Wednesday, June 22, 2005

How to Be a Good German: Media Lessons in American New Think

The Daily Howler is on fire today, and rightly so. Go there and howl with him. An excerpt:

WATCHING A GOOD GERMAN FUNCTION: In this morning’s Post, Mark Leibovich helps the public process their important first lesson. Here’s the way he describes the matter on which Vile Durbin made comment:

LEIBOVICH (6/22/05): Durbin's saga began June 14 on the Senate floor when he read from an FBI memo that described the ordeal of a prisoner at Guantanamo who was allegedly chained to the floor, forced to listen to loud rap music and subjected to extreme heat and bitter cold, among other unpleasantness. Durbin said: "If I read this to you and did not tell you it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings."
Good boy! The key term there is “among other unpleasantness.” Like all good Germans, Leibovich knew to disappear the conduct which made this report so disturbing. Post readers won’t have to hear how long these prisoners were “allegedly” chained. (Note: Leibovich has gone from the plural to the singular, pretending we’re talking about only one prisoner.) They won’t have to learn that these prisoners were chained so long that they urinated and defecated on themselves. They won’t have to hear about that pile of hair—the pile one prisoner pulled from his head. Good boy! Leibovich knows how “mad regimes” work their will. Here it is: They keep the folks stupid.

Good boy! Mark Leibovich played good German today. He helped that first lesson go down.