Friday, July 01, 2005
Many Americans woke up to a curious story this morning: several of the former Iran Hostages have decided there is a strong resemblance between Iran's new president and one of their captors more than 25 years ago. The White House and most official branches of government are ducking any substantive comment on this story, and photo analysis is going on at this and other news organizations. It is a story that will be at or near the top of our broadcast and certainly made for a robust debate in our afternoon editorial meeting, when several of us raised the point (I'll leave it to others to decide germaneness) that several U.S. presidents were at minimum revolutionaries, and probably were considered terrorists of their time by the Crown in England. (Italics mine.)
By all reports (I don't watch any broadcast network news programs), he did in fact make that point in an exchange with Andrea Mitchell during the evening newscast. The all too predictable uproar ensued, and today Mr. Williams posted this:
And on this busy day I'm compelled to throw in a personal note of my own... it's about a question I asked Andrea Mitchell on Nightly News last night. Coming out of the story alleging that Iran's President-elect may have been among those who kept 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in Tehran, I asked Andrea the following question:
"What would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today: The first several U.S. presidents were certainly revolutionaries... and might have been called "terrorists" at the time by the BRITISH CROWN, after all..."Today, apparently, on some radio talk shows and blogs, my friends in the media have accused me of labeling George Washington a terrorist. They apparently missed my point: That the BRITISH CROWN might have viewed American revolutionaries that way.
I for one don't see how the attitude of the British Crown toward the Founding Fathers is relevant to a story about the new president-elect of Iran and whether he was involved in the hostage taking at the US Embassy during the Carter years. But that aside, it seems clear that: (a) "several of us" at NBC News find a moral equivalency between the sort of people who perpetrated that hostage taking, September 11 and beheaded civilian captives in Iraq, and the likes of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, the Adamses and Hamilton; and (b) Mr. Williams agreed to the extent that he found it worthy of mention both in his blog and on the air. If such an equivalency exists, I guess we are all (except those enlightened few at NBC News) in the dark about it because facts were suppressed by all those biased historians who spiked the stories of wholesale torture and indiscriminate murder of women and children by the Continentals. (/sarcasm) As for today's "clarification" of his point, (1) it's lame and (2) his "clarified" point is still not relevant to the story.
Sometimes, there are no words that can describe the kind of person who thinks like that better than "F**king idiot!"
Credit, Instapundit, Michelle Malkin and many others.