Local radio talk-show host Leonard Lopate recently had Arianna Huffington on his show. I’ve just gotten to listen to the podcast of it. I find the Huffington Post to be a strange conglomeration, and don’t follow it much, but I was interested in and amused by her talk with Leonard Lopate.
My favourite quotes from the radio show:
[On the republican party.]
AH: Well, you know, what’s happening is that there is a huge, huge difference between the party of Ronald Reagan — and God knows, there’s plenty to criticize there — and the party of George Bush, that has been taken over by the lunatic fringe of the right. They are the people who don’t believe in evolution, and believe in torture.
[On the media’s playing along.]
AH: The so-called mainstream media have basically internalized a lot of the right-wing talking points, and we saw that at the ABC debate where George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson, hardly members of the right, asked completely trivial, unnecessary questions about lapel pins and sixties radicals. We saw it when the New York Times...
LL: Wait, let’s stop for a second. Do you think they did that because they saw it as signs of integrity? They were going to ask the tough questions, even if they, perhaps, didn’t think that those were important issues?
AH: I don’t consider them tough questions. I consider them trivializing questions. And as a result, the tough questions were not asked. The tough questions are, “What are we going to do about Iraq?” and “How are we going to deal with the housing crisis?” These are the truly tough questions.
[On “equal time for lies”.]
AH: There aren’t two sides to global warming. There are multiple sides as to what to do about global warming. But for years, and still now, we are debating global warming as though it’s legitimate to have on the one hand, say, Al Gore talking about the dangers of global warming, and on the other hand Senator James Inhofe telling us that global warming is a fraud. And that’s what I call the Pontius Pilate media, you know, washing their hands off and saying “Work it out.”
LL: I actually had somebody explain that he should have two sides of the Holocaust denial story on, because where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And also because if somebody is arguing the other case, he should get an airing.
AH: That is unbelievable to me, honestly, I think that... We are not debating whether the Earth is flat. We are not debating whether it is legitimate to burn women as witches. You know, there is a time when certain decisions are made, and certain issues are settled.
There is no question that Iraq has been the most tragic foreign policy decision this country has ever made. It is a complete debacle. And yet the media continue to report it as a “mixed bag.” Which is true only in the sense that if you go to a doctor, and the doctor tells you that you have a brain tumour, but at the same time your acne has improved, then you go away considering the diagnosis a “mixed bag.” There is no sense in which Iraq is a mixed bag.