September 9, 2006

The 3,000 Matthew Sheppards of the Neocons

We are, in the runup to the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, being assaulted on all sides by the punditocracy and the media with recollections, reminiscences, and reenactments.

Ugh. This was a tragedy for the dead and their survivors, and indeed for the country. Like any dead, these deserve a dignified commemoration, and, the event being significant and perhaps epochal, a serious analysis of what happened, why, and what is to be done.

However, what we get is a flood of platitudes and exploitation. The ABC docucrama has evoked a storm of criticism, which is fine, and what is not so fine, threats from Dem elected officials to go after broadcast licenses. The threats are empty but may be enough to scare the suits.

On the merits, there was, of course, a lack of prescience going back at least to Reagan's evacuation from Lebanon, shared by both parties. There was no need to embellish Clinton's share in the general fecklessness. The record's bad enough.

It was equally stupid on the Dems' part to raise such a ruckus, which can only help the ratings. Shades of Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York, who was wont to denounce the "indecency" of movies, thus pumping up their box office. Think The Moon Is Blue, a Preminger film whose offense was to use the word "virgin" out loud. O tempora, o mores!

Of course, silence is too much to expect. The Clinton theme song is
Enough about you baby-let's talk about me
You don't even have a clue lately what I really need
You forgot how to listen
That's what I'm missin'
And I just wanna scream enough about you baby
Let's talk about me
Let's talk about me
Me, Me, Me, Me, Me-Yeah
Enough about you baby
Some young pup on the Huffington Post is paying David Horowitz back by discovering a right-wing network behind the ABC 9/11 docucrama.

Commenters on lefty blogs see this as a great exposé. It's really a yawn, unless one is surprised that non-lefty Hollywoodians can also talk to one another, promote one another's projects, and even create non-profits. "People For the American Way" is taken, or, no doubt, David Horowitz, apparently the spider at the center of this web, would have taken it. Norman Lear, who provided the seed money, got hold of that title decades ago. PFAW, incidentally, is promoting a "Call ABC" campaign. They don't outright demand that the series be pulled, but they do say the edits ABC has already made are not enough. So much for the marketplace of ideas.

(Don't get me wrong. As long as the gummint doesn't get involved, telling corporations you think they're wrong and should change their programming is 100% legal and constitutionally protected, right or wrong. What's sauce for Donald Wildmon is sauce for Chuck Schumer.)

Are ABC and the folks behind this miniseries exploiting the memory of the 9/11 dead? Probably. It happens all the time. There's a mini-wave of remembrances of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy these days, too. Even aside from the fact that I'm not an admirer of the man, murdered or not, enough already.

Dare I say, the Nazi murder of European Jews is a prime example. It's regularly trotted out by pro-lifers, Zionists, Jewish organizations, animal rights people, and pro-Palestinian advocates, just to name a few. It's also spawned an academic industry and an unsavory "revisionist" industry. All pimping off the dead, who deserve no such treatment.

Solemn remembrance would be more like it.

We do not honor the memory of the dead by waving the bloody shirt, or using them for political purposes. Let the 9/11 dead rest in peace. They need not be the Matthew Sheppards of the neocons. Or of the moonbats, either.

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