This Inauguration Doesnt Auger Well

But Hugh Hewitt hews to the red state hues

So CBS admitted its mistakes on "Rathergate," investigated itself, fired four valued employees and that's not enough? Anyone remember when Geraldo Rivera wept on camera while describing the bits of human flesh flecking the bomb crater he was standing beside in Afghanistan, where U.S. soldiers had been blown to bits? Did Fox launch an investigation, or Hewitt care, when it was learned the actual site was hundreds of kilometers away and Geraldo just picked a convenient hole to emote beside?

Few in the media ever examined why they so uncritically parroted the administration's inaccurate claims on Iraq's WMDs, Jessica Lynch's reality-TV rescue or myriad other Bush credibility lapses. If media outlets are so liberal, why has their coverage of so many issues—the White House outing of a covert CIA operative, Bush's support for possible double-agent Ahmed Chalabi, etc.—fallen utterly by the wayside? This was the same supposedly partisan media that had kept Clinton's every blowjob on the front burner for a year.

Hewitt's attack on "large and powerful institutions" omits the one Republicans most often like to fault (except when they're running it): the federal government. When top military brass, administration insiders and our more patriotic Republican leaders are noting massive mistakes in our planning and conduct of the war in Iraq, aren't those matters due a little more than an "accountability moment" from Bush and Co.? Instead, the parties most at fault are retained or promoted.

This administration brooks no doubt and certainly no shame. Instead of trying to hide torture-justifier Alberto Gonzales under a rock, Bush names him Attorney General. That's more of a flip-off to American values than if Clinton had flown Monica's splotched dress from the White House flagpole, but it warranted just a blip on the news.

And speaking of bird-flipping, remember the cover the Weekly ran several weeks back, showing George W. Bush giving the one-finger salute? Oh, the angry "how dare you run a doctored photo" letters we got, until it was cleared up that, no, that's an actual photo of Bush when he was Governor of Texas. Then came the letters berating the Weekly for publicizing the image, which had originally occurred in the privacy of a TV studio in front of running cameras. And this, again, from people who had no doubt gloried in Clinton's very private moments being exposed in lurid detail, and didn't mind the $73 million of tax dollars spent doing so. Unlike Clinton's lies, Bush's lies have led to more than 1,370 American deaths in Iraq, and have placed the nation in greater jeopardy. But you don't hear much talk of impeachment, do you? There's the influence of that damn liberal media again, and the fact that impeachment is a leisure-time activity.

During Clinton's presidency we were cruising along under blue skies, the world quiescent and the economy blooming like Butchart Gardens. Clinton was sort of unflappable, so his opponents figured the nation's well-being wouldn't suffer overmuch if they lobbed a political cluster bomb his way.

But Bush? In the best of times, the guy has more My Pet Goat moments than he does accountability ones, and these aren't the best of times. Answering pre-arranged questions before handpicked audiences, he can barely navigate his way through a sentence. Remember how rattled he was in his opening debate with Kerry, the first time in months he'd actually had to face real questions? Multiply that 100 times to get the Captain Queeg-under-klieg lights that you'd see if he was under impeachment.

It's going to be a very long four years.

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