10.31.2009 0

The Wire: Whoops, Wrong Willie

  • On: 11/12/2009 09:40:45
  • In: Slapshot
  • Whoops, Wrong Willie

    Rumor from Foggy Bottom via top opposition leaders in Honduras has it that several Latin America desk types were thrilled recently when they heard that in Tegucigalpa, Barack Obama is often referred to as a “modern day William Wallace.”

    Wallace, movie-goers will remember, was the legendary knight who led his people’s fight for freedom during the Wars of Scottish Independence. So, the State Department’s Foggy thinkers are all a-twitter over what they see as the clear cut comparisons between Wallace’s heroics in Scotland and their self-proclaimed legendary leader’s fight for Honduran independence.

    There’s only one problem, the Teguc insiders report: In Honduras, Obama is known not as a “modern day William Wallace” — but as a “modern day William Walker.”

    William Walker was the daft American pirate who attempted to conquer several Latin American countries in the mid-19th Century. He even went so far as to appoint himself President of Nicaragua in 1856. Ironically, the crazed megalomaniac was executed by the government of Honduras in 1960.

    Guess something got lost in the translation at 2201 C Street NW.

    William Wallace

    No, not that William …

    William Walker

    This William

    The Worst of Times

    Conservatives across the country are watching in dismay as the Washington Times – “America’s Newspaper” – goes through the throes of reorganization. The life-threatening upheaval seems to be the result of an internal power struggle, with the Moon family reasserting its grip on the operation.

    The story behind the headlines, however, reveals what happens when a formerly staunch conservative organization tries to shore up its reputation by attempting to become tepidly centrist. In short, according to long-time Times employees, much of the problem at the paper can be summed up by the old adage: When you try to be everything to everyone, you risk ending up being nothing to anyone.

    Over the past year-plus, the Times’ tempered its news coverage to the point where the story selection, headlines, and vantage point were almost indistinguishable from the cross-town paper. As one veteran Times reporter explained, “The situation reminded me of the scene in the movie ‘Ray’ where Ray Charles says he wants to be the next Nat King Cole. The record company tells him, ‘We already have a Nat King Cole. We don’t need another one. Try being Ray Charles.’ Washington already had a Post. It needed a Times.”

    The recent Richard Miniter fiasco is seen by many as the breaking point. And some observers are suggesting that the paper might consider bringing back the respected conservative journalist, giving hem carte blanche, and seeing if he can restore the paper’s lost luster – and credibility.

    That’s One “L” and Two “N’s”

    “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” — Jonathan Swift

    Michele Bachmann now finds herself surrounded by CNN. Enough said.

    Well, maybe not quite enough. So, let The WIRE add a little quick perspective. CNN, media observers will recall, is the network that cut a deal with Saddam Hussein not to blow the whistle in his malevolent rule as long as he gave them good interviews. It’s the network that openly lamented ever covered Bill Clinton Monica mongering. And, of course, it took great pride in declaring defeat in Iraq every time a terrorist set off a firecracker.

    Now, CNN has turned its guns on Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. Mrs. Bachmann to most Americans is a feisty conservative icon who doesn’t hesitate going toe to toe with the Democrat – or Republican – hierarchy. And going over their heads to the American people.

    To CNN, she is a nasty little publicity hound, a “political creature,” who “draws her power from cable TV.” They’ve even tallied up her TV appearances and found that over the past two years they have “nearly doubled”! Tsk, tsk.

    And her followers? Why they are “swarms of Tea Partiers” (something akin to killer bees, flies, or flesh-eating army ants, evidently). They are “outraged conservative voters who feel powerless in the Obama era.” “Outraged”? Perhaps. “Powerless”? Hardly. “The Obama era”? Well, certainly in CNN’s eyes.

    The bottom line: Michele Bachmann is on the ascendancy just as absolutely and assuredly as CNN is on the wane. And what is more, close associates tell The WIRE she is thrilled to find herself the target of that notorious “Confederacy of Dunces.”


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