Frank Rich Strikes Again!

Just when you thought the world is safe from the inane, retarded bullshit spewed by the gaping asshole that is Frank Rich, he strikes back, come from the dead, like a zombie that refuses to be killed no matter how many times you’ve shot its head with a 12 gauge. He’s like the Rasputin of the newspaper columnists: you can belittle, ridicule, and ridicule him again, but every time he rises, like a very resistant case of the herpes.

Okay, the previous paragraph is of course a very hyperbolic, and let me add, unfair, assessment of Frank Rich. He’s not a gaping asshole that spews retarded bullshit: he is the merely the orifice from which unholy things emerge.

But seriously, I don’t personally know the guy, so I am just busting his balls a little bit (or a lot). I do, however, have a huge problem with the way he writes, especially about the way he writes about Hillary Clinton. Now look here, I am not going to vote for her, but I really think Frank Rich has got it in for her.

As if writing an op-ed column in which he compared HRC’s campaign management to Bush’s management of the Iraq war is not enough (see my response here), Frank Rich decides to write a column in today’s New York Times, trying to rip HRC a new one about her “gaffe” about the whole “dodging sniper bullets in Bosnia” story.

The title of the op-ed column?: “Hillary’s St. Patrick’s Day Massacre.”

If I didn’t know any better, or maybe it’s because I do, I think Frank Rich is trying very hard to replace Maureen Dowd as the NYT columnist with the most amount of “snark.”

The other thing about Frank Rich is that he is predictable, very predictable, especially when it comes to making exaggerated claims of comparison. Check out this claim in his column:

Instead, her fictionalized derring-do may have stirred national trace memories of two of the signature propaganda stunts of the war: the Rambo myth the Pentagon concocted for Pvt. Jessica Lynch and President Bush’s flyboy antics on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln during “Mission Accomplished.”

I honestly don’t know how in the fucking world Frank Rich can justify HRC’s story with “propaganda.” Again Frank Rich tries to argue, with all the subtlety of a motor-impaired alcoholic wielding a hammer in a china shop, that HRC is just like Bush. How in the fucking world can anyone equate the Jessica Lynch spin-job and “Mission Accomplished” with a fictitious story that HRC told on her campaign stops?

Like Jules used to say in Pulp Fiction: “It ain’t even the same fucking sport.”

The broader point about the whole “incident” with HRC’s Bosnia story is that we are still very firmly attached to the teat that is the 24 hours news cycle. Just like the Rev. Wright’s remarks were played over and over again on cable and youtube, HRC’s gaffe was being played over and over again now.

And that, friends, is the state of election coverage in this country. Now that Obama speech is brought back into sharp focus, especially when he says:

I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

He’s fucking right: who really cares if HRC told a lie about Bosnia? What the fuck does that have to do with anything about being the president? Does lying automatically disqualify you from being the president? If that is the case, then no one in America today is fit to run for that office, ever. What is the discussion about HRC’s lie really about? Because God help me, I can’t see that it has anything to do with a real meaningful discussion about her being the next president.

And that is the thing: we have become so fucking petty in our view on politics.

But who the fuck am I kidding right? After two more days, HRC’s little Bosnia story blows over in the news cycle, and we will all soon be watching some little stupid mistake that John McCain has made on YouTube, and all the talking heads (and here I am reminded of a great couplet from T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men“: Shape without form, shade without colour,/Paralysed force, gesture without motion”) will be arguing themselves to death and oblivion about whether the obligatory “apology,” the inevitable “renounce-and-denounce” speech served its political purpose of appeasing the so-called “controversy.”

Don’t you just love American political coverage by the media?

But lest y’all be confused: I, too, am guilty, and no less guilty than Frank Rich and others like him. After all, if it wasn’t for the fact that I check all the major newspapers and political blogs every morning when I wake up, between every break I have from work, then I would not be able to write the things that I do.

I, too, am a complicit actor and spectator of this theatre of the absurd, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


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