Saturday, August 22, 2009

missing the point

Accusing Howard Kurtz of missing the point is like accusing your old grandmother of wallowing in nostalgia for the days when Frank Sinatra was young and hot - pretty obvious.

But pretty obviously, Howie has done this again. Writing about former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's disclosure in a book that some of the 2004 terror alerts were politically motivated, Kurtz's angle isn't about misusing government programs and scaring the public for political gain. No, it was to bemoan people for not keeping their mouths shut when they are out of office.

Is Ridge's careful, veiled disclosure ideal? No. It would have been better if he'd fought it harder. Just once I'd like to see a senior American political official have the balls to resign in protest - I can't think of one who has done so since Cyrus Vance quit as Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State. (If Ridge had done so back then, he would have been pilloried as a traitor and a secret agent of the Democratic Party by the Fox-Limbaugh-Bachman wing of the GOP...)

But disclosing this after the fact - not so much news as confirmation of many suspicions - is better than nothing.

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