Betraying the Troops

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the vile movie “Redacted” is opening in a few theatres this week. The film, financed by billionaire Mark Cuban and directed by far-left bomb thrower Brian DePalma, features drunken American soldiers in Iraq raping and murdering a 14-year-old girl and then slaughtering her family.

As stated in this space two months ago, a depiction like this will be displayed prominently on jihadi websites, and will be used as a recruiting tool by terrorists. No doubt.

Both DePalma and Cuban are unrepentant and apparently could not care less about putting U.S. troops in even more danger. Cuban opines that it is wrong to condemn the film without seeing it, but that’s incredible nonsense. No one denies the movie puts American soldiers in the worst light possible. As one reader emailed, “Saying you can’t condemn ‘Redacted’ without seeing it is like saying you can’t condemn crystal meth without taking it.”

So what’s to be done here? In a free society, Mark Cuban is entitled to make this despicable movie. Our military people have fought and died to give him that right. Isn’t that ironic? Cuban uses his freedom and his money, made in America, to put our troops at further risk. How does the guy live with himself?

This isn’t about the Iraq war or the war on terror. This is about fellow citizens. Even during the ultra-contentious Vietnam conflict, Hollywood didn’t make films that aided the enemy. Jane Fonda made a personal appearance in North Vietnam that did that, and she is still paying for it to this day.

Mark Cuban owns the Dallas Maverick basketball team and has been seen gyrating on TV’s “Dancing With the Stars.” While Cuban is doing the cha-cha, almost 200,000 brave Americans are on far-away battlegrounds. Picture the image of Cuban dancing around juxtaposed with scenes of the hardship our troops face everyday. Sounds like it would make an interesting movie sequence, don’t you think?

There comes a time when good people must make a stand, and this is one of those times. Cuban and DePalma have done a bad thing; they have made life even harder for our troops. So Americans should stand in front of any theatre showing “Redacted” and hold a simple sign: “Support the Troops.”

There is no excuse for “Redacted.” The incident is based on a true story, but those who committed the crimes are in prison for life. You don’t celebrate this kind of aberration with a movie—you don’t brand the U.S. military with this stigma.

Charles Manson is an American too, but does he represent this country in any way? Of course not. And I believe even the odious Manson would not make a movie like “Redacted.”




Courting Rosie

What are we to make of the fact that NBC News wanted to hire Rosie O’Donnell as a show host? Was Hugo Chavez not available? What the heck is going on?

The national news network that once brought you Huntley and Brinkley, John Chancellor, and Tom Brokaw, apparently wanted to give Ms. O’Donnell a daily program on MSNBC, which, in more than eleven years on the air, has not developed one well watched news program. Not one.

In the round-the-clock Nielsen ratings for October, the latest survey, MSNBC averaged a paltry 278,000 viewers per hour. That’s down 7% from October ’06. By contrast, Fox News about tripled that delivery; CNN doubled it.

Thus, in desperation, NBC News turned to Ms. O’Donnell, a woman who asserts that the United States military has killed more than 650,000 Iraqi citizens, claims that 9/11 was an inside job, and opines that Evangelical Christians are just as threatening as al-Qaeda.

Paging Tim Russert!

What is interesting here is that Ms. O’Donnell’s departure from ABC’s “The View” has not hurt that program at all. In fact, ratings for “The View” with Whoopi Goldberg this October were 9% higher than they were last October when Rosie presided.

But NBC News didn’t seem to care. Move over, Brian Williams… Rosie O’Donnell could have been the new sheriff in town if only the terms had been worked out. Why they were not remains a mystery.

But the interest was there, and in that spirit, I’d like to propose some other NBC moves because the network’s entertainment programming is down the drain as well. Let’s take a meeting and discuss the following:

  • Dancing with the Panthers.
    A one-hour dance show featuring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin cutting some rug with members of the New Black Panther Party. Power salutes all around.
  • CSI: Havana.
    Fidel and Raul Castro head an elite squad that tracks down owners of private property on the island nation. Mucho anti-Bush dialogue will be incorporated into the program, which will also star Michael Moore as the Cuban Health Minister.
  • Welcome Back, Ahmadinejad.
    The zany Iranian president returns to Columbia University to teach a course on International Relations. Lectures on driving the Jews into the sea and the absence of gay people in Persia will be front and center.
  • Code Pink Knows Best.
    Cindy Sheehan stars as a woman elected President of the United States on the third party “Kool-Aid” ticket. Her first actions are dissolving the military and giving Uday and Qusay Hussein the Medal of Freedom, posthumously, of course.
  • Are You Smarter Than Al Gore?
    A quiz program with a global warming theme. Sample question: If a polar bear is forced to leave Barrow, Alaska because of melting icebergs, and that bear can travel seven miles per hour, how long will it take him to reach San Francisco?

