The Moment of Truth — April 26, 2003

Tom Brokaw Can Really Kiss Ass

Hi, I’m me: jeff dorchen and welcome to the Moment of Truth, the one moment during the broadcast week when God briefly takes the barrel of the gun out of his mouth.

Last night on NBC I thought I was watching video of George W taking a dump. It turned out to be an optical illusion. What I actually saw was Tom Brokaw following W around with his lips on W’s ass. It was Tom Brokaw, not a piece of crap! An easy mistake to make.

Now it’s certainly a great honor for a journalist to be allowed to follow the President around, yucking it up and palling around and kissing his unconstitutionally-appointed ass. Especially when there’s a war on. If the President’s ass is left unkissed by the media during wartime, democracy might suffer, the troops might die of low morale, and without the gentle suction of media osculation, the Commander in Chief might get constipated and explode from an overflow of his own intelligence. Is it not the media’s job, especially in wartime, to suck as much intelligence out of the rear of the President as can possibly be sucked under the cover of an ass-kiss?

Yes, my fellow Americans, ass-kissing is an art when your job is to inform the public. Much like a pickpocket casually brushing by you in a crowd, an expert ass-kisser only SEEMS to be kissing ass, when he’s actually, ever-so-gingerly, and certainly unbeknownst to the ass in question, gathering valuable information to spew out onto the public. Only through such a process can the public be rendered fit to govern itself in a democracy.

And oh how Brokaw worked to earn his place at the President’s backside. Let us not forget that he was the only one of the three top network anchors to fully fall in line in de-Vietnamizing the war discourse in this country with his book “The Greatest Generation.” What was great about that generation, of course, was that they fought WWII. Invoking WWII nostalgia to drown out the clamoring doubts the Vietnam War had left with the US public was a primary mission of the New Right, and Brokaw certainly did his part. You might say the US destruction of Southeast Asia had left egg on the face of war, and that Brokaw had helped wipe it off. So it’s only natural that, of the three news suck-ups at the major networks, Brokaw would be George W’s choice to pucker up to his Presidential patoot.

In fact, it’s unfortunate that Brokaw ever has to go anywhere else for information, he’s so good at getting it out of W’s ass. I mean, who else really matters? The Congress has abdicated its power to declare war, among other powers. The Supreme Court abdicated all legal principle in appointing W President. The executive is the only branch of government whose powers have increased. And it’s easier to pay attention to the branch represented by just one guy. That’s what was so great about kings.

And of course, there are W’s own policies. Calling what W has proposed a “tax cut” reveals that no one but the very rich matter, since for anyone else it’s a tax hike, as it will leave the rest of us to cover from our own pockets whatever the rich will be withholding from the public coffers. When Bush says he wants Americans to keep their money, it’s clear his view of who an American is is pretty narrow. It’s not that big a stretch to believe he’s thinking only of himself. So again, no one matters but the President.

The events leading up to this most recent military victory made it clear that other countries don’t matter. You won’t see Brokaw kissing Jacques Chirac’s derriere, nor even Tony Blair’s bum. And if the leaders of other countries don’t matter, the people of those countries surely don’t even enter into the discussion. If they did the US media might have had a tougher time deciding which country was a willing member of the coalition of the willing and which was not. According to the US press, a nation is definitely not the people who inhabit it. And the more of them who march in the streets, the less they matter. No, a nation is its leader. Blair is England, Chirac is France, Sharon is Israel, Saddam was Iraq, and of course Bush is America. And since none of those other countries matter, again, we’re left with only one valuable source of information. George W Bush. Only one ass worth kissing.

It certainly simplifies things for an ass-kisser like Brokaw to see the world of asses in terms that whittle the kiss-worthy ones down to a single tushy. It’s similar to what made it so easy for the Soviet press commissars during Stalin’s “administration.” Only one ass mattered then, and only one matters now.

One might think it queer that Brokaw should model his journalistic philosophy on that of the Soviet commissars. But remember, Stalin was our ally in WWII, and WWII was the template for good and evil that the Vietnam War nudged us away from. Yes, we rejoiced in the demise of totalitarian communism when the Berlin Wall came down. And, yes, Brokaw will be among the first to tell you how stupid an idea a single-payer health plan is, or how awful it would be to have a college education available to anyone regardless of economic status, or how rotten a generation can be when it expects the government to redistribute wealth within any definition of the word “sensible.” And even if these are as much attributes of Western European democracies as they were of the Soviet Bloc nations, if not more so, they’re not really what Brokaw’s all about.

Brokaw’s all about ass-kissing. I mean, he is a journalist, after all. He’s not a community advocate, health care worker, or educator of any kind, nor is he a person without health insurance, and if Halliburton were to privatize the world’s water supply tomorrow, you can bet Brokaw would still be able to afford to fill his swimming pool. He’s a journalist, for Christ’s sake! Cut the man some slack! Of course if he’s not gonna throw EVERYTHING from the old Iron Curtain system out with the bathwater, the one baby he’ll save is its journalistic principles. He is a JOURNALIST, people.

And, hey, if W happens to be a genial fellow, why shouldn’t Brokaw yuck it up with him? It certainly doesn’t follow that he would’ve laughed at any of Stalin’s jokes. Or even Saddam Hussein’s, had he been an official Iraqi journalist. Or even Hitler’s jokes – and Hitler was said to be the life of the party. General Pinochet’s, Mao’s, Pol Pot’s – there’s nothing about Brokaw’s actions that would lead one to believe that, were he in a corresponding position vis-à-vis the above world leaders to the one he is in vis-à-vis George W Bush, there’s nothing, I say, in Brokaw’s actions, or in the philosophy one can assume operates behind those actions, that would lead one to conclude he would laugh at their jokes.

But he would definitely kiss their asses.

I’m mejefdorchen. And this has been another Moment of Truth.