Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

I was cruising down route 28 in the Adirondacks today listening to a Sirius NPR stream. The Diane Rehm Show was on. I occasionally enjoy Diane even though her raspy, wavering, voice can be annoying. But it usually is good radio; despite that. Besides, I understand: it’s a medical condition.

She had on a panel discussing the Shirley Sherrod story, which should really be the right wing media manipulation story starring Andrew Breitbart, but I’m straying a bit from my point: let’s get back on track.

There were three panel guests. Here is what her web site says…


David Welna
congressional correspondent, NPR
Jeanne Cummings
Politico’s assistant managing editor in charge of Enterprise
Doyle McManus
columnist, Los Angeles Times

OK, so far. Well at least as far as I know. Not FOX. Not the Moonie Times. Not even National Review; which would be only slightly more “respectable,” though these days I hate to have even typed “respectable” and NR in the same sentence.

The discussion, as it has been, focused on what the Obama administration did wrong. Not what Breitbart did. Not how the media echo chamber made it worse. No one pointed out that the situation was a “no win” from the get go for the administration. Fire her and what happened might happen. Wait and check it out and the screams of “what’s taking you so long,” “why are you so indecisive,” “perhaps Beck is right: the president is a racist” begin. And the talking heads will blather as if it’s so obvious what they should have done: like the most dangerous and obnoxious of back seat drivers.

All this I expected.

All this I got.

But then a caller asked a question that made me sit up and take notice, damn near killing a squirrel who crossed my path somewhere near Blue Mountain Lake; making me wish it could have been certain talking heads instead: no names mentioned.

I’m kidding about the squirrel. The talking heads? Not so sure.

The caller mentioned that the media acts as if “both sides do this,” and asked them to mention a left wing equivalent to the Breitbart case. Attempting to find similar examples they stumbled a bit and then they brought up Vietnam, of course, and how the media “lied” about poisons being spread across the land by us. Hello? Agent Orange? Of course I was too lazy to look up the specific case they alluded to, especially since they did just “allude” to it. Too vague for even a decent Google.

But the second example was Dan Rather and George W. Bush in 2004, during the campaign.

Now wait a #@!& minute. Dan Rather did a report including a document that was proven to not be the original document, that’s true. But the damn secretary who typed it said it was the right information: just as she typed it, just not the original document. So that’s equal to someone who takes a quote so out of context it’s just the opposite of what was being said? Equal to using that in a way to destroy a career and tell a lie: a damnable lie?

No one challenged that assessment. No one said, “Not quite the same.” No. Like Andrew Breitbart they edited out the truth and turned it into a lie. And the host let them get away with it without a single scratchy, shakey, whisper.

Don’t think I’ll listen to Ms. Rhem much anymore. And I certainly have just lost a whole lot of respect for her and her program.


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2010
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

By Ken Carman

Retired entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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RS Janes
13 years ago

The Obama Administration could have simply said, especially considering it’s Breitbart and Fox News, ‘we will investigate these charges and, if it turns out Ms. Sherrod has used her office to in any way promote racism, she will be asked to resign. We are not going to end someone’s career based on an edited video from an unknown source.’

BTW, none of Rather’s Bush TANG documents could be vetted either authentic or false — they were copies. However, as you point out, his secretary confirmed that’s the way the general felt, and all of Rather’s assertions were independently proven by a series of Boston Globe articles in 2000. I don’t know why people in the media never mention that Boston Globe series.

The All-Mighty Webmaster
13 years ago

I occasionally enjoy Diane even though her raspy, wavering, voice can be annoying.

I’ve never heard of her, but I think I know a good comparison.

I like the content of the Ring of Fire show on many progressive radio stations. But every time Robert F. Kennedy Jr comes on, I get the feeling that he is about ready to die of asphyxiation right then and there.

RS Janes
13 years ago

Sometimes RFK jr. sounds like he’s trying to do an impersonation of Katharine Hepburn in her last years. I heard he had throat surgery that left his voice in that condition; a shame since he usually has interesting things to say.

RS Janes
13 years ago

I should have Googled this in the first place: RFK Jr., according to Wikipedia, suffers from “spasmodic dysphonia, a disorder that makes speech difficult and causes the voice to sound quavery.”

But I did hear on the radio several years ago that he had throat surgery, probably to correct this condition, that left his voice sounding worse than before.

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