Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Little Ronnie

I was busy yesterday and only got time to check out Monday's Democracy Now! today. I want to note something C.I. wrote on it:

"Did Former Marine Jimmy Massey Lie About U.S. Military Atrocities in Iraq? A Debate Between Massey and Embedded Reporter Ron Harris" (Democracy Now)
[C.I.'s commenting on the story above.]
Did former U.S, marine Jimmy Massey lie or exaggerate about killing civilians in Iraq to the media? Ron Harris, a reporter embedded with Massey's battalion says Massey's claims are not credible. We host a debate with Massey and Harris.
Ron Harris is a tool. And that's the mildest term I could use at this site. I've been on the phone with Dona and we're both very vocal on this debate. Harris monopolizes the interview, refuses to answer questions and constantly refers to Massey as "Jimmy." There's a crack made about "or 6 year-old boys" made by Harris that's a smear.
There are so many problems with Harris. Besides "Let me finish" (Harris who can't shut the ___ up. He can't shut up. And no one gives a damn about hearing his spin of why he's attacking Massey. No one needed to hear it once, let alone over and over.)
He's an embed in bed with the military. He says "we" at one point referring to the military (as we noted here last week he does that in print as well). Brown's got the war lust and now he's out to attack Massey. Or, as he says, "Jimmy."
How important is Harris that he's allowed to call him "Jimmy"? It's condescending. It's like when the Bully Boy called Cindy Sheehan "Mom." It's out of line. Groan as you listen to him holler "Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy" when Goodman's even asked Massey to speak.
Dona said listening to him ask in his "cracking voice that verged on the falsetto, 'Can I finish?' over and over" was enough to make her throw something at the TV. I was luckier. I only had to listen to Harris, I didn't have to also see him. Or I guess we should call him "Ronnie." Ronnie is what we will call the embed who got in bed with the military and gladly slept in the wet spot.
Ronnie tries to confuse Massey, tossing out terms like "deep cover" that are journalistic. It starts out civil, the discussion until Ronnie goes on the attack early on. Harris monopolizes the discussion as though he can win by sheer wordage.
The points are:
1) Things not observed have been repeated.
Massey acknowledges that (and has before) on his part. Ronnie can't do the same and blows off all attempts to pin him down on that point (I believe Ronnie channels Cher from Clueless for this topic: "Whatever").
2) Massey's book has only been published in France, in French.
Ronnie went on CNN last week to attack the book. Ronnie doesn't read French. Which goes to point one. (Ronnie claims to have spoken to the book's co-author. Since her husband has already written a letter to the Sacremento Bee chastizing the paper for their eagerness to distance themselves from Massey, it's doubtful that her comments to Ronnie, "whatever" they are, back up Ronnie's views and spin.)
3) Public record.
Ronnie dismisses criticism of his own reporting (he was a war cheerleader quick to note "chemical weapons" found in Iraq -- they weren't). That reporting bears Ronnie's name so one would assume Ronnie is responsible for it. (But Ronnie seems the type who rarely takes accountability.) By contrast, Ronnie refers to a paper's report of a statement by Massey. It's the only thing he can find to back him up and he never gives the name of reporter or the title of the piece. So no one can verify Ronnie's claims this morning. If such a report does exist, the fact remains that Massey didn't write it and if all other reports don't include Massey making such a claim in his many speaking engagements it is highly possible the press reporter got the quote wrong. (Shocking! Isn't it.)
On verify, Ronnie seems to think he knows what Massey knows and doesn't know. Seer Ronnie states that Massey can't prove his comments and that Massey knows that. Massey responds he has recordings for his book. Ronnie just sighs a lot and says "Jimmy, Jimmy" (honestly, it's like he's trying to promote Madonna's True Blue album).
Ronnie shifts the topic anytime it's uncomfortable for him and is prone to issuing self-serving statements (he really is shouting out to Madonna, this is just like Madonna's performance in Evita).
Jim's on the phone now (yelling, Dona's passed it over to him). Which is good both because he has a point he wants made and because hearing someone even more angry than Dona or I actually has a calming effect.
Jim: "Sgt. Massey. That's what Ron Embed On His Knees should call Jimmmy Massey. It's what he would call anyone else who served. As a member of the press who has decided to attack someone, he has no right to be so familiar with Massey."
I'll pull an Amy Goodman and say, "And that will be our final word." Seriously, that was the point Jim wanted to make.

If you haven't watched the segment, watch it. (Or listen to it.) This is disgusting. And what disgusts me even more is that Ron Harris is African-American.

I don't know why that's surprising though. We've seen Condi Rice and Colin Powell play (as Harry Belefonte said so correctly) the house negroes for the Bully Boy. We've seen Armstrong Williams (a very strange man) sell out for an exact dollar amount.

History's full of Uncle Toms.

But there's something so disgusting to see an African-American so quick to carry the administration's water. Three Cool Old Guys had already seen it Monday when I spoke to them but I was behind and had to catch up. They told me I'd be furious and I was.

Uncle Toms really aren't surprising. But, as an African-American, it still hurts to encounter them.

There's no built in nobility in my race, I know that. I know we've got the same ratio of jerks as any other race. But when you see someone so desperate to destroy a guy, and willing to play fast and loose with the truth, if you're African-American, or if your me anyway, you start thinking, "Why is this man willing to smear to protect the Bully Boy?"

He's also protecting his own ass. Ronnie was an embed who did as he was told. He signed on to the agreement all the embeds sign on with.

He gave up his self-respect when he did.

Now he's willing to tear apart a guy who was doing what what Ronnie supposedly respects (serving the country) just to keep the truth from coming out.

I found it disgusting.

But there's a lesson here.

Some people will always sell out to suck up to power. Ronnie did.