Jewish World Review April 16, 2003/ 14 Nisan, 5763

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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Pulling the old Johnnie Cochran | Comedian Dana Carvey was mystified by Johnnie Cochran's success in defending O.J. Simpson. He notes that Cochran, facing incontrovertible DNA evidence tracked from Bundy to Rockingham, a shoeprint of his client's odd Bruno Magli shoe at the murder scene, and an alibi dependent on a house boy with a just-rolled-off-a-surfboard look, won a jury over with, "Why are we even having a trial here?"

Cochran could look overwhelming proof and overpowering truth in the eyes and, not only deny both, but dismiss those who question as simpletons. Baghdad Bob had similar skill. As the Iraqi people had the First Marine Division in for tea, BB blustered before television cameras that the Republican Guard would "burn American tanks."

My liberal comrades and their embedded media have Cochran chutzpah. As statues tumbled and shoeless, shirtless Iraqis shouted praises for "Mr. Boosh," Fox News's Neil Cavuto found the Johnnie Cochran of al-Jazeera TV, one Talal al-Haj Al-Haj said the Iraqi jubilation in the streets resulted because they were "celebrating the end of the U.S. sanctions on Iraq." Cavuto asked about praises for Bush. al-Haj said, "They are not all Iraqis." Ah, the old trick of bussing in revelers to a war zone for a PR coup.

Arrogance in defiance of truth buys feigned moral superiority. Alan Colmes of Hannity & Colmes said "Shame on you," to Michael Reagan, a guest on his show, because Reagan pointed out that the Iraqi (or whoever they are) celebration was just as Mr. Bush had predicted but contra to the Colmes, et al. notions of a beloved despot. Mr. Colmes fumed indignantly at Mr. Reagan for injecting "partisan politics" into what he said should be a "day of bipartisan celebration."

Reticence in acknowledging a Republican victory for world order, peace and human rights in understandable. Dove Nancy Pelosi grouses about cost, a new defense to being absolutely wrong. Sen. Evan Bayh (D. Ind) did admit the error of Democrats' ways on the war, but that such was a "one-time mistake." A one-time mistake is a vice president misspelling "potato" as "potatoe."

Sheltering tyrants through misguided diplomacy, ignoring intelligence warnings about WMD, and missing plutonium directly beneath the feet of the U.N. inspectors are not one-time mistakes.

These folks grapple with mounds of truth via a dogged pattern of its disregard along political lines. Those of us who stood firm on the war because of terrorist threats and a pressing need for liberation now stare in disbelief as everyone from Hollywood starlets to the New York Times hands us the old Cochran. There is a collective liberal, "What? So?" as we point to their gargantuan errors.

Their dismissive stance allows them to advance new bogus theories. Christine Onomatopoeia (whatever her name is --CNN's chief correspondent in the Middle East) suggested that the "orgy" of looting in Iraq was the result of deposed Hussein order. Tyrants do have a way with cattle prods, dismemberment, and people.

Implicit in the notion of mistake is misunderstanding of fact. Liberals did not make a mistake; they acted in deliberate defiance of truth. Apologies cannot compensate for obstructionist behaviors that aided and abetted a despot. Liberals' continued Cochranesque residence in denial land means they go on to give aid and comfort to Castro and other favored troglodytes, taking along their national security experts: Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, and the Dixie Chicks.

An op-ed piece in the New York Times by CNN's news director, Eason Jordan, offers more Cochran chutzpah. Jordan confesses that for 12 years, because of CNN's presence in Iraq, he "became more distressed by what I saw and heard - awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."

He describes a regime of torture, beatings, fear, tooth extraction, and murder. His piece concludes with a classic Cochran sigh of relief: "I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely."

Let me get this straight: a journalist has a moral obligation to keep silent about the truth? What is the point of being there if no truth can be told? The ethical issue was not, "Do I tell or do I not tell?", but, rather, "Why are my network and I in this country at all?" Confront CNN and Jordan with incontrovertible evidence of their confederacy with Hussein and resulting moral culpability for the continuing suffering of the Iraqi people and their response will be classic Cochran, "Why are we even discussing this? I just wrote the op-ed piece explaining it all."

Yes, 12 years late.

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JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.


