Bill O’Reilly Polices the 9/11 Boundaries

Fox host Bill O’Reilly knows a thing or two about boundaries. As he told his TV audience Monday night, some “far-left” radicals crossed the line on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote a blog post about how some Republican politicians turned the attacks into a “wedge issue,” and referred to George W. Bush and Rudolph Giuliani as “fake heroes.” O’Reilly’s reaction: Krugman is “insulting his country on the anniversary of 9/11. That is truly despicable.” O’Reilly had a little left in tank, so he went after former Times reporter Chris Hedges for […]


Richard Cohen Is Sorry You and He Got It Wrong

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (9/5/11) takes the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to say that he’s sorry: I went home on September 11 with my shoes dusted with the detritus of the World Trade Center. I felt a hate that was entirely new to me. Soon after, the anthrax attacks began, and I was ready for war–against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, for sure, but against Saddam Hussein as well. I was wrong, and for that I blame myself, but I blame us all for going along with it and then rewarding incompetence with another term. Wait–we all […]


Hurricanes and Climate Change? Close That Door!

In case you were wondering whether Irene sparked any discussions of climate change, here’s a moment from the panel discussion on ABC‘s This Week (8/30/11): RON BROWNSTEIN (National Journal): Do we want to get into a global warming and a hurricanes discussion? DONNA BRAZILE (Democratic Strategist): No. BROWNSTEIN: I mean, I don’t know if we want to open that door. Let that serve as a reminder to read Neil deMause’s piece from the last issue of Extra! This was a laugh line, so I guess take it for what it’s worth. On the other hand, Cokie Roberts seemed to be […]


Rule of Law–Who Cares?

One of the odder outbreaks of outrage from conservative pundits is the horror expressed at the idea that people accused of being connected to the September 11 attacks would actually be put on trial. Here’s Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson (11/18/09) on Attorney General Eric Holder’s “destructive” decision to prosecute Khalid Mohammed and other 9/11 suspects in an actual court: There is one serious argument for this course: that a civilian court will provide greater legitimacy for the imposition of the death penalty than a military tribunal. But the guilt of these terrorists is not in question. And it is […]


You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Argue That the Afghan War Prevents Terror–But It Helps

Dick Morris was on the O’Reilly Factor the other night (10/28/09) advocating a troop escalation in Afghanistan–and his argument was characteristically peculiar: Listen, terrorist gangs like Al-Qaeda are like HIV virus. They swim in your bloodstream. They don’t make you sick. When they latch on to a cell, a nation state, and they use the DNA of that cell, they then become a threat. When they use the accoutrements of nationhood–secure boundaries, a diplomatic corps, an export and import trade, and air force and navy, a tax system, a conscript population–then they can knockdown the World Trade Center. We have […]


‘Freedom’ Means Using the Name They Tell You To

For the New York Post (3/27/09), it’s “Free Dumb Tower.” For the same day’s New York Daily News, it means “No More Freedom.” They’re talking about 1 World Trade Center, which is what the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced it was calling the skyscraper it’s building on the site of the old World Trade Center destroyed on September 11–rather than Freedom Tower, as it had been previously referred to. And the tabloids, naturally, are outraged. “Freedom is out of fashion at Ground Zero,” declared the Post. “Once hailed as a beacon of rebirth in the aftermath […]