Thursday, February 10, 2005

Tom Friedman, bootlicker

This Just In The Progressive magazine

I had the misfortune of watching Tom Friedman and Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” Sunday, Feb. 6, letting Donald Rumsfeld box them around the ring.

Friedman was especially defensive. He has three Pulitzer Prizes, and he’s the leading foreign policy columnist for the leading paper in the country, and yet he acted like Rumsfeld’s little boy.

Finally, and most damning of all, Friedman let Rumsfeld get away with murder—or at least torture. Friedman asked him about the Geneva Conventions, and Rumsfeld said: “The Geneva Conventions have a perfectly sensible purpose. And the purpose is—and it’s not very well understood, but one of the key purposes was to try to get people to fight conventionally and to wear uniforms and to carry weapons if they have weapons that are invisible.”

Friedman failed to note that the Geneva Conventions’ primary purpose is outlawing the kind of torture that Rumsfeld has been countenancing. But Friedman didn’t ask a word about Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo or Bagram Air Force Base. Nor did he ask Rumsfeld about why he signed off on brutalizing techniques or why he hid detainees from the Red Cross.

Here was the Secretary of Defense, one of the most powerful people in the country, in a rare Sunday face off with a bigwig of the Fourth Estate, and he got off untouched.

Friedman, return your prizes.

This is what it has come to. Top reporters from top newspapers helping war criminals play t-ball on purported news programs.

I think I'll stick to the blogosphere, thank you very much.


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