Washington Post television critic Tom Shales goes off the deep end today, reviewing the President's Oval Office address last night. Shales allows his hatred of the President to color his interpretation, even to the point of saying that under Bush's Patriot Act all dissent will be crushed, just as if terrorists took over Iraq. Some highlights:
Bush apparently wanted to sound firm but compassionate, extending something of an olive branch —— more of an olive twig, really —— to those who have criticized the war in Iraq, yet also insisting that he won't give a proverbial inch until the mission really is accomplished....
Pundits and politicians can argue about whether Bush was sounding determined or arrogant. Bush also opened himself to criticism of believing only what he wants to believe (the hermetically sealed president, as his image has it) by declaring, "My fellow citizens: Not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq." [....]
In an effort to look candid and self—effacing, Bush conceded early in the speech that no weapons of mass destruction were ever found....
Bush's critics will find plenty to pick on, as when Bush warned of the consequences should terrorists gain control of the Iraqi government. In such cases, he warned, "all dissent is crushed," but skeptics could be expected to predict the same thing could happen in this country if Bush's draconian Patriot Act is extended according to his wishes. Bush also made sure to mention Sept. 11, 2001, date of the worst attack in history upon the United States, within the first six or seven minutes of the speech. [emphasis added]
Ed Lasky 12 19 05
Betsy Newmark of Betsy's Page has some good advice for Shales:
If a reporter, even a TV reporter, can't see the difference between the Patriot Act and how the Ba'athists or Zarqawi supporters would crush dissent, then the guy should take a break from writing while he goes out and finds a clue. I would point out to Mr. Shales that the so—called "draconian" Patriot Act has been in effect for over four years and I haven't noticed that dissent against Bush has been crushed. Could Mr. Shales please point out all those who, opposing Bush and the war in Iraq, have been arrested, thrown in a dungeon, tortured, had their tongues ripped out, their families attacked, and daughters raped?
It might have seemed like a funny throwaway line to Mr. Shales, but he betrays his unhinged and unthinking attitude towards the President.