21 May 2004

Eric Alterman Finds His Spine

Alterman, who was never a war cheerleader, has nonetheless been a staunchly mild critic of the administration -- kind of a Allan Coombs to Rummy's Sean Hannity, if you get me.

Apparently, however, a recent visit to Al Franken's show on Air America Radio was enough to finally liberate him. He spoke openly and honestly about how he was deceived by Wolfowitz directly and the rest of the Chicken Hawks more discreetly, and how he now sees -- along with a growing number of conservatives -- that this bunch, even if you agree with their aims, are an incompetent, secretive, lying bunch of "clowns."

A fair number of commenters, both on Franken's blog and other ones, pointed out that Alterman is himself part of the problem: he complains that the public fails to recognise the extent of the incompetence, but that's because even critics like him fail to report the depth of the deception, the malfeasance, the FUBARs.

To Alterman's credit, he seems to have taken the criticism on board and hired Emeril Lagasse to put some BAM! back into his column. Today's essay, "Hawks Eating Crow," is correctly scathing and damning not just of the usual suspects, but the media of which he is a part -- correctly noting that Comedy Central's The Daily Show is doing more and better "journalism" than most of the mainstream PR regurgitators, uncovering facts discarded or willingly hushed up by the US media and drawing blood by doing the analysis and critical thinking the so-called "liberal" media (ha!) have almost completely forsaken.

Good on yer, Eric. Now let's get the rest of the overpaid punditry of this country to remember that they serve the public interest, not the administration (regardless of who's in power).

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