...busting up my brains for the words

Friday, December 03, 2004

Kofi, Norm & Jim Lehrer's News Hour

After several days of impatient viewing of various news programs and the impatient readings of various newspapers, I have noted that few carry stories of the United Nations Oil-For-Food Scandal. They would continue to tell their silly little stories of Spongebob Squarepants inflatables being stolen or more seriously, of more people being killed in Iraq by "insurgents". But across the landscape of news programs from Tom Brokaw to Tim Russert to Caty and Matt (can you tell I've been watching NBC a bit?), there has been NOTHING on this story.

So it was with a Mr. Spock inspired raised eyebrow that I greeted the Jim Lehrer News Hour story tonight on PBS. They covered it and invited Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman and, in the words of NewsHour, "Timothy Wirth, a former Democratic senator and former undersecretary of state. He's now president of the privately funded United Nations Foundation."

"Let's not jump to any conclusions", says Mr. Wirth. It takes some real guts to go on television and say something so absurd on its very face. I don't know how PBS finds these people. Just a few minutes later Mr. Wirth was branding Senator Coleman's call for resignation "absurd".
Anybody out there in the blogosphere care to lay bets as to whether we'll be hearing much more of former Senator Wirth as opposed to hearing more from Senator Coleman? I think that's an obvious outcome.

I've been a regular viewer of the NewsHour for many years, dating back to when Robin McNeil was a co-host. This is a program that is designed to circumvent built-in bias by propping up two perspectives from opposite sides. I've often wondered how they do this. But there can be little complaint from me when they tap Senator Norm Coleman, the leader of an investigative committee into the scandal. Senator Coleman is a bulldog Republican who is a very strident supporter of President Geo. W. Bush and the liberation of Iraq. He is very articulate for his mission. Presenting Coleman on the program cannot be viewed in any way as a softening of the message. Although I did note that Mr. Lehrer himself did not pose any questions to David Brooks or Tom Oliphant in the editorial segment that takes place every Friday.

I view this news piece as a note on the fact that Senator Coleman has called for the resignation of Kofi Annan. It's a process. Of course, someone was dug up who opposes the resignation of Annan. Even in nasty, harsh Washington D.C. and NYC, there is a modicum of decency surrounding the proposition that a man be fired. Mister Annan is taking note, to be sure. He has heard the call. He can dig in and resist the inevitable tide that will rise against him. Or he can resign. In any event, this is the civil time the system has allocated for him to ponder his options.

Resign honorably?

Or be dragged kicking and screaming like spoilt child three months from now?

Let's make nice-nice and let the little man resign.


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