Lots of Blame – No Accountability

A New York Times op-ed by Roger Cohen saying that, because post-September 11 “journalists did not meet the challenge of holding the executive branch accountable,” he is “wary of the clamor for retribution. Congress failed. The press failed. The judiciary failed,” has moved First-Draft.com blogger Athenae (4/24/09) to declare that “I really think I hate this about our pundit class more than anything”:

Well hey, so long as everybody screwed up, it’s all fine! So long as there wasn’t a single voice raised in opposition to what was done, so long as we didn’t shout down anybody who had a different idea of things, so long as nobody who spoke up against this bullshit was punished, drummed out of public life, called a traitor on national television or demonized for daring to opine that instituting a regime of torture was pretty fucking stupid, so long as we are all equally complicit in this there’s no need to punish anybody. Because if it’s all of us, then it’s none of us really, and isn’t it funny how that always works out so beautifully?

I am just so violently opposed to the idea of transferring your moral cowardice onto the country at large to get it to share the blame for your own wussitude on the fundamental questions of our time. It is just so incredibly cheap and small and mean.

Athenae reminds Cohen that the “fact of the matter is, not everybody lost their damn minds, and it is a profound dishonor to those who held to their convictions in the face of overwhelming public pressure to go all kill-crazy that we lump them in with the nutballs painting their chests red, white and blue.” See FAIR’s magazine Extra!: “Wrong on Iraq? Not Everyone: Four in the Mainstream Media Who Got It Right (3-4/06) by Steve Rendall