by Ahmed Bouzid
American Reporter Correspondent
September 5, 2005
WAITING FOR THE TALKING POINTS
WASHINGTON -- A deafening silence haunts the American conservative echo chamber.
It has now been four days since the levees in New Orleans broke, and yet, not a word of comment on the disaster from either George Will or Robert Novak, the doyens of conservative opinion making here in the United States. Will's two op-eds since the day after Katrina have been, "The role of judges cuts both ways" and "Questions for Sen. Schumer" (Sep. 4), while Robert Novak wrote an obituary column about his friend Jude Wanniski ("Father of supply-side," Sept.1) and a column on the estate tax ("Estate tax politics," Sept. 3).
Something is terribly amiss.
Charles Krauthammer's lone column since the disaster focused on Iraq, ("The Iraqi Constitution project," Sept.2), Ann Coulter's on Ted Kennedy's privacy ("How about Ted Kennedy's privacy?" Sept. 1), Michelle Malkin's on undocumented workers ("The gangstas in my neighborhood," Aug.t 31), while Cal Thomas fell back on the trusty topic of cutting down government spending ("From spendthrifts to thrifty spending," Aug. 31).
Jeff Jacoby's one column was on the Gaza pullout ("Gaza's final evacuees," Sept. 2), David Limbaugh's focused on Iraq ("A republican constitution, Iraqi style," Sept. 2), Ben Shapiro's on Cindy Sheehan ("Even Cindy Sheehan can go too far," Aug. 31), Joel Mowbray excoriated the Council on American-Islamic Relations for getting conservative talk show host Michael Graham fired ("CAIR killing free speech in the U.S.?," Sept. 2), Debra Saunders bitterly ridiculed a London Zoo Exhibit that attempted to creatively get the point across that human are primates ("The human zoo?," Sept. 1), while Linda Chavez directed her ire against "legislation [that] would grant so-called native Hawaiians status akin to that of American Indian tribes, including a measure of self-government" ("Time to stand for unity," Aug. 31).
A few, however, have dared venture an opinion, such as Jonah Goldberg, who took a stab at the metaphysical question of how "a good God can allow evil to persist" and then went on to ridicule "people [who] desperately want the culprit to be someone - or something - other than God or 'Mother Nature' ("Voodoo meteorology," Sept. 2). Oliver North, on his part, lashed out against Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., for criticizing government energy policies and bemoaned the lack of "decorum between the two major political parties and among the three branches of government."(" Hurricanes, hatred and hypocrisy," Sept. 2)
Mona Charen, as usual, did not mince her words; her one column on the disaster opened with, "The looters are helping themselves to DVD and MP3 players, beer, flat-screen televisions, clothing, booze, guns, candy and sporting goods." He piece was titled, "Shoot looters" (Sept. 2). Doug Giles struck a similar note of fiery outrage at the looters, calling them "must-have-an-all-access-laminated-pass-in-hell-waiting-for-them, dregs-of-humanity" and proposing that "we get Pat Robertson to call for the-doctrine-of- assassination card to be played against the giddy, wading thugs who see this catastrophe as their window of opportunity."("New Orleans Saints and Sphincters," Sept. 2)
But perhaps the most creative attempt at spinning the Katrina nightmare came from Matt Towery, who, pulling out the conservative spin machine's favorite card - the elite media - offered the following: "So why on Tuesday night was network television airing shows like 'Tommy Lee Goes to College,' instead of providing wall-to-wall live coverage of this historic, catastrophic event?... . I'll tell you why. It's because the know-it-alls in New York and Washington don't have a clue about the American South. They don't comprehend its political might and economic muscle, and thus the ultimately crippling impact Katrina is going to have on them, too. It's that simple" ("The elite doesn't understand the South," Sept. 1).
Karl Rove had better hurry up and get those talking points out. Silence and desperate, feeble random spinning, he knows better than anyone else, have never worked as a PR strategy.
Ahmed Bouzid is president of Palestine Media Watch, http://www.pmwatch.org.