That kind of primetime lineup will synergize perfectly with the new image of NBC News. In fact, if NBC revives talks with Rosie, she could actively promote the new primetime lineup from her daily news perch.

Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way! NBC News and Rosie O’Donnell, perfect together.




Courting Rosie

What are we to make of the fact that NBC News wanted to hire Rosie O’Donnell as a show host? Was Hugo Chavez not available? What the heck is going on?

The national news network that once brought you Huntley and Brinkley, John Chancellor, and Tom Brokaw, apparently wanted to give Ms. O’Donnell a daily program on MSNBC, which, in more than eleven years on the air, has not developed one well watched news program. Not one.

In the round-the-clock Nielsen ratings for October, the latest survey, MSNBC averaged a paltry 278,000 viewers per hour. That’s down 7% from October ’06. By contrast, Fox News about tripled that delivery; CNN doubled it.

Thus, in desperation, NBC News turned to Ms. O’Donnell, a woman who asserts that the United States military has killed more than 650,000 Iraqi citizens, claims that 9/11 was an inside job, and opines that Evangelical Christians are just as threatening as al-Qaeda.

Paging Tim Russert!

What is interesting here is that Ms. O’Donnell’s departure from ABC’s “The View” has not hurt that program at all. In fact, ratings for “The View” with Whoopi Goldberg this October were 9% higher than they were last October when Rosie presided.

But NBC News didn’t seem to care. Move over, Brian Williams… Rosie O’Donnell could have been the new sheriff in town if only the terms had been worked out. Why they were not remains a mystery.

But the interest was there, and in that spirit, I’d like to propose some other NBC moves because the network’s entertainment programming is down the drain as well. Let’s take a meeting and discuss the following:

  • Dancing with the Panthers.
    A one-hour dance show featuring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin cutting some rug with members of the New Black Panther Party. Power salutes all around.
  • CSI: Havana.
    Fidel and Raul Castro head an elite squad that tracks down owners of private property on the island nation. Mucho anti-Bush dialogue will be incorporated into the program, which will also star Michael Moore as the Cuban Health Minister.
  • Welcome Back, Ahmadinejad.
    The zany Iranian president returns to Columbia University to teach a course on International Relations. Lectures on driving the Jews into the sea and the absence of gay people in Persia will be front and center.
  • Code Pink Knows Best.
    Cindy Sheehan stars as a woman elected President of the United States on the third party “Kool-Aid” ticket. Her first actions are dissolving the military and giving Uday and Qusay Hussein the Medal of Freedom, posthumously, of course.
  • Are You Smarter Than Al Gore?
    A quiz program with a global warming theme. Sample question: If a polar bear is forced to leave Barrow, Alaska because of melting icebergs, and that bear can travel seven miles per hour, how long will it take him to reach San Francisco?

That kind of primetime lineup will synergize perfectly with the new image of NBC News. In fact, if NBC revives talks with Rosie, she could actively promote the new primetime lineup from her daily news perch.

Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way! NBC News and Rosie O’Donnell, perfect together.




Don’t Worry, Be Happy

So now the far-left loons in the media are saying there really isn’t an organized terror threat in the world and that this whole war on terror deal is a hype job. That must come as great comfort to the thousands of families who lost loved ones on 9/11. They must really appreciate the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorializing, “After nearly six years of hearing the Bush administration make assertions about the war on terrorism that turn out—to put it kindly—overblown…”

I’m just wondering how “overblown” the terror war is for the five thousand individuals injured when al-Qaeda blew up two U.S. embassies in Africa, not to mention the 257 human beings who were murdered in that attack. But it might be hard to comprehend “overblown” when you’re dead.

The nutty professor Paul Krugman, who teaches at Princeton and writes op-ed lunacy for the New York Times, is also on the diminish terror bandwagon. This is from his desk: “There isn’t any such thing as Islamofascism—it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination.”

That’s like saying there is no such thing as stupidity… right, professor?

Maybe we should ask the families of the 40 dead and 300 injured in the London subway bombings, or the friends of the 202 dead in the Bali, Indonesia attack on a Kuta beach nightclub to comment on Krugman’s opinion. I believe they might have some reaction.

And how about Professor Paul Campos, who teaches at the University of Colorado, still the home of Ward Churchill. Campos wrote in the Rocky Mountain News, “[Conservatives] have helped create a fear of terrorism out of all proportion to the actual threat terrorism poses.”

Let’s run that by the 1,500 human beings hurt in the Madrid train bombing. Unfortunately, the 197 people killed in that al-Qaeda attack are not available to comment.

