A BuzzFlash Editorial
January 17, 2002
Can The "National Review" Transform Itself Into A "New Age" Right Wing Media Publication? Which Is To Say, Can It Master The Art Of Fiction Writing?
The National Review, a Cold War conservative relic trying to fast track into the Ann Coulter age by running commentary that would make the Wall Street Journal editorial page blush, has decided that when you can't marshal the facts, turn to fiction writing.
In a January 14 commentary by "White House Correspondent" Byron York (http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york011402.shtml), the Review resorts to fabricating a "conversation" between Congressman Henry Waxman and his staffers. York was, in his own doltish way, trying to make the case that Waxman was out to get Bush, damn the facts. Now, doesn't it seem a bit odd that York would make up a conversation in order to "expose" Waxman? That's about as persuasive as Bush's account of how he came to be decked by a floor.
If someone tells you that they can fully detail a conversation you had yesterday to which they were not privy, as proof of your moral failing, would you believe them? Of course, if you answered no, it shows that you don't belong to the Grand Hypocrisy Party (GHP) or get paid to be a shill for them. York's bizarre article, "Waxman's Enron Attack," accuses the Congressman of willy-nilly attacking the White House. But York doesn't even realize he undercuts his own attack on Waxman by acknowledging "Waxman has simply written a series of letters to major players in the [Enron] story, demanding information."
Horror of horrors to the easily indignant York, "He [Waxman] has given the letters to the press and posted them on his website - and, in no time at all, Waxman's words began showing up in press reports." Good grief! What is our country coming to? If this keeps up, we might find bovine faced dough boys named Rush screeching lies across the radio waves. Or egotistical blowhards named O'Reilly running a televised fan club for Bush Incorporated. Or a religious weirdo like Rev. Moon running an international wire service and Washington, D.C., newspaper.
From the beginning, Henry Waxman has demanded the facts Ma'am, nothing but the facts. He started off his Enron requests by having the temerity to think we live in a democracy and that the Vice President owes it to the citizens of this great country to let us know who is making energy policy for America. Of course, to the Tory National Review, democracy is for the rabble. In their notion of the Republic, it is the self-appointed elite who rule. And the rulers of the Republic, as compared to a democracy, are to be deferred to, not questioned.
As is noted in a January 16 story in the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58073-2002Jan16.html): "On the subject of the task force records, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), in a letter yesterday to Vice President Cheney, said he has not made allegations because he does not want to 'accuse first and investigate later.' But he pointed to 17 provisions in President Bush's energy policy that would have benefited Enron. 'This creates the unfortunate appearance that a large contributor received special access and obtained extraordinarily favorable results in the White House energy plan,' Waxman wrote."
Insider sources on Capitol Hill also tell us that York's charge that Johnny Chung (one of the Clinton investigation targets who has reached cult status among the right wing) was counseled by Waxman's staff to plead the Fifth Amendment is gibberish. Apparently, Chung's own lawyers refuted the charge.
But facts and good taste don't matter much for the National Review.
After all, this is the publication that BuzzFlash took to task last year for publishing a column by the demented John Derbyshire, a regular contributor to the National Review. In a psychotic "commentary," Derbyshire suggested that Chelsea Clinton should be killed to spare the U.S. the possibility that she might grow up and be elected to office. Derbyshire claimed that Chelsea was born of tainted blood and that the Chinese used to know how to take care of these things: kill the whole family. (see http://www.nationalreview.com/derbyshire/derbyshire021501.shtml)
Since you are probably thinking we are making this up, here is a passage from the Derbyshire piece:
"Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past - I'm not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble - recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an "enemy of the people". The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, "clan liability". In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished "to the ninth degree": that is, everyone in the offender's own generation would be killed, and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed. (This sounds complicated, but in practice what usually happened was that a battalion of soldiers was sent to the offender's home town, where they killed everyone they could find, on the principle neca eos omnes, deus suos agnoscet - "let God sort 'em out".)"
Well, all we can say to the charges made by Byron York against Henry Waxman is, consider the source - and consider the company York keeps at the National Review.
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