04/07/03: The other casualties of war
02/27/03: War and principle
02/20/03: Diabolical women
02/14/03: Deadhead poets and society
02/07/03: Misguided compassionate conservative
01/31/03: The Wisk "fix it!" mentality
01/24/03: There are only two types of people in the U.S.: Trial lawyers and their clients and those who have had to pay trial lawyers and their clients
01/16/03: "My ex is a minority, so I deserve special treatment"
01/07/03: Why libs will never have a Rush Limbaugh
01/02/03: The year that was
12/26/02: Capital offenses, power and Harry Potter
12/20/02: Mundane superlatives cause trouble
12/09/02: Let the sacking begin
12/05/02: Amazing Grace that saved me from my CO2 emissions
11/27/02: Free speech, Harvard, and First Amendment looneys
11/25/02: Eminem culture
11/14/02: Hollywood trash
11/04/02: Patron Kennedy Saints
10/28/02: What the snipers and Moose taught
10/22/02: Nobel Prizes and other ventriloquist acts
10/17/02: The window on the liberal mind and war
10/14/02: Leaders don't change; followers do
10/07/02: Do it yourself
09/27/02: Hosers rise again
09/20/02: Girly gridiron
09/13/02: Erudite buffoons
09/11/02: One year later, crass demands, greed, and litigation are back --- but rights are diminished
09/06/02: Public schools: An unqualified success
08/30/02: The Shakespearean tragedy of affirmative action
08/23/02: Hollywood Joe's admission
08/15/02: Cheapskates
08/08/02: Ode to a coal miner
08/02/02: Sarah Brady's gun gift
07/26/02: Don't do it, Tiger
07/18/02: Reality Muppets
07/09/02: We're all going to die, live with it
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06/27/02: Nick not right
06/20/02: Behind the music
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06/06/02: Where was Agent Rowley when the FBI needed her?
05/30/02: Of big hair and sanity
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05/20/02: Some passion about Israel
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04/15/02: Harvard takes off its pants one leg at a time
04/09/02: The Clinton legacy: Politics of personal destruction
03/31/02: Oscars' subtle bigotry was embarrassing
03/22/02: Blame Oprah, Rosie, Sally, Ted, David
03/14/02: The costs of women's feeble choices
03/08/02: Botoxic faces
02/28/02: The dangers of organized philanthropy
02/25/02: Don't take the gold
02/14/02: Ease up on the brothers and sisters
02/11/02: Because I was courted
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01/24/02: Tolerance does not mean stupidity
01/17/02: Too old too soon
01/10/02: Ethically challenged firms
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12/20/01: Free Speech and the political spectrum
12/13/01: Curbing brats
12/06/01: Power to influence
11/29/01: The disappearing art of grading
11/21/01: The Big Two-Five
11/13/01: You can never find a lib when you need one
11/01/01: Unlucky in sports
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10/16/01: A touch of class
10/12/01: Of human nature and monsters
10/05/01: Sensitive man
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09/20/01: No tinhorn terrorists can frighten us
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08/23/01: Lowering expectations and flying high
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06/29/01: There is no excuse
06/21/01: I want an eternal soulmate, but the marriage thing is another issue
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06/07/01: No stroke of genius
05/30/01: The lesson of the Mr. Green Jeans senator: 'Moderate' is a classy term for wishy-washy
05/25/01: Baseball has not been so good to me
05/18/01: Clothes make the woman
05/11/01: Selective precaution
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04/27/01: The Horowitz revelations as seen by a college professor
04/20/01: First, let's kill all the tests
04/13/01: The continuing mistake of underpricing electricity
04/06/01: That pill, Julia Roberts
03/29/01: If it weren't for the parents, we might accomplish something
03/23/01: The melt down of the academy
03/15/01: Columbine redux: Moral infants
03/09/01: The lessons of Tom and Nicole
03/01/01: Pardon the temporary outrage
02/23/01: In defense of homework
02/20/01: A Message for faith-based organizations: Don't take the money, just run
02/06/01: Enough already with the Clintoons
01/26/01: The challenge to be better than we have been
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12/23/00: Litigation: It's the American way
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12/06/00: The company we keep: Lawyers and elections
12/01/00: Liberals' art of trashing of women
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10/20/00: Ten things the gay community should understand
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09/29/00: The capacity for truth
09/22/00: Charity with strings and an agenda
09/15/00: The taming of the shrew: Gloria Steinem takes a husband
09/09/00: Why rich folk don't bother me none
08/28/00: Survival of the not-so-fit but conniving
08/25/00: Conventions: A study in contrasts
08/18/00: Resenting the accusations of racial prejudice
08/04/00: Women: Their own worst enemy
07/21/00: Hillary: Our longshoreman First Lady
07/21/00: SUVs: The root of all evil
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06/14/00: Sex and the City: The shallow but vulgar female
06/08/00: No excuses schools
06/02/00: Oh, Canada: Our Nutty Neighbors to the North
05/23/00: The new mollycoddling coach
05/16/00: On adultery and leadership
05/12/00: Taking your lumps
05/02/00: Elian: There's never a liberal around when you need one
04/25/00: Life's circle and tenderness
04/18/00: Womyn who want it both ways
04/11/00: The monsters we're raising with the ergo proposition
04/05/00: Endowing the Hooters Chair for Literature Appreciation
03/28/00: Dr. Laura: The passive/aggressive kid's mom
03/21/00: Dough and campaigns
03/14/00: The volunteerism of conscription and pomp
03/07/00: Hope and pray that religion remains a force in politics
02/29/00: Ditzes in TV Land
02/22/00: Cranky nitpickers make writing a [sic] experience
02/15/00: Those chameleon 60s activists
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02/01/00: The demise of marriage
01/25/00: Stroke of the pen, law of the land: Clinton's Camelot
01/18/00: Off the Rocker Rorschach Test
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12/14/99: Drop-kicking the homeless
12/07/99: Turtles and teamsters, side-by-side in Seattle
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09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
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08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
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07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
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06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

© 2002, Marianne M. Jennings