Brit Hume Vies
with Pentagon Spokesman for Most Vile Statement of the Week (or Maybe the
Year): Part One
December 5, 2001
Public figures make
statements of incredible stupidity, callousness or disingenuousness quite
often. So what it takes to really get my attention is when a statement
combines all three of these unattractive attributes.
Brit Hume is the anchor of
the Fox News 6 p.m. newscast "Special Report." According to
a recent article
in The New York Times, Hume
said he had avoided giving
too much weight to reports about civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
"O.K., war is hell,
people die," he said. "We know we're at war. The fact that some
people are dying, is that really news? And is it news to be treated in a
semi-straight-faced way? I think not."
It would be easier on my
stomach to not have to explicitly tease out what is offensive about this
statement, and rather, to just allow most readers' visceral repulsion upon
reading it to suffice. However, doing my duty to analyze, for those
who don't get it without some help, here goes:
Stupid: It's not news
when American bombs kill scores of
civilians at a time -- at least several hundred total to date -- in a war
touted as so high-tech that we can avoid that very thing happening?
Callous: Fox reports
every single American death or injury. Aren't the deaths of soldiers
to be expected in war also? I guess Afghan lives are not worth
Hume really expect us not to understand the reason Fox News avoids reporting
civilian deaths? That reason, of course, is to avoid presenting any
facts that could diminish support for the type of war Bush is waging.
Now, what could the Pentagon
have possibly said that is in competition with Hume's words of wisdom?
Tune in tomorrow...