The hits just keep on coming in the liberal media. General Wesley Clark, a commentator on NBC News, says that Osama Bin Laden is not an “existential” threat to America. The General believing that the terrorist and his crew could not destroy the entire nation. Just some of us.

Swell.

The reason the committed left-wing media is putting out this nonsense is politics. The biggest strength on the Republican side this Presidential season is fighting terrorism. All of the Democratic candidates are perceived to be soft in this area because they do not support specific anti-terror measures, and are scared stiff by the far-left internet smear merchants who believe worldwide terrorism is America’s fault.

This is no ideological game here. All over the world, thousands are dead and maimed because Muslim killers believe they can attack civilians at will and the West is too weak to stop them.

Judging by what is passing for editorial comment these days, bin Laden and his cutthroats may be right. Differences in opinion over how to fight terrorism are legitimate and necessary. But downgrading the lethal threat is irresponsible in the extreme.




A Socialist In The White House?

Remember Eugene Debs? If you do, congratulations for passing your 100th birthday. The powerful labor leader ran for the presidency five times as a Socialist, peaking at 6% of the vote in 1912.

How about Norman Thomas? He did Debs one better, running for President of the United States six times on the Socialist Party ticket. Persistence did not engender popularity. Thomas’ best showing came when he got about 2% of the vote in 1932, in the throes of the Great Depression. In 1944, with our troops fighting in Europe and Asia, he received 0.16% of the popular vote, convincing all of 79,000 Americans that he was the right man for the job.

So you can see that Americans, unlike Europeans, have not been all that fond of avowed socialists. The Socialist Party actually stopped running presidential candidates after a fellow named Darlington Hoopes captured a grand total of 2,000 votes in 1956. His percentage of the popular vote, to borrow from Animal House: ‘Zero-point-zero.’

And yet now, 60 years after Darlington Hoopes, many Democrats are embracing the self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders. According to one poll, the 74-year-old leads Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by a whopping 27%!

Bernie doesn’t just talk the talk, the guy is the real deal. Right after his second marriage, Bernie and his new bride traveled to the Soviet Union. He says it was not a honeymoon, merely a trip to foster cooperation. He also paid a visit to communist Nicaragua, where he apologized for U.S. foreign policy and attended what was described as an ‘anti-U.S. rally.’

Sanders called for a political revolution and denounced America as a nation where everything is ‘based on greed.’ His solution, naturally, was a government takeover of various industries.

But that was way back when Bernie Sanders was a mere pup in his 40s. What about now that the junior senator is a senior citizen? Well, Sanders advocates ‘Medicare for all’ and the abolishment of private insurance plans. The details are fuzzy, but let’s just say that if you like ObamaCare, you’ll absolutely adore BernieCare.

He relishes bashing Wall Street and wants to tax ‘the rich’ and profitable corporations at some undefined astronomical rate. Bernie might take a cue from his neighbors in Connecticut. General Electric is moving its global headquarters from the Nutmeg State to Massachusetts, largely because of onerous taxation.

If you tax companies excessively, they take their business and their jobs elsewhere, often offshore. If you tax individuals excessively, they have less to spend and the economy suffers. There is simply no way for Bernie Sanders to pay for the trillions of dollars his policies would require. Nevertheless, according to a Gallup poll, 6 in 10 Democrats say they would vote for a socialist. Meanwhile, 43% of Iowa Democrats describe themselves as ‘socialist.’ Unfortunately, the poll did not ask whether those self-proclaimed socialists even know what the word means.

As has been said many times on The Factor, Bernie Sanders seems to be an honest man who genuinely believes what he says. And despite his flirtation with despotic regimes, Sanders took some extraordinarily brave and principled positions here in the USA, especially on civil rights. But history has proven that his economic policies are misguided and would seriously damage the country.

Democratic bosses are trembling at the prospect of a Sanders nomination. Who would he pick as his running mate? Michael Moore is out because he is obviously averse to running. Truth is, Bernie Sanders will not be the nominee, the party just won’t let that happen. But he has managed to move a major American political party far to the left. So far that it will be hard for Hillary Clinton or the eventual nominee to jog back to the center.

Perhaps Bernie Sanders can take some solace from Norman Thomas, the aforementioned six-time presidential candidate. For many decades there was actually a Norman Thomas High School in Manhattan. The school was recently shut down because it was performing so poorly, which could be seen as a metaphor for socialism itself.

And in all likelihood there will someday be a Bernard Sanders High School, probably right there in Burlington, Vermont. It will be named for a former Mayor, Congressman, and Senator, a man who spoke his mind and inspired a legion of young followers. But it will not be named for a former President of the United States.