I was reading Hugh Hewitt's column at Townhall.com about the upcoming ABC mini-series, "The Path to 9/11", and the reaction from the Clinton contingent to the film. I enjoyed the article, as Hugh is a good writer with interesting thoughts, but what really grabbed my attention were the comments.
Now, Hugh Hewitt is a fine and responsible columnist, who is not in the habit of responding directly to comments from his readers. I, on the other hand, am sometimes a shameless opportunist, and the things written in the comments were to my mind telling about the whole matter. So, since Mister Hewitt will not be responding to the noise from the gallery, I have swiped that prerogative unto myself, and herein submit my thoughts. Let me be clear, that the opinions I present are my own, and in no way should suggest that Mister Hewitt agrees with me on any point. Maybe he does, maybe he does not, but this is my own opinion. I just grabbed the reader comments for material.
I printed out the comments section as of 2 PM on Thursday, September 7th. Lord only knows what else will show up there while I am plunking words down here. And in advance to anyone who might be unhappy with me quoting them, I would remind you all that there is a comment version of Caveat Emptor, to the effect that if you put your words out there for anyone to hear or read, they can and will be within their rights to quote you, so long as they do it accurately. Mwahahahaha, and all that.
So, to the text. I read ninety-five comments from fifty-four usernames. I can't tell you whether anyone used multiple names, but it seems accurate enough. There was representation from people who sounded reasonable, and from people who seemed quite unbalanced. While I will say that the unbalanced contingent was entirely from the Left in this case, I would warn the reader that Hewitt is a reasonable person who attracts reasonable readers; I have no doubt that if I were discussing, say, a Michael Savage piece, I would have to discuss quite a bit of mental abnormality from the Right. With that in mind, however, the Left spoke its mind in a way that hardly suggests that mind is in good order.
Tanabear started off with a smear, calling the film "more fiction". Shortly after that, Rod shot back for the Right in what became something of a false focus, saying that Bill and Hillary Clinton "are very smart and very egocentric. Neither cares about anything but themselves". One Phylo Se Fizer tossed out proof of his own bias and inability to post civilly, by starting out with the claim that "Hugh Hewitt is a shameless propaganda artist", instead of making at least a token effort to address the topic on its merits. Without a desire to give Phylo the attention he so obviously craves, I found it amusing that Phylo stated as fact alleged scenes from the movie which he has not seen one second of yet, a film he already slams as "The BS right wing television version" of 9/11. I found it amusing that Phylo even saw a right-wing conspiracy in the fact that ABC limited early distribution of the film to media critics - not "conservative hacks" as Phylo pretends, but professionals in the media business, as is common with every major release for which the network wants publicity. Phylo gets angry because former elected officials did not get the media copies, even though he is clueless to the fact that the present elected officials also did not get copies. Phylo, however unintentionally, demonstrates the conspiracy mindset of the Left, taking a blameless situation and twisting out of context to pretend it's a set-up to hurt the Left.
Apparently excited by the rush of adrenalin from Phylo, lefty Kimberly joined the choir, unable to maintain the pretense of rational commentary long enough to even avoid calling ABC's production studio a tool of "wing nuts", suggesting that censorship by people who might be embarrassed by the film would be "proper vetting". She went on to blame President Bush for the 9/11 attacks, solely on the basis that he was President when they occurred. Since by that point even Phylo had mentioned the 9/11 Commission Report, it seems strange that Kimberly was unaware that the planning and preparation by Al Qaeda began years before George W. Bush took office. This peculiar non-seqitur was taken up soon after by Left Angle, who seemed content to parrot whatever other Leftists had already tossed out. To be blunt, the Left could do little but blame Bush for being President when Al Qaeda carried out its plans, and try to find ways to insult people for bringing up inconvenient facts, however salient. One reader, Kimberly, was quite energetic in, well, lying, to pretend the 9/11 Commission had blamed Bush and praised Clinton. But I must not be cruel. Where Clinton is concerned, History will be quite cruel enough on the facts.
But there were some worthwhile comments made. Gc asked "is it true that Clinton cannot get a copy [of the film ahead of time]?" Icedog01 wrote a damning comment, simply by noting the series of terrorist attacks during the Clinton Administration, and the response - or rather its lack - by President Clinton. The list is so good, I will simply repeat it here:
02/26/1993 - World Trade Center bombed
03/08/1995 - Two U.S. diplomats in Pakistan murdered
06/25/1996 - Khobar Towers bombed
11/12/1997 - Four U.S. businessmen kidnapped and murdered
08/07/1998 - Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya bombed
10/12/2000 - U.S.S. Cole attacked by suicide bombers
President Clinton's response to any and all of these events? Excuses, nothing more.
And a reader known only as J.R. asked what also struck me when I read all the feigned outrage from the Left. When Michael Moore took images and facts out of context in a deliberate smear attempt on the Bush Administration, not one Liberal voiced a concern for context or accurate portrayal of events. And when President Bush was asked about the film, he did not worry himself with the lies and distortions posed by Moore, or threaten to sue, as Clinton has done here. Bush simply smiled a little and remarked that he did not expect he would take the time to see the movie. That Bill Clinton cannot manage as much grace, at all, in his case, suggests to me the difference in character and competence between these two Presidents.