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Meanwhile, on MSNBC, Chris Matthews was interrupting guests to pepper them with pop-culture references, probably so he’d look “groovy.” He questioned why Convoluted Rice and Uncurious George didn’t realize the PDB entitled “Bin Laden Determined To Attack the United States” should have “led to a picture that might have, like if we’re watching Wheel of Fortune, added up into a statement: They’re coming next month,” or “jumped off the screen at you, like a preview of coming movie attractions.”
Then, the media kept reminding us ad nauseam that those pictures of American bodies being dragged through the streets by angry mobs in Falluja weren’t merely gruesome, they were “déjà vu” direct from Black Hawk Down, which depicted the eerily similar Clinton-era Somali scenes that the Bush administration was so rabid to avenge with their own perverse logic of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Isn’t it enough for something to just be ghastly without having to equate it to “seeming like a movie”?
When the announcement was made that Dubya would hold a rare prime-time news conference Tuesday night, the media focused not on the next lie that Bush might tell, but on whether Fox would cover it. After all, Rupert Murdoch would rather cough up a lung before bumping American Idol. After a nanosecond of Nielsen-induced indecision, Murdoch decided that his fanatical need to continue cheering the now flailing Bush administration took precedence over his stockholders. On to the next bit of Iraqi War Lite. Like the news reports that American troops in Iraq routinely carry a rifle, a wrench and headphones to listen to Marilyn Manson, Ludacris and R. Kelly picked up from a European satellite music channel or downloaded to a communal MP3. And Jack Valenti’s heart might have stopped — that is, if he had one — when he read that our soldiers over there were scoring bootleg DVD copies of Hollywood’s newest movies like 50 First Dates, just days after it opened in the United States. Forget the Fog of War: Oh-my-god, there’s film piracy.
Indeed, there was so much Hollywood-Washington confluence that when Condi told the 9/11 commission there was no “silver bullet” that could have prevented the attacks, any film buff could be excused for thinking she meant that 1985 werewolf movie of the same name starring Gary Busey, which rated a 46 on Joe Bob Brigg’s Vomit Meter. What we should have been thinking and feeling during her testimony was not how this would be another pathetic excuse for Letterman, Leno and SNL writers to tickle our funny bone but was really a bona fide reason to trigger the gagging reflex.
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