anybody see, hear, read this Kennedy statement?

Click "Read More" for the pertinent excerpt of Dick Durbin's statement.

About Dick Durbin's statement, from Bereube Online.

Speaking on the Senate floor last Tuesday, Durbin read from a statement written by an FBI agent, describing the conditions under which Americans have been holding detainees in the war on terror. The statement included graphic accounts of prisoners chained hand and foot on the floor, urinating and defecating on themselves while chained in a fetal position for 18 to 24 hours or more. Durbin then said:
